AGILE manufacturing LO11942

John Zavacki (
Wed, 15 Jan 1997 08:26:51 -0500

Replying to LO11906 --

This is a long post, folks, sorry, but there's no really small process
picture of agility.

Ray asks:
> Is there anyone on the list that works with, knows about and would be
> willing to share a small process picture of the AGILE manufacturing
> structure. I have nothing but negative feed back on it and would like to
> hear from someone who likes or has had success with the process.

I am active in the Agile Forum, and was one of the original members of the
Agile WEB, Inc., a virtual corporation founded on the principles of the
"Agile, Virtual Corporation" as described in Goldman, Nagel, and Preiss,
"Agile Competitors and Virtual Corporations", VNR, 1995. I write about
it, teach it, and consult about it. It's something LO people should know
about. The (current) best way to describe it (for me) is:

Agile Manufacturing is alternately described by the terms "the change from
mass production to mass customization" or "the ability to compete and
thrive in continually and unpredictably changing environment". It is, in
fact, both of these, and more. Agility researchers suggest tradeoffs
between cost and quality, speed to market and cost, quality and speed to
market. Others feel the infrastructure of the agile organization (and its
corollary virtual enterprise) will have the profound knowledge needed to
understand as quickly as it can respond.. This is taken from the abstract
of my paper "Quality in the Agile, Learning Organization" to be given at
the ASQC Quality Management Division next month. Agility is the use of as
much knowledge and the enabling technologies for its deployment as you can
hold in an organization. Goldman, Nagel, and Preiss cite the list below
as parts of Agility:

Continuous Education and Training
Customer Interactive Systems
Customized Marketing and Distribution Systems
Distributed Information Systems
Empowered Individuals in Teams
Extended Enterprise Integration
Financial Accounting Systems
Global Multiventuring
Intelligent Flexible Machines
Lean Organization and Methods
Legal System
Modular reconfigureable Process Components
Organizational Inventory Listing
Organizational Practices
Performance Metrics and Evaluation
Prequalified Partnering
Product and Service Inventory
Simulation and Modeling
Total Quality Management
Ubiquitous Communication
Waste Management and Elimination
Organizational Learning
Adapted from Goldman, Nagel. And Preiss

Something else I'd add:
Open Book Management

Some useful URLs: >ACORN Home Page">Agile Aerospace
Manufacturing Research Center">Agile Infrastructure for
Manufacturing Systems (AIMS)">Agile Learning Community
Initiative (ALCI)">Agile Manufacturing Forum">Agile Manufacturing Home Page
nformation-Infrastructure.html">AgileManufacturing Information
Infrastructure (Engineering and Technology">Agile Manufacturing

......html">Agile Manufacturing Project at MIT</A>&nbsp;</DT>">Agile Sites in North
America</A>&nbsp;</DT>">Agile Web- Inc. Home
Page</A>&nbsp;</DT>">CommerceNet Home</A>&nbsp;</DT>">DMC93- Agile Infrastructure
for Manufacturing Systems (AIMS)">Dr. Whitney Online
Publications">Machine-Tool Agile Manufacturing Research
Institute">MAVE-Metrics for the
Agile Virtual Enterprise">Meaning of Life The Meaning of Agile

Thanks for the patience.

John Zavacki
The Wolff Group

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <> -or- <>