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November 02, 2012

Give me exact definition!

When person starts doing research of the particular subject, the first thing that he or she needs to do is to identify that subject. But is it always posible to provide only one definition?

My PMA is about company's transformation to a Learning Organization. So, consiquently, I tried first to understand what actually Learning Organization mean? The problem is that even the founder - Peter Senge gives 12 defenitions to LO! He writes that LO is the place "where people create the results they desire....., that creates its own future...., that practices system thinking...., that is flexible, receptive/adaptive to change...", finally, he makes the definition even more vague by telling that LO is the place "that comprises five disciplines".

I tried to combine all his thoughts and find my own definition, just to understand what LO is. Unfortunatelly, all my attempts have failed. But in the end I realised that sometimes we try to provide definition to almost everything so hard, that we deprive ourselves the opportunity to think more globally and dynamicly! May be sometimes we don't need the clear definition..... and may be it is better to find your own definition in the end?

My own definition of LO (how I understand it): a business excellence phylosophy through people.

November 01, 2012

Search then write or….write then search?

When I went to PMA workshop our tutor told us - "don't go straight way to the library to search materials for writing PMA, think first, try to collect your previous knowledge and experience in that field! Finally, do mind mapping and only after that you can check the librury". So, I did exactly what he had proposed us. I tried to collect all my knowlege together and made an outline of how my PMA should look like....I spend the whole day just thinking and re-engeneering the PMA's structure.

My plan was - to create a draft of my PMA structure and then fill in it with materials that I found. So, basically, I expected to adapt the materials to my outline....How wrong I was !!!! The next day after, I found out that it almost impossible to adapt the articles to my outline. Moreover, I found many interesting ideas that I wished to discribe in my PMA... So, what is happened next...I realised that it was no longer me who was creating the shape of PMA, but articles and other materials that gave a holistic picture of how PMA should look like.

So, what does come first? Idea or sources, which later provide that idea?

October 30, 2012

Questions, questions, questions….

Before starting to wright PMA, I need to be sure that I am clearly understend the topic. The problem is that my logic is so complicated that even in trivial subject I will have some questions about understanding.

For example: I took the 3rd PMA topic. Describe how you would transform your enterprise into a learning organization. How would Deming's System of Profound Knowledge and the EFQM Excellence Model help you to achieve the transformation?

My question: Which concept is broader? Learning organization can be a part of SPK or EFQM, so it might support the implementation of the EFQM by deploying the principles and practice of OL. The SPK and EFQM are much broader than LO so they can hardly help to transform company to LO. It is more likely that OL can support the implementation of the EFQM and SPK, and not the opposite. So problem is - how can framework (SPK, EFQM) help to implement a tool (LO)? Usually tool helps to implement a framework, right?

The only way how I can answer this question is by assuming that I suppose to find a tool or principles in those two studies and implement them in LO. Am I right guys?

Please, write me if someone have other thoughts about this problem!

October 29, 2012

As it turned out, make the PMA choise is not so easy

To start your PMA, first of all, you have to identify the topic that you will work on. So what topic should I choose? Tricky question.

  1. I determine that it much intersting for me to apply theory on practice. In that case, I exclude the 4th topic, because it is all about comparison of three different models or systems.
  2. Then I realized that I hardly know anything about the supply chains and partnership relationship, so it will take me much time just to get basic overview on this subject. And I also have no experience in that field, so I won't be able to analyse criticaly the methods of partnership relationship.
  3. Finaly, I had to deside on one of two topics. This was most difficult part for me. Firstly, I desided to take a topic about continuous improvement. BUT! The problem was, that if I wanted to apply one of the continuous improvement models, I would had to justify why this was the wright choice. To justify, I need to have more information about company. For exampe continious improvement can be focused on wastes, redusing variation or focus on constraints (TOC). Also if we use one of this theory we need to understand what output or final result company want to get.
  4. Consiquently, I desided to take the 3rd project about LO, as I don't need to prove my choice. LO is given.

To sum up, I have to say that I have already spent 6 hours for deciding my PMA. I am sure that I spent those hours effectively, because while I tried to find out something more about topics, I read few very interesting articles about various comtinuous improvement models and theoties, I compaired them and now I have better knowlege about that area.

October 28, 2012

Reading and effective note–making – my "POMODORO" experience

Writing about web page;

On Friday, I went to the Reading and Note-Making Workshop. I was filling unsertain about how should I search and catch all important information for PMA. To be more precise, my problem was poor concentrationon doing the same work. I mean...How many of you have ever find yourself reading article or book and in the end you realize that didn't get it, beacouse all the time you were thinking about irrelevant things?

This workshop gave lots of valuable advices of how to stay focused on reading and at the same time make notes. Our tutor told us about POMADORO technique. Check it! I found it very useful.

pomodoroThere are 5 basic rules, which make your reading much effective. So there they are:

  1. Find out how much efford the activity reqired from you. In my case, I just put the timer how much time I spent on reading and analizing one article. - 1 hour for 10 pages
  2. Protect yourself from internal and external intoruptions. I just put my phone in the bag and log out the skype.
  3. Next time reading article I have to spend the same time but with the skimming the text before and reviewing after.
  4. Plan your time according to the time when you are most productive
  5. Use a pointer (finger or pen) to guide your eyes down the page. I allways neglected this rule, but just today I spend 20 min less reading the article.

For me this thechnique is a tool to stay focused on the task and spend time effectively. These are basic things that probably everybody know, but usually neglect. This rules can be also applied to other working processes.

October 24, 2012

Team work. Part 3

Today our team performance was bad. Ade was presenting our work. I know that he did his best but still that was not enought. I felt really sad about it and I was trying to analyse what did go wrong? Where did we made mistakes in out team work. Later I found some of them, but still there is many things that need to be improved. The only thing that I am feeling really sorry about is that I have only one week more to improve our team work. I think we need more time!

The areas for team improvement:

  1. Don't split the tasks. Our mistake was that we usualy had a short briefing, created the project outline, splited the tasks and then went to our home to work separet. This was so wrong, because next time we met we got our parts which had no connection and corelation.
  2. Work together. While working as a team everytime people comunicate and gain new useful experience, knowledge.
  3. Spend time on searching materials, than combine your knowledge. Again TOGETHER! Of course, we did spend sometime to find useful materials but again we we searching the particular area of the topic. So we didn't got the problem's whole clear picture.

To conclude, the main point of being a team, to work TOGETHER. When we were working together we spent less time on the whole project that we were used to. Moreover, we were much productive and to be ernest, I just enjoied it more! For me, the join and happyness is the best indicators that I am on the right way.

This is just a few points that I found out. It is not so difficult to admit mistakes, but much harder to change your way of thinking and acting.

October 23, 2012

Implementation of EFQM

Today we had a presentation "ISO 9000 vs EFQM" we had a discusion about where we can apply the model. Should it be applied to the whole company or it can be applied to just one specific department? I am NOT talking about apllication of one EFQM Model component, I am talking about implementation of the whole model to one business area.

THINK GLOBALY, ACT LOCALY - this is how I understand the EFQM implementation into the company. Operating the company's mission during EFQM self-assessment and creation of local inisiatives.

I realy can not understand why the Model should be implemented to the whole business system! It seems more logicale for me that creation of excellence starts from the small team. After improvement of team work we can reengenier the work of the particuler department and after department the whole company may use that successful experience and implement EFQM Model to other business areas.

Of course, if we deside to implemet the EFQM to the small group, we will need to chek if the company has the clear vision of its mission and use the "line of sight" to provide this vision to every person.

October 19, 2012

Mind Mapping – structure your thoughts!

Writing about web page

_2012-10-19_202855.pngYesterday I tried to do Mind Mapping. I didn't expect that it would be so difficult to structure your thoughts. I tried to put on map only future expectations, but still it took me much more time that I guess it should. I found out that this Mapping is a solution for those, who absorb information visually.

How it can be used? Well, now I want to use it really works for me.

  • Studies (PMA, MSc Projects, Team projects, literature review). Today I create a mindmap to define the topic for MSc Project.
  • Time-management
  • Finding a job. In the nearest future I want to try use it in the job market research. You can just define the business sectors that you are interested in and than add preferable companies in that sectors.
  • Puting the objectives. Will help to remember about self-development in music, art, history and science.

I have only one question - Why companies don't encourage their wokers to use this essentional tool??? I know many people that can avoid everyday "fire fightings" by starting to use infographic design in their work.

However, after 4 hours of doing Mind Mapping I was more fascinated by puting all my thoughts on map rather than actually stand up from the table and take some actions. May be this is the answer to my privious question. I am not saying that this usefull tool prevents me from taking the actions, but it certanly gets all my attention. Be carefull Arina!)))

October 18, 2012

Not just being good it is about being SUSTAINABLE good

Chris Hakes - an expert of EFQM came today to talk about Excellence Model. In the begining he mensioned that nowadayes to be good is not enough, a company should be sustainable good. I like this word sustainable, it sounds like something you can rely on, trust, be sure that it will work....But what does this sustanability involve?

EFQMFirstly, it keeps the target unreachable because of the continious improvement of all parts of the business. That mean the people in organization are in the constant process of reaching the target. To my mind, this is a great benefit for the people who works there as keeping our targets high all the time encourage us to develop our knowlege and skills. As a result, people are constantly developing and being trained due to achieve the high performance. This brings us to another grate benefit - to being satisfide with your job, as you can see the impact that you create to reaching company's targets and feeling aprishiated of being developed.

To sum up, while reaching sustainable improvement company also gets high-level of people satisfaction and motivation. As for me, these are two main factors that encourage me to work in the company. Many thanks for EFQM that provides that sastainable good in all aspects of the business!

October 14, 2012


How to succed in team work? I was pretty sure that I knew the answer for this quastion. From my privious work experience I just follow instructions of my team leader and carried out my part of the work efficiently and on time. If I wasn't chosen as a team leader for the first project I would probably never know what the real team work is about! This is what I found out.....

I tried to define the roles in team work:

  1. There are should be a team-leader, who inspires and motivates every memeber of the team
  2. Also we need a good manager, who can divide responsibilities among the team
  3. The generator of ideas
  4. Few executors, who actualy find materials and combine their knowledge

After being the team leader I made a conclusion that I am a good manager but not a team-leader. I couldn't inspire and motivate people because I was using authoritarian management style which obviously excludes any opportunity to find new solutions using ideas of your team members. So I need to find out the methods of leading people.

To sum up, at the moment I identify team work with parnerships, where everybody is involved in the process and provides ideas not just on their given subject but also helps others to find answers

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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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