Jasmeet Kohli

Sunday, 23 December 2018

Change Management - Identifying Difficult People

In many improvement projects, it has been found that improvements either fail to take place or are only partially successful due to the resistance / non-cooperation (active or passive) by the stakeholders involved. This negative impact may also get magnified if other people also start doing the same which can derail entire improvement initiative also.

Hence, successful execution of improvement projects requires dealing with such people through change management. But what this requires is to first identify the type of difficult persons & then dealing with them accordingly.

 We can categorize such people in following groups:
  • The "Know Everything" people: These people generally display arrogance & show that they know everything by offering opinions on every topics, including technical things outside their expertise & become loud & defensive when proven to be wrong.  
  • The "No Opinion" people: As the name suggests, these people generally play it very safely & offer no opinions. And even when being specifically asked, they answer i either vague language or in such a way that it becomes difficult to understand what they want to say. 
  • The Dominant People: These people have a bullying & intimidating nature. They wish to dominate the proceedings or discussions, are severely critical of other people opinions & decisions & are constantly demanding attention.
  • The "Always Yes" People: These people generally agree to everything which may also include making commitments  to important tasks. But problems arise when very often they fail to deliver or deliver only partially of what was required which may also have a negative cascading effect in the whole project. Due to this, these people also are not very reliable in follow-up tasks.
  • The "Always No" People: These people have a very rigid approach & are inflexible. Although they have a very good quality of playing by the rule-book but this approach often backfires also in crisis times or when some pro-activeness is required. They are also the ones to criticize & find negatives in whatever decisions are taken. 
  • The "Complaining" People: These people are always complaining about one thing or another to show why they are unable to do their tasks & want others to help them even if other tasks remain pending, howsoever important these tasks maybe. In a nutshell, nothing seems to be right with them at all the times. 

Sunday, 4 November 2018

Change Management : Essential Ingredients

Change is an essential part of nature - every day we see it with day & night & every year we see in forms of changing seasons. But still change is feared as it requires adapting to the changed conditions. Same is the case with the business organizations & people managing them as ever-changing market conditions & business environment requires making regular changes which often needs stepping out of comfort zones, for which many are not ready & when forced to change, are often left clueless & wondering how to do it.

Change Management is a dynamic approach which helps the organizations manage this confusion & provides a structural way for it to adapt itself successfully to not only to implement change in all its processes & activities but also to "embrace it enthusiastically" by making it a part of its culture & working methods. But its easier said than done & is often a very complex exercise as it not just implementation of certain tools but also dealing with the human element which can be unpredictable & requires making painstaking efforts to manage it.

The essential ingredients of running a successful business are People, Process & Technology. All three have to work in close coordination & should be in sync with each other for achieving the greater goals of the organization., Some essential steps in doing it are: 
  • Overall success of the change management depends on the people managing the organization, starting with the top management as they are running the show. Its very important to get them on board & commit to the required adaptations & then filtering this down to the lower levels of management as they are doing the day-to-day running of the organization. Required job roles with responsibilities would need to be decided & people with the required skills & qualifications would have to be selected to manage them. 
  • A suitable strategy would have to be formulated, supported by robust & flexible processes which help in implementing the change management in the organization, Timelines & goals would have to be fixed after careful analysis to help in achieving the pre-determined goals. Of course, only willingness is not sufficient as close monitoring would also have to be done at appropriate levels to see the changes being implemented & deal with any issues & problems that may arise from time to time.
  • Suitable technology (as per affordability of the organization) would have to be deployed to bring together the people & the processes & keep them in alignment in pursuit of the goals. People, process & technology working in sync with each other can help the organizations immensely becoming lean, be more responsible towards meeting their compliance requirements, reduce their operational costs & waste, & most importantly be more responsive to the customer needs & market conditions & continue to be relevant even when many of their competitors have ceased to exist long ago. 

Monday, 22 October 2018

Forecasting: Why is it required?

Forecasting in business is a very critical activity done by organizations to predict future outcomes based on historical data & the management views for budgeting, planning & estimation in order to prepare the organization to achieve its goals & targets. It helps in determining the success of the business & minimizing the role of “luck, chance, gut feeling, etc.” in critical business decisions.

1. Promotion of business: Forecasting helps in the promotion of business by anticipating the uncertainties and risks in the business & taking appropriate measures. It also helps in estimating the demand for products & services & how to increase the demand, how the organization will face the competition, etc.
2. Efficient capital utilization: The capital requirements of a business depend entirely on sound financial forecasting. Forecasting helps in estimating the financial requirements of a business & efficient utilization of the capital by calculating the potential sales & costs & forecast the funds required for other important things like expansion, development etc.

3. Smooth running of business:  Accurate forecasting helps the organizations know their expected earnings to regulate their cash flow to meet their operational expenses & other financial commitments.  
4. Good decision making: The correctness of management decisions related to utilization of resources for production, is heavily dependent on accurate forecasting. It also helps the business to face adverse conditions & unforeseen contingencies.
5. Success in business: Accurate sales forecasting helps in preparation of plans of other depts in the organization like procurement of raw materials, financial planning of working capital, manpower planning about how much people are required, production planning about what & how much to produce, etc.
6. Plan Formulation: Forecasting is an essential element in planning since planning premises include forecast data having enormous implications. In fact, forecasting is done prior to planning in order to make effective & robust business plans. Hence, forecasting and planning are closely related & so is their success.
7. Co-Operation and co-ordination: Forecasting is a herculean task that requires cooperation & coordination between all the depts in a company. A crucial byproduct of forecasting is team spirit and coordination which greatly improves the work culture in the organization.
8. Effective Control: Forecasting helps the different depts. & their key decision makers about their weaknesses & helps in implementing appropriate measures to overcome these weaknesses & achieve better control they can overcome these weaknesses.

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Cost of "Not Improving" 

Just few weeks ago, General Electric (GE) was dropped for the first time from the Dow Jones Index in over 110 years. Also. GE happened to be the last original member of the group when Dow Jones started. If one looks at the The Dow Jones Index of 1995, one would find that about half of the companies there have been replaced with others in just last 20 years.

What it shows is that in today's rapidly changing business environment, an organization has to continuous keep on adapting itself to survive & be relevant in the marketplace. In spite of this, many organizations function at a very slow pace & in a very rigid manner not realizing that it can prove very costly in the long run. Delay in taking decisions, losing opportunities, waste in operational processes, wrong selection of people etc are the symptoms of the work culture of such organizations.

Such kind of working may be alright when things are alright but can be disastrous in case of any adverse conditions. This "Cost of Not Improving" in an organization's functioning, culture & mindset can threaten the very survival of the organization & also can make the organization severely suffer in the following ways: 
  • Slow decision making due to multiple layers of decision making or due to a "person specific approach" rather than a "process specific approach" could result in costly delays in taking critical business decisions
  • Not taking timely actions, thus encouraging a "bureaucratic culture" in the organization which encourages just pushing files from one desk to another, rather than approving them quickly
  • People at important positions are appointed or selected based more on "personal preferences" or "personal connections" rather than their abilities, qualifications or experience
  • Cost escalations due to delay in decision making
  • Taking temporary short-term measures for long term problems
  • Doing patchwork solutions where deep surgery is required
  • Taking action only after a problem becomes a crisis
  • Not keeping up with the competitors product offerings & decisions even if its affecting your own business, branding & market share
  • Giving low priority to preventive measures to address problems
  • Not taking suitable action to maintain your competitive edge in the market
  • Lost opportunities due to lack of timely decisions & action  
  • Endlessly waiting for information    
  • Very less or lack of interaction with vendors severely undermining their own capabilities & advantages.  

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Human Mistakes - What are they???

Human errors are caused by human beings & can be defined as “An inappropriate action or response by a person which gives an undesired or unexpected outcome.” The major reason for human error is that Human performance is variable & not constant. Another major reason is that the monitoring & measuring mechanism of error detection & error correction has flaws or weak controls, which allows the error to occur.
Types of Human Mistakes
Forgetfulness - These mistakes are most common caused by not concentrating.
Miscommunication - These mistakes are caused by not reading the instructions and jumping to conclusions
Error in Identification - Wrong judgment by humans and not identifying the factors properly
Errors by Untrained Workers - Lack of imparting training to workers or deploying workers in projects where they are not trained to work
Willful errors - Deliberately ignoring rules, may be due to pressure situations like lack of time or resources, etc.
Inadvertent errors - Errors caused by distraction or fatigue or similar reasons
Slowness - Errors caused by delay in judgment and taking action when its too late
Lack of standards - Errors caused by not having or following any standards(written or visual)
Surprise errors - Errors caused by malfunctioning of machines, machine breakdown or machine not capable of doing the desired work
Intentional errors - Least caused. Errors caused intentionally like sabotage or terrorist acts.
For detailed information, pls watch the following video:

Thursday, 6 September 2018

How to Plan a Gemba Walk?

Lean lays a lot of stress on "Gemba Walk" to identify the waste in the process & bring about improvements. But what is this Gemba??

What is Gemba? 

Gemba is a Japanese term which literally means "the real place". In business, gemba means the place where the value is created, which primarily refers to the factory floor or the office floor. 

What is a Gemba Walk? 

Gemba Walk means observing the work process at the actual place where the work is taking place. Lean emphasizes that managers at all levels should regularly go for Gemba Walks so that problems in a process are clearly visible at the production floor or office floor. Most of the improvement ideas also come from the same place. 

How to Plan a Gemba Walk?

Its very easy for a manager to go for a walk on the factory floor or the office floor to observe what is happening. But without a definite purpose & plan for it, it will just create more waste. Planning a "Gemba Walk" will require some planning in a systematic manner:  
  • Identify the purpose for the Gemba Walk
  • The work process, its inputs, working method & expected output should be understood clearly
  • The time for observation should be carefully decided to ensure that the visit happens at the right time for observing the process in action
  • Identify the right place to observe where work is being done and value is being created in the process
  • Carefully observe the work processes and activities to understand the current performance of the process. Take down notes and detailed drawings wherever required for later recalling what was observed
  • Based on the understanding of he process, evaluate the current process performance & compare with the ideal state to identify the gaps and weak links. Discuss with the team and other stakeholders involved in the process, wherever required to come at a definite outcome
  • Identify the opportunities for improvement based on observations & in discussion with all the stakeholders involved in the process, as per their expertise & discuss possible ways for solving the issues and problems found in the process

Saturday, 1 September 2018

Life Lessons Hidden in Everyday Jokes !!!

Life experiences are full of lessons, provided one has the mindset to read the hidden meaning in it. Even the everyday jokes that we see, hear or read has some important message in it for us.

Joke # 1
Doctor: Your Liver is enlarged.
Patient: Does that mean it has space for more whisky?
(This is called "Positive Thinking")

Lesson: Positive Thinking is a very important trait of life that always tells us to always look at the brighter side off things to get Positive Results. A person with this attitude always displays happiness, health & success & has immense self-belief which can help in overcoming any problem or difficulty.

Joke # 2
Lady to her dietician :- What l am worried about is my height and not my weight.
Doc :- How come???
Lady :- According to my weight, my height should be 7.8 feet...
(Now this is called "Positive Attitude" )

Lesson: Positive Attitude is a way of life that makes a person optimist by nature & always looking at the brighter sides of life & expecting the best to happen. It is a mindset that brings positive thinking and avoid worries and negative thoughts. 

Joke # 3
A Man wrote to the bank. "My Cheque was returned with remark "Insufficient funds'. I want to know whether it refers to mine or the Bank".
(This is self confidence in its peak)

Lesson: Self-confidence is the one's belief in his/her capabilities and skills. It helps in completing one's responsibilities as expected and face the problems with determination. It also helps in controlling of one's emotions and behavior responsibly.

Reading these hidden messages & then applying in our lives can make us much better in:
  • organizing our work and life
  • having a clear and analytical thinking
  • having a calm and composed demeanor 
  • having a clear communication with the right words
  • always conscious of behaving appropriately to be an inspiration to others
  • facing the responsibilities and problems at hand with confidence.  
  • seeking help wherever required without any ego
  • admitting to mistakes sincerely and apologizing for it
  • appreciating others, especially the subordinates for good performance.   
Hence, it is imperative for us to be positive even in difficult situations through positive thinking, having a positive attitude & have self-confidence in our abilities to achieve our goals, as expected.
There can be many other qualities & traits that can be mentioned but the important ingredients are given here, most of which sbiuld be there. Doing this would create a leader out of a mere manager......

Change Management - Identifying Difficult People In many improvement projects, it has been found that improvements either fail to take p...