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Implement innovative processes

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Implement innovative processes

 Assessment Task Instructions

You must provide:

        action plans for transition, communication

        two contingency plans related to transition and communication action plans

        a written analysis of the causes of implementation failure

        amended action plans and contingency plans

        evaluation and continuous improvement schedule.

 

Assessment task Procedures

1.       Turn to the case study ‘Implement an innovative process’ (Appendix 1 provide at the end of this task).

 2.       Review ‘Part 1 – Implementation’. Examine all aspects of the new process to be implemented.

 3.       Develop action plans for 1) transition, and 2) communication. In each action plan, include:

 a.       activities, objectives, measures (KPIs), timeframes

 b.       activities to promote the process and sustainabilit

 c.       activities to communicate costs and benefits to relevant people

 d.       activities to reduce any negative impact on people.

  4.       Develop at least two contingency plans related to possible implementation issues you foresee in relation to activities in your action plans.

5.       Review ‘Part 2 – Follow up’. Examine implementation issues and failures.

6.       Critically analyse the causes of these implementation failures and draft a report describing how the contingency plans will address them.

7.       Amend action plans and contingency plans to address the implementation failures.

8.       Develop a schedule for evaluation and continuous improvement. Include regularly scheduled:

 a.       evaluation activities, regularly repeated over a suitable timefra

 b.       evaluation activities to capture learnings from all work activities

 c.       activities to embed learning into work processes.

 9.       Submit documents to your assessor as per the specifications above. Ensure you keep a copy of all work submitted for your records.

Part 1 – Implementation

John Jones, a Production Manager at A. C. Gilbert, has developed an idea for improving efficiencies in the manufacturing process at A. C. Gilbert. The idea came as a result of the innovative ideas program, and John has successfully trialled the program on one line in the processing plant.

The program has been evaluated and found to be successful, and you are now in the process of implementing the program company-wide.

Overview of the program

The goal of the program is to increase productivity, reduce waste, improve sustainability, and reduce errors on production lines by 20% by allocating specialist team members to individual lines.

A secondary goal is to reduce staff turnover from an average of 32% per annum to 20% per annum, thus improving the skill levels and efficiencies of the plant and reducing costs in recruiting and training new staff.

Production staff and process workers will be divided into five different teams. Each team will be responsible for the manufacturing of five product lines. Team members will only work on their specialty line, and rosters will be altered to ensure adequate staff on each line during the 12-hour production cycle. This may involve changes to staff rosters, in some cases by implementing 12-hour shifts, but will not impact on earnings or result in the loss of any hours of work.

John also suggested involving teams in goal setting and objective setting for their own product lines. Each month they meet to develop production and error rate projections for the next, with a goal to continuously improve both rates to achieve a maximum of 4% error rate and a 40% increase in productivity within 24 months. Current error rates are at 22%.

To incorporate this change, production lines will be closed for 48 hours for retooling. During this period, staff will be re-trained in the production of their designated lines by shift supervisors. Training required will include technical training, motivational training and quality control procedures along with goal and objective setting workshops.

 

Anticipated savings

By implementing the above measures the following savings have been budgeted:

      savings of $300,000 per annum in staff turnover costs

      savings of $1 million per annum in lost productivity and errors

      savings of $200,000 per annum in service and repairs costs to equipment.

Benefits and concerns

During the trial, a number of advantages and concerns were identified. There were initial fears that staff would become bored and complacent, continually producing the same lines. Analysis during the pilot found that, after the first week, staff became quite ’proud‘ of their output and felt a degree of ownership for the lines they were responsible for. Morale improved in a team environment.

Employees were initially reluctant to participate in setting their own error and productivity targets. They tended to overestimate the percentages and did not wish to commit to large improvements. Managers feel it will take some time and training in understanding the financials and operational reports for them to set realistic targets.

Many employees lack formal education and some have limited English, which was also an area of concern when trying to involve them in what they perceived to be ‘management decisions’. This style of management is a huge change in the workplace. Most employees were used to being lectured for making mistakes, rather than encouraged to participate in decision-making and feeling like they have some ownership of the process and outcomes. There is some reluctance and anxiety involved and a degree of resistance from some long-term employees, who feel they are being asked to do a management job and should be paid accordingly. Management fear there could be some industrial relations implications.

Other concerns revolve around productivity levels during the transition. It is understood that it will take some time for employees to operate at full productivity, as they will be working on new production lines and different products. Concerns that deliveries won’t be met and customers will be disadvantaged are key concerns for management.

From a technology standpoint, the new production lines will be faster and more efficient. However, the current service technicians are used to the old lines and lack the experience to service and maintain the new equipment. It is possible that breakdowns could impact on production targets.

Part 2 – Follow-up

Make the following assumptions:

      The new program has been in place for eight weeks with the following outcomes:

     productivity has decreased by 8% to 66%

     delays on the line have increased by 10%

     waste has increased by 10%

     error rates have fallen by 2% to 20%

     15 out of 300 staff have resigned since the new program was introduced, including two shift supervisors.

      After 16 weeks:

     productivity remains at 66%

     delays on the lines have improved and are now at pre-change levels

     error rates have remained steady at 20%

     staff levels have remained steady.

      The following comments were raised at a staff forum held two months after the implementation.

     New machines are very different; training was not sufficient.

     Employees feel that figures don’t mean much to them – they are struggling to understand what % rates have to do with their day-to-day workload.

     Employees understand the importance of sustainability, but have no idea how to apply sustainable practices to workplace or amend own work practices to make them more sustainable.

     New rosters have been unpopular with some employees.

     12-hour shifts were introduced to keep teams together but they are causing difficulties for staff with regards to managing their families.

     Longer shifts are also resulting in people becoming tired and making errors.

     The OHS representative is concerned that injuries might increase as a result.

 



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