How to convert the Coronavirus Threat into an Opportunity?
We are faced with a global coronavirus threat.
We have also seen the stock market crash.
Travel has come to a standstill.
Supply chains are in feeble health.
We also hear of employees losing jobs.
And the diktat “Work from Home”
In this gloom, I see an opportunity. The gift of TIME, owing to zero commuting.
We now have the opportunity to sharpen our skills.
We have the opportunity to convert our work experience into a qualification. At minimal cost.
For this to happen, we need to adopt the habit of self-study. It calls for significant discipline.
There are numerous digital courses in almost every field of specialization. They add to your skills. Example: Problem Solving, Flow Charting, Histograms, Data Gathering; and more. These skills are best learnt by applying them to an actual chronic problem at work.
But the reality is that you are at home. Can you identify chronic problems in your domestic systems and processes? For instance, supplies out-of-stock, or untidy toilets?
The entire family can learn Quality practices. Thus making Quality a way of Life.
On the other hand, you may want to prepare yourself for skills that will be in demand once you report back to work. Of course you do know what you must do, but the gap is that your experience and knowledge lacks structured thinking. This is a dilemma faced by most executives.
My guess is that Reliability Engineering will be in demand in plants and factories, once the coronavirus battle is won. Reliability Engineering is not rocket science. It essentially focuses on the user. The key measures for Reliability are:
- Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF), and
- Mean Time To Repair (MTTR).
MTBF must go up. MTTR must come down. The benefits are seen in Warranty Costs spiraling downwards.
MTBF and MTTR are feeds to Product Design. Designers also use quality tools such as Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA) and Weibull Charts. They know that a longer Warranty is a fantastic marketing strategy.
Reliability Engineering is not new. It has been used by Cummins in Pune since 1975, with extraordinary results. The performance of their diesel engines, locked in earthmoving equipment, was a global benchmark.
So what can I do in my quarantine period? Coronavirus is new. We do not know how long it will last.
An option is to study from the self-study Primer on Reliability Engineering authored by Bill Wortman, Founder, Quality Council of Indiana (QCI).
There are several more QCI Primers on Six Sigma Yellow / Green / Black Belt. Plus a Primer on Quality Management that is ideal for Performance Excellence Examiners. You can digest the knowledge at your own pace.
Qimpro College offers the Examinations and Qualifications – Professional Qualitist – to complete the self-improvement loop. The flexible schedule is customer driven.
Over 2000 Professional Qualitists have formalized their work experience into a qualification using this route. Thereby, turbocharging their careers.
Make hay while the gloom lasts.
Finally, in the words of Dr J M Juran, “Long Live the Quality Revolution”.
- The knowledge resident in employees is the most underemployed asset of an organization
- Solving chronic problems, at home, as a family team, delivers better communication, as a by-product
- Reliability Engineering can help build the brand ‘Made in India’
- Reliability Engineering helps build Quality into the Design
- MTBF and MTTR should be on a Chairman’s dash board.