Original Date: 06/05/2006
Revision Date: / /
Information : Product Transition Community of Practice
The Rockwell Collins Cedar Rapids facility established the Product Transition Community of Practice, an enterprisewide knowledge-sharing group whose focus is to develop and implement common processes and best practice methodologies that enable the transition of new products into manufacturing. The group educates all Rockwell Collins sites on the Product Transition Process and provides a means for sharing information and exploring various topics regarding new product transitions.
In January 2006 the Rockwell Collins Cedar Rapids facility established the Product Transition Community of Practice (CoP), a knowledge-sharing group that promotes the production transition process throughout the Rockwell Collins enterprise. Prior to the Product Transition CoP, minimal effort was focused on creating consistency in new product transition practices to be used throughout the enterprise, with key elements of a practice often being missed. The new product transition procedure was released to formalize the process. However, there were variances in understanding within the company’s different manufacturing facilities as to how it should be effectively used, and the process was never implemented to the desired level.
The Product Transition CoP functions as a resource for sharing information and exploring various topics regarding new product transitions within the Rockwell Collins enterprise. The group’s charter states that its mission is to “develop and implement common processes and best practice methodologies which can be tailored to meet the business needs of the various Rockwell Collins manufacturing locations and enable the transition of new products into manufacturing to improve Rockwell Collins’ bottom-line performance.”
To meet the goals of the charter, monthly teleconferences are held, with face-to-face meetings held two-to-three times a year. Representatives from all U.S.-based Rockwell Collins manufacturing locations are involved. Action items are logged and tracked during the meetings, with actions being worked between meetings.
The Product Transition CoP has received excellent participation from production and quality personnel to help identify issues of concern in the transition of new products to production. A concentrated effort has also been made to involve and solicit input from representatives from regional locations outside of Cedar Rapids. Some of the initiatives underway include: Expanding the visibility of the transition process throughout the enterprise through the creation of the Product Transition Web site and the distribution of product transition pamphlets to internal customers
Revising the new product transition procedure to add details and make it more enterprisewide
Improving the Production Readiness Review checklist
Developing a common format for a transition/manufacturing plan
The Product Transition CoP promotes understanding and implementation of the necessary product transition practices across the enterprise. As common methodologies are developed, life cycle value stream leaders, engineers, and all other groups associated with introducing new products into production can expect consistent processes and behaviors. By using the same set of guidelines, less time is spent determining how to do the work and more time can be devoted to actually performing the work. Employing a consistent and proven process ensures that key activities will not be overlooked and will be performed on time. Active participation across the enterprise results in total employee ownership of the transition process.
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