Complaint Chaos

* A major manufacturer of disposable medical devices received serious complaints about one of its primary products. The investigation of the complaints involved three groups; R&D, Quality, nd Production.

* The R&D group consisted of three Engineer/Technician teams, a secretary, and a Manager.

* The Quality group consisted of two functions; Quality Assurance (i.e., testing of finished product before shipping to customers) and Quality Control (i.e., monitoring of the manufacturing process). Each function consisted of two Engineer/Technician teams, a secretary, and a Manager.

* The Production Group consisted of five Engineer/Technician teams, a secretary, and a Manager.

* Under normal conditions Engineer/Technician teams handle 2 to 4 projects. For this complaint the Production Group assigned one Engineer/Technician team…the Quality Control function assigned one Engineer/Technician team…and the Quality Assurance function assigned one Engineer/Technician team.

* The R&D Manager met with each of his Engineers separately and assigned three Engineer/Technician teams to the investigation. Each Engineer/Technician team thought that they were the only R&D team assigned. The Manager also set out to do his own investigation.

* Chaos ensued! The R&D Manager conducting an investigation at the management level, three Engineer/ Technician teams from R&D looking foolish to the other investigation teams, and the entire technical organization looking incompetent to the rest of the company.



* Which supports and barriers were in play?

* What were the dynamics?

* Who, or What, won the Tug-of-War?

* Discuss the outcome with your friends and family.

* Use Post #4 as a reference for the dynamics, and the relationships, between supports and barriers.