Keely Maitland started a discussion

Size and breakdown of ME's

In the webinar today we were told that a ME is around 5 to 15 people.  Why is this?  Would you give me an example of how a customer solution would be broken down into ME's?  I don't understand how 5 - 15 people can manufacture a washing machine at scale.

3 March 2021 : 14:13 pm


bvanderlecq Hi Keely, I think I know the answer to the first question; group sizes in self-managed situations often are limited to 12-15, simply because if you make it larger you'd need more structures in place to organize things. Often this means adding hierarchical layers, which is the opposite of what they want at Haier.

A washing machine is a set of components that are connected and installed in such a way that they form a washing machine. Those components can be divided into MEs. So a washing machine motor ME, collaborates with an ME that does the housing and the product is assembled by an assembling ME.
Larger projects can always be broken down into smaller elements that can collaborate with each other. And since all incentives are aligned, all these different stakeholders are motivated to make sure the washing machine works properly and that it will be bought!

Let me know if this clarifies things. 3 March 2021 : 16:12 pm

Keely Maitland Thanks for your reply. Can I check that I understand?

Organisations have value streams that deliver value to a customer. In our washing machine example, the value stream would consist of a number of value-adding processes such as design, engineering, marketing, sales, construction, delivery, after-sales service etc. Each one of these would be an ME and could have sub-ME's. These ME's co-ordinate with contracts and are incentivised with a share in the profits. To get good outcomes for the customer, the value stream itself must be designed, resourced, managed and improved. Who does this? In fact the value stream must be designed before we know what ME's would be needed. Who does this? How is it resourced? Is it a separate ME? 4 March 2021 : 03:53 am

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