Tuesday, July 29, 2008

5 Biggest mistakes people do with management philosophy adoption / implementation

Organisations progress by continuously reviewing and enhancing their business systems and operating philosophy. In pursuit of this new technological and managerial philosophies are adopted and implemented. Managers often make mistake in such ventures by either being obvious or obsessive. Some of the quick thoughts I am jotting down here.

1)    Obsession with buzzwords and catch phrases

The style statement of the hour is ‘buzz words’ and ‘catch phrases’! Those who by hearted such ‘celebrated’ abbreviations, use them anywhere and every where. They try to fit such words even when the usage of the same is not contextual.
“The SLA’s are values of KPI’s which are measure of KVD’s which are CSF for the organization” – Ahhh .. anybody who understand these acronyms can raise their hands !
Apparently it read : “The Service Level Agreements (SLA’s) are values of Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) which are measure of Key Value Drivers (KVD’s) which are Critical Success Factors (CSF’s)  for the organization” !
Sometimes it gets really irritating. PMI(Project Management Institute) is also master in creating such ‘buzz words’ !

Such obsessions sometimes drive away the real topics and the body of presentation will get just fancy. People may fail to covey things in simple way. They fit in buzz words anywhere and everywhere and even create lines and paragraphs just to include these words ! While conveying new philosophies down the line this creates confusion , at least to some extent , no matter the people down the line express it or not!
Common men are generally bit afraid of such words and try to stay away from places where such words are echoed. So beware , when you are about to transmit a management idea / philosophy to down the level, you may be leaving the reader with utter confusion ! Send messages in simple wordings. Use buzzwords if they really need and fit in the context . If you use such abbreviations, try to give expansions and meaning for them.

Because, the intension is not to highlight your knowledge of buzzwords, but to transmit the management philosophy down the level!

2)    Trying to fit elephant into bottle

A very common mistake managers do with system / philosophy implementation is get a ready made solution and try to fit the organization in to that. They completely forget the aim of implementation (The root cause). If the system / philosophy is highly popular , chance of ‘elephant fitting’ high. An organization which is in its early stages should not directly adopt highly sophisticated systems. Its people and business process should grow up to accept such systems. Primavera Enterprise is a very good project management software. Earlier versions (P3 v3.0 and older) where mostly functioned as a scheduling tool. But Primavera V5.0 was a big leap. It almost functions as an ERP for a project management organization. But it is not cost effective for smaller organization.. I would say not even mid size organizations! Well, they can use it , but they will never be able to utilize the full functionality. For them MS project may be a better option. This applies vice-versa as well (For big project management organizations).
The same applies to selection of ERP packages , quality philosophy implementation ..etc
A small organization trying to improve its operating parameters and profit should start from 5 S , instead of going directly implementing Six Sigma ! (Nowadays six sigma specialists come with a heavy price tag as well !)

The essence is :
•    Choose the right tool
•    Configure it for your organization

Fit (or inject) the new thing into your organization , don’t fit your organization in – It wont grow if you do that!

3)    Obsession with experiences from previous employment

When people change companies, they often change their domain as well. The degree of shift varies from a slight change in the routine activities to drastic change the business function or industry. When people join organizations, they bring culture of previous organizations with them. They might have left the previous organization cursing its bad practices and systems. But once they join the new company, they will start praising about their previous organization. I have virtually not seen any one not doing this!
Certain people blindly follow or try to implement things which they used in their previous company. They don’t understand the difference in the business process or demand. They are more concerned about bringing their previous environment back, rather than augmenting the new environment with good features of the old.

Many people fail in business , when they fail to understand that , mankind would never have progressed if men followed things ‘Exactly The Same’ as before ! or ‘Exactly The Same’ as my old company !

The essence is:
    Take good aspects of your previous experiences and augment/ refine the existing with that. Remember, result is the only thing that matters..!

4)    Eat cake with cover

I saw a man walking wearing a trouser with length more than required. The extra length was causing problem for his walk. I asked him why he is doing like that. He told me that it’s a readymade trouser and it is the standard length for that size!

We can see such managers around us, who use tools/procedure which they don’t require, simply because it came with the original package. They themselves and force his colleagues to spent time and resource on things which has got no value addition.

I have seen organizations with unwanted cumbersome procedures (mostly ERP related) just because some one created it or it came with the standard package!
I strongly believe concepts like ‘Agile project management’ came up since people were fed up of the non value adding extensive documentation associated with most of the PM systems , which completely shift the attention from delivery to ‘hard & fast’ procedures (A situation where, adherence to system and procedures become priority to product delivery)

The essence is:
Cut off the unwanted (non value adding) operations you perform. Review systems and procedures in context of changing business environment. Make it ‘Lean’ buy cutting away or burning out the ‘fat’!

5)    Because my neighbor has it!

Always the other side is green! Mankind rarely escapes from the temptation of imitating his neighbor. They often forget about the utility of the thing which they want to secure. Since we humans operate business, such obsessions are quite natural!

The other guy has got SAP , I also need it.
My competitor upgraded planning software to enterprise version – I also should do that!

The essence is:
Never get driven by some one else’s passion. Go forward with own objectives and goals. You may observe your surroundings and learn new things. You may also compare yourself with your competitors. But before you act, keep in mind about the end results of your action and suitability of the same in the current context.

In short, make your actions result oriented. That is the secret of success!

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