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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