Banana Time Case

Topics: Operation, Operator, Better Pages: 3 (765 words) Published: September 24, 2006

This case deals specifically with the members of the "clicking" workgroup. The problem appears to be a total lack of supervision and management oversight as the work location is completely isolated from other areas of the shop floor. This lack of supervision has led to a number of concerns. Specifically, the issues of horseplay, extended breaks and operator disruptions, which all lead to a loss of production, are clearly visible during daily operations. These problems, while on the surface may seem trivial, the loss of production and absence of concern for operator safety need to be addressed. If the working group throughput quota is being met, some leniency could be afforded for the extended breaks and operator disruptions, but it still does not alleviate the concern for operator safety.

It was found during the course of study that the mundane type of work required of the clicking group, is neither mentally challenging nor rewarding. The operators struggle to keep focused on their task at hand which often leads to disruptive and inappropriate workgroup behavior. The lack of effective supervision and leadership has promulgated the behavior into everyday occurrences. Adding to the complexity of the issue is the fact that some of the operators seem to be overqualified for the position. This over qualification contributes to the boredom of performing the task, and alternative forms of entertainment are sought.

There are a number of recommendations for this workgroup situation. First, it is most important to address operator safety. It is recommended that the line up of the operators be modified. By placing George (the most experienced operator and workgroup lead) next to the least experienced, it would promote mentoring of this task to the new employee, where safe operation can be encouraged. Second, the line up should be modified to place George and the new operator in the middle, with Ike and Sammy on the ends. This could...
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