Lean, Six Sigma and Kaizen methods are now widely used within APG. Managers and employers have been pursuing many improvement goals and were very motivated to reach them. The improvements, however, are mainly focused on the performance of the departments where the manager and employees are responsible. This leads to sub ‘ optimization, meaning that the positive improvement outcomes of the sub process, the departments, do not optimize or sometimes even destroy value on the outcome of the process as a whole. Therefore it becomes necessary to apply the CI&I methods across and between departments. The objectives, referring to an increase in customer, employee satisfaction and increase in efficiencies, will remain the same. Nevertheless the approach becomes more complex because optimizing on a larger scale also seems more difficult because the responsibilities and judgments of the manager of department A are based on the goals and achievements of part A. What happens at B and C is outside the scope of Manager A.
Due to, CI&I focusing on distinct departments in APG, each department is becoming a high performer individually, but they show a reluctance to integrate their efforts with employees in other functions of the organization. As a result, the current situation within APG reveals several prevailing problems. Some of the issues are high throughput times, high levels of inventory, quality problems, many reworks and general frustration over the increasing workload ‘ and perhaps most importantly difficulties providing internal or external customers with the required quality level of output.
Marcel C??t??, argues that silo-thinking is something that organizations often run into once they reach a certain size. He describes the concept in the following way: ”The symptoms of the silo effect are easy to recognize: lack of cooperation, internal competition and breakdown in communication. The result is that one division gets pitted against another ‘ head office against operations, one department against another’ (C??t??, 2009).
There could be many possible explanations to why departments are reluctant to collaboration such as; work overload leaving no time to communicate and share knowledge, conflicting goals, information overload, no empowerment, systemic factors, no incentives or rewards to collaborate or a combination of above.
In the end, process orientation and thus collaboration between departments is important to companies because an organization’s value adding capabilities depend on how well cross ‘ functional processes are managed (Holmen, 2005) It can be said that inefficient cooperation between departments may lead to a loss in revenue in the long run and is therefore an immense problem for the organization.
...(download the rest of the essay above)