“It’s not your fault that your most valuable team member is out sick, but I will still hold you accountable for the results from your team. What has to change?” I repeated.
Vicki was still stumped.
“Vicki, let’s look at all the variables that could have an impact on production. You are focusing on the team’s manual assembly. Do they work at different rates on different days?”
“Well, yes, sometimes, they work better when there is loud music playing, awful loud music,” she replied.
“So, some days are up and some days are down. I call that a statistical fluctuation. What other elements could cause a statistical fluctuation?”
“Oh, well, there are a number of things. Sometimes our tooling or tools get worn and they just can’t do the job at the same rate, until we change them out. Sometimes our raw materials aren’t quite the same and we have to stop and make small adjustments to accommodate. Heck, sometimes, too much humidity can affect the setup time.”
“So, all of those things, including the manual assembly can create statistical fluctuations in production?” I noted, making a small list on a sheet of paper.
Vicki nodded her head. A smile crept across her face. “You are right. Those are the things that create havoc in my day.”
“And who is responsible for solving those problems and making decisions, making adjustments to build 30 units a day?” I was looking straight at Vicki. “What has to change?”