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Reinventing Manufacturing 


PART VI. 

 

28. Develop common processes, where it makes sense—At a minimum, come up with common data attributes, macro processes, data exchange conventions, etc.

29. Bias towards "vanilla" approaches wherever practical

Don't reinvent the wheel. Use packaged software, and standardized approaches. When you do have to invent a new one, only do so if it will really provide competitive differentiation cost-effectively. Even then, try to design it for multiple purposes, flexibility, and reusability.

30. Leverage investment, people, resources

Leveraging means doing more with less. Don't invest when you can use: consigned inventories, well-planned automa­tion, human resource development, education, virtual cor­porations, cooperative resources, multi-skilled people, con­tractors, OPM (Other Peoples' Money), OPI (Other Peoples' Ideas), licensed technology and methodologies.

31. Set ambitious "stretch" goals. Don't worry if they are missed. Worry about how much improvement is made

Many organizations intimidate their people into develop­ing overly conservative goals, reducing the perceived probability of failure. Try to remove the fear of failure (easier said than done), and encourage employees to shoot for the moon. Then, help them get the resources they need to achieve these goals, encourage controlled, conscious risk-taking, reward success, and console honest failures that occur as a result of trying hard. It's usually better to achieve half of a 50% improvement goal than all of a 10% goal.

32. Project leaders should lead, not make all the decisions

The ideal project leader is one who can formulate and communicate a mission with inspiration, provide tools that team members need, participate with team members, identify and target opportunities and problems for action

33. Avoid "Paralysis by Analysis." You'll never have all the facts

Joe Barcy, one of our associates was leading an inventory reduction program for a client. Some of their employees lamented the fact that up to half of the items to be tracked might lack adequate decision data, so that they felt they could not proceed. Joe said, "then work on the other half!" We'd still be waiting for all of the data to be right before making a decision if we'd hesitated. Instead, improve­ments are being made daily.

34. Don't use just functional organizations to define processes—they tend to replicate existing paradigms

Don't tolerate having processes designed to fit the current organization structure, or even specific people. Use cross-functional teams, with outsiders, internal and external process customers and suppliers.

35. Phase implementation to reduce risk and optimize rate of benefit gains

Full reengineering of a company may take much time. Most companies can't/won't wait for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, so it is necessary to provide payback at regular intervals, preferably starting soon. Create a phased implementation plan allowing the overall effort to self-fund itself before completion, if possible. Individual pro­cesses may have early due dates.

To be Continued


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