PROFILE  AZHAR ABBAS HASHMI
 COLUMN  FOR THE RECORD
 POLITICS & POLICY 1. RESTRUCTURING THE NAB
2. MANAGING COST OF BUREAUCRACY
 SOCIETY  1. HUMAN DEVELOPMENT
2.  MANAGEMENT BY WANDERING AROUND
3. THE CRM LANDSCAPE

 

MANAGEMENT BY WANDERING AROUND

 
Combination of GEMBA and Kaizen is the prescription for good management practices

By ALY KHAN
Aug 05 - 11, 2002

 

Americans call it MBWA, it is not a degree program at any American Business school nor is it BMW spelled wrongly. Japs will call such a situation as GEMBA and if you look in any Japanese dictionary after learning 3000 good words the meaning of gemba will be "the place where the real action occurs." . Koreans(South only) refer it to as the place where the work gets done, where the value is added to complete the process of development, production or selling.

In most of the organizations including fortune 500 companies "Management meets in a conference room and tries to solve a problem that is taking place in the plant, at a point on the assembly line, in the R&D lab or at the interface between the salesperson and the customer.". How can they know what is happening? . To understand problem in gemba, you must go to gemba.(not ginza a Downtown in Tokyo).

In many of the public sector organizations in Pakistan (KESC incl) the management confines itself to the Head office and show their true colours. Walking around the plant, carrying technical audit is considered to be bad manners and dress spoiler affair . The only time it is done when they join the organization or when they are leaving after golden handshake. MBWA will give results if DIG (traffic) Karachi does wandering around in plain clothes on a water tanker and take for e.g Shaheed Millat - Baluch colony route on Sunday morning the traffic inspectors stationed at every 100 yards having note shake from every commercial vehicle can be sorted out.(please take a dig Mr DIG).

One of the interesting application of MBWA could be if Finance Minister does Mystery Shopping by taking a round of local car manufacturers dealers located in Karachi or other places and find at least one dealer who is selling new car without premium or ON.

Kaizen is the new buzz word to overcome such sickness this Japanese concept embodies all the notions of continuous process improvement, Zero defects, Total quality control.. Combination of GEMBA and Kaizen is the prescription for good management practices.

THREE PILLARS SUPPORTING THE STRUCTURE OF GEMBA KAIZEN ARE:

Standardization

With proper standardization, "regular checking and improvement becomes an inseparable part of everyone's job."

To be effective, standard must hold to these common sense principles:

  • Describe the best, easiest and safest way to do a job.

  • Preserve knowledge and expertise from worker to worker.

  • Measure performance.

  • Demonstrate the link between cause and effect.

  • Allow for maintenance and improvement.

  • Establish objectives.

  • Provide a basis for training.

  • Furnish a structure to minimize variability and prevent future errors.

GOOD HOUSEKEEPING: 5S

This is short cut to ISO 14000 environmental Management System and can be acquired without involving local auditors who could audit any big organization in two days including opening and closing meetings.

The five steps of good housekeeping offer more than just a way to maintain order, although that is certainly a primary goal. They provide a routine during which maintenance checks can be performed and ideas for improvement can be stimulated. Although there are Japanese names for the five steps, English language equivalents are:

  • Sort: Separate out all that is unnecessary and eliminate it.

  • Straighten: Put essential things in order so they can be easily accessed.

  • Scrub: Clean workspace and tools and eliminate sources of dirt and dust.

  • Systemize: Make cleaning and checking part of the daily routine.

  • Standardize: Make the previous four steps part of the daily routine.

ELIMINATE MUDA

The Japanese word muda (pronounced mooda not moota) mean waster, . "But the word carries a much deeper connotation. Any non-value-adding activity is muda. " Reaching around behind to retrieve a tool is muda. Searching for a pen that writes properly is muda. Walking down the hall to get a signature is muda. Watching talk shows on PTV specially after 9 clock news is Muda. Kaizen identifies several areas in which muda can exist, and can be eliminated:

  • Overproduction and Inventory: stocking items not immediately needed.

  • Repair/rejects: producing defective products.

  • Motion: using unnecessary movement and energy used to perform tasks.

  • Processing: Imposing inefficient and unnecessary tasks; failing to synchronize systems.

  • Waiting: workers rendered idle by excessive set-up or equipment breakdowns.

  • Transport: poor timing; too frequent or infrequent movement of goods and deliveries.

All categories of muda result in the most serious form of waste: the muda of time. When a company wastes time, it throws money out the window. "Poor utilization of time results in stagnation, " . By eliminating muda, a company can achieve substantial increases in both efficiency and customer satisfaction. Because it costs nothing, muda elimination is one of the easiest ways for a company to improve its operations. All we need to do is 'go to gemba',

The benefits of applying the principles of gemba kaizen are manifold:

  • Solutions are grounded in reality and emphasize commonsense, low-cost approaches.

  • Continual adjustment and improvement becomes possible

  • Resistance to change is minimized.

  • It is not always necessary to gain upper management approval to make changes.

."Please Plan, Do, Check and Act and go Gemba Kaizen my country Managers and remember this crucial maxim: "Reality lies in the worksite, not at our desks.