All entries for Sunday 12 June 2016

June 12, 2016

Product Lifecycle Management needs CxO's attention

In industry, PLM is the process of managing the product and the product data during the entire lifecycle – from the concept, through design and manufacturing, to service and disposal. PLM integrates people, data, processes and business systems and provides a product information backbone for companies. In their effort to improve PLM capabilities, executives often invest large amounts of money in modern software with the promise of significant returns. However, not appreciating PLM as a strategic business approach, or having CxOs who are unwilling to understand PLM, can have devastating implications or even close down its PLM program despite previous investments of tens of millions.

The common mistake for failure is that the project was run as an IT project rather than as an initiative to improve the company’s business approach. Not only did this result in an inappropriate project management setup but, perhaps worse, the company had no clear idea of what the value of the PLM initiative was. This is a common problem. Most companies tend to put too little effort into building their PLM strategy and determining the business benefits before embarking on the implementation phase. Therefore, it may lead to the situation that the project team has to jumped into a solution, a large number of undesirable customizations has to be made and the implementation effort soon focuses on the wrong things – solving and discussing problems rather than focusing on achieving business benefits.


service management or/and facility management

Service management should be seen as a key component of the successful facility manager of the future. Every individual, no matter where they are in an organisation and no matter what they do, needs to be respected, appreciated and developed in order to be productive and efficient – not necessarily have a career path, although many will. But some frontliners are perfectly happy staying in their job for their entire work life as they have other priorities in life than pursuing a career – and that’s fair enough; but every person still need to know that their work means something, that their efforts doesn’t go unnoticed and that they are in fact appreciated. If we stick to this kind of thinking - service resources as commodities, trying to squeeze an additional 2 to 3 m2 out to make our service staff run faster – will create a pretty linear relation to how many hours are put into the contract, compared to the value it creates.

Strong leadership skills with the ability to create employee motivation, engagement, respect and development are key ingredients in any successful service model. Adding to this team spirit, individualised training and development plans, multi-skilling and job-rotation are some of the new aspects of Service Management. With these on hand facility manager will have a winning formula on how to differentiate FM and how to create long-term sustainable value.

Service Management is critical for the future success of Facility Management and we all need to improve our game in this area – for our customers, our employees and thereby for our own future. It up to us to get this right and, if we do, the potential is massive.


Facility management… machine or people?


For a business to operate successfully, there must be multiple processes in place that support the core business of an operation-and that's where facility management comes in.

In Facility management, we are often educated to think in linear terms – input vs. output – continuously optimising the production system and the resources allocated, sometimes even referring to staff as if they were commodities. However, employees are not commodities, they are not just resources …they are people. When I look at the FM industry today, I believe that we have become too “numbers driven”. Not least after the financial crises, far too many discussions take place around numbers and about tweaking the last few percentages of efficiency out of a contract to justifying a decrease in operating expenditures. Somuch so, that we sometime forget what Facility management is all about: Helping the organisation we serve to stay competitive and focused. No matter how technical we have made the Facility Management profession, it is still predominantly a people business– carried out by people for people occupying/working in the facilities we so diligently maintain and serve.

Generally speaking, I believe the Facility Management industry needs to further mature its leadership skills and fully understand the psychology behind workforce management. I really like the famous Ritz-Carlton slogan; “We are ladies and gentlemen – serving ladies and gentlemen”.I am sure everybody can see and feel the real message: Ritz Carlton employees are the opposite of commodity service staff and their staff are empowered to act on any given situation they encounter in the interface with a guest and use their own common sense to relieve a situation.


Why do Knowledge management fail?

knowledge is power, especially in the Internet age. That's why companies are trying to figure out precisely what their customers want and how to get it to them before the competitors. Whatever you call it - knowledge management or something else - it's the bedrock that's supporting today's corporate strategies. Trouble is, Most knowledge management projects simply don't hit their stated goals and objectives.Some researchers peg the failure rate of knowledge management projects at 50%. It doesn't mean they fail totally - it means that they don't accomplish what they set out to do.

We have been presented and talked about the people focus and information focus during KM presentation in WaveRiders. However, the most common error, in the real world, is failing to coordinate efforts between information technology and human resources. Don't fall into the trap of framing the KM effort as either a technology problem or a people problem. It isn't an either/or situation - KM needs both to succeed.

Except for not changing organizaitonal culture and performance measurement systems that we have been talked about. There is another issue we haven't mentioned - building the grand database in the sky to house all your company's knowledge. Instead, we should think about "communities of practice". Figure out who works together regularly because they have a job in common and then find out what they want or need to know to be more successful or to save time. Then provide that information - through databases, easy-to-use front-end tools and other means - so users can act on the information. Remember, it can only be defined as "knowledge" if and only if someone actually does something with it.


Organisational Learning and knowledge management. Same or different?

Organizational learning and knowledge management are often considered to be similar and are used as per convenience in business context but there is a small difference between the two term concepts. Organizational learning focuses on individuals, teams, and organizations becoming smarter, that is, the goal is to make individuals in the organization smarter. Knowledge management, on the other hand, stresses on the knowledge that resides in the brains of employees, how to manage it and do something with it so as to enable them in performing their job better so as to achieve organizational objectives better. The basic difference between organizational learning and knowledge management is where one starts and how one gets the results. Successful KM and organizational learning programs probably will end up at the same place in the end - making individuals in the organization smarter and better learners who then use the available knowledge in the best possible way.


The major difference may exist in acedmaic world where researchers trying to study and undersand the relationship of both topics. OL focuses on the process, and KM focuses on the content, of the knowledge that an organization acquires, creates, processes and eventually uses. Another way to conceptualize the relationship between the two areas is to view OL as the goal of KM. By motivating the creation, dissemination and application of knowledge, KM initiatives pay off by helping the knowledge into organizational processes so that it can continuously improve its practices and behaviors and pursue the achievement of its goals. From this perspective, organizational learning is one of the important ways in which the organization can sustainably improve its utilization of knowledge.


For me, knowledge management is, not one of the only way but one of the vital paths, to create a learning organization, which is more than great significance in today's changing world.


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