Assess the importance of managers, both as the drivers of change and the obstacles to change, in the implementation of lean at Pratt.

Topics: Toyota Production System, Lean manufacturing, Taiichi Ohno Pages: 5 (1622 words) Published: October 29, 2014
Leadership has been often listed as the most important driver of change within an organization. Just as leadership has been regularly identified as the driver of an organization that changes successfully, it is also often cited as the reason for failure. One of the most important things a leader can do is to actively participate in the change, or "walk the talk". However a leader who thinks that merely communicating the changes without action could be setting the company up for failure (Whelan-Berry, 2010). The strategic importance of management influence to the success of any Lean implementation can be deduced from all the case studies reviewed from the inception of this course. The case of Pratt (Womack & Jones, 2003) is no different; instead we are better made aware of the gravity of management influence to any successful attempt on adopting Lean as a standard for operations. Principles 9 and 10 of the Toyota Way (Liker 2004). As explained by Liker (2004) ‘the leader’s real challenge is having the long-term vision of knowing what to do, the knowledge of how to do it, and the ability to develop people so they can understand and do their job excellently. Lean Operations are used in the manufacturing industry and especially in automotive manufacturing units. Two of the manufacturing units that use this strategy of lean operations are Toyota Motor Company and Pratt and Whitney Aircraft. Taiichi Ohno of Toyota Motor Company developed the standardization of work and also the assembly line (Liker, 2004). Pratt and Whitney Aircrafts also implemented the lean manufacturing to their process and saw the difference in the outcome of the production, which in turn brought huge profits. Both the companies have successfully implemented the lean operation into their manufacturing processes Schonberger (1996) and both of come across seen success as well as the challenges. One of the biggest successes that were seen in Toyota Motor Company was that the people were trained well on the elimination of wastes and also on value of flow of work, which they understood well and implemented. Therefore, the implementation of training and also training the people on key principles is easy. In Toyota Motor Company, it had changed the whole environment culture, as people now are more responsible towards their duties Monden (1998), they have started thinking out of the box and have the capabilities now to bring change in the attitude. Both the companies that are Toyota Motor Company and Pratt and Whitney Aircraft implemented the lean operations successfully as they were financial sound and therefore they spent money on training programmers and also on consultancies. Also both the companies had a strong leadership as they were able to bring the change in the organization by improving the work with continuous efforts; this is the reason why Pratt and Whitney aircraft turned into almost double profits in three years’ time. The management at the Toyota Motor Company were committed fully to implement the lean operations and took all the problems and issues as the opportunity to develop and learn (Monden, 1998). That is how the company improved its competitive edge in the market. Other factors that were responsible for the successful implementation of the lean operation in these two companies were the commitment of the managers towards the implementation, belief in the concept of lean operations, employees’ involvement and also the patience to wait for the results which is evident in the Pratt and Whitney company as they started getting the results only after three years of implementation. The critical analysis of Toyota Motor Company and Pratt and Whitney Aircraft’s implementation have raised the issue of challenges they have met in implementing the lean operations. The decision of meeting the goals can be achieved by either two ways that is make the employees work harder or make them work smarter. However it is found that both the companies...

References: Whelan-Berry, K.S. (2010) Linking Change Drivers and the Organizational Change Process: A Review and Synthesis, Journal of Change Management, 10(2), pp. 175193
Womack, James P., & Jones, Daniel T., (2003) Lean thinking, New York: Free Press.
Liker, J.K., (2004) The Toyota way: 14 management principles from the world 's greatest manufacturer, New York: McGraw-Hill.
Schonberger, R. J., (1996) World Class Manufacturing: The Next Decade, New York: Free Press.
Monden, Y., (1998) Toyota Production System: An Integrated Approach to Just-in-Time, Third Edition, Norcross, GA: Engineering & Management Press.
Feld, W., (2000) Lean manufacturing: Tools, techniques, and how to use them, Boca Raton, FL: St. Lucie Press.
Corner, G., (2001) Lean manufacturing for the small shop, Dearborn, MI: Society of Manufacturing Engineers.
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