I was at the recent Gartner Symposium in Orlando and the topic of industrialization of IT services came up in some sessions presented by Gartner analyst, William Maurer. This is a timely and interesting topic given that the Centennial celebrations of the Ford moving assembly line were held earlier this month. It was a hundred years ago on Oct 7 that Ford’s Highland Park Plant began using the first moving assembly line. The goal was to produce the Model T at scale, and at a price people could afford. Henry Ford found the inspiration in the “dis-assembly lines” of the slaughterhouses of Chicago and Cincinnati. Beef carcasses hung from conveyor belts and workers along the way were assigned to slice off a specific cut of meat. Ford managers turned it around by starting with a basic Model T frame, and adding specific parts to it on a moving conveyor belt with stations where workers assembled a single piece of the vehicle, over and over again. The end result was a mass produced car with economies of scale that a large group of the population could afford.
Courtesy – Ford Motor Corporation
A recent NPR interview questioned how the assembly line impacted the lives of workers when it debuted. The response indicated a fundamental shift in the skills needed. Prior to the assembly line, workers were craftsmen. Workers were there for their brawn and their speed. Since these were tough working conditions, the average wages went up. So what has changed in the last hundred years? According to the program – “Workers today are hired as much for their brainpower as they are for their brawn, because they have to be a participant in the quality process.”
In this information age what should we expect with Industrialization of IT? We certainly should not see debacles such as the US government Read More »