Death Of An Outstanding Plant Manager On EgyptAir flight MS804 | Bustle.com

Ahmed Helal, Plant Manager, hosting the Economy Minister

Ahmed Helal, Plant Manager, hosting the French Economy Minister on April 6, 2016

One of the passengers who died in the crash of EgyptAir flight MS804 was Ahmed Helal, the 40-year-old manager of a Procter & Gamble plant in Amiens, France. He was a Frenchman from Egypt, on his way to visit his father, and the outpouring of grief from his employees in the plant, his managers at corporate, the city council of Amiens and many elected officials clearly indicates that he was no ordinary plant manager.

The workers interviews on the French BFM TV network has this to say about him:

  • Worker 1: "Very, very close. It wasn't just a handshake; it was an embrace. It always came from the heart. It started with 'you are my family.'
  • Worker 2: "When we had something to ask of him, he was listening to everybody."
  • Workers 3 and 4: "Always smiling, always listening to the employees. He did a lot for the employees, since he arrived, and for the plant too."
  • Pascal Grimaud, union representative: "We are crushed. As a plant manager, he has brought us so much. Ahmed, for us, was a friend. He called us his family. He treated everybody the same. We are very sad. I can't find the words. I was on the phone with him two hours before he took off. All the employees at the Amiens site, we are all orphans."

The Vice President and General Manager of P&G for France and the Benelux, Christophe Duron expressed his sadness for the loss of Ahmed Helal, and said, "Ahmed wasn't just a brilliant site director, Ahmed was above all an exceptional human being. He was the boss of the Amiens plant."

Michel Baudin's comments:
I never met Ahmed Helal, and actually never heard of him in his lifetime, but I have had the privilege of working with plant managers who, like him, could successfully lead their work force, deliver for the company, and make the plant a valued corporate citizen in the local community.

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Medical Taylorism, Lean, and Toyota | P.Hartzband and J. Groopman | New England Journal of Medicine

Seen today in the New England Journal of Medicine, under the signature of Harvard Medical School professors Pamela Hartzband and Jerome Groopman:

"The TPS is a set of principles designed for the manufacture of inanimate objects in a factory. We accurately depict two essential elements of this system that are directly derived from Taylorism: standardization and time efficiency. In his classic study of the application of Toyota principles to the manufacture of cars in the United States, Paul Adler describes how 'Each job was analyzed down to its constituent gestures, and the sequence of movements was refined and optimized for maximum performance. Every task was planned in great detail, and each worker was expected to perform that task in the prescribed manner.' Adler refers to 'the intelligent interpretation and application of Taylor’s time and motion studies' as key to its success. He states, 'The reference to Taylor may be jarring, but it fits.'

[...] Other medical professionals who, like us, have experienced the toxic effects of obsessive standardization and time efficiency in the care of patients have expressed concerns similar to ours. In an era of accountability, we believe that those who advocate the application of Lean principles to medical care must take responsibility for the unintended consequences resulting from these elements shared by Taylorism and Toyota practices."

Michel Baudin's comments:

The authors base their claim that the Toyota Production System (TPS) is "derived from Taylorism" from the writings of Paul Adler, a business school professor at USC who has written many papers over the past 40 years, a few of which touched on TPS and NUMMI, the first plant to apply this system in the US and now operated by Tesla. I met Paul Adler at Stanford in the late 1980s, and found his insights on NUMMI quite valuable. It was also clear to me that Paul Adler was not an engineer, that TPS, to him was one interest out of many, and that his knowledge of the subject was only at the business school level, as reflected, for example in an expression like "Taylor’s time and motion studies.” Taylor did time studies; Frank and Lilian Gilbreth, motion studies with, as stated in other posts, very different objectives.

This distinction, perhaps too subtle for business schools, is of paramount importance to anyone who wants to understand TPS, which owes much more to the Gilbreth's work than to Taylor's. Taylor wanted to prevent workers from slacking off; the Gilbreths, to observe the way work was being done and make it easier. And the medical profession has a good reason to remember Frank and Lilian Gilbreth: the way operating rooms function today is based on the analysis and recommendations they made 100 years ago.

The Internet of Things in Toyota Operations | Laura Putre | Industry Week

toyota-logo"... Trever White, divisional information officer, noted that his team is regularly on the plant floor, building good relationships so team members can articulate what their challenges are. One challenge they recently identified was the need to build a containment system to more quickly identify and contain a quality issue when it emerges..."

Sourced through Scoop.it

Michel Baudin's comments:

As described in this article, advanced IT for Manufacturing, at Toyota, starts from the needs of the shop floor and works its way up. First, you build systems that take root because they help in daily operations, Then you extract and summarized data from these systems for the benefit of managers and engineers.

ERP, on the other hand, starts from the needs of management and works its way down, and I think it is the key reason why ERP success stories are so hard to find.

5S at Google?

In How Google Works, on p. 38, executives Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg wrote:

"When offices get crowded, they tend to get messy too. Let them. When Eric [Schmidt] first arrived at Google in 2001, he asked the head of facilities, George Salah, to clean up the place. George did, and was rewarded with a note the next day from Larry Page, saying, 'Where did all my stuff go?' That random collection of stuff was an icon of a busy, stimulated workforce. [...] It's OK to let your office be one hot mess."

So the company whose mission is "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful" has no use for 5S in its offices. The explanation they give is that Google employees are "smart creatives" who do their best work in a messy environment, like Pablo Picasso in his studio. But I can think of another reason: the information that matters to the googlers' work is the stuff behind their screens, not on their desks. It's in Google's data centers, and they work on it with Google's software.

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Lilian Gilbreth, Mother of Modern Management | Harish Jose | LinkedIn Pulse

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Lilian Gilbreth: "Household tasks were divided between the children. We had three rows of hooks, one marked "Jobs to be done," one marked "Jobs being done" and a third marked" Jobs completed" with tags which were moved from hook to hook to indicate the progress of the task. " (1930 Speech to National Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs, New York)

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.linkedin.com

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Introduction to R for Excel Users | Thomas Hopper | R-bloggers

"...The quality of our decisions in an industrial environment depends strongly on the quality of our analyses of data. Excel, a tool designed for simple financial analyses, is often used for data analysis simply because it’s the tool at hand, provided by corporate IT departments who are not trained in data science.

Unfortunately, Excel is a very poor tool for data analysis and its use results in incomplete and inaccurate analyses, which in turn result in incorrect or, at best, suboptimal business decisions. In a highly competitive, global business environment, using the right tools can make the difference between a business’ survival and failure. Alternatives to Excel exist that lead to clearer thinking and better decisions. The free software R is one of the best of these..."

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.r-bloggers.com

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From Troubleshooter To Leader | Bodo Wiegand | Wiegand's Watch

Bodo WiegandBodo Wiegand heads the Lean Management Institute, which is the German affiliate of the Lean Enterprise Institute. In his latest newsletter, on Wiegand’s Watch, he discusses the need for managers to go beyond the role of troubleshooter and become leaders.

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The Downside of Six Sigma | Don Peppers | LinkedIn Pulse

"Revered for decades as one of the world’s most innovative companies, 3M lost its innovative mojo when it began using Six Sigma to try to improve its operational efficiency. James McNerney, the CEO named in 2000, was a Jack Welch protégé from GE. He introduced the Six Sigma discipline as soon as he took the helm of the firm, streamlining work processes, eliminating 10% of the workforce, and earning praise (initially) from Wall Street, as operating margins grew from 17% in 2001 to 23% by 2005.

But when McNerney tried to apply the Six Sigma discipline to 3M’s research and development processes it led to a dramatic fall-off in the number of innovative products developed by the company during those years."

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.linkedin.com

Michel Baudin's comments:

Don Peppers describes "eliminating 10% of the work force" as part of implementing the "Six Sigma discipline," but I don't recall seeing anything on that subject when learning about Six Sigma.

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