Lean enterprise self-assessment as a leading indicator for accelerating transformation in the aerospace industry
Author(s)Hallam, Cory R. A
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Technology, Management, and Policy Program.
Deborah J. Nightingale.
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The research contained in this thesis explores leading indicators of lean enterprise transformation in the aerospace industry, as part of the greater body of work associated with MIT's Lean Aerospace Initiative (LAI). Arguments from literature are made in support of the assumption that a lean enterprise can outperform a less lean enterprise, permitting the research to focus on identifying potential means for achieving and accelerating lean enterprise transformation in the aerospace industry. Senior enterprise leaders and their leadership committees from thirty-one enterprises in the US and UK aerospace industry utilized the LAI Lean Enterprise Self-Assessment Tool (LESAT) as a means for measuring their current state of leanness in leadership/transformation processes, lifecycle processes, and enabling infrastructure. Cross-sectional LESAT data, two-period time series LESAT data, and directed interviews and site visits were utilized to formulate the conclusions drawn in this thesis. There are four primary empirical findings of this research. First, the aerospace industry as a whole exhibits lowest maturity in practices related to establishing and deploying a lean enterprise vision, even in the presence of high maturity in lean production. Second, enterprises exhibiting high lean enterprise maturity in leadership/transformation processes also exhibit high maturity in lifecycle processes and enabling infrastructure. Third, strong leadership commitment (LC) correlates highly with setting a lean enterprise change environment (CE), which then correlates highly with lean change activities in practice (CP).(cont.) Finally, there is evidence that the highest lean maturity enterprises have established formal information feedback mechanisms that allow the enterprise to strategically build on the lean capabilities of the enterprise, while prioritizing lean improvement activities within the context of enterprise strategic needs. From the perspective of industry, this research suggests that there must be a formal decision to pursue the lean enterprise as an operational strategy in order to achieve successful transformation. This decision will be founded on strong leadership commitment, which if established, can help support the leadership/transformation practices as a means for improving lifecycle processes and enabling infrastructure. The LAI Transition-to-Lean (TTL) roadmap provides a logical sequencing of lean enterprise transformation activities, to which formal information feedback mechanisms should be added based on the model proposed in this thesis for accelerating lean enterprise transformation. Most importantly, this model suggests a new mode of operating, not a one-time improvement effort. Further research is needed to empirically validate the model as a means for accelerating lean enterprise transformation.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Engineering Systems Division, Technology, Management, and Policy Program, 2003.Includes bibliographical references (p. 306-322).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Technology, Management, and Policy Program.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Technology, Management, and Policy Program.