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Selected Case

published: 30 Nov 2012

  • Topic: Operations
  • Industry: Connectors
  • Region: Global

Abstract:
In 2008, Michel Safir, our protagonist, was tasked to roll out Lean throughout the Design and Engineering (D&E) departments of FCI, a large multi-national player in the connector industry. This case describes in detail the pilot project where many of the principles of Lean were applied to various aspects of D&E over a period of 18 months. Once the ideas and processes were developed and tested in the pilot project, Lean was then to be rolled out to the rest of the global organization. Case A ends just before global rollout. Case B describes, briefly, how the global rollout was handled and the protagonist's lessons learned from the how the project was handled.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case can be used to illustrate both: (i) Lean, and its application to Engineering, and (ii) Leadership issues in rolling out Lean to a global organization. Lean principles, and how they might be applied to an engineering environment, are described in detail in Case A, within the context of the pilot project. The case ends with an open question from Michel as to how he might best roll out Lean to the rest of the organization. This then sets up a discussion on Change management, and the strategies and leadership issues that will arise in such a large change management effort. Case B reflects on what Michel actually did to roll out the initiative globally, and he reflections on the lessons learned from the exercise.

Keywords:
Lean, Engineering, Connectors, Change Management, Leadership, Continuous Improvement, Learning, Operations

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