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Work Design
Part 4 of 4


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Exhibit C. Design Team Membership Criteria

Broad representation of stakeholders
Should have some understanding (knowledge) of the work design
process and their role in it
Should be open to change
Should have reasonable communication skills
Should have credibility in the workplace
Should have the ability to think "blue sky"—what is ideal, willing to
take risks and/or break paradigms
Have to want to be a team member (willing volunteers only)
To some extent, a degree of cynicism may help, especially if the
team member is an influencer

4. Redesign the Process

• Map out an improved process. Look at costs/benefits. Feasibility analysis (can we change?). Training needs? Technological needs? Resource needs? Develop an implementation plan and possible transition steps.

5. Implement the Redesign

6. Support, Monitor, and Evaluate the Results

• Develop, adjust, and modify as required on an ongoing basis

In all cases, the trainers and facilitators will ask questions and serve as guides. They are not decision makers—that is the role of the design teams themselves.

How Are We Doing?

With the textbook ordering redesign process nearing comple­tion, it is estimated that approximately 40% of the 80 originally documented process steps will be eliminated as non-value-added work. Even if this dramatic result was not achieved there is already a greater empathy across organizational silos as well as a documented understand­ing of the process by which textbooks are selected and ordered. This outcome is having an impact on the Attract­ing a Student process. The initial team members arrived with a good appreciation for Work Design and were eager to have it work for them.

The process has not been without its difficulties. While top management remains clearly committed to Work Design, middle management is not so keen. For the most part this is an education issue and will require some retraining for middle managers to have an appreciation and understand­ing of their new, and much more appropriate role. The team members themselves as well as other individuals and groups have concerns centering on job security. The president of the college, Dr. Brian Desbiens, said it best during a session with one of the teams when he reminded the group that in the past, during tough economic times, downsizing was accomplished seemingly without reason. While there could be no assurance that the results of the Work Design Project would not be used in making layoff decisions he felt, and the group concurred, that it was better to make those decisions based on solid information.

While most of the concerns of the team and the college community have been addressed there is one major concern that remains: employee distrust of management. This manifests itself in "Here we go again" and "They'll never change" statements. Some progress has been made in this area, but ultimately, it will be the successful implementa­tion of change that will provide the breakthrough in this attitude.

The success of Work Design is beginning to emerge at Fleming College. Employees are less likely to accept the status quo and are willing to rise to the challenge of a barrier to customer service. Islands of empowerment are rising from the sea of complacency. Our frontline person­nel more than ever are putting the customer first and working to eliminate roadblocks that have in the past have impeded their ability to efficiently satisfy the needs of their customer. Their jobs are becoming more rewarding and our customers are reaping the benefits.

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

Lean Manufacturing Articles and go to Series 01


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