A few years ago, we were asked by a large pharmaceutical manufacturing company to help transition ten of its fifteen plants to a just-in-time inventory system. The technical aspect of change was led by another consulting firm. But as the “go live” date approached, senior leaders realized that front-line operators weren’t as committed to the new system as those who had been involved in the analysis.
We weren’t surprised by this finding for two reasons. First, not everyone can participate in the scoping, diagnosis, planning, and design phases of such a large project. Diagnosis and design teams are often formed with representatives to ensure perspective from across the organization. But those not asked to participate can feel left out, confused, or even unaware of the change.