Implementig the conditions for an effective ...

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study. A 3 year research collaboration with Peugeot-Citroën. Concerns about the deployment of lean production and its impacts on working conditions.

Implementing conditions for effective participation in a continuous design process Maria-Sol PEREZ¹, Pierre FALZON² & Alexandre MORAIS³ ¹ErSyA - ²Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers - ³PSA Peugeot-Citroën

 A 3 year research collaboration with Peugeot-Citroën  Concerns about the deployment of lean production and its impacts on working conditions  Accelerated pace at the workstation

Context of the study

 Decrease of room of maneuver  Increase of occupational pain-related accidents

 An opportunity to integrate ergonomics goals into company strategy  Intervention in and on system’s “continuous improvement” (CI)  Definition of goals of performance and well-being

 based on quality standards  with different viewpoints regarding quality

The consumer viewpoint

Work and quality

The management viewpoint

Quality product

Quality of performed work

Quality of designed work

Quality work

The work designer viewpoint

The employee viewpoint

 Main principles of CI processes  Analysis of standard procedures  Identification of non-added value operations and “best” practices

 Improving the work station and reducing non-added value operations

A need to develop the Continuous Improvement processes

 Definition of new standard procedures

 Assumptions of proponents of lean production  Primary objectives of participation in CI action

 To enhance quality, productivity and safety  Secondary effects  Autonomy, enhanced skills, empowerment

 Actual results show instead  A narrow view of work activity that leads to work confinement  Limited participation of workers : limited skills enhancement


 Previous work has shown that…  discussion of the rules which organize work (rules for action)  enhances workers skills by developing or improving strategies

Discussion of the rules which organize work

 empowers workers  improves productivity and quality  gathering all “actors of design” (engineers, operators, managers…) is not sufficient to ensure an efficient discussion about work content and its rules  the discussion of rules entails a capacity of debating about work

 How to redesign CI processes to allow an effective discussion of rules ?

 Train employees to become “better” co-designers


 Learn to discuss about “how I really perform work” and not only “how I am supposed to perform it”  Transform the requirements (personnel & organizational) into resources for work activity

 Revise the CI methodology  Integration of actual constraints of work  Change representations of “non-added value” activities

 … all participants (“Training for action” , Teiger & Laville, 1991)

A method targeting…

 Ergonomic training prior to the CI process  Work co-analysis with operators  The ergonomist as a facilitator : helping operators to make explicit their work activity  Co-definition of “typical situations” operators have to deal with and of resources (time, tools, prescriptions, colleagues…) to be considered when transforming the work situation

 … the CI process itself  Integration of the “typical situations” as defined by operators as input data for CI groups in the same way as standards  Use of videos of operators performing work as input for collective discussions  Integration of discussions of the rules which organize work

 Records and transcriptions of the discussions during CI groups (90 000 words)  Identification of…

Data analysis

 Topics discussed  E.g. How to identify a defective part in the quality work station  The process of redefining work standards  Confrontation of “action scenarios” and “prescription scenarios”  Action scenarios refer to work-as-done, to the resources and constraints needed to perform work-as-prescribed  Prescription scenarios are design hypotheses to be assessed and modified; they are formulated by the participants  Designing is assessing prescription scenarios against action scenarios  Actors “playing” the scenarios  Transformations and evolutions of the standard

 Co-analysis prior to CI groups  Identification of operators’ strategies for managing production  As opposed to “best practices” standards, operators’ strategies are effective in tackling variability  e.g. regulation of the pace of controls according to the state of the production shown on the dashboard (breakdowns, increases of the demands…)

Results 1/2

 During the CI group  29 different themes of discussion  10 strictly related to the CI method (identification of best practices, timing, modifications of standard sheet…)  9 related to actual, practical issues re. workstation design  10 (1/3 of discussion time) related to discussing work strategies  e.g. A senior operator discussed the existence of “strategic zones of quality control” which were unknown to a junior operator

 Co-analysis prior and during CI group allowed the identification and discussion of the rules which organize work a larger and richer set of themes related to work design

 The design process is progressive and involves all participants

Results 2/2

 Prescription and action scenarios emerge in the discussion  Scenarios need an understanding of the entire production process (Boreham et al. 2003

 But… poor output of the workshop compared to the richness of the discussions  The report to the hierarchy included limited transformations of equipment and adjustments of the workspace  e.g. cleaning the workstation, changing the fan for more comfort, etc.

 The initial objectives of “redefining the standard” are neither questioned nor enriched

 Effectiveness of the method to ensure effective participation


 Actions focused on the improvement of participation are not enough : need to address both the micro and macro levels  The actual results of the CI initiatives should be translated at a strategic level of the company as an element of competitiveness

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