Boganmeldelse: ‘Building a Global Learning Organization’

Fra Effektivitet 2014 nr. 2



John Bicheno, Founder of MSc in Lean Enterprise at University of Buckingham,

‘Building a Global Learning Organization: Using TWI to Succeed with Strategic Workforce Expansion in the LEGO Group’, by Patrick Graupp, Gitte Jakobsen and John Vellema, CRC, 2014

TWI (Training within industry) is a cornerstone, perhaps THE cornerstone, of Lean. Slowly, at long last, the concepts are being rediscovered. (For those that may still not know about TWI, it was introduced in the USA during WWII, and spread around the world becoming standard practice at Toyota.) Although the mechanics of the ‘three legged stool’ : JI (job instruction), JM (job methods), and JR (job relations), have been tried and tested, implementation has been the challenge. In a previous book ‘Implementing TWI’ Patrick Graupp described several case studies across various sectors. These cases were necessarily brief but conveyed the wide applicability of the methodology.

In this new book Graupp, Jakobsen and Vellema give a fascinating in-depth account of the implementation of TWI in the LEGO company in Denmark, Hungary, Mexico, and Czek republic. The detail is impressive. The book will become a standard guide not only to TWI implementation, but to the wider challenge of cross functional and cross cultural integration in an organization whose products we all have long admired.

Early on, leaders in the company realized that the challenge of standardized work, and of capturing and communicating best practice would involve the integration of technical experts, practice experts, and HR. TWI was, naturally enough, selected. Gradually, through a series of pilot projects, the core team learned how to involve, encourage, and integrate cultures and disciplines. Leadership was given, but it is the patience, respect, and willingness of the implementation team to learn, that is creates a strong underlying message.

Two of the authors are from the company, so that detail of the thinking, sequence, methods, and forms is all given. Few books, if any in the Lean area since the NUMMI era, have gone into such depth on what it takes to integrate and unify across cultures. Superb.

The book focuses primarily on job instruction including detail of the adaption of ‘job breakdown’ and the capture and integration of best practice from four different cultures – welding them into one ‘LEGO Way’.

Little is said about JM. JR, although not specifically covered in classic TWI fashion, was obviously an important consideration.

The selection of trainers for the TWI roll out is covered in detail. Here, the company drew on a range of teaching and learning theory. This section is of importance to any Lean manager, covering as it does an oft-neglected aspect.

In the final section of the book, the comments of people at several levels in the company are aired in their words. Obviously, TWI has made a lasting impact and will provide the strongest foundation for the company’s future Lean plans.

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