All entries for January 2013

January 30, 2013

Leader? – No, thank you!

Thank you, Lorrain, for your comment to my previous entry! First I started to reply to you but then realized that my comment is too big so I decided to place it as a new entry. I share your thoughts concerning the differences between leader and the head of the department. As for another statement that “all successful companies do need a leader” I can’t more then agree! Every company DO NEED a leader BUT…. every company define leader in their own way and usually after giving their own definition it appears that company mix the term “head” with “leader”. However, as was described in previous entry they are two different terms that can’t be interchanged with each other.

There are the following evidence why I think company usually have heads instead of leaders:

  1. Lots of companies apply “theory of power” to teach how leaders should act with their subordinates. As Paul mentioned today, true leader will probably never apply power of position or legitimacy but use it personal power, for example.
  2. Almost every company develops the leadership capabilities, - so, basically, this is a way that they define a leader. However, if a true leader doesn’t fits into company’s definition, does it mean that he or she is no longer a leader?
  3. Big international companies do have a 360 and 180 degree assessment, where they define unofficial leaders. Often these leaders can be subordinates of the head of department, thus, to reduce any risks of conflict between official leader (head) and unofficial one, the later can be redundant. How do you like that? So even, when company identifies a leader, instead of developing his skills, they fire him! I know couple examples from my previous work experience, when leaders were forced to leave company, just because their bosses were not able to compete for the authority.

To sum up, each company defiantly DO NEED leaders, but in reality the HAVE heads of the department, who fit to the organizational structure in the best way.

January 29, 2013

Leader or Head??

What does the LEADERSHIP mean? We are now trying to find exact definition to this term. Everyone have their own way and style for research that eventually help to came up with one definition. Some prefer to identify various interpretation of leadership and combine them into one. Personally, I usually go for comparing and contrasting research term with its synonyms or similar expressions. In that sense, today Paul actually gave me a very good term that I can now compare with leadership.

  1. How we usually identify HEAD of the Department? Does this mean the same as LEADER? These terms are different almost in all aspects:
  2. 1. Head of the Department (HOD) usually act as a senior specialist, who responsible for budget planning, organizing the subject, managing people development, ect. Leader is commonly seen as a person, who teach others by their own example. Additionally, it is not necessary to take managerial position to be a leader.
  3. 2. HOD can be considered as those who plays managerial role in the organization, while leader usually motivates and inspire employees to work better and achieve company’s goals.
  4. 3. Compared to HOD who is, mainly, responsible for a department, leader is more focuses on distributing company’s vision, thus, act on organizational level.

Now, another question is raised – do company, actually, need a LEADER? I am not sure about that. I guess, company needs a person that suits to its corporate culture and organizational system in the best way. Assessment by leadership capabilities can serve as a proof to this. I don’t say that this is how it should be, but stating the fact. Moreover, if consider Vadim Zeland’s theory (“Transurfing of reality”) every company can be seen as a system. As long as you are playing by the rules of that system – you will be successful. But if you try to resist – the system will break you down. In this context, HEAD is more preferable as they are promoted by the system.


January 11, 2013

The purpose of R&M Case

Today we presented our findings concerning R&M Case to other teams and it was obvious that we should put more information about R&M Case and define it better. I think instead of trying to give lots of definitions we should tell about its purpose and, as Umud mentioned, show the process of R&M Case.

As I understood there is a certain situation when we can’t do without R&M Case. For example, when there is one big purchaser that has recently realized that he needs one specific product. After, he sets reliability and maintainability requirements to that product and identifies potential contractors who can fits into these requirements. The requirements are later translated into measurements so that the contractors could work on R&M Case which provides the evidence that company fits into R&M requirements. Later, the tender is organized to compare the contractors. The only way how they can be compared is by R&M CASE REPORT. (So to present this report contractor should follow the R&M Case). As a final stage, the purchaser chooses one of the contractors and sign a contract with him.

The R&M Case also can be defined through the simple line charter:

Purchaser => requirements => contractors => R&M Case => tender  

May be this is not the best definition but this is how I understand the R&M Case.

January 10, 2013

A link to previous experience

As I mentioned in previous blog, we are now doing the fourth topic as our group project. It made me to draw an analogy with our previous CBE project (Comparison of EFQM and ISO:9000).

It seems to me that these two projects are quiet similar to each other. I mean, in case with our CBE project we were basically comparing the excellence framework with the standards, - the same is happening here, when we contrast DFSS (can be defined as methodology with different tools and techniques) and R&M Case (is about contractors who use the standard that allows them to provide evidence that they fits into R&M requirements).

Drawing on that parallel we can assume that DFSS and R&M Case can be different and similar in the same way as EFQM and ISO were. That means that we can assume the following things:

  • In the same way as it happened with EFQM and ISO, the DFSS and R&M Case have different nature of motives. DFSS follows intrinsic motive while R&M Case put more emphasis on extrinsic motives such as winning a tender and getting the contract.
  • The nature of DFSS and R&M Case is also differ as the former provides lots of tools that help to fit into customers’ requirements, whereas R&M Case is very descriptive and specify only what should be done (!!! But doesn’t suggest how to achieve this).

I know that EFQM vs ISO and DFSS vs R&M Case are different things, but the nature of its comparison seems to be quiet the same.

January 08, 2013

S&M Case definitions

Our group is working on R&M Case and I have to say that we really stuck on defining the R&M Case. The problem is that in R&M Guide published by Ministry of Defence we found at least 3 definitions and all of them are vague. Moreover, the more we do research the more we getting confused. There are following definitions:

  • The R&M Case is defined as: “A reasoned, auditable argument created to support the contention that a defined system will satisfy the R&M requirements”.
  • The R&M Case is a progressively expanding body of evidence.
  • The R&M Case is a living document, starting with the conception of a system, to meet a capability and continues to be developed through a number of stages of increasing detail throughout the project.

As can be seen, the R&M Case is defined as an argument, evidence and document. Therefore our group understood R&M Case as a qualitative and quantitative set of documents to ensure that system meets R&M requirements. However, it can be very controversial definition, as R&M Case has its life cycle (CADMID), which suggests that it can be also considered as a process. We still searching for the answer, I hope eventually we will get the answer.


January 05, 2013

Lets define types of actions!

Statistical Process Control involves different types of actions. To sum up in short way, while applying SPC to company’s real process the following actions was taken:

  • Taking actions on the process. This comprises the Voice of the Process identification by using Control Charts. It can be considered as a first step to process improvement as it recognize assignable causes of variation.
  • Taking actions on the process outcomes. This involves the Voice of the Customer identification. Here a person needs to separate acceptable outcomes from unacceptable.
  • Taking actions to align the two voices. As a result of two previous actions, now a person seeks to compare the voice of the process with voice of the customer.

To my mind, this is a basis of SPC and those simple actions can be applied to almost any process. Now, I can easily understand those people in the companies, who put every action on control charts – I try to do the same with all figures that I find. 

January 04, 2013

Fast tips to Statistical Process Control

While writing PMA many interesting points came to my mind and contribute to better knowledge of Six Sigma. These are the following thoughts that can be applied to almost any process:

  1. Identify measures that you daily face with. For example, in fashion retailing company that I was studying, managers were routinely collecting the data, but didn’t know what would happen next – how they would measure the process with that data. Thus, before collecting, identify propose and try to foresee what kind of data you may need for measurement.
  2. Adapt data. It is vital to filter any noise factors from the process. If you don’t, the process behavior chart will be bias and useless and will show you wrong result.
  3. Put the data into the context. The process behavior charts will help to consider information globally and see the whole picture of the process.
  4. After analyzing if the process is under control the voice of the process should be compared with the voice of the customer to find out if the process suits to customers’ expectations.

This is just a small part of SPC – quick tips. I still have lots of questions. But, these basics can be applied not only in terms of Six Sigma project or SPC, they are the rules for business to stay “healthy” and “wealthy” all the time.

January 2013

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Most recent comments

  • I would say knowledge "lean" folks understand the and the need to respect people (share success and … by John Hunter on this entry
  • Come on Cheryl, these all are just my observations based on lectures materials!))) by Arina Borodina on this entry
  • i think u get a lot material to write ur PMA!! good for u by Tzu-i Yang on this entry
  • Your welcome and I couldn't agree more with your post. Indeed many companies have heads and not lead… by Lorraine Karuku on this entry
  • Thank you for comment! And I totally agree with you that "we need good quality leadership to improve… by Arina Borodina on this entry

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