Monday, December 3, 2012

Separation Of Design And Makers At Boeing

In a key strategic move by Boeing's chiefs, a proposal of  separating the dreamers from the woodcarvers is going on. The dreamers are the designers and woodcarvers are boots on the ground.  Currently these Boeing subgroups awkwardly work through a plethora of change incorporation, design change and production schedules. Please( Link Crains Chicago Business) to this article announcing a change through a separation of divisions with its engineering and production.

There are several questions obviously already answered prior to Boeing's decision.

Synergy Found On The Factory Floor

  • How will engineering changes integrate to the production floor?
  • How will production innovation migrate back for improving engineering design? 
  • How does engineer's concepts become a production reality?
  • Will walls exist between production realities, engineers dreams and Bean Counter(accountants) boundaries?
  • What does this do to the implementation process for new models from CAD to the floor?
  • Is there an independent interface department between divisions responsible for transitioning concept to production?

At the time, these are just a few hurdles for consideration. I imagine engineering work stations will remain on the factory floor, assisting production during start up. I also assume that big logistics room also remains a player. Tracking all moving parts, reporting at any given moment; any part, any delivery time, or any change.

Engineer Work Stations On Factory Floor

Therefore, the separation of duties with engineering and production does not lose the continuity of efficiency gained on the 787 project, but rather separates resources for better management of project cost that formerly co-mingled with production. With so many concurrent projects going on, this is more about efficiency and cost accounting measures identifying those cost and resources on specific projects within a division, and less about the team effort going forward from engineering to the floor.

Logistics Center

Boeing will not drop the synergies found in the 787 project, but will rely more on those synergies for upcoming projects. However, identifying cost, work functions, and resources; is more important when managing 5 separate airplane building projects, and will keep Boeing away from the word "late" in the newspapers. Division management is most import when lines are clearly drawn for the direction given.