Milestones of Life # I graduated !

Time really flies!

Huff….I can finally take a breath from all the rush I had..

From the late night study before exam, intensive internship in Belgium, until the tight schedule of thesis work.. It’s all finally comes down to the fun festivities I had the last few weeks.

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Since Last Month Wednesday, April 4 2013, I can officially say that I am now Dipl.-Ing (FH) Yosef Adji Baskoro M.Eng !!

Master of Engineering

I would like to share a huge milestone in my life with you. Just look at my face at the photo taken just after my thesis presentation outside the room. (two thumbs up with a HUGE smile on my face!)

My master degree is Technical Management with focus in Industrial Management. In plain words, it is similar to MBA degree with focus on production management and I am so thrilled to be able to apply the knowledge I gained in internship. I hope in the future I can combine my love for production management, teaching and human side of productivity.

A few highlights of my graduation…..

Yes, that is me, PROUDLY holding my certificate

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My amazing parents flew in from Indonesia to Germany for my graduation and we made a little round family trip around Europe!

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Graduation Dinner with my ONLY Indonesian friends in Germany in the same city where I studied..They are really amazing friends!!

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Some of my international friends!

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We did it!! PROST!!

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Thank God for the achievement and I hope I will have a less bumpy route ahead…cross my finger and trust in God!

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You are educated. Your certification is in your degree. You may think of it as the ticket to the good life. Let me ask you to think of an alternative. Think of it as your ticket to change the world ~Tom Brokaw

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Where productivity comes from? Relation between Quality, Lean, Efficiency

From my last post about over months ago, we have grasped the idea and underlying concept of Lean. That the divine purpose of Lean is to give value to customer. Lean means providing value to customer.

5 principles of Lean

In previous post also, we know that there are fundamentally 5 Principles of Lean which are:

  1. Specify value for the customer
  2. Integrate Value Stream
  3. Create Flow
  4. Pull from the customer
  5. Aim for perfection

Looking deeply between the initial definition and the 5 principles of Lean. It seems logically correct that providing value to customer is indeed will be achieved through all the 5 principles of Lean. However, this indeed is also a deception for many.

Not that I say those principles are useless, on the other hand, people has to know those principles by heart. Despite of that, in my opinion, 5 Principles of Lean are not comprehensive enough in serving higher purpose of providing value to customer because it somehow lacks of comprehensiveness. If we look at those all 5 principles and pondering on those points, we can have assumptions that Lean is all about efficient of operations to provide value by means of faster, responsive and flexible operation by implementing integrated value stream, flow, pull and then aim for perfection.

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These points have failed to serve the true comprehensive definition of lean which is providing value to customer because it simply do not pay attention to “quality” matter. In fact, none of the 5 principles seems to talk about quality (poka yoke, inspection, culture of quality).  This had led many to miss-understanding that lean is just efficiency (value stream, flow, pull). Lean comprise efficiency indeed, but not only that. It is also quality and all that is required to bring value to customers.

Because as we come back to the true definition of lean that is providing value to customer, we realize that Lean defintion is larger than 5 principles of lean itself.

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That ambiguous translation from basic definition of Lean into the principles of Lean, make a miss-conception about achieving Lean in relation with improvement culture. Improvement has twofold and people have always been mistaken when talk about improvement. Lean improvement as perceived by most people as working toward a more efficient operations is preferable in most case because it gives a sense of boost to ongoing operations and increasing productivity. On the other hand,   quality improvement sometimes not as popular because for many it just don’t seems boost their production quota. So, they tend to prefer efficient improvement compare to quality improvement.

People has mistakenly grasped the concept of improvement that they tend to associate improvement to efficiency because by and far, it will boost productivity quickly. This is bad in a long term because quality is stronger and has a bigger impact in a sense that on the long term, focus on quality improving productivity and increasing quality. Both quality and efficiency however have similarity in the need to specify customer value and strive for perfection.

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Sometimes we deeply understand about the need for efficiency improvement because it directly impact our output in short term. But those who forget to deal with improving quality is in the long term will be definite loser because while you neglect quality, others not. They improve productivity through both quality (inspection, poka yoke devices) and efficiency (integrate value stream, flow, pull)  improvements of operations which give them a twofold advantage to their productivity increase compare to those who only care about increasing efficiency.

So, I want to again stress that the 5 principles of Lean is in fact very important to remember. But one shall never forget the in-comprehensiveness of the principles and that the fundamental definition of lean is always comes first.

Lean is providing value to the customers.

Quality or Quantity ? Recurring Mistakes…

Quality sometimes undermined by productivity. Even in this era, many factories in developing country focused more on the target of production per day rather than its quality. quality was always pitted against productivity, and productivity always won. Managers knew about quality problems and wanted to fix them, but pressure was always on to meet production quotas, and their jobs were measured by that. increasing quality means increasing quality of product and process.

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When being asked why it seems that small to medium factories just seems to focus on productivity to meet production quota, many give reasons that the current quality has been satisfying for them. Customers also typically not so skeptical to the defects that they received and thus quality is not really a big issue.

However, this way of thinking reflect they way of Americans Manufacturers in the age of Fordism. In which, on a practical day-to-day level, quality was always pitted against productivity, and productivity always won. In ford era, according to Quality Management Demystified by Sid Kemp,there was no reward for solving quality problems. At best, some time was allowed for QA when the factory wasn’t busy. At worst, workers and managers were pressured to deliver defective products to meet quota, figuring that they could always be fixed later.

It seems still many of factories do not see the fundamental relationship taught by Shewhart and Deming

Improving the quality of the process increased both productivity—quantity of product—and product quality at the same time.

Now it is clear, that whenever we neglect the quality of the process, the harder we will chase our productivity to meet production quota. On the other side, focusing on quality will increase the process that will later improve the quantity of the product that could be produced.

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Lean Thinking : The Problem of Introducing “Doing Better” for Different People with Different Background

 

Having read the A lean journey blog that gave a quote of the week about “Can We do Better?” “YES”, I get so inspired yet give rise to unresolved questions  that coming up to my mind after I read the article.

Maybe, it is better that the unanswered question be described using a small true story that I experienced.

I have a maid, whose job is to come everyday to my house leaving her husband and two kids to clean my house. She will clean every room in my house from living room, bed room, kitchen, until toilet. I have just getting mad at her because she supposed to also clean my bedroom but it appeared that she just passed my bedroom and not doing the mopping, sweeping, and tidying that she is responsible for.

I thought maybe she just have a rough day to get over so I just neglect it. But the next day, the same thing happened again and I confront and ask her for a confirmation. unexpectedly, she is the one who is getting irritated with me because she felt that I accused her for not doing her job while she actually did clean my room. While calming myself from her reaction, I followed up with a probing questions and found out that she in fact thought that the cleaning job that she had done was fabulous according to her.

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That night, I went into reflection and thinking deeply about how that could happened. I learn and passionately searching about Lean that basically doing things better or Kaizen about continuous improvement, but in my own backyard, in my house, I got a person working in my house who is my maid that basically have a different standards compare to me about the definition of  “a clean room”. For her, since she lives in a village, she define “a clean room”.is that room that I call dirty because I live in a city. Thus, we have a different standards about “a clean room”.

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The rising questions is how she could do better at cleaning my room while according her standards she has already done a wonderful job. How to make her realize that what she did actually is below my standards and that she could do better willingly and improve her performance and quality.

This is somehow related with quality perceived by customers. In my country, quality is not the main concern because people is still buying products even not a high quality. They bought it because their standards is rather low, so that when the products that being produced in my country want to be exported, then the gap about standards become a barrier for my country’s products to sell. On the other side, people on my country has no pressure or willingness to do better in production because they still think that it sells well. The labor is not trying to improve the process because without improving it, it still sells even just for local market. Their standards become inertia for their self to reach the next level of doing better and to continuously improvement.

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The question is “How?”. How to make them realize that the standards that they are living in is not fitted anymore and needed to be improve and in fact could be improve if they realize that they need a new standard.