As R&D manager of my company, the world's 3rd-largest specialty soy proteins producer, I was tasked with leading this project. The problem has been known in the company for years, but was never resolved. I led and supervised 21 employees, coordinated the work of 40 people, and 2 weeks later implemented a solution.
During the initial discussion with Dan and 5 senior managers, I suggested the methodology for solving the problem. I presented the feasibility of the proposed solution and an initial estimate of the costs, and operational implications. The Marketing VP said "this is exactly ...view middle of the document...
Ultimately, they approved the trials.
Right after the meeting I gathered my R&D staff of 6 researchers. I presented the issues, emphasized the significance of the business opportunity, and defined a timetable. I also asked the Marketing VP to evaluate the magnitude of the problem in other markets. His report revealed more opportunities that solving the problem will create. This required my direct collaboration with 5 marketing people operating in more than 50 countries, 3 application managers, and our China production facility.
I led the coordination of the full scale trial with senior management, the marketing and operations departments, and application managers. During production I supervised the work of 17 employees. The production turned out to be 100% successful in terms of resolving the problem. It created no operational problems and maintained the original product's quality. I felt very proud.
A shipment was sent to the customer for re-evaluation, and received his approval. This was the first time in my 3 years at my company that a process was successfully changed on the first try. However, not everybody embraced the solution. The company's chief operating officer wasn't excited because of implications on operations. After several weeks of discussions I persuaded him this was the only way.