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Curated by Michel Baudin
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How is lean different from Taylorism? | Michael Ballé | LEI

How is lean different from Taylorism? | Michael Ballé | LEI | lean manufacturing | Scoop.it

"They are completely different indeed. They differ in their purpose, their practice and their outcomes. Lean is about self-reflection and seeking smarter, less wasteful dynamic solutions together. Taylorism is about static optimization of work imposed by 'those who know' on 'those who do.'"

Michel Baudin's insight:
Yes, "Scientific Management" was just a marketing label for theories that weren't truly scientific but were instead based on a simplistic view of human nature. And Taylor's stopwatch time studies were just aimed at increasing production at every operation with no consideration of flow. 

I would, however, ask for a more accurate and complete story, starting with the timeline. It is easy to check. For example, Taylor couldn't have had many brilliant insights in "mid-nineteenth century" because he wasn't born until 1856. Also, the Toyota Production System originated before 1960. 

The time matters because everything changed in America between 1850 and 1900, as it did in Japan between 1930 and 1960. By 1900, the American manufacturing industry had sprouted companies with tens of thousands of employees, employing many non-English speakers straight from farms in Eastern and Southern Europe, with primary school educations at best. It is quite possible that the communication challenges with the work force played a role in shaping Taylor's perceptions.  

Toyota's post-war workforce was comprised of native Japanese speakers, like their managers, and, like their American counterparts, better educated than 50 years earlier. As a result, some management approaches could work with them that Taylor wouldn't have thought possible in 1900. 

The article also implicitly attributes Ford's mass production system to Taylor. The Ford people would disagree with this, but it is a common and deliberate confusion made by French unions. In their literature, words like "taylorism" and "toyotism" also  serve to create further confusion and paint both as ideological smokescreens used by evil employers. 

The article also omits some of Taylor's actual contributions. This includes technical work like the invention of high-speed steel and the theory of functional foremanship which, while never used as he prescribed, defined the list of support departments found today in just about any manufacturing facility. See Fairness to Frederick Taylor (http://wp.me/p3Jqq9-48up) and Lean's Midlife Crisis (http://wp.me/p3Jqq9-51NS).




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Jens R. Woinowski (leanself.org)'s curator insight, March 10, 2016 2:03 AM
Yes, "Scientific Management" was just a marketing label for theories that weren't truly scientific but were instead based on a simplistic view of human nature. And Taylor's stopwatch time studies were just aimed at increasing production at every operation with no consideration of flow. 

I would, however, ask for a more accurate and complete story, starting with the timeline. It is easy to check. For example, Taylor couldn't have had many brilliant insights in "mid-nineteenth century" because he wasn't born until 1856. Also, the Toyota Production System originated before 1960. 

The time matters because everything changed in America between 1850 and 1900, as it did in Japan between 1930 and 1960. By 1900, the American manufacturing industry had sprouted companies with tens of thousands of employees, employing many non-English speakers straight from farms in Eastern and Southern Europe, with primary school educations at best. It is quite possible that the communication challenges with the work force played a role in shaping Taylor's perceptions.  

Toyota's post-war workforce was comprised of native Japanese speakers, like their managers, and, like their American counterparts, better educated than 50 years earlier. As a result, some management approaches could work with them that Taylor wouldn't have thought possible in 1900. 

The article also implicitly attributes Ford's mass production system to Taylor. The Ford people would disagree with this, but it is a common and deliberate confusion made by French unions. In their literature, words like "taylorism" and "toyotism" also  serve to create further confusion and paint both as ideological smokescreens used by evil employers. 

The article also omits some of Taylor's actual contributions. This includes technical work like the invention of high-speed steel and the theory of functional foremanship which, while never used as he prescribed, defined the list of support departments found today in just about any manufacturing facility. See Fairness to Frederick Taylor (http://wp.me/p3Jqq9-48up) and Lean's Midlife Crisis (http://wp.me/p3Jqq9-51NS).




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How Ford Eliminated Tickets on Flow Lines | Charles Sorensen | Bill Waddell

"I am revisiting a great book – “My Forty Years With Ford” – written by Charles Sorensen.  Sorensen was as close to being in charge of production at Ford during the Model T, genesis of the assembly line, $5 day era.  The following is an excerpt [...]

 

'...a part such as a piston entered production bearing a ticket which covered every operation. If ten operations were involved, an entry was made on the ticket after each stage before proceeding to the next one. If one piston was lost in the move, all progress stopped until the missing piece could be found and accounted for. The time consumed in each operation was computed in lots of 100 or more, and results were tabulated on a card file which ultimately found its way back to the foreman so that he might check timing at each stage. Not only did the process mean delay from one operation to another, but when a motor assembler couldn’t get pistons, all car production was held up.'

Michel Baudin's insight:

It's a great story. What Hawkins was implementing is now known as a traveller and, while not usually found in auto parts manufacturing, it lives on in other activities, where it is needed. I saw it in operation last week in small and mid-size plants in Germany that produce paints in thousands of shades in batches from 100Kg to 2,000Kg. Each batch has a traveller attached to it as a way to keep track of where it is in its process and which materials or pigments are needed for it. In semiconductor manufacturing, you also have travellers, albeit electronic, to keep track of where a batch of wafers is in its 500+ operations process that involves multiple visits to the same equipment, and where the state of a wafer is not visually obvious.

 

The principle is not intrinsically wrong. The mistake Sorensen reports was applying it in the wrong place.

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Model T Assembly Line Starts For First Time - October 7, 1913 | The Truth About Cars

Model T Assembly Line Starts For First Time - October 7, 1913 | The Truth About Cars | lean manufacturing | Scoop.it
Michel Baudin's insight:

This is mostly interesting for the collection of photos from the Ford Highland park plant. 

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The top ten lean manufacturers | Manufacturing Digital

The top ten lean manufacturers | Manufacturing Digital | lean manufacturing | Scoop.it
From the automotive philosophers of Toyota to the makers of Kleenex tissues, Lean manufacturing principles have been exemplified by some of the world's top companies. Here is a list of some of the best practitioners in the ...
Michel Baudin's insight:

Top ten by what criteria? What is the measure of leanness on which these companies outperform everybody else? The article doesn't say. Most "top ten" lists don't either, but you want to see who is on them anyway. If you know the inner workings of some of these companies, you may be surprised to find them there. You may also wonder what the actions described in the paragraph about Nike have to do with Lean. 

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