stupid name for the blog u say?? i think so too but ur reading this so atleast it served some purpose ;)
the initial plan was to probably finish all our mini projects and then write a blog on each of the main topics. that plan got altered ( did u know as each day passes without learning, ur memory of what u learnt drops exponentially if u dont reflect on it??? YEAH!! NEITHER DID I!!) to then writing my blog on the topics which i had already learnt about till last wednesday and then whatever i learnt after to write the same day i learnt it!! this plan too went right out the window due to some UNFORSEEN circumstances!!!
So we can very safely say i really suck at keeping plans dont i??? :)
before i start off i just thought i should give u a friendly warning- NEVER MAKE PLANS WITH IVO!!!! IVO, ur jinxed man!!! ;) two plans we've put, one sucked real bad and the last one was last week!! im not hanging wit u anymore!!! ;)
okay!!! have a lottt that i need to write about!!! and i had better get down to it!
over the last two weeks, most of the stuff i learnt, academically atleast, has pretty much centered around
so over this blog, i am just gonna write about what i have learnt and what i feel. Most of the facts should be valid and right. some of my conclusions might be off and most of my attempts at co relating all the above topics is most certainly gonna be off, but then this is my blog and im told by a very reliable source i can write whatever i feel like writing even if its rubbish!! ;)
starting of with the Iso model with my understanding and knowledge, personally i dont hold the Iso model in the highest regard. This is a judgment i made on the limited knowledge possessed by me but not much that i have read till now makes me believe that the iso is a better model to follow than the efqm model. Iso seems more to me like a tag that companies use as a marketing stratergy in order to attract customers by suggesting their products have quality. If ofcourse the model is taken seriously and implemented in the right spirit it still has some draw backs. some of them are 1- it is audited by a third person and to most employees in a company, this is just some more extra paper work than some useful exercise that helps improve the company. 2- talking about auditing ( which is the process taken up in the iso model) the auditing is done by a auditor. It depends so much on the auditor and its not like every one of the auditors have the same perception of quality or the same experience, etc. 3- stayin with the topic of auditors itself, how many of us would actually enjoy somebody who has no relation with the kinda work we do telling us what we are doing is wrong??? hazarding a guess i would not say too many would actually enjoy it! that is exactly what happens in the case of an auditor auditing a company. 4- just because a certain procedure is followed it does not mean that the expected and hoped for results are obtained. that is what is assumed here. 5- The managers have no need to think differently and hence just tend to follow a fixed routine ( leaving the brains by the door syndrome!!)
what i have mention above is just some of the drawbacks of the iso. Compared to this the Efqm model seems so much better. Though i still have reservations about how realistically it can be used in all types and kinds of organisations in different environmental and cultural situations, i would prefer to have the efqm over the iso!! not that there are no drawbacks at all in efqm, but the efqm seems far comfortable to use. It has an aura ( dont know if that is the right word to use but still) about how it is suited for the companies situation as it is all about how u intepret the model and how u want to apply it. the key difference between the iso and efqm model is the difference between auditing and self assesment!! auditing is pretty much a single procedure, it is a very straiht forward methord while in the case of self assement there are five different approaches depending on the organisations maturity. Auditing is done on a static standard while self assesment is done dynamically with continuosly changing benchmarks. auditing is done by a third party like a auditior or so. in the case of self assesment it is completely implemented within the company by employees of the company. what happen during auditing is tat the evidence of the performance of the organisation is compared with a given standard to see if it complies with the said standard or not. while in the case of self assesment, it helps identify the strengths and weaknesses as well as the opportunities for the development of the organisation in the areas mentioned in the excellence model. during auditing only one process of the organisation is audited at one time as auditing is a function based process while in the case of self assesment, it covers all the functions and processess in the organisation.To my mind, however the one major advantage in the efqm model is that it involves all the employees of the company in the process unlike in the iso model... involving al the employees brings us nicely to organisational learning
Organisational learning- a learning organisation is the term given to a company that facilatates the learning of its members and is also continuously transforming itself!! it is essential for a company to be a learning organisation if it is to remain competitive.. any organisation needs to maintain its knowledge about new processes, products, understand its outside environment and help achieve creative solutions using the knowledge and skills of all in the organisation.the basis for the organisational learning cycle is obtained from the individual learning cycle. the individual learning cycle is -experience-observation-conceptualization-experiment. its how any individual undergos an experience, then reflects on it and sees how it can be used in his situation and then goes on to apply his idea and then learn from the output/ result, which then again starts the cycle all over again! The processes associated with O.L are divided into major types -knowledge acqusition ( obtaining the knowledge from different sources) - information disribution ( spreading the information received from different sources i.e. sharing in order to generate new information) - information intepretation ( the distributed information is intepreted in different ways) and - organisational memory ( th knowledge is stored away for future use)
the different types of learning in the organisation is divided into two types, single loop and double loop learning. In single loop learning, it is linked to incremental change where an organisation tries out new methods and tactics and attempts to get rapid feedback on their consequence in order to make continuous adjusments and adaptations. it is about detection and correction within a given set of variables. in double loop learning, it involvs changing the governing variables themselves. It is associated with radical changes like change in management, etc!!
Talking about Benchmarking......benchmarking is all about how a company takes up the process of gathering data and knowledge from other companies in order to lead the company to become market leaders in their field. This is done by achieving continuous improvements in all areas like services, products, processes, etc.
in simple terms bench marking is all about how the senior management look around other companies ( not necessarily their direct competitors but all successful companies in general) and try to see where their own company is not doing too well or can improve to reach the level of excellence achieved by the model company and then they try to apply that to their own company!!
benchmarking from what i understood anyway is very closely connected to the concept of organisational learning, which in turn is very closely connected to the EFQM model.. benchmarking like organisational learning requires the effort of everybody in the company!! each individual needs to realise where the company could improve and then pull up their socks in order to get it done and achieve their targets. this could be done via self assesment or by their boss ( ala efqm or the iso- self assesment or somebody else auditing them)...
benchmarking again needs the cooperation of the entire organisation and not only that of the managements decisions and efforts... everybody has to learn and
adapt ( which is again another concept of organisational learning)....
so now we come to the question of how do we do benchmarking??? meaning wat is the need for it?? how to apply it???
well when applying the concept of benchmarking, it is essential that there is the right resources and the right ppl undertake the process of benchmarking. the company for starters need to know the actual reality situation in the process or department which they are trying to improve!! Also the company needs to set a realistic target to achieve! There is no point in setting a target which is unachievable. Hence for setting the right kinda target, it is necessary for them to undergo a detailed assesment in order to see where they really stand in the scheme of things and then set their goals in accordance.
Just copying a company's policies or structures also does not help ( ala the very sucessful model of toyota) but it needs to be altered such that it works best in the situation the company is in! learning from the failed cases also helps as that will help u to realise others mistakes and avoid doing the same!
so i think its reasonably safe to say organisational learning, benchmarking and the efqm model are all very closely connected and pretty much form the foundation for a successful company!!! any wonder then that we are studying all this in management for business excellence???
PS: i do realise its not very well put together; sorry!!! hopefully by the end of the year wit practice ill be able to streamline my thoughts and put it down in a very lucid and methodical manner.