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Results

The factory building construction progressed quite well, in spite of many problems, some outside the company's control. Within a year of ground breaking, most of the building work was completed. For various personal reasons, I decided to take up a new assignment with another company, so I did not see the last stages of this project through to completion.

I visited the factory five or six years later, and was quite impressed with the design. Several machinists and technicians recognized me as I walked through the factory. They offered greetings and expressed their satisfaction with the building. They were proud in the knowledge that their ideas and contributions had helped make their work environment pleasant. The best part was that the overall cost was much lower than if we had persisted in 'doing business as usual.'

Lessons

  • 1. Incorporating customer expectations in the design specifications helps optimize plant design. Objectives can be clearly set out at inception.
  • 2. Specifying success criteria at the outset removes subjectivity in decisionmaking.
  • 3. Paying competing architectural firms a small fee can help get better designs by releasing their creative juices. It also enables company 'ownership' of all the designs.
  • 4. Better design features do not necessarily cost more. This example illustrates how they could save money.

Principles

1. People like to operate within their comfort zones. It is the leader's job to recognize the symptoms and shake them out of this situation. [1]

freedom to exercise their creativity.

3. In order to establish trust in any partnership, we need clarity from the outset. If the objectives are clearly stated up front, people usually rise to the challenge.

  • [1] Consultants (including architects) must pull their weight—they can addvalue and help make large savings. To do so, they must be given
 
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