High absence and turnover of front-line teams, chronic conflicts and quality issues between shifts, poor housekeeping, quality issues and disorganization pushing up costs and poor on time delivery.


Culture climate surveys, 360 degree feedback, awareness training in importance of quality and customer service, increased discipline in performance management reviews. People did not come to work to be part of work that matters, they arrived in an hierarchical environment designed to be accused and abused.


The deeply instilled, invisible, undiscussable mindset was that people need to be fixed. The constraint was not the talent or teamwork, it was the fractures in the design of work, the archaic role of the supervisors as enforcers, repressive top-down management, absence of transparency and engagement consisting of HR frills and social activities to make the broken system tolerable.


Mapped the end-to-end value stream. Surfaced chronic constraints and ways to increase flow with the people who are do the day-to-day work. Product Owners replaced Production Area Foreman. Agile Coaches replaced front line supervisors and lead hands. Implemented an adaptation of the Andon System, ran Kaizen Blitz, applied 6S to build team ownership. Set up sprints, burn-down charts, visual tracking and retrospectives.


A self-directed team performance system with visual measures, process literacy and open feedback galvanized front line teams. Errors, rework, duplication, poor hand-offs, excess inventory, emotional conflicts and harassment were systematically removed from the workplace. The energy sapped in a broken design was replaced with shared focus on the end customer. Engagement sky rocketed, turnover and absenteeism were replaced with productivity at unprecedented levels.