ISSN : 2266-6060

Co-production

Paris, march 2011.

The world of work is inhabited by writing tools. A great number of them are dedicated to the production of more or less strong forms of control. For instance, some have said, here and there, that Taylor’s scientific organization of work did institute a real struggle between written and verbal communication. For lean management and just-in-time production, which take inspiration from the Toyota model, various graphical devices are clearly considered as useful tools for process standardization and total quality management. These last years, computerization has extented such a movement.
Within factories and places of production, these graphical tools are basically used for two things: information reporting from market to organization (in order to reduce stocks) and collective organization of quality, which goes through improved coordination and self-control practices. In services, such as hamburgers selling, these practices are well known. But because services have the opportunity (or the misfortune) to be accomplished in the very presence of customers, they also are the place where new ones are created. This screen, recently seen in a fast-food restaurant, clearly carries out an extension of the domain of control by providing the means of visual management to customers and by encouraging them to verify if the salesclerk have correctly keyboarded their order. Or if they have correctly pronounced it. Or if the information system is correctly running… Who could say? For the issue of quality control sadly often comes down to this: one looks for an agent whom to put the failure down to.