In the context of the European project Lean 4.0, which aims to provide the operations manager of the future with tools for the transition to the smart (industry 4.0) factory, we have started developing systematic problem solving methodology, in which the network can be used.

The transition to a smart (industry 4.0) factory, while taking process optimization into account, still entails a lot of uncertainty. The transition requires not only in-depth knowledge of business processes, but also of technology. Due to this uncertainty, lack of clarity and the requirement for in-depth knowledge, it is plausible that not all the required knowledge is located within the focal organization. Using a (diverse) network can then provide support in solving issues, since it potentially provides access to non-redundant knowledge. However, it still appears to be difficult for organizations to clarify and monitor issues in a systematic way. In this context, we have started a pilot, with the aim of developing a systematic problem solving methodology for companies that also takes into account usage of organizational networks, while addressing the learning actions that have been taken. We call this the Blended Network Action Learning (BNAL) methodology. In a teams session we discussed the first concept with our research partner, MCB.
In addition to testing and developing our BNAL methodology with the business community, we also improve the method by using it ourselves.


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