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Musings of a Process Practitioner

Sanat Sankrityayan 2015-04-10

As an MBA aspirant, I was asked about what I would like to study. I said Business. But the reality of the Indian education structure is such that I ended up studying one of the streams, Human Resources. The education system is therefore acting as an adaptive catalyst to feed the existing structure of the Businesses. The fundamental structure of a company is based on Resources, instead of Customers.

Example: Suppose a company has following Departments (Ironically, root word is Depart) Finance, Purchase, Production, Maintenance and Human Resource. They have different resources to manage ex. Money, material, equipment, people and so many other assets. Each department focuses only on managing their resources instead of focusing on the requirements of the customer. They work in isolated silos rather than acting as one integrated company. The purpose of any Business is customer centric. And if there are no customers on our daily task list, there lies no feasibility of a successful business.

As we discuss resources, we cannot miss out on the most annoying corporate jargon, Cost Benefit Analysis. Cost becomes a priority for many professional to the extent of becoming a bump or hurdle. Always remember that Cost is a constraint and not the objective of the function. Concentrate on the Quality of the Work that we are expected to performed for meeting the needs of the Customer. Customers are not always the best judge of the work done by us. But their satisfaction is the hallmark and certificate of the good work that we do as a company. Customers may not demand, and they mostly accept what you offer as a company. Example: Customers never demanded to have locomotive instead of horse carts but when Ford offered its models they accepted it on the roads.

As a Principal Practitioner of Lean Kaizen Six Sigma Philosophy, now I serve as a management catalyst in creating the right learning in the people that can solve the organizational hurdles and smoothens the processes, making them faster and far more efficient than what they are. It occurred as a revelation after three years of practice that even the next process is your customer. The external customer is definitely the one who pays us, however, the transactional identification of the Customer Supplier is that of a giver and taker of services and products. Be it internal or external.

Fortunately, I found a great Guru who taught me the Operational Excellence and its implementation. When my teacher asked me to go and ask the process, I was about to ask him another question. The question was HOW. When does a process speak? What’s the language the process uses? But I also understood that this is what I have to discover, and that is where my teacher’s intention was. I started going to the machines and just observing them. I used to stand near them observing as both running and closed. I relied on my five senses. And that worked fine. I started understanding the rhythm of the machines.

Ask yourself more questions because asking others fetch you faster answers but your mind is not utilized and dependent on the external resources.

Every process rewards you with the answer only thing required is perseverance. Enthusiasm is dangerous so get knowledge. Knowledge is dangerous so have profound knowledge. Every time try for yourself. Opposite of knowledge is profound knowledge. Be result oriented always otherwise your competence will be questioned.

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