Albrecht Jung - Przełącznie się na rozwój Lean

The Switch to Lean Development

Albrecht Jung GmbH & Co. KG

The Sauerland-based firm of Albrecht Jung GmbH & Co. KG has been designing and producing premium light switches since 1912. Shorter model cycles accompanied by increasingly complex building services mean that innovative projects in building services technology involve a significantly greater degree of risk today. New products not only need to offer greater performance, they are also required to be ready for the market more quickly. Jung has consequently joined forces with its consultants to examine development projects and realign these. The result: more innovation is possible, despite shorter run times.
Two key issues were central in the decision to introduce the change process: Are the processes that proved successful in the past still suitable for future challenges? And what can development do to help increase efficiency? As Jung had already joined up with Staufen AG to successfully realign production to the principles of lean management the objective was clear: lean development – targeted development instead of acting on instinct.

Prioritisation workshop as "painful day"
After it became apparent where the greatest potential for improvement lay, in spite of a cautious approach and the intensive involvement of employees Jung was compelled to face the unavoidable "painful day", a prioritisation workshop. Ultimately, the goal was to reduce the dense thicket of hundreds of parallel development projects to a healthy quantity.

The sometimes painful departure from numerous cherished ideas and focusing on innovations with genuine benefits for the customer was followed by the analysis of typical project procedure at Jung. Here a key problem was identified, namely that difficulties that could arise later in the course of the project had been anticipated and resolved too late. The lack of front loading meant that any necessary intervention in an advanced project was considerably more complex and therefore more expensive.

Intensive working hours between 9.30 and 12.00
With the prioritisation of the projects and the intensification of front loading two key prerequisites for lean development were established. Surveys of the employees also had revealed that developers complained of having their concentration interrupted frequently during the course of their working day. The most significant disruptive factor was other employees, for example in the form of spontaneous calls or superfluous e-mails. As freedom from disturbance is a key criterion of lean management the measure required was correspondingly radical. So-called intensive working hours are observed in R+D between 9.30 and 12.00.

Passing through the R+D development today, one gains the impression that research and development had never been conducted in any other way. However, for outsiders who only pass by once or twice a year the changes remain enormous, even years after the beginning of the project. Inventiveness has not been stifled by management tools, instead it has been further developed in the direction of a future-capable and team-oriented innovation culture.

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