Thursday, December 17, 2009

Why JIT Is So Critical To Business

Your business may end up in cash flow crisis if the material supply chain is not well manage.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Theory X and Theory Y

Been in the bad mood for the past two days, therefore I try to be very quiet, because I worry I will make silly mistake due to my personal emotion. Anyway, my bad mood is linked to my work actually.

Two projects were delay for five month just because a manager from other department did not execute his duty in order. Because of that, some trouble makers use it as a block for me to move forward. I reflect my problems and disappointment to my manager, but I end up walk out from his office with no conclusion plus a bad mood.

In fact, he is right; the environment is as such, if I wish to change the situation, I should find way to overcome the blocking. Else, my only way is “wait”. Wait for all the issues settle before I proceed.

Since my manager says so, no point I continue the discussion, as I may end up instructed to help the manager solving his problems. I just pick up his advice and “wait”. Anyway, I’m not satisfied with the outcome as I dislike having so many open items in my work. I don’t like to delay my work, some more I have to entertain a group of so call “senior managers” who lack of self discipline. I have to talk to them nicely, convince them to accept my deliverable. If I m so unlucky, I my end up being the root cause of the mess.

Another case that make me very upset, that I mentioned several time in my blog. One person make mistake, many peoples feel the pain. Two prototypes build fail due to human error. I was busy arranging for the third build for the past few days. Unfortunately I make a silly mistake this round and was called to attend a lecture by my big boss.

I review back what my manager told earlier, in fact, he does have his point. As a project manager, I should be responsible for the entire mistake that peoples did, including my mistake. Because I m the leader of the assignment. I should ensure my team members deliver expected result at the right time. Regardless of team member’s attitude and performance, it is my fault if I m not able to lead the team to achieve the common goal. He also right, I don’t have other option to choose, I have to accept the fact.

The two unhappiness stir my mind for two days, led me think of Theory X and Theory Y. I used to be in Theory Y and expect my working partner in the same group as well. I believe, since I receive payment from my employer, it is my responsible deliver good result. I expect other having the same thinking as well. Unfortunately, the actual situation was not as what I expect. I realized I made a wrong assumption for the past three years !!!

Hmm.. I have to realign my assumption to reflect the actual situation. From next week onward…

Anyway, I would like to stress that, I m not in the Theory X group. I insist I do not want to be in the group, because the thinking will bring me laziness and negative opinion. I behave in this manner just to adapt to the environment.

“Because of the environment, therefore I have to accept the fact…” no wonder they end up in such a deep shit.


What are Theory X and Theory Y?
Here the explanation from Wikipedia


前两天的心情真的是很不好,所以没什么说话。心情不好的我不爱说话,因为怕祸从口出。

心情不好,都是和公事有关。以下就是破坏我心情的主因;

手头上两项任务被耽误了整整五个多月,因为另一个部门的主管耽误了他的任务。给我被另外一批惹事者拿来当成一个阻挡我去路的理由。那天向小老板提出了我对整件事情的安排有所不满,没有结果,反而是被他训了一顿。

其实小老板说的也对,事情本来就是这样,这个环境本来就是这样,如果我想改变结局,我就应该去尝试改变那些阻挡我去路的人。要不然,我就只好坐在那里等,等到该部门主管把事情办好过后我才继续我的工作。

既然小老板都已经开口,我也不敢继续说下去,搞不好,我end up 还得帮那部门主管处理他的工作。唯有听从小老板的意见,“等”。虽然如此,其实我心里并不好受,因为我不喜欢我的工作又头无尾的,我不喜欢我的工作一天拖一天,还得应酬一大批缺乏纪律的so call 高级主管,还得好声好气的尝试说服他们接受我交出来的成绩。搞不好,到头来变成一却都是我的错。

另一件令我不开心的事情,其实这件事我已在在理谈了好几次。一人错事万人当。由于前两次的proto build都不合格,都是人为的疏忽,所以我前几天都在忙于处理第三次的proto build。不幸的,这一次轮到我犯了一个错误。结果被大老板叫去办公室里训了一顿。

回头想想,其实他说得也很有道理,身为一个project manager,我应该对所有人,包括我自己我犯下的错误负责。因为我的任务是领导一批人去执行某项任务,我的确保每个人都准时交出靓丽的成绩。任何人有不负责任的心态,工作上敷衍了事,交不出像样的成绩造成整个团队达不到目标,都是我的问题。他也说了这样一句话,我没得选择,因为整个环境都是这样,所以我必须接受。

这两项不开心的事情在我脑海里翻转了两天,让我想起了Theory X 和Theory Y的理论。一直以来,我都以Theory Y的心理来看待我的工作伙伴。在职场上,我一直抱着同样的信念,“受人钱财,替人消灾,天公地道”。既然收了公司的薪水,就得把我们分内的工作做好,我这认为,我也指望我其他的工作伙伴也这样认为。看来,现实并不如我所愿。因为我在一个大部分都是Theory X的大环境里工作!Shit,今天我才醒觉,我整整错了三年!!!

好,我必须即刻纠正我的错误。下个星期开始。。。
这里我必须声明,我不是Theory X的一群,我也坚持不加入Theory X这个懒人俱乐部。因为我两个顾客的要求,所以我必须作出少许的调整,已融入这个懒人俱乐部的大家庭。

“因为整个环境都是这样,所以我必须接受”。。。这也难怪他们会搞到今天这个地步。。。


或许你会问,Theory X Theory Y到底是什么?
以下就是我从Wikipedia 抄出来的解说。


Theory X
In this theory, management assumes employees are inherently lazy and will avoid work if they can. They inherently dislike work. Because of this, workers need to be closely supervised and comprehensive systems of controls developed. A hierarchical structure is needed with narrow span of control at each level. According to this theory, employees will show little ambition without an enticing incentive program and will avoid responsibility whenever they can. The Theory X manager tends to believe that everything must end in blaming someone. He or she thinks all prospective employees are only out for themselves. Usually these managers feel the sole purpose of the employee's interest in the job is money. They will blame the person first in most situations, without questioning whether it may be the system, policy, or lack of training that deserves the blame. A Theory X manager believes that his or her employees do not really want to work, that they would rather avoid responsibility and that it is the manager's job to structure the work and energize the employee. One major flaw of this management style is it is much more likely to cause Diseconomies of Scale in large businesses.

Theory Y
In this theory management assumes employees may be ambitious, self-motivated, and exercise self-control. It is believed that employees enjoy their mental and physical work duties. A Theory Y manager believes that, given the right conditions, most people will want to do well at work. They believe that the satisfaction of doing a good job is a strong motivation. Many people interpret Theory Y as a positive set of beliefs about workers. A close reading of The Human Side of Enterprise reveals that McGregor simply argues for managers to be open to a more positive view of workers and the possibilities that this creates.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Mc Donald's Production System III

I follow through Mc Donald's Production System since long time ago, my personal opinion, Mc Donald's is the only company in the world that demonstrate effectiveness of Lean Production System to the public. Further more, they manage it well and continuously improve their system.


一直以来我都很留意Mc Donald's的Production System。我觉得,Mc Donald's 是世上唯一能够把Lean Production System呈现于大众眼前的公司。而且,一直以来都管理得很好,也不断的改进。


During the new year, I got a chance to step in the Mc Donald's restaurant near by my house, oh, they had chance their process ! Immediately I took out my camera and snap some photo of the new improved Mc Donald's Production System.



新年期间有机会在光顾住家附近的Mc Donald's,发现道Mc Donald's又耍新花样了。赶快拿起相机把这新改良的Mc Donald's Production System 拍下。


Below photo showing the improved version of Mc Donald's Production System, can you recognize the differences ? Yes, they are now at the standard of One Piece Flow.



以下是新的Mc Donald's Production System,和旧的system相比,看得出有设么分别吗?
是的,新的system比旧的system来得Lean,而且已达到了one piece flow的境界了。





I used to tell my colleagues, we need not to visit Toyota or other automotive assembly plant to learn Lean Production System or so call Toyota Production System. Visit any nearest Mc Donald's restaurant will do. May be, the front desk crew may not able to describe about Lean Production System that they were trained to do so, how Mc Donald's maintain the consistency of their best practice throughout the world, this is the secret we should think about and learn from them.


我时常和同事说,要学Lean Production System 或是Toyota Production System,不需要跑到Toyota工厂那里去,去Mc Donald's 看就得了。Mc Donald's 的柜台服务员或许不能够告诉你什么是Just In Time,什么是One Piece Flow,什么是build to order还有很多关于Lean 的学问,可是他们每天的工作,都和TPS脱离不了关系,也不会歪离TPS的原则。为什么?

Last update : 01/03/2009

Mc Donald Production System II


Toyota production system classifies WIP or Over Stock as one of the major waste in the production system. But in Mc Donald, people seem like having different point of view.

Photo shows the WIP accumulated on the soft drink dispensing machine. I observe this while waiting for my turn to place order in one of the Mc Donald restaurant in Melaka Raya.

This is definitely not a good idea to me. In fact, this is not the 1st time I observe the similar case in Mc Donald, just can’t understand why the management allow such practice repeat again and again.

Simple question; why you produce if you don’t need it?

Last update : 02/01/08

Monday, July 27, 2009

Mc Donald's Production System I


I got a chance to snap the photo in a Mc Donald's restaurant while waiting for my turn to place order.
The incident happen when a customer service attendant found the burger tray is empty and the kitchen is not able to role out enough burger to meet customers demand. The crews seem like lack of experience to handle such messy situation. They loss control, leave the angry customers aside and having side discussion in front the burger tray. There are customer really unhappy to be serve in such situation. Some inpatient customer just walk away from the restaurant.
Mc Donald's is one of the successful company in lean production system, yet they end up in such situation.
Why ?
Actually, I don't really like the communication system that Mc Donald's is using. Where the customer service attendant asking for stock replenishment through shouting to the kitchen. Is this effective ? I doubt, how many order the guys in the kitchen can remember ? The system make the restaurant looks busy but not really effective.
In the Mc Donald's Production System, there is a Kanban tray in the system, but without the Kanban or Ticket to trigger the demand pull. Whereas, the demand pull is trigger by shouting.
May be, it is the company's culture, the management want it this way. Some noise in the restaurant can make the environment looks young and energetic.
Anyway, there are room for further improve the operation system.
Last update : 28/11/2007

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Common Term In Lean Production System

Common term use in Lean Production System.
That I learn from Wikipedia.
Just for info sharing

Andon (行灯) (English: Signboard)

Genchi Genbutsu (現地現物) (English: Go and see for yourself)

Hansei (反省) (English: Self-reflection)

Heijunka (平準化) (English: Production Smoothing)

Jidoka (自働化) (English: Autonomation - automation with human intelligence)

Just In Time (ジャストインタイム) (JIT)

Kaizen (改善) (English: Continuous Improvement)

Kanban (看板, also かんばん) (English: Sign, Index Card)

Manufacturing supermarket where all components are available to be withdrawn by a process

Muda (無駄, also ムダ) (English: Waste)

Mura (斑 or ムラ) (English: Unevenness)

Muri (無理) (English: Overburden)

Nemawashi (根回し) (English: Laying the groundwork, literally: Going around the roots)

Poka-yoke (ポカヨケ) (English: fail-safing - to avoid (yokeru) inadvertent errors (poka))

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Hidden Factory

Hidden factory are non value added activities hided or embedded in any process operation. Because it is invisible to us, therefore we are not aware of it most of the time.

Toyota production system ( Lean ) classify the non value added processes as waste in the production system. Waste in the production system affecting process efficiency, resulting of higher operation cost.

Founder of Toyota production system Taiichi Ohno & Shigeo Shingo identified 7 critical wastes that need to remove from the main stream process flow. There are;

  1. Overproduction
  2. Waiting
  3. Transportation
  4. Inappropriate processing
  5. Excess inventory
  6. Unnecessary motion
  7. Defect

Out of the 7, I would like to add one more: Inspection

Wastes listed above is not unique to Toyota, it exist in our work place as well. We did not aware the existence most of the time, because it is invisible or it is being accepted as part of the main stream process operation.

When a company accepts hidden factory build up in their main stream process operation, a portion of the company resource will be take up to support the invisible operation that do not generate income for the company.
Hidden factory will growth over time. The cost to maintain the hidden factory will roll like a snow ball if management did not clean up their main stream process regularly. The bigger the size of the invisible factory, the more money will be taken up by the invisible monster.

Last update : 31/05/07