This chapter of the report presents the results of the gathered empirical data. First, the different interviewed companies are listed and presented in a table and briefly described related to their context within this research. Furthermore, the aim and purpose of the asked questions are given and repeated followed by the presentation of the interview results.
Overview interviewed associates
To gather primary data, interviews were done as proposed and explained in the methodology chapter. The outcomes of those interviews are presented in this chapter. The overview of the interview plan, which formed the basis for those outcomes, is attached in Appendix 1. The outcomes from all interviewees are grouped per question. The answers given are summaries of the original transcript of responses, only the relevant information connecting to the purpose of the question and our research has been retained. In order to present the outcomes in a well-arranged and compact way the interviewees had been coded, shown in Table 4-1, those codes will furthermore be used throughout the thesis to refer to the interviewed associates. Depending on the question the relevance of the answers differed based on the industry classification. For some questions the relevance of the response is higher from the manufacturing companies and for others the perspectives from the IT and/or consultancy firms had a greater importance. This will be further discussed in the analysis chapter. A brief description of the companies and interview associates is given here below. Thereby their purposefulness in relation to the research is given to put the interview response material in perspective towards the research. Cybercom (CC) defines themselves as an IT and product development company. They consist of about 1,300 employees (Cybercom, 2019). Cybercom is based in Sweden and has thereby offices in three different regions outside Sweden within Europe and a partnership with an IT company in India. We had the opportunity to meet the agile coach and management consultant who works at the Jönköping office. He has been a pioneer when it comes to working in an agile way. He has a background of working in various projects that were operated in a conventional way but now considers himself as a lean and agile coach now who has a passion for developing people, product and organization. Husqvarna (HQ) is a manufacturing firm that deals with producing outdoor power products. They have a history with more than 300 years of experience as a manufacturing company, Husqvarna Group had approximately 13.000 employees (in 2018) in 40 countries, divided over three businesses: Husqvarna, Gardena and construction (Husqvarna, 2019). Their products include chainsaws, robotic lawn mowers, trimmers and a lot more. We interviewed the manager of production engineering assembly, within the outdoor power products industry. He has work experience of about twelve years, previously working within an automotive company in Jönköping (Sweden) and for the past seven years with Husqvarna as a manager of production engineering assembly.Lindberg Consulting and Coaching AB (LB) is a management consultancy firm. They have been consultants for various companies around the globe. The agile coach that we spoke has worked with most major companies in Sweden such as IKEA, Volvo cars, TetraPak, Beijer Electronics and more. She brought in a wide range of experience by working with diverse organizational cultures and leaders who practiced different leadership styles. Sensata (SS) is a company that has been designing and making sensors for various industries. They claim to have approximately 47,000 unique products which are provided to a range of companies with consists of various automotive companies to different aircraft flight control units (Sensata Technologies, 2019). Being from the manufacturing industry, at the same time being a supplier to various other manufacturing firms, made Sensata a distinct sample for the purpose of research. We spoke to a process engineer who holds a degree in both mechanical and industrial engineering. His insights about how Sensata worked as a supplier to various automotive companies and also within the company helped us create a deeper understanding about the way of working within manufacturing firms as being a supplier to various OEMs. Fudura (FD) is a company within the utility services industry in the Netherlands. They deal with around 25,000 companies to improve their energy consumption and infrastructure (Fudura, 2019). We spoke to the scrum master at Fudura and hence we have considered it under the industry classification as a consultancy. This since his job consist of acting as a coach to various teams in order to increase their efficiency of value creating, this being done with an keen eye for the agile manifesto. Anonymous (AN) this company is a global producer, supplier and OEM within the medical devices industry. We spoke to their global commodity manager. He was responsible for the supply chain management at the firm. His experiences and expertise helped us understand and evaluate the current status of medical device industries and their working principles. Epiroc (ER) identifies itself as a manufacturing firm within the mining and infrastructure industry, whereas it is an OEM. Epiroc has its roots since 1873 as part of the Atlas Copco Group, but had been separated formally as an independent legal entity in June 2018. Epiroc has globally 14.000 employees and operates from Sweden, the United States, Canada, Germany, China and India (Epiroc, 2019). We had an opportunity to conduct multiple interviews within this company. This helped us to gain a clear understanding and idea about how the company worked within the various operations they performed. We spoke to the planning manager, the way we produce facilitator, manager production engineering and supply chain manager. All four of these participants were highly skilled with enormous years of experience within their respective areas of work. Their inputs have been tremendously valuable throughout the research. Consid (CN) is an IT company based in Jönkoping with an estimated amount of over 300 employees (Allabolag, 2019), with thirteen offices throughout Sweden (Consid, 2019). We had the opportunity to interview a senior test engineer. He worked within the IT specifically for “industry and trade”. The interviewee had worked previously with manufacturing companies and now worked as a consultant for the IT industry. He has been an experienced professional within embedded systems and systems engineering.
This paragraph contains the outcomes of all interviews, this is presented question by question with the summary of relevant responses of the interviewees attached. The first two questions (Q1 and Q2) were related to identify if the need for the agile way of working was recognized. This by validating the suggested transition in time from the industrial era, via the information era towards the agile era. The two proposed important phenomena connected to this transition in time had been evaluated with those questions. The second set of questions (Q3 and Q4) had been composed to identify whether the agile way of working was present. This by an evaluation of the values and principles from the Agile Manifesto. The results of this are presented in a table (Table 4-2), quantifying the results. The detailed inputs to get to those results are attached in Appendix 2. The third set of questions (Q5 and Q6) were formed to investigate the perceived usefulness of the agile way of working and to learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of the agile way of working. The fourth set of questions (Q7 up to and including Q10) were asked to identify barriers and challenges for adapting to a more agile way of working, but also lessons learned were tried to gather from interview samples who have been (involved in) adopting the agile way of working. Finally, the interviewees were asked to bring up anything interesting and purposeful related to our research (Q11), as if they would have gained more knowledge about the purpose of study during the interview. Thereby, had been asked for suggestions of suitable persons which could be contacted for further research (Q12), the results of this question have been left out of thesis. Here below all questions and the answers from the interviewees are presented. Sometimes a question had not been asked, was not answered by the interviewee. Then the answer is marked with ”–”. When a question had been passed by the researchers this had been done consciously, whereas the researcher already figured out during the open speech part of the semi-structured interview that the question would not be relevant to ask.
1.2 Research problem & purpose
2. Theoretical framework
2.1 History introducing the agile era (for the manufacturing industry)
2.2 Organization cultures and Leadership styles
2.3 Relative mapping of various manufacturing industries
2.4 The Agile way of working
2.5 Lean Manufacturing
2.6 Handling change resistance
3.1 Research Philosophy
3.2 Research Approach
3.3 Research Method
3.4 Research Strategy
3.5 Research Design
3.6 Data collection procedure
3.7 Data analysis
3.8 Research Quality
4. Empirical Findings
4.1 Overview interviewed associates
4.2 Interview results
5.1 Indication of recognition of agile importance by the manufacturing industry
5.2 Interpretation of the agile manifesto examination results
5.3 Perceived advantages and disadvantages with regards to an agile way of working.
5.4 Lessons learned: barriers and challenges for adopting an agile way of working.
5.5 Lean and Agile as siblings
7.2 Future research
8. Reference List
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The agile way of working within the manufacturing industry