Reader Question: Getting Operators on Board
I got this question on the Lean Board, thought it was worth sharing to the bigger audience here.
Anyone have any success stories on extremely difficult concrete head operators?
I have a couple that just don’t get one piece flow in their cell. We have experienced 30% increase in productivty, 20% reduction in defects, 110% increase in value stream inventory turns, and the department self schedules from a finished goods kanban. However, I have a couple of operators who insist we were better the old isolated islands of batch and push. I’ve coached, presented, listened, etc. I thought once we got their cell going it would be obvious. I just can’t convince them even though they are experiencing it every day. We still have a long ways to go and I need these guys to keep improving but I can’t get then to move forward improving the workplace within the TPS framework.
I’ll post my response in the comments. What do you think? I think rather than just blaming people as being difficult (or “concrete heads” as you sometimes hear), it’s important to ask “Why are they resisting?” It could be the old “resistance to change,” but there could be other issues, fears, or anxieties (real or imagined) under the surface.
This is a question that’s relevant to hospitals as well as factories…
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