Build Software Like Ford [Part 2/2]

This is Part 2/2 of Building Software Like Ford and Toyota – See Part 1 [HERE]

When you think of Ford, what comes to mind? I immediately think of the F-150. Just because it’s probably the best darn pickup truck on the road today. But other than that, do you think about their manufacturing processes? Do you wonder how they build such great cars?

Let’s take a walk through the past through the eyes of a contemporary of Ford’s, Herbert Casson a journalist at the time, and consider what the founder of Ford thought about car manufacturing, or rather, capitalism and treating your employees with respect. [Quotes taken from the book: Fifty Key Figures in Management (Routledge Key Guides)]

On Capitalism and Getting Rich:

Judging by results, Henry Ford is the most successful manufacturer in the world. He pays the highest wages. He makes the highest profits. He sells the cheapest goods…

On Scoffing at Ford:

We may scoff at him if we like—if we are foolish enough; but it seems to me that he is the one who has the joke on the rest of us.

Henry Ford knows how. He has solved his business problems. He has shown us the one right way to handle men and produce goods and make profits without making enemies.

Ford and His Employees:

The fact is, that Henry Ford seems to regard himself as a LABOR LEADER rather than an employer.

He gives his men MORE than they ask.

He gives them better working conditions than they had ever thought of.

He watches over them and protects them.

He has made his men the best-paid and most contented workers the world has ever seen.

So how do we build great software like Ford build good cars? It seems to me that taking a prioritized interest in your PEOPLE is the best place to start. Care for your people, value their work and input, and maybe… just maybe… it won’t matter what processes you use.

[HT: Big Success]

6 Responses to “Build Software Like Ford [Part 2/2]”

  1. B. Clay Shannon
    May 12, 2011 at 11:03 am #

    Ford was not a nice man; he hired thugs to beat up his workers. He was an admirer of Hitler. Other than that, he was okay, I guess.

    • peter
      May 12, 2011 at 11:33 am #

      Wow. Didn’t know that B! Thanks for the info!

    • Micaël
      May 13, 2011 at 10:32 am #

      Have you relevant source of that? Even if it’s true, I doubt it was the “routine” and was applied on everyone… Daily beating up :)


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