Organizationally Challenged – Engineering and Manufacturing

Our organizations are set up in silos, and we’re measured that way. (And we wonder why we get local optimization.) At the top of engineering is the VP of the Red Team, who is judged on what it does – product.  At the top of manufacturing is the VP of the Blue Team, who is judged on how to make it – process. Red is optimized within Red and same for Blue, sometimes with competing metrics.  What we need is Purple behavior.

Here’s a link to a short video (1:14): Organizationally Challenged

And embedded below:



Let me know what you think.

4 Responses to “Organizationally Challenged – Engineering and Manufacturing”

  • Stephen Bradshaw:

    I belive in the power of systems to bring people together, remove the tedious task
    S and to focus on the products.

  • Couldn’t agree with you more, Mike. At our place, about 3 years ago, we implemented a focused factory structure where each product line was it’s own separate business with a single reporting factory manager. All necessary disciplines co-located. Seems to work good…on paper. For some reason purple separates back into the red & blue. It’s more than professional focus. I’m convinced it’s a social issue. Like 2 different races. Oil and water. There always seems to be that “wall”. So why is it that our purple managers couldn’t turn his reds and blues into purples?

  • Elina Parviainen:

    Good video. I believe all who has and does work for DFA and DFM share this blue and red thinking. However, I believe that all in the same company want to work together and make the best. Why we then have these “color problems”? I guess, because of many reasons. I have noticed some during my work history.Such as:
    1.What plays biggest role for the company leads the “circus”. If cost of the components and activity on that side is bigger than manufacturing, it`s quite clear what/who leads the activities and decision making.
    2. If the organizational structure and culture does not enable open discussion, one does what is “safe”. Note the amout of outsourcing in product design and manufacturing.Effect of middle management.
    3. Endless discussion who is the customer and who the supplier (internal/ external)
    4. Amount of different calcualtions. How they are done, by whom, how used, when, by whom and for what? Are these understood through the E2E chain?

    The good in all this read and blue is, that it creates work.. ( and costs…. )
    because we are humans 🙂

  • Mike:

    Thanks Elina. You have provided good observations that will help others successfully implement DFMA. Mike

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Mike Shipulski Mike Shipulski
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