The GPS journey – a change in behavior!

Three questions to Patrik Sivesson Production Director, Gränges Finspång

Can you tell us about your GPS journey in Finspång, from the start to where you are today?

“Gränges already has a history of working according to the principles of ‘lean’, but one-and-a-half-years ago we launched our own tailor-made Gränges version: GPS, Gränges Production System. Starting on a smaller scale with one of the rolling mills as a pilot, we have introduced GPS in three more key production machines: a smelter and two slitting mills. In general, I would say the employees concerned have reacted very positively to the changes; now we will gradually introduce the methods for the other machines.”

What areas have you primarily focused on in your GPS work?

“We’ve spent a lot of time and energy on bedding in the new ways of working. As always when you work with improvements, it’s all about changing behaviors, and that can be hard! That’s why you need to let the changes take time. Everyone on the shifts has to feel that they are on board, and that they all have a chance to influence the process.”

What lessons have you learned that would you like to share with the rest of the organization?

“One reflection is that most people find work more inspiring if they themselves can influence their own improvements. This way, GPS is something different than traditional leadership, where the manager tells you what to do - end of story. With GPS, the manager has more of a coaching role. Another lesson is how important it is to produce a good plan – what we call ‘the A3’. It could be tempting to start right away, but you get a much better result if everybody on the team has participated in describing the present status and the future, desired state, the key performance indicators and the activities that need to be completed in order to reach the goals.”