Abstract

Integrating new or better technologies into a company's operations is widely recognized as a key to future growth and competitive position. The power of teams in achieving an aligned workforce, better user acceptance, power of teams in achieving an aligned workforce, better user acceptance, and improved problem solving is suggested by numerous organizational theorists. One company combined the need with the opportunity and established Steering Committees using line personnel to direct technology efforts. Five committees have demonstrated the effectiveness of this team approach.

Introduction

The Operations Technology group was charged with guiding technology efforts in a wide range of disciplines. These included mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, artificial lift, oil/water/gas processing, prime movers, compressors, field communications, and SCADA. Traditional approaches might have suggested that designated corporate specialists identify, acquire, and introduce new technologies of importance. However, influenced by Deming and others, it seemed possible not only to address the technology need but to also promote integration, acceptance and application. It was decided to enlist technology leaders from the line organization and charge them with directing corporate activities for their area of interest.

Influence of Organization Experts

One of the most recognized and influential organization experts id Dr. W. Edwards Deming. He is widely regarded as having introduced new techniques managing systems of people and machines to the Japanese in the 1950s. In recognition of his great contribution, that nation's industrialists established the annual Deming award for achievements in quality. A summary of Deming's management philosophy is listed in Table 1. Behind his fourteen points is recognition that:

  1. Corporate vision must be steady, clearly communicated, and consistent with organization efforts

  2. The workers are the source of real opportunity for improvement

  3. Organizational barriers inhibit successful transfer of ideas from one group to another

The use of teams is a fundamental Deming approach to addressing this reality.

Another influential organizational theorist is Peter Senge.

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