Lean production
A Jaguar case study

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Page 5: Ownership of work

Jaguar 6 Image 1Under the new working arrangements at Jaguar, work teams have been encouraged to take responsibility for their own work. Work must be standardised so that everyone knows what they are accountable for and they can ensure quality standards. However, within each cell, team members will be responsible for writing their own work element sheets. In this way the team takes ownership for the processes and the amount of time involved in carrying out work.

Borrowing another idea from Japan - the ‘Yamazumi Board’ - the responsibility of each worker is outlined in a series of work elements. These work elements are shown in a vertical column on a Yamazumi board which is a flat white screen. The value added activities of each employee are shown in green and non-value added activities in red. The height of each vertical element represents the amount of time needed to carry out the element e.g. nine seconds. By examining the Yamazumi board it is possible to reallocate some work elements from some production workers to others in order to create greater fairness of work distribution.

Another purpose of work teams is to discuss their work in order to identify ways of reducing the time spent on non-value added related activities, i.e. to cut out waste - the purpose of lean production. Lean manufacturing requires ‘thinking’ at all levels within the organisation. The seven key opportunities for cutting down waste are:

  1. Removing over-production. Producing too much, too soon takes up storage space, and involves extra handling. Parts and products which have to wait to be used can be damaged, or become obsolescent, leading to wasteful scrap.
  2. Cutting out time spent waiting for parts to arrive.
  3. Reducing conveyance (i.e. moving things around the factory). Some conveyance is necessary, but it does not add value to the product.
  4. Eliminating over-processing – that is processing which goes beyond what the customer requires or processes which don’t add value to Jaguar’s product.
  5. Cutting inventory - i.e. the build up of stock. Only the minimum amount is required to get the job done. Having too large inventories causes interest charges and storage costs, uses up space and creates extra handling.
  6. Cutting down on wasteful movement by improving work plans and the management of parts and production facilities.
  7. Eliminating the need for repair. Not getting it right first time is wasteful.

Jaguar | Lean production