May 08, 2013

KBAM: Environmental Management– Controlling System

What- In the environmental management, there are two main environmental technologies: controlling and preventing. This blog will talk about the controlling system. One of the method in the controlling system is End-of-Pipe Solution System. The strength is that it does not need to be designed in the product so any organisation can implement it in the existing process. It seeks to minimise the waste AFTER the the pollution created, and it is a cost effective manner.

Why- This is a very straightforward approach for a company that cares about the environment. The general process of this system is very clear. Although it may not be an effective system to collect and disposal waste for any types company, it is still a good starting point to the company's environmental management. It also gives a me a direction to think about how WaveRiders or my future company can deal with the waste and pollution.

How- I am thinking about how to apply this system into WaveRiders company. I understand that this system will need to be adjusted before implement it. Because I just start to study the End-of-Pipe Solution System, there are many questions in my mind that need to be answer by reading the Christie's book. It is too early to tell you that how can I apply it to WaveRiders Company thoughtfully. I will start to identify what possible wastes could be generated in each following stages: production process, pollution capture, disposal, product consumption and disposal. Moreover, it seems that this system could be only applied to the production process, and it ignores the water usage or electricity wates created by employees. Therefore, an additional approach need to be found out to help WaveRiders to achieve the Environmental friendly excellence.


April 30, 2013

KBAM: Software is NOT wrong

What- Is there anything wrong with the software, say SAP? Personally I don't think there is anything wrong with the software, but it is the PEOPLE who get/use it wrong. Tress or followers are planted by human being. If they become harmful or they even start to "eat" people, are there anything wrong with these plants? No. It is the PEOPLE who grow them, and same it is the software engineering who design the SAP, not computer itself design the software. The point I am trying to make is there is no exact right or wrong. SAP may be seriously wrong here, but may bring lots of benefits in the other place. People who like to gain benefit from using SAP should have received proper training and guidelines. If the company fails to train the people to understand how to use SAP, how to read the output, then it is company's mistakes.


Update:

This is an very interesting article about using Excel or PPT by mistakes could lead to "disaster". (http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/04/microsoft-excel-the-ruiner-of-global-economies/)


KBAM: You or the Company?

What- Would you share all of your skills and knowledge no matter what position you are in for the company? Personally, I will. However, there is an assumption that first the knowledge is not harmful or toxic, and secondly the company I am working for is the company I love. Why will I share? People argue that protecting the from being stolen is very important, because knowledge is wealth and power. It is like a secret weapon that master the whole world (although it does not exist yet). This opinion is not wrong, but the reason I would like to share is because I am part of the company, and I am part of the system.

Why- I am part of the company, my purpose here is to create and generate benefits not only for the company but also for the whole people who are working for the company. It is true that if you hold you secret knowledge, you can gain a lot of short term benefit for YOURSELF. But you are part of the company, and you don't want the company go bankrupt. Therefore, sharing you knowledge with everyone in the organisation could not only bring the organisation into a new level but also the people will gain benefits. And then if the company increases, say sales because of your knowledge, you will also gain benefits from it. And this is an infinite positive cycle of contributing your knowledge to the company. In addition, it helps to break down the barrier of sharing knowledge if you can challenge. It may be the case that some people want to share the knowledge, but they are afraid of the system. Since you are the first person to break it the system, you gain your respect and create a rich knowledge sharing environment.

How- There is nothing wroing with sharing your skills/knowledge with the all the people in the world as long as the knowledge is not generally harmful (or morally acceptable). There are huge potential benfits of it. Imagine if the World Wide Web has not been shared and it is patent, how would the end up now?



P.S. I will be very much appreciate if we can adjust the size of font. Because in a 17 inch screen the words here are really small. In addition, if we can add colour to some words to emphases, it will also be great.


Knowledge Management: situation awareness

What- It was a surprised to me that "situation awareness" is a very interesting topic to study and a big issue in our world. I did not realise that this topic could be turned into a workshop. The reason is most of the cases study are about people making serious mistake because of different kinds of reasons or excuses. It is very apparently to me that how easily they can avoid mistakes IF they can give themselves a little bit more time to think about the issue they were facing. The session was fruitful because it reorganised my knowledge of making decision.

Why- The most important thing to think about after the workshop is what I can do to avoid making the similar mistake if I am in that kind of situations. I have many experiences and learning point of lacking situation awareness, and I learn from the mistake to avoid making the same mistakes again and again. Lacking situation awareness exists in my daily life although it has not been a threatening factor. But if I now ignores the potential problem of "situation awareness", in the future it may damage my business or even my family.

How- There is no perfect solutions for such area of improvement. I think, for me, is to maintain a peaceful and calm mind. Since everyone is unique and different, I am not sure that it works for everyone. I find very very often that if my mind is "quite" and peaceful, I can spot and observe many many hidden things. I can think and establish the connections between the dots much more quickly than my mind is in flying. The example is I am sure very few people can read and really think about the content when they are running, playing, or even jumping on the ground. The underlying principle is to maintain focus, to reduce the distractions. And the bottom line is to control and master the mind of body.


KBAM: Environmental Management

What-Environmental management has a very important role in Asset Management. It is quite often related to Social Cooperate Responsibility. Why company invests time and financial resources in environmental management? One of the reasons is to create a environmentally sound image of the company, or it is to achieve sustainable growth by reducing cost of production. It is a win-win strategy for most of the company that cares about environmental management.

Why-Companies are run by people. And people are part of the nature and part of the big environment. I am very sure that a company can achieve very short term benefit but can not survive for a long time if it ignores the environmental factors. The cost of the ignorance could be huge. As Hutchinson and Hutchinson (1997) point out, being a environmental friendly has an opportunity to increase competitiveness. The idea of Environmental Management inspires and tells me to not forget the impact of environment, either positive or negative, a company can make.

How-Environmental management is certainly matter to an resturant. One of the key concern of most of the resturant in China is about reducing and recycling waste. Especially, if a resutrant is open in the resedential area, which is quite often the case in China, how to reduce the fog from cooking is important. In addition, I am thinking to design by myself or ask expert to design a water recycle system. I think the water for washing vegetables can be reused for flushing the toilets. There are many little things I can do to, and the most important thing is to share and increase the awareness of environment. Shorterism may be the main barriers and challenges.


April 22, 2013

RDM in module reflective writing – the decision tools

What- there is still no explicit knowledge about what kind of tools are designed for what kind of situation. For example, in WaveRiders case, we use SWOT to evaluate the marketing strategy. However, this approach is arguable. And in my opinion, SWOT may not be useful to evaluate a sing option of advertisement. Instead, SWOT could be more useful to understand company' overall position. In addition, there are many decision tools that serve nearly the same function and hence they are somehow overlap. It is important to select and identify one or two useful decision tool. But the question is how to do it. Why- this is the time issue. A small company like WaveRider does not have lots of time and financial resources for allowing them to use mutiplie decisions tools at the same time. Hence, getting the first decision tool right become crucial important. This is like the idea of DFSS. The difference is to get the decision tool right at the first time. How- evaluation and ask question are important. When team has finally decided to use that specific decision tool, ask questions before they start to implement it. Expert and experienced people can be useful to provide external opinions.

RDM In Module Reflective Writing– the role of data

What- when making a decision, data are very important. A good source of data could give management team a good result. And of course wrong data collected could lead to very unfavourable outcomes. For example, when using cost-benefit analysis, the financial figured used for the calculation must be corrected since the whole cost-benefit analysis relies heavily on data. Why- the role of data is important. But the problem is how to ensure that the data are collected correctly? There are two ways of ensuring the data are valid. First of all, it may be useful to double check the data again after they collect. Secondly, data collection can use different sources to validate the trueness of data. How- in the past I was focus too much on how to use decision tool, and ignore the possibility that the data may not be correct. From now on, I will question the sources of data and whether they are indeed correct or now. But the ways to validate are still to be explored and study.

April 17, 2013

KBAM – More Questions after Studying Asset Management


What- Asset Management is not only about managing fixed asset, for example, property, machines, chairs etc. I think Levitt (2005)'s definition on asset management really helps me to understand what asset can be defined, and this definition captures the core idea of what asset can be. The definition of asset is:

"Asset: may be a machine, a building or a system."

Therefore, according to Levitt (2005) asset could be a system. What kinds of this system could be then? It can be a system of health and safety management, a system of risk management and so on.

Why- The understanding of what asset really is gives me a total different thinking about asset management. This is so important because my old thinking on asset is only about tangible asset, and asset management is about how to manage the fixed asset. After I finish reading the lecture notes on Asset Management, I start to have a much broader understanding of what asset could be.

How- This learning point could be applied to our mini-project effectively. Our team should think about how does health and safety affect the WaveRiders, and how can they be managed more effectively? And of course, we shour first identify the areas of improvement of WaveRiders Company in health and safety. And think about why it is important? How can it be improved?

However, after reading the lecture notes on Asset Management, I come up with these questions:

1. After reading the content in Facility Management, I realise that most of the journals are talking about the benefits, advantages and positive of facility management. It is very interesting that they all tend to encourage facility management because it creates strategic advantages, competitive advantages etc (http://mood.wmg.warwick.ac.uk/mod/page/view.php?id=2532). What are the downside of facility management? What are the disadvantages? And what are the barriers? Of course, the cost could be a main factor that may prevent the company from the implementation of facility management.

2. After reading the content from Moodle, I knwo that asset management is central to provide a good working environment and supportive of core business activities. But I am not sure how does asset management, or facility management, benefits the core bussiness activities? And what does core business activities mean?

3. Why EFQM model is the ultimate goal of working on Asset and Knowledge Management? How does EFQM link with Asset and Knowledge Management?

4. How about people in the organisation? Are they part of "asset"?


March 11, 2013

Reflective writing on RDM (Day 3)

What- Is focusing too much on the figures a good decision making ? No. For WareRider Company presentation, there is no doubt that financial figures, such as cost, NPV, ROI, profit, are important. But our team point out that financial firgures only give you a corner picture of the whole dicision making process, hence it is limited and bias.

Why- Business world is complex and changing every day. The financial figue made it today could be unvalid tomorrow. Think about what is the impact on the environment, how does the decision influence environment; think about social, how does the decision affect poeple social life? Or in the other way, how will environment affect our decision making? Although I understand that using too many analysis tools could cost too much time and lead to more questions, it goes backs to the question what tools are best ideal for the organisation to choose and how to use it wisely.

How-Do not use only decision tree or cost-benefit analysis. Most of the team done a good job on balancing the tools used, for example, AHP, SWOT and so on. However, it is important to state that how does the other tool affect the decision have already made on by using decision tree? Why the change on the decision or why no change on the decision?


Reflective writing on RDM (Day 5)

What-In making decision, it is very important to gather the relevant information. During our presentation for WaveRider Company, we talked about Political environment and how will it affect our decisions on choosing the location. However, after the presentation, we realise that it is not necessary to discuss it during the presentation

Why-Two things matter. First is time is limited. This is a total 16 hours work presentation. If we focus too much on unrelevant information, the result could be use more time and less accurate result. Collecting data is very time consuming, collecting and analysing the data collected is much more harder. Secondly, using unrelevant data or analysis does not help make any further decision. It may contradicts for what we have found and hence cause confusion.

How-Analyse the case wisely first. Do not go straight into analysis tools although they seem to be very cool. For example, we use ignore the political and legal factors in using PESTLE for WaveRider Company because those are the unrelevant information.


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