WITHIN THE SIMULATION


Hired as employees in the imaginary Flying Starship Company, workers are plunged into the action of creating a paper origami Starship in a traditional assembly line setting. After the initial Production Run, the social technical and economic results are analyzed and the findings are hard to believe. Folders turn on cutters, painters are frustrated, and everyone blames the caliber of the tools. Employees analyze the quality of their products, the expenditures of the work process, and their own job satisfaction. Workers are astonished to learn that no individual can affect the overall results. A major learning is that no one can compensate for poor planning in the workplace. This sets the stage for a discussion of alternative frameworks, new concepts, and methodologies for system-wide redesign or improvements. Design teams with a mix of production and staff functions, form to create a new system. The givens all remain the same--tools, materials, quality specs, and customer requirements.

THE FLYING STARSHIP LAUNCHPAD

However, each team will design and manage its own work--perhaps implementing changes in job content, sequence, policies, training, layout and division of labor. They test their design in a second Production Run. In this period, we witness startling outcomes; the number of units sold increases, the rejects decline, employees earn more, and quality makes quantum leaps. As anxiety turns to deep involvement, the company crackles with energy and excitements.