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Work Design
Part 2 of 4


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The Starting Point

Fleming began by establishing a committee with intended representation from several campuses, departments, orga­nizational levels, management, and labour. This was done by way of the President of the College making an appeal for volunteers. For various reasons, not the least of which was a lack of under standing of what Work Design was, only four people came forward. This small group then began the process of personally approaching, educating, and recruit­ing additional members. As more people became aware of the nature of the project and the expectations of the team the number of people wanting to participate almost became unmanageable. The goal was to have a main committee of approximately 10 to 14 members. Current membership on the Steering Committee is 16 including the Chair as well as six additional members with identified expertise that form an ancillary Resource Group.

The role of the Steering Committee was somewhat evolu­tionary. Originally they were seen to be the group that would carry out Work Design projects but as the under­standing of the Work Design model began to grow it became evident that role was inappropriate. The Steering Commit­tee now helps provide direction, identify potential pro­cesses to be studied, and coordinate ongoing projects. They supply facilitators and the necessary team training by tapping into the Resource Group for expertise and guidance. It is ultimately, however, each design team that will make final decisions regarding how the process should be redesigned, if at all. A chart indicating the structure has been included as Exhibit A.

Realizing that while a voluntary commitment could rea­sonably be expected from participants it was readily appar­ent that the project would constitute a significant amount of work on the part of an individual who would be respon­sible for managing the overall redesign project. A new part time position was created for a Work Design Project Leader. The text of the actual job posting has been included as Exhibit B.

And So It Began

One of the first tasks of the Steering Committee was to establish a vision for the overall Work Design process that would provide a benchmark against which we could mea­sure what each individual process should accomplish. As a guide to establishing this vision, the Steering Committee referred to Fleming's Mission Statement and Beliefs. These had been established in 1989 and are as follows:
Mission Statement: Sir Sandford Fleming College is dedi­cated to offering the kinds of learning opportunities and support which will promote growth and success in the lives of those it serves.

For each process examined, teams are instructed to at­tempt to define:

• Who does the process serve? How? What? When? Where? Why?
• What kinds of learning opportunities are inherent in the process?
• How do we define success for this process?
• How do we define and measure growth as a result of this process?
• What support is needed to achieve success for this process?

In addition the teams are to refer to the core college beliefs:

• Be client centered
• Provide a stimulating and respectful learning environ­ment
• Maintain high standards
• Serve our community
• Be supportive of the educational opportunities we provide
• Be part of a cooperative team
• Be honest with one another
• Have broad based input and feedback in decision making
• Listen and plan
• Support ongoing professional development
• Promote innovative thinking and initiative

As much as possible, Trainers and Facilitators are chosen who do not currently work as part of the process being studied. They act as guides for the Work Design Teams, helping them through the steps of Work Design.

To Be Continued

For balance of this article, click on the below link:

Lean Manufacturing Articles and go to Series 01


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