Embracing the ROFO Principle before Implementing Lean Production: A Chief Operating Officer’s Experiences and Reflections

Goh Ah Bee, Nopasit Chakpitak


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to highlight to CEOs (chief executive officers) that implementing the continuous improvement (CI) program requires a gradual overhaul of the entire organization. Nurturing the right working mindset is more important than hastily implementing the CI program to reap the benefits. A right working mindset can be achieved through the ROFO principle. This paper illustrates how Schaffner Thailand (ST) uses the ROFO principle to: i) coach the workers to develop the right working mindset and ii) implement Lean Production (LP) in the entire organization. Methodology/Approach: This case study was carried out solely in ST company. It explains how the company coaches its employees to embrace ROFO principle in a systematic manner. A random sample of about 180 employees was taken to determine if there was a significant change in working mindset before and after the coaching of the ROFO principle. Findings: There was a significant and positive mindset change after the coaching of the ROFO principle. Workers realize that the more they embrace the ROFO principle the better is the learning and the cooperative environment. LP was successfully implemented throughout the whole organization. LP continues to thrive in ST. Originality/Value of paper: The first author originated the ROFO principle. It is both a management concept and tool. It is easily understood and is not a complex model. A great benefit of it is that it can be applied immediately to generate workforce commitment.


Lean Production; learning; mindset; ownership; ROFO

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12776/qip.v19i2.621


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