Achieving Pace and Sustainability in a Major Lean Transition

Lucey, John; Bateman, Nicola; Hines, Peter
September 2004
Management Services;Sep2004, Vol. 48 Issue 9, p8
This article reports some preliminary findings from an action research project on the sustainability of lean transition in British manufacturing. The challenge was to implement a 5S program in a busy packing hall comprising of ten high-speed packing lines. The research was undertaken over a period of ten weeks prior to Christmas 2002. The author claims the ownership of the change and subsequent sustainability by the toiletries production manager has been quite astonishing. 5S audits twelve months later are achieving the same or higher scores. This approach to achieving lean transitions at pace has become the standard within Boots Manufacturing production and the D10 Toiletries exercise is held up as an exemplar. A number of conclusions can be drawn from this action based research that are essential to transacting change at pace, sustaining the change and fully realizing the benefits. R. Kantner suggests that the most important things a leader can bring to a changing organization are passion, conviction and confidence in others. Too often executives announce a plan, launch a task force, and then simply hope that people find the answers instead of offering a dream, stretching their horizons, and encouraging people to do the same.


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