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Change Management or continuous improvements: Planning a company to transform into a Lean Enterprise
University of Gävle, Department of Business Administration and Economics.
2006 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Magister), 10 points / 15 hpStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

It seems commonly accepted that today’s competitive environment with changing customer values, the need to introduce products faster, and financial expectations of stockholders demand a change in the old way of doing things.

In 2003 Dyno Nobel merged with an American company, Ensign Bickford, which had developed very promising results over the last few years. The Ensign Bickford Company had recently received the Szhingo Prize for their excellent implementation of Lean Production (Toyota Production System). It was now decided to implement “Lean” in all of the new Dyno Nobel.

LEAN is about creating more value for customers by eliminating activities that are considered waste. This implies that any activity that consumes resources, adds cost or time without creating customer value is a target for elimination.

It’s often said that Lean is more a philosophy than it is a system. We need to change the way we think. It’s to continuously improve the way we operate. An endless fight against waste.

The problem here is how to transform the European part of Dyno Nobel into becoming a “Lean Enterprise”. The objective of this thesis is to develop a change plan (method or model), which can be used as a basis when managing the Lean implementation in this part of Dyno Nobel (in all practical respects we’re actually talking about the Scandinavian part of the company).

From all available literature, input from other sources as well as advises given by other professionals a transformation or implementation plan (model) has been created. Then some of the theories from the plan have been tested in real life at some pilot areas of the organisation.

In this study, besides the theories and philosophies around Lean and the Toyota production system itself, the core of the Plan developed has been created around the methodology as outlined by J.P. Kotter in his book "Leading Change" and by the systematic approach to a problem as described by Dr. W. Edwards Deming and the continuous improvement spiral, the PDCA wheel. Dr. Deming's approach is actually said to be the catalyst for the development of the Toyota production system in the first place. The hole spirit of Lean circles around continuous improvements, never to relax and be satisfied, to always strive for improvements and to do so by the “Plan – Do – Check – Act” approach described by Dr. Deming.

The cases studied here can all be seen as preliminary studies in implementing different parts of the Lean Philosophy in practise. Through Value Stream Mapping of all the major value streams at the company, the cases to study, or rather the cases to start with, where selected.

Based on the results and the experience gained from those pilot areas the plan have been evaluated and or adjusted. The strategy chosen here was to conduct a survey in literature and mixed also with input from visiting other companies that have conducted similar changes and then create a first version of the Plan. To improve the Plan and to verify the methods some in-house case studies have been conducted.

A qualitative research approach has been utilised for this study, researching the implications of transforming an organisation to become Lean, in other words to make individuals change behaviour in their interaction with others.

The essential idea here is that the researcher goes "into the field" to observe the phenomenon in its natural state or in situ. As such, it is most related to the method of participant observations.

Based on the experiences gained from the cases run, combined with input from literature, the outcome of this study is a plan for how to manage the transformation of a specific company to become a Lean Enterprise that might also be of interest to others considering similar changes in other companies. However, as outlined by the author, an organisation’s culture is unique and the world of commerce is constantly changing, as the circumstances of today may not be relevant in a week or few months time. As a consequence, this plan should not be considered to generally be valid for other companies.

In short, the conclusion is that change is possible. You need a simple understandable plan, the company top management to lead the way and constant focus.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. , p. 86
Keywords [en]
Lean, Change Management
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-63Archive number: E3BA: DiVa 107/06OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-63DiVA, id: diva2:120208
Uppsok
samhälle/juridik
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2006-12-04 Created: 2006-12-04

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