Proactive Problem Solving: The Art of Finding Problems When there are None

 

 

 

 

Source: https://meetville.com/images/quotes/Quotation-Richard-Bach-gifts-problems-Meetville-Quotes-112450.jpg

 

PROBLEMS

There are problems of poverty.

There are problems of ill health.

There are problems of crime and corruption.

There are problems of environmental pollution.

There are problems of inefficient business processes.

There are innumerable problems. It is possible to address each problem and find a solution.

But there are many who feel problem solving takes too long. Particularly, remedying the root causes.

So we indulge in quick-fix problem solving. Band-aid problem solving.

With this negative attitude, problems surface again and again.

A negative attitude is useful for pointing out the problems, but inadequate for solving them.

If the attitude is right and constructive habits are in place, then problem solving is much easier. It can trigger a positive revolution.

PROBLEM SOLVING: NOT JUST FOR OPERATIONS

 

 

 

Source: http://img.bangalorebest.com/uploads/2015/01/akshaya-patra-foundation.png

 

 

I can think of no better example than Akshaya Patra for a positive revolution in India.

Akshaya Patra Foundation proactively embraced the elephant size problem of classroom hunger and malnutrition in India, in 2000. The symptoms of the problem needed no data gathering. The benefits from solving this problem were obvious:

· Improved ability to focus and learn in class

· Improved school attendance

· Improved socialization among castes

· Vocational opportunity for women.

We all know that problems scheduled for solution need to be specific, observable and measurable. They also need to be of a size that is manageable. So the focus for the first project was Bangalore, H K Hill.

The first step in problem solving is to understand stakeholders needs. In this case it was: South Indian cuisine; balanced meals; interesting meals. Akshaya Patra designed the menus for non-repetitive, nutritious and interesting meals.

But how do you service 100,000 children daily? How do you ensure hygienic practices in the kitchen processes? How do you ensure quality inputs and no avoidable waste? How do you ensure on-time delivery of perfect hot meals? How do you build a quality culture in the organization? Etc, etc, etc.

 

 

 

Source: http://im.hunt.in/cg/City-Guide/V-akshayapatra1.jpg

 

The answer lay in adoption of world-class kitchen technology and world-class quality practices. There was simply no room for error. The solution to the challenge had to follow the mantra: better, faster, cheaper, and different.

The Bangalore kitchen proved a successful pilot. Today Akshaya Patra has over 20 kitchens. Their reach varies from 10,000 to 100,000 students, at each kitchen.

 

 

 

Source: http://cdn2.yourstory.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/AkshayaPatras.jpg

 

In conclusion, if you are sitting on a pin, you can remove the pin. All is well.

However, most problems are much more complex. It is not a matter of removing the pin.

Most problems require a constructive and creative approach. An approach that exploits the left- and right-brain.

That is what the positive revolution is about. It’s about Proactive Problem Solving.

There are 4 Steps to Problem Solving:

· Problem Definition

· Problem Diagnosis

· Problem Remedy

· Locking the Improvement

These 4 Steps can solve problems of poverty, ill health, crime and corruption, environmental pollution, and inefficient business processes.

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*The MADE IN INDIA tiger is a creative representation of the idea behind becoming a manufacturing behemoth in the global markets. Any resemblance to any other logo, is purely unintentional.

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Is the CEO 400 times more important than you?

 

Image credit: http://s3.amazonaws.com/corpwatch.org/img/original/6-25-CEO-Pay.jpg

 

This is no secret.

The leaders of most of the top 100 Indian corporations make at least Rs 10 million per month, plus annual bonus. Leaders who have the ability to run a major corporation deserve to be compensated well. But talented executives are not that rare.

On the other hand, the average salary of a worker in these same corporations is less than Rs 25,000 per month. This is a mockery of the role all the workers in making the organization buzz. Or is it tick? Hum is probably what I have in mind.

To think of it, even in the United States, CEOs make 300 times the salaries of their workers.

What is worse than mockery? Disdain. That’s how many rank and file people feel they are being treated. Corporate boards would do well to heed the rumblings of rank and file workers. Those with high values do. One, two, three….Are there any more?

Defenders of generous leader pay packages justify the quantum by comparing them(selves) to cricket superstars and Bollywood icons. Are we comparing apples with oranges? These superstars have peaked to top performance within a shorter life-cyle.

The irony of this is that we’re in the land of Mahatma Gandhi.

What do you think? What is a more equitable method of compensation for our CEOs today?

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*The MADE IN INDIA tiger is a creative representation of the idea behind becoming a manufacturing behemoth in the global markets. Any resemblance to any other logo, is purely unintentional.

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Click here to see more blogs

Click here to buy his new book: Quality Fables?—?now available on Amazon Kindle

 

 

 

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What can you do to drive ‘Make in India’?

MAKE IN INDIA is the catalyst for creating jobs in the country. It is the right strategy.

 

 

 

However, for MAKE IN INDIA to happen, it is important that the government deal with the following anticipated challenges:

· New factories will require land

· New factories will require power

· Road infrastructure will need to be world-class

· Indian Railways infrastructure will need to be enhanced

· Ports will need to be multiplied

· Skilled manpower will need to be developed at an accelerated pace.

These challenges can be addressed through long term goals. We can make it happen. However, we need leaders of the caliber of E Sreedharan, the “Metro Man”, to make MAKE IN INDIA an invitation to the world. Do we have such clean leaders? 

 

 

Our leaders must rise above corruption, crime, caste, and community. Only then can the challenges be addressed.

So what can we do in the short term? We can, and should, transform our current factories to be the most efficient in the world. Our focus should be MADE IN INDIA.

The prescription is simple: Make a Habit of Quality Improvement.

Go beyond simply maintaining the standards through Quality Control. Proactively challenge the standards; and reap savings in terms of Cost Of Poor Quality (COPQ).

Next, plough the savings into solar power; and into building institutions for skills development.

Build brand MADE IN INDIA.

These are short term, but powerful, measures that are equally applicable to the service sector: BPO, transportation; communication; hospitality; health care; education; and more. We need to be the most effective service providers in the world.

Build brand SERVICE FROM INDIA.

We need a Quality Revolution. Quality Improvement at a rate faster than that in Japan, South Korea, and Germany.

I believe, India can make it….And make it better.

Are you ready to build your country up? Tell me how You specifically can contribute to this!

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*The MADE IN INDIA tiger is a creative representation of the idea behind becoming a manufacturing behemoth in the global markets. Any resemblance to any other logo, is purely unintentional.

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Click here to see more blogs

Click here to buy his new book: Quality Fables?—?now available on Amazon Kindle

 

 

 

 

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Image credits:

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http://www.thenewsminute.com/sites/default/files/MAKE-IN-INDIA.jpg

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SEVEN STEPS TO BUILD A QUALITY CULTURE

The popular belief is that building a Quality Culture is a major exercise for an organization, or for that matter, government. I disagree.

Building an organization-wide Quality Culture starts at the top. Now, that’s the hard part.

Based on my interactions with the Tata Group, Aditya Birla Group, Mahindra Group, L&T Group, HUL, and many more, here is my lab-prescription for leaders, on how to build a Quality Culture?

  1. Walk your talk. People listen to what you say they believe what you do
  2. At monthly review meetings have Quality as the first item on the agenda. The grape-wine will communicate the ‘action’ organization-wide
  3. At the monthly review, feel free to excuse yourself from the meeting once Quality has been discussed and action points established. This will sink in the priority
  4. Go meet customers to understand their Quality requirements. This is the best Quality education for leaders, regardless of function
  5. Conduct executive briefings on Managing for Quality; as well as Quality of Management. With utmost humility, demonstrate your expertise through effective answers to questions
  6. Include Quality in the Strategic Plan; on par with Finance, Marketing, Technology, Human Resources
  7. Redesign job descriptions to include Quality; as well as factor Quality into the Performance Appraisal and Induction Programs. Conduct the introductory session of the Induction Program underlining Quality.

Is this a choice with any options?

Only leaders can make MADE IN INDIA happen.

Try this today, and comment below on the benefits you saw.

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*The MADE IN INDIA tiger is a creative representation of the idea behind becoming a manufacturing behemoth in the global markets. Any resemblance to any other logo, is purely unintentional.

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About Suresh Lulla

SURESH LULLA is the Founder & Managing Director of Qimpro Consultants Pvt Ltd. The company offers a range of services that include: Process Management, Quality Life Cycle Management, Business Excellence, Benchmarking of Best Practices, Professional Certifications for Quality & Reliability, and Recognition of Excellence in Individuals, Teams, & Organizations. Under Mr Lulla’s leadership, Qimpro has saved its clients well over Rs 175 billion in terms of cost of poor quality, as well as significantly improved customer satisfaction levels in the manufacturing, service, and healthcare sectors. Apart from India, Qimpro has conducted assignments in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Viet Nam, Pakistan, Sultanate of Oman, Bahrain, Iran, and Kenya.

Click here to see more blogs

Click here to buy his new book: Quality Fables–now available on Amazon Kindle

 

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IMAGE CREDITS

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Consultants = Problem Solvers

 

Management Consultants must be Problem Solvers

Management consultants deliver reports. But do they deliver results?

Management consultants are a cost to clients. Each should aim to become an asset for the client.

These are the fractured equations that mar client-consultant relationships. In the process, clients become cynical about consultants because most of the executed assignments in India fail to deliver tangible results.

These are my views. There are many lessons I have learned over the past four decades, initially as a pure management consultant, and subsequently as a quality management facilitator.

Solving the wrong problem

How often have you discovered that what you have solved and what the client had in mind are very divergent?

The problem is that we do not invest adequate time to understand the stated as well as latent needs of clients. We need to have a clear understanding of:

  • What are the symptoms of the problem?
  • How do these symptoms impact management performance?
  • Are these symptoms: Specific? Observable? Measurable?
  • Is the problem of a size that is manageable by third party consultant?

Only hearing. Not listening

Consultants need to ask questions. Clients need to listen. Clients need to ask questions. Consultants need to listen.

Only when the listening bridge is successful, can the communication be clear. But this does not always happen.

The communication skill of listening has never been taught. In school we are taught seeing, reading, speaking, writing, hearing…but not listening!

Listening comes in two avatars: sympathetic listening and empathetic listening. In sympathetic listening I can agree even though I do not understand. In empathetic listening I first seek to understand and may subsequently choose to disagree.

Consultants must learn the art of empathetic listening.

Considering root cause identification as the end of an assignment

A problem is solved only when the remedy is implemented and results recur. Unfortunately, most consulting assignments end when the root causes have been established.

So we generate reports. We also generate supplements to these reports. We sprinkle terms and charts that are trendy. In the process we ensure that nobody understands the final report. Then we make PowerPoint presentations to upper management of the client who are far removed from the original problem.

The report gathers dust. There are no results. The consultant loses a reputation.

Ignore resistance to change

Change is simple when it involves machines and systems. Change is a problem when it involves people.

The stated reason for resistance to change by an individual is usually the impracticality of the technological solution.

However, riding on the back of the stated resistance to the technological change is an uninvited guest…the social consequence of the technological change, on the individual.  The social consequence is not stated or obvious. It has to be understood by the consultant using empathetic listening skills, individual by individual.

A consultant cannot ignore the resistance. The consultant must define the resistance and deal with it.

Change has its own majestic pace. The consultant must be seasoned for that.

How to succeed?

To achieve results on an assignment, the consultant must be a facilitator, trainer, coach, counselor, and recognizer.

 

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*The MADE IN INDIA tiger is Qimpro’s creative representation of the idea behind becoming a manufacturing behemoth in the global markets. Any resemblance to any other logo, is purely unintentional.

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Click here to buy his new book: Quality Fables–now available on Amazon Kindle

 

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Image Credits

http://www.testically.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/the-wrong-problem.jpg

http://qatestlab.com/assets/Root-Cause-Analysis-cor2-1.png

http://changemanagementsuccess.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/resistanceempmgt.png

http://www.mbaadmissionscoach.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/MBA-Admissions-Consultant-help.jpg

 

 

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Managing for Quality

Managing for Quality in Manufacturing is relatively simple. The customer receives the output of a process; compares it with alternatives from competition and decides to vote for the output with his/her money.

Managing for Quality in Services is relatively more complex. The customer is part of the process; and has multiple opportunities to pass judgment on Quality. One bad experience and the entire service is condemned.

Managing for Quality in Healthcare Services is very challenging. It demands perfection. Nothing less. Human life is at stake while delivering services to patients.

Managing for Quality in Educational Services is even more challenging. The student is part of the process for years! The student matures as you educate him/her; and consequently demands more and more from the educational services. Processes must have agility and flexibility for student satisfaction.

‘Made in India’ requires that we Manage for Quality in all four sectors, in order to become a world-class nation. At speed.

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*The MADE IN INDIA tiger is Qimpro’s creative representation of the idea behind becoming a manufacturing behemoth in the global markets. Any resemblance to any other logo, is purely unintentional.

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Click here to see more blogs

Click here to buy his new book: Quality Fables–now available on Amazon Kindle

 

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Image Credits

http://www.cityxproject.com/wp-content/uploads/d.process-3day.png

http://image.slidesharecdn.com/processflowdiagrams-120509092320-phpapp02/95/examples-of-process-flow-analysis-and-optimization-of-an-hospital-pharmacy-drug-system-2010-2011-1-728.jpg?cb=1337672166

http://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/scn/go/portal/prtroot/docs/webcontent/mimes/bpx/Industries/retail/branded_banking_before.jpg

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-_oYun1Cd4Qc/T8ZY0WZwheI/AAAAAAAAAPY/_Kvs1HeCAMM/s1600/350px-Product%E2%80%99s_lifecycle.svg.png

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Problem Solving in 4 Steps – 2

After the hearty response I received for my previous blog done using an infographic. I decided to give an old Quality Fable (Peels and Meals) the infographic treatment.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this method of storytelling.

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*The MADE IN INDIA tiger is Qimpro’s creative representation of the idea behind becoming a manufacturing behemoth in the global markets. Any resemblance to any other logo, is purely unintentional.

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About Suresh Lulla

SURESH LULLA is the Founder & Managing Director of Qimpro Consultants Pvt Ltd. The company offers a range of services that include: Process Management, Quality Life Cycle Management, Business Excellence, Benchmarking of Best Practices, Professional Certifications for Quality & Reliability, and Recognition of Excellence in Individuals, Teams, & Organizations. Under Mr Lulla’s leadership, Qimpro has saved its clients well over Rs 175 billion in terms of cost of poor quality, as well as significantly improved customer satisfaction levels in the manufacturing, service, and healthcare sectors. Apart from India, Qimpro has conducted assignments in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Viet Nam, Pakistan, Sultanate of Oman, Bahrain, Iran, and Kenya.

Click here to see more blogs

Click here to buy his new book: Quality Fables–now available on Amazon Kindle

 

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Problem Solving in 4 Steps

 

 

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*The MADE IN INDIA tiger is Qimpro’s creative representation of the idea behind becoming a manufacturing behemoth in the global markets. Any resemblance to any other logo, is purely unintentional.

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Click here to see more blogs

Click here to buy his new book: Quality Fables–now available on Amazon Kindle

 

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Posted in Best Practices, Excellence, Leadership, Quality | Leave a comment

Who Pays for Bad Quality? Is there a Solution?

Nobody is against Quality. Particularly, when you wear the hat of a customer. At a personal level.

I would like to remind you that  your purchase department wears the hat of a customer in the eyes of your suppliers. So the basic question is: Does your purchase department conduct itself as a world-class customer with your suppliers? This question is directed at private as well as governmental organizations and institutions.

We fail as an organization when we purchase goods, based on lowest price offered by alternative suppliers. We succeed when we purchase process capabilities of suppliers for the goods we require.

When we purchase goods at the lowest price we invariably also purchase incapable processes. Incapable processes generate substantial waste, frequent rework, over inspection, etc. These wasteful costs, referred to as Cost Of Poor Quality (COPQ), are factored into the suppliers’ pricing. So who is paying for the suppliers’ inefficiencies? You, the purchase department.

What is the order of magnitude of COPQ traceable to the purchase department? At least 10% of total costs!!!

Ultimately, who pays for your purchasing inefficiencies? Your customers. This is a guaranteed method for losing customers and market share!!! Particularly if you are nursing a global vision.

Now, does it not make sense for a ‘supplier process capability’ mindset to sink into the top management of goods and service providers in private and governmental organizations?

Some organizations that have benefited from addressing COPQ in the purchase departments are: Tata Steel, Mahindra Tractor, L&T, Maruti Suzuki, Marico, and more.

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*The MADE IN INDIA tiger is a creative representation of the idea behind becoming a manufacturing behemoth in the global markets. Any resemblance to any other logo, is purely unintentional.

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Click here to see more blogs

Click here to buy his new book: Quality Fables–now available on Amazon Kindle

 

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Image Credits

http://rlv.zcache.com.au/deal_with_it_funny_purchasing_manager_sticker-r0662948d91104155a888cc0a0fe8283a_v9waf_8byvr_324.jpg

http://lowres.cartoonstock.com/business-commerce-procurement-procure-purchases-purchasing-suppliers-shin51_low.jpg

http://rlv.zcache.co.uk/miracles_and_purchasing_managers_funny_postcard-r4f7e317b8e364f5ca92ccf9ceae49825_vgbaq_8byvr_324.jpg


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Supplier Solutions. MADE IN INDIA

 

 

 

Companies are recognizing the critical role suppliers play in the success of their own business. If the suppliers’ parts or materials are defective, the ultimate product made by the organization and shipped to the customer will be defective. Besides that, it adds to the company’s Cost Of Poor Quality 10X.

Companies and suppliers must work as partners to provide the highest quality product made in the most effective manner. They must be transparent in their respective costing and aim for optimal joint-costing. Win-Win.

Maruti does precisely that. In the process Maruti has nurtured thousands of SMEs to perform to perfection.

What does Maruti purchase? It purchases ‘process capability’.


How does Maruti partner with suppliers? By reinventing their purchase department. Maruti trains its purchase managers to assess the process performance of suppliers, and thereafter to train the suppliers’ employees on Continual Quality Improvement. To improve process capability. The by-product is a reduction in Cost Of Poor Quality at the supplier end, that is shared by Maruti and the supplier. Recurring savings from Quality Improvement!

Is this MADE IN INDIA?

*The MADE IN INDIA tiger is a creative representation of the idea behind becoming a manufacturing behemoth in the global markets.  Any resemblance to any other logo, is purely unintentional. – See more at: http://sureshlulla.com/blog/made-in-india-before-make-in-india/#sthash.FR24KjZx.dpuf

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Click here to see more blogs

Click here to buy his new book: Quality Fables–now available on Amazon Kindle

 

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Image Credits

http://www.prohire.co.uk/ckfinder/userfiles/files/suppliers.jpg

http://motoroids.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Maruti-Suzuki-Logo.png

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