Lean production
A Jaguar case study

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Page 2: The change process

Jaguar 5 Image 2In order to create and implement the change process at Castle Bromwich, Jaguar managers and supervisors worked with a team of outside consultants, RWD Technology UK Ltd to create an ongoing climate of change. Jaguar already had an established culture of quality around which the international reputation of the company was built. However, it was necessary to develop new ways of working and perceptions about continuous quality improvement.

Firstly, it was necessary to transform patterns of working relationships. Previously the factory had been organised using a hierarchical approach with one supervisor and one group leader taking responsibility for up to 30 production line workers. In the new structure a team leader works with a small group of seven team members.

The old approach was characterised by a ‘tell and do’ approach with instructions being fed downwards in order to exercise control from above. Today this pattern of decision making has been inverted. Group members are expected to take responsibility for their own work and to use team leaders for support - i.e. in a helping role. Jaguar workers have enthusiastically adopted the new approach as it allows for greater involvement and responsibility for improving their work patterns.  Increased productivity and quality is clearly visible as a consequence.

The first step in implementing change was to ask workers to operate in small teams with a group leader – an approach known as cellular working. The teams (cells) were introduced to a series of new approaches (tools) designed to enable them to work more effectively. Teams were trained in their work areas rather than classrooms so they could see how to apply the new tools in a work based context, and feel comfortable and involved.

Jaguar | Lean production