Your Best Idea Isn’t Yours

BPA QUALITY: Expert Series By The Professor

Do you wonder why that sometimes, fantastic ideas, well thought out visions or detailed plans fail miserably? Shouldn’t the idea and planning ensure success? Not always, and I learned this lesson the hard way.

Fresh out of graduate school and full of ideas, I was named operations manager of a manufacturing facility. I was responsible for 300 team members and the sky was the limit. I read up on lean manufacturing, the Deming theories and every modern Japanese manufacturing technique there was. My plan was to reduce lead-time by 4 weeks, cut in process inventory in half and reduce waste significantly. We rearranged the machines, the math worked out perfectly and it was primed for success.

It failed miserably.

What I didn’t realize was that my plant was full of 15+ year production veterans who didn’t understand the idea, had no vested interest in the plan succeeding, and saw the…

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