Creating change / Forcing change within a Company

mikethepenguin

Starting to get Involved
#1
Hello all,

I am consulting for a company which drastically needs to implement change. They have acknowledged that change is needed but there is resistance which is quite confusing at first. The overall cost per hour to the business is ?50 per hour in this example.

The scenario.
Maintenance - These guys assembly the products together and have had issues in the past with tolerancing, fit issues, and general assembly issues. They have some "gripes" and some "genuine issues" that they have proposed to the design department. However, these have not be taken on board although they have been listened to. :applause:

Design - These guys get to hear all the "gripes" and "genuine issues" from Maintenance. However, in the past design time has meant that changes are not made because for example. If a design change is 20 hours = ?1000; however, if the assembly time is 5 hours then there is no justification for this design change.

Today
The assembly line of this product is slow due to the nature of the product and the change would actually reduce assembly time, and iron out all the problems. As to today the assembly time has taken 2 weeks (10 working days in the UK) because of issues relating to this part of the product.

Now as a six sigma consultant do I just steam roller the change through or is there another way to resolve this? If any more information is required please let me know. I didn't want to make this too wordy. :cool:
 
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Steve Prevette

Deming Disciple
Staff member
Super Moderator
#2
As with anything, the answer is "it depends". Who's horsepower do you have behind you to "force" change? Sometimes that can get a quick jolt, but may not be sustainable for your future (or the company's future) in the long run.

On the other hand, have the people immersed in the process become "desperate enough" to want to change?

Usually your job as the change agent is some form of balancing act between pushing change onto the company, and pulling change from the company.
 

somashekar

Staff member
Super Moderator
#3
I am consulting for a company which drastically needs to implement change. They have acknowledged that change is needed but there is resistance which is quite confusing at first. The overall cost per hour to the business is ?50 per hour in this example.
The above says you are on the right course...
Can you pick one such change and make it happen and demonstrate the benefit to the people who resist. One such proof will earn you the confidence and lot more willingness to adopt to change will emerge.
 

Wes Bucey

Quite Involved in Discussions
#4
Hello all,

I am consulting for a company which drastically needs to implement change. They have acknowledged that change is needed but there is resistance which is quite confusing at first. The overall cost per hour to the business is ?50 per hour in this example.

The scenario.
Maintenance - These guys assembly the products together and have had issues in the past with tolerancing, fit issues, and general assembly issues. They have some "gripes" and some "genuine issues" that they have proposed to the design department. However, these have not be taken on board although they have been listened to. :applause:

Design - These guys get to hear all the "gripes" and "genuine issues" from Maintenance. However, in the past design time has meant that changes are not made because for example. If a design change is 20 hours = ?1000; however, if the assembly time is 5 hours then there is no justification for this design change.

Today
The assembly line of this product is slow due to the nature of the product and the change would actually reduce assembly time, and iron out all the problems. As to today the assembly time has taken 2 weeks (10 working days in the UK) because of issues relating to this part of the product.

Now as a six sigma consultant do I just steam roller the change through or is there another way to resolve this? If any more information is required please let me know. I didn't want to make this too wordy. :cool:
As with anything, the answer is "it depends". Who's horsepower do you have behind you to "force" change? Sometimes that can get a quick jolt, but may not be sustainable for your future (or the company's future) in the long run.

On the other hand, have the people immersed in the process become "desperate enough" to want to change?

Usually your job as the change agent is some form of balancing act between pushing change onto the company, and pulling change from the company.
Similarly to Steve's answer of "it depends," I can tell you that my first blush answer is:
"6S is not the end all and be all of change consulting; it is merely one of the tools in a consultant's basket."

Short of doing your job for you, I can say that most changes implemented with a management attitude of "do it my way or hit the highway!" are symptomatic of a deeper problem. We Demingites put a lot of stock in a System of Profound Knowledge (SoPK) and find that changes derived through SoPK often are void of rancor and hard feelings on the part of the workforce and, as an added bonus, are effective and self-perpetuating.
 

Ninja

Looking for Reality
Trusted Information Resource
#5
Hello all,

I am consulting for a company which drastically needs to implement change. They have acknowledged that change is needed but there is resistance which is quite confusing at first. The overall cost per hour to the business is ?50 per hour in this example.

The scenario.
Maintenance - These guys assembly the products together and have had issues in the past with tolerancing, fit issues, and general assembly issues. They have some "gripes" and some "genuine issues" that they have proposed to the design department. However, these have not be taken on board although they have been listened to. :applause:

Design - These guys get to hear all the "gripes" and "genuine issues" from Maintenance. However, in the past design time has meant that changes are not made because for example. If a design change is 20 hours = ?1000; however, if the assembly time is 5 hours then there is no justification for this design change.

Today
The assembly line of this product is slow due to the nature of the product and the change would actually reduce assembly time, and iron out all the problems. As to today the assembly time has taken 2 weeks (10 working days in the UK) because of issues relating to this part of the product.

Now as a six sigma consultant do I just steam roller the change through or is there another way to resolve this? If any more information is required please let me know. I didn't want to make this too wordy. :cool:
I this example, design change is 20 hours and assembly is 5 hours...end of story. (except that the story doesn't end there)

In fact, design change is 20hrs, assembly is two weeks, and the production line is slow which results in _____.

As groups are pulled together to explain the big picture of how their work affects the company performance, it is important that the leader (you, management, whatever) show all of the affected areas.

Looking at only 5hrs vs. 20hrs, I would take the 5hrs.
Looking at 20hrs vs. 2 weeks and a limping throughput, I would take the 20hrs.
In both, I would question the 20hrs for a design change...unless this is an EXTREMELY complex part, 20hrs is a whole lot of design change to address a tolerance fit.

Overall line performance has to be the target. The little things between design and assembly have to fit into the big picture or the wrong calls get made over and over.
 

mikethepenguin

Starting to get Involved
#6
I this example, design change is 20 hours and assembly is 5 hours...end of story. (except that the story doesn't end there)

In fact, design change is 20hrs, assembly is two weeks, and the production line is slow which results in _____.

As groups are pulled together to explain the big picture of how their work affects the company performance, it is important that the leader (you, management, whatever) show all of the affected areas.

Looking at only 5hrs vs. 20hrs, I would take the 5hrs.
Looking at 20hrs vs. 2 weeks and a limping throughput, I would take the 20hrs.
In both, I would question the 20hrs for a design change...unless this is an EXTREMELY complex part, 20hrs is a whole lot of design change to address a tolerance fit.

Overall line performance has to be the target. The little things between design and assembly have to fit into the big picture or the wrong calls get made over and over.
Thank you ALL for the replies so far I have thought I about things I may have missed.

Ninja you raise a good point. However this example is one of many where the design change cost is more than the cost of the assembly.

There's another such example where by a bracket is obstructing a device, this Device X needs to be moved twice before the customer buys product Z. The time to change Device X can be up to 2 hours in total but the justification for changing the drawings doesn't add up. So the drawing time will be close to 20 hours including making alterations to the rest of product line. However, this problem is seen on all Product Z's this company sells.

So its trying to make the Design department see that this change needs to happen.

As a side story I just found out a few hours ago, a few months ago this department got burnt for designing Product Z behind closed doors. A lot of things didn't work as planned and as such it feels like the Design Department is afraid to make any more changes or alterations to drawings as they got burnt before. :cool:

Another meeting with some of the designers highlighted that some of their designs are 15-20 years old. With tolerances of 0.005mm (0.00019")...

So trying to devise a strategy to show how the down time affects overall lead time will be my way forward, what do you guys think? Similar to what Ninja said.
 
P

PaulJSmith

#7
If your customer is only looking at the 5 hours vs the 20 hours, then you're not showing them the correct figures. The 20 hours up front for the design change should yield some reduction in the 5 hours production time. Show them that time/cost projected out over the next 6 months or year or whatever time frame. There is the savings benefit from the change.
 

Ninja

Looking for Reality
Trusted Information Resource
#8
There's another such example where by a bracket is obstructing a device, this Device X needs to be moved twice before the customer buys product Z. The time to change Device X can be up to 2 hours in total but the justification for changing the drawings doesn't add up. So the drawing time will be close to 20 hours including making alterations to the rest of product line. However, this problem is seen on all Product Z's this company sells.

So its trying to make the Design department see that this change needs to happen.

As a side story I just found out a few hours ago, a few months ago this department got burnt for designing Product Z behind closed doors. A lot of things didn't work as planned and as such it feels like the Design Department is afraid to make any more changes or alterations to drawings as they got burnt before. :cool:
So the math (big picture) would be more like:

$ (20 hrs design) + $ (cost of getting necessary review and approvals from ___)
vs
$ (2hrs assembly labor) x # of parts sold in time frame ____

It is essentially an ROI calculation. Is the investment worthwhile?
If the design cost is indeed higher, why force change to the existing line?
That said, there is still a lesson to be learned here for the next model. Dont make the same mistakes over again.

Sometimes it's better to leave the issues in place...sometimes it's better to fix them.
Make sure that the changes you are "forcing" are the most important ones to make.
Now when you recap the effect of those changes, you can continue to create a better culture. If the changes made don't have a display-able outcome in $$, the culture change will be a hard road.
 
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