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Jean Cunningham

Jean Cunningham: A war story

By Jean Cunningham, - Last updated: jeudi, juin 3, 2010 - Save & Share - Leave a comment

Monday I was at a Memorial Day cook out (where else!).  I met a guy who does systems consulting and was telling me how he was into process improvement. His firm had hired this “crazy” guy who was into lean. He went into the client and showed them how they could get all the work for a process (I think it was entering orders) done in one and half day for the entire country by creating a flow line.  Each job had standard work and they paced the flow based on the printer sound which was the last step in the process.  I was getting all excited looking forward to hearing how this was a great breakthrough.

However, he continued his story to tell me how they got rid of him because it was just too much change and would have affected too many people…”hundreds would be out of a job.”  I was so stunned that I just didn’t know what to say.  The concept of customer, the concept of waste didn’t matter at all….just the horrible impact it would have had a the jobs of the individuals.  As I have continued to think about it, I thought about how the people were so discounted that they could not contribute in some higher value way, that they could not have been retrained, that they would just be “added cost” if they weren’t doing the task that wasn’t even required.  And I bet the CEO didn’t know about that decision.

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