Learning From Case Studies: A Case Study of Lean Transformation at Rockwell Collins
Author(s)Roth, George; Srinivasan, Jayakanth
MetadataShow full item record
Case studies are one of LAI's methods for engaging with sponsors in conducting research. Case studies involve interacting with people in examining, describing, analyzing, and documenting significant events, their pre-conditions, and the outcomes of their lean efforts so that others can understand and learn from them. The session describes LAI's use of interviews, firm data, and other sources in its case study methods. This case involved interacting with Rockwell Collins' leaders, managers, and workers to study their lean changes, providing feedback, and documenting their experiences in the case study. The case study in used in teaching students, and along with other case studies for developing general theories, practices and methods on lean enterprise change and transformation. The original LAI Rockwell Collins case study, completed by LAI researchers in 2006, describes changes from 1996, when lean efforts were just beginning. The Lean Electronics (TM) program was defined and began in 1998, and was complemented by numerous other initiatives. These other efforts complemented and leveraged lean changes and each other, and, as the case study describes, lead to steady, cumulative, and significant improvement. Based on its continued efforts, Rockwell Collins were involved in lean changes and identified new opportunities for improvement. The many cumulative and emergent change was the basis of Rockwell Collins' lean transformation. The case study, written by LAI researchers, was reviewed, discussed, and validated by Rockwell Collins' managers. The reflection that came from interviews and the case write up contributed to Rockwell Collins' managers understanding of their past efforts. Building on the work on understanding Lean Transformation at Rockwell Collins, the second presentation focuses on understanding how the enterprise has evolved at two levels: the Strategic Enterprise Level, and the Tactical Innovation Level. Drawing primarily on publicly available data such as annual reports, SEC filings, investor calls, and other literature, we see strong evidence to support the view that Rockwell Collins is strategically architected to meet the long-term vision of the enterprise, while sufficiently retaining sufficient flexibility to meet near-term challenges. We frame this strategic view using the principles of enterprise thinking. From an innovation perspective, they have created a system of innovation that enables employee engagement, is driven by an effective governance model, and at the same time leverages improvements in the external environment. Using the examples of their 10X program, and case examples of synthetic vision and cognitive radio, we highlight both the importance and the effectiveness of the extant innovation system.
enterprise transformation, lean, Rockwell Collins, change
The following license files are associated with this item: