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Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd(HAL) hails Kaizen!

Kaizen Institute invited to HAL

How about Operational Excellence in aircraft design, build and MRO operations?

Boeing is an inspiring story on how Lean can be  applied to large scale assembly and integration operations.  Their moving line is often quoted as an inspiring lean case. They have also taken lean to their mega design outfit and MRO operations.


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Certified Manufacturing Excellence Practioner program got concluded

We are glad to inform you that the first Certified Manufacturing Excellence Practioner (CMEP) program which was announced by Kaizen Institute & FICCI got concluded with Total Flow Management module from 19th to 22nd Jan. This was the 3rd and the final module of CMEP.

Our Pedagogy

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Value Engineering: Tool That Can Reduce Cost

The value methodology (also called value engineering, value analysis or value management) is a powerful problem-solving tool that can reduce costs while maintaining or improving performance and quality requirements. It is a function-oriented, systematic team approach to providing value in a product or service.

The value methodology helps organizations compete more effectively in local, national and international markets by:

Benefits of using the value methodology:

– Decreasing costs
– Increasing profits
– Improving quality
– Expanding market share
– Saving time
– Solving problems
– Using resources more effectively

If applied judiciously Value methodology easily produces savings of 30 percent of the estimated cost for manufacturing a product, constructing a project or providing a service. The return on investment that public and private organizations derive from implementing VM programs averages 10 to 1. That is, for every dollar invested in a VM study – including participants’ time and implementation costs – $10 in net savings results.

VM applications:

Value methodology can increase customer satisfaction and add value to an organization’s investment in any business or economic setting. Value practitioners apply the value methodology to products and services in industries such as the following: corporations and manufacturing, construction, transportation, government, health care and environmental engineering.

Value methodology vs. other business processes:

Since value methodology’s invention in the 1940s, several other management approaches have caught the eye of business leaders: total quality management, quality function deployment, project management, concurrent engineering, re-engineering, benchmarking. The value methodology lends itself to use with other approaches, and its combined strengths – customer needs, teamwork, creativity and a rigorous system approach – rise above the strengths of other processes.

How does the value methodology work?

Value engineering

The value methodology works through a VM study that brings together a multidisciplinary team of people who own the problem and have the expertise to identify and solve it. A VM study team works under the direction of a facilitator who follows an established set of procedures – the VM job plan – to review the project, making sure the team understands customer requirements and develops a cost-effective solution.

The VM job plan includes pre-study and post-study phases, as well as the value study itself, which is composed of six phases:

2.Function analysis

Value methodology delivers increased value and profits:

Companies around the world have saved billions of dollars with the value methodology (also called value engineering, value analysis or value management). Value methodology easily produces savings of 30 percent of the estimated cost for manufacturing a product or providing a service.

What business managers have to say about Value Engineering:

“I am continually amazed by the impressive array of value proposals and recommendations that are developed when value methodology is applied to any and all programs, processes or projects. There is no limit to the utilization of the value methodology and no limit to the benefits that can be achieved.”

Kurt Gernerd

U.S. Department of the Interior

SAVE International Vice President-Government

“The first documented use of the value methodology in General Motors was in 1960. It is obvious that this technique has stood the test of time, but why not? One cannot argue that providing customer value and saving hundreds of millions of dollars at the same time is extremely worthwhile.”

Jim Rains, General Motors Corp.

SAVE International President

“DuPont’s senior management is committed to VE, and so we’ve formally used VE on over 300 projects for improving our new and existing chemical processes. VE has saved 10 percent to 12 percent of the investment for all these projects combined, and has elevated us to best in class for project cost, as measured in industry benchmarking analyses.”

Michael Cook, DuPont Co.

SAVE International Vice President-Education

“The value analysis process has been integrated into our time-to-market process, Xerox’s product-delivery process. VA enables Xerox product programs to meet or beat their customer requirements at the lowest total life cycle cost, and optimizes organizational and process productivity and effectiveness.”

Harry Rosenfeld, Xerox Corp.

“Arthur Andersen definitely sees that the use of VE as part of an overall target-costing process will be critical to suppliers to remain profitable under the pricing pressure and year-to-year cost reduction requires by the vehicle manufacturers. If suppliers wait until production to begin cost reduction, they will not be able to achieve the required cost targets.”

Eoin Comerford, Arthur Andersen

Who Uses Value Engineering ?

A wide spectrum of businesses and industries – from automakers to zipper manufacturers – employ the value methodology to yield a high return on investment while maintaining the quality and performance of products, processes or services.

The following companies, which appear on Fortune magazine’s “Global 500” list of the largest companies in the world, employ the value methodology:

  • Boeing
  • BP Amoco
  • DuPont Co.
  • Fiat
  • General Electric
  • General Motors Corp.
  • Hewlett-Packard
  • Kmart Corp.
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Mitsubishi
  • Motorola
  • Nissan Motor
  • Northern Telecom
  • Royal Dutch/Shell Group
  • Toyota
  • TRW
  • United Technologies Corporation
  • Volkswagen
  • Xerox Corp.

Value Engineering is simple, yet effective.

Acknowledgement: by Mr. Jayanth Murthy – Director of Kaizen Institute India.

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Announcing specialized training programs

Based on the feedback from our clients, Kaizen College is pleased to announce its public training programs 

Kaizen college is the executive education & training arm of Kaizen Institute. It operates worldwide at different locations.

We have announced these programs across three cities (Pune, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, New Delhi) for the month of January 2015.

January training program

The objective of these programs is to support participants enhance their skill sets through contemporary practical learning experiences.

Since its a small group training program, only a limited number of participants will be admitted on first come first serve basis. We may limit the number of participants from the same company if we receive more applications than the maximum number of participants. You can confirm your participation personally or nominate your representative/s for the program by sending the duly filled registration forms.

For further details or to download the brochure & registration form, you may please visit in.kaizen.com or click here

We look forward to your cooperative & participative response

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Policy Deployment – A management tool to align effort

A person can have the capability and the stamina to run the distance but if he is not running in the desired direction, he cannot reach the destination. The same applies to all business endeavours.


To aligning activities with Company Startegy in Japanese is known as HOSHIN KANRI. The meanining comes from the words

  • Hoshin = Japanese for Direction Needle, equivalent to a Ship’s Compass
  • Kanri = Japanese for “Control” or “channeling into reason or logic”

The reference of the combined word is to a fleet operation, where a compass is distributed to many ships, properly calibrated and direction defined, such that all ships, through  independent action arrive at the same destination as required by the fleet commander.

The appropiate English translation of Hoshin Kanri is – Policy (or strategy) deployment. Once the company has a Comprehensive Corporate Vision, Purpose (Mission), and Goals, the top management translates this, into a set of understandable and attainable targets. The deployment of these targets to focussed measures that can be applied at all levels of the company and in all functions is Hoshin Kanri. When these actions and policies are applied all the way down the line, they result in a vision becoming a reality – a major, continual improvement in performance.

The key to success of this management tool is “Alignment”, “Focus” and “Engagement”. It is necessary to align, focus all improvement activity to the company goals and achieve full engagement of all employees in achiving them.

It has been found that not all the improvement projects conceived, start with company’s overall needs in focus. They are often instigated by departmental problems or local leadership themes. However, if the change has to be meaningful, the thinking process, must start with first identifying the gap that is existing between the current state and the targets. The shortfall is then evalluated in terms of significance (or importance) and magnitude. If the efforts to change are to produce financially significant results, the improvement projects, which reduce the Gap in the shortest possible time, have to get priority,

The Policy deployment process identifies the parameters in which the goals and the current state can be measured on the same scale. The change in parameters must be correlated with the actions and the result confirmed by the PDCA cycle.

To be sure that the goals are understood by everyone, objectives for each level and each department must be defined in quantifiable “numbers” that have to be met for the whole company to achieve its targets.

They must also understand how their individual projects link to the ultimate goal. This makes the project more meaningful and participants put in more than normal effort to succeed.

The tool is used at multiple levels within the Company and each level is developed from the level above. The process includes a simple reporting procedure that gives simple visual management to evaluate progress.

In summary

Policy Deployment (Hoshin Kanri) is a Management Tool used to

  • Prioritize action areas to ensure that the focusing is on those areas or gaps that will impact the overall goals the most.
  • Provide clear measures to judge how each action is impacting “closing the gaps” on the goals
  • Allow each individual being called on to contribute, to link his efforts to the top level goals of the Company

Acknowledgement: Vijay Rai – Associate Director, Kaizen Institute

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Argumentative & too emotional – are Indians tough to work with?

Transforming a culture is far more about emotional growth than technical maturity.

The Kaizen, Lean, Six Sigma, etc methodologies promotes the sustainable continual improvement as a daily way of life for every member within the organization. Same thing has been described & asked by the corporate dossier to expatriate CEOs. They were asked to describe the most incorrigible traits of Indian work culture.

The list we’ve compiled might upset you, but feel free to argue — which you will anyway:

we Indians are

We’re always late

Seasoned expats have given up complaining about this quirk, except for a few German and Japanese CEOs, who still feel the pain every time they see an Indian colleague sauntering into a meeting 15 minutes late.

Makoto Kitai, MD, Mitsubishi Electric India, remembers fondly his days in Japan, when everyone would actually arrive five minutes early. “In India, being late by 15 minutes for a meeting is not considered to be late,” he sighs. “Schedules go haywire in India but people don’t complain.”

If only our lack of punctuality was confined only to meetings! “Whether it a dinner or a larger function, I now assume that guests will arrive at least one hour late,” says Philipp von Sahr, President of  ..

We’re very argumentative

Indians, as Nobel laureate Amartya Sen tells us, are argumentative by nature and given the opportunity, we will debate and discuss till the cows at home. Jean-Christophe Lettelier got a taste of this as soon as he took charge at L’Oreal India last year. The meetings he conducted would go on interminably with everyone going in circles.

“Maybe it’s because of an inductive approach to understanding things, but Indians make things more complex than they really are,” he says. “I value the depth of thinking, but sometimes I have to just close the topic. Else there is complete chaos.”

Mitsubishi’s Makoto Kitai is another expat CEO who has had a hard time conducting meetings. “Japanese are very good listeners. We as a culture never speak out of turn which ensures that our suggestion would be asked every time. My Indian colleagues, on the other hand, are very ardent speakers and are always impatient when it comes to an opportunity to articulate their views,” he says. We also have a propensity to get into time consuming discussions just about anywhere.

As Tetsuya Takano, MD of Ricoh India points out: “In India it’s easy to form a discussion group. You only have to ask someone something and suddenly five people are around you and you can discuss anything. The preferable subject is politics.”

We’re confusingly diverse

After a year at the Hyatt Goa, Glen Peat thought he had Indian work culture figured out — then he was transferred to Mumbai. Now the chief of the Hyatt Ludhiana, the New Zealander says, “Punjabis are so very different from South Indians and the people of Delhi are so different from the people in Mumbai.

At first, I thought everyone in India speaks Hindi. It takes a lot of adjusting for an expat used to a uniform national culture.” Expat CEOs invariably see India’s diversity as one of its strengths, but truth be told, it takes getting used to. “The diversity poses quite a challenge in terms of unanimity of operations, tweaking the offerings to different needs,” says Volvo Auto India MD Tomas Ernberg.

Besides managing your own work force, the diversity factor also plays an important role in market success. “It’s both a challenge and an opportunity, as there is no one way of doing business or dealing with people. Something that works in Mumbai may not work in Chennai or Kochi. So, India allows the expatriate to use his creative side,” says Ricoh India’s Takano.

It takes 3 of us to fix a light bulb

the first time are usually struck by how establishments there manage with so few people. It’s the other way round for expats in India. Dmitry Shukov, CEO of MTS India was amazed to see eight people pushing the boarding ladder at the airport the first time he arrived in Delhi.

“In Russia there is just one person doing that job. In sec tors like retail, there is always excess staff in India,” he says. It’s also very common in the hospitality industry, where guests are pampered with a level of service unheard of in the West. But splitting one person’s job among three not only reduces wages, but also the challenge. Or, as Rex Nijhof, the Dutch chief of the Renaissance Mumbai Hotel puts it: “If you have something heavy and only two people available to move it, you have to find a way to build wheels on it. In India, you just get six more people.”

We’re too emotional

Indians are highly engaged with their work, which makes us more emotional about it. This can be disconcerting for expats used to a less engaged workforce, going about with stoic expressions.

“People here wear their heart on their sleeve, which is something I love,” says Ben Salmon, a former diplomat with the Australian High commission, who is now CE0 and Co-founder of Bangalore’s Assetz Property Group. “The flip side of it is that you can’t criticise someone’s work without visibly upsetting them. If there’s bad news, it has to be carefully packaged.”

This makes simple performance appraisals a herculean task in Indian workplaces. Bosses are wary about giving negative feedback, however constructive it may be, since the receiver is quite likely to fly into a rage or burst into tears. “During performance reviews, Indian managers tend to give only positive feedback and leave the criticism unsaid,” says L’Oreal’s Jean-Christophe Lettelier.

We don’t trust easily

”There seems to be a trust deficit in Indian business and society in general which makes business par ties wary of each other until a relationship develops,” says John Kilmartin, Director of IDA Ireland, the Irish government ‘s foreign investment agency.

The lack of trust extends to international brands and often translates into behaviour that expat CEOs find surprising. “For some reason, customers in India tend to escalate issues very quickly. May be this is due to lack of trust? Regardless of why this happens, we need to convince customers that we will always be fair and do the right thing for them,” says Nigel Harris, president and managing director, Ford India.

But once the trust is earned, it tends to be strong. “The culture in India is such that if you earn a person’s trust, you’ll be treated like family. People in India are extremely cautious….but once on-board, their loyalty’s commendable,” says Michael Mayer, Director, Volkswagen Passenger Cars.

We escalate decisions to the boss

When it comes to big issues, where the stakes are high, we would rather let the boss decide. At L’Oreal India, Jean-Christophe Lettelier has been trying to push decision making down to the front line and make the organisation entrepreneurial, but his observation is: “People avoid taking full responsibility for anything because they don’t want to take any blame if things go wrong. Then if things do go wrong, they blame something else instead of taking responsibility.”

Ben Salmon, CEO and Co- founder of Assetz Property Group was a diplomat at the Australian High Commission before he became an entrepreneur. He says: “There’s a tendency to push decisions up to promoter level. For someone who believes that midmanagement should be taking decisions everyday within a strong corporate framework, this part of the Indian business environment is challenging.”

We’re very hierarchical

It’s hard to get Indians to call the boss by his first name. Expats squirm when emails begin with the phrase “My respected sir.” Tom Albanese, CEO of Vedanta says “Indians can be too eager to please sometimes. The only time I get flowers is when I am in India. I find awkward garlanding moments all the time. ” The bowing low and garlanding is occasional and symbolic, but a practical day-to-day problem is addressing the CEO by his first name.

“Despite my best attempts, many of my colleagues still do not use my first name in discussions. The focus on hierarchy makes people take titles very seriously,” says Ford’s Nigel Harris. If you can’t beat them, join ’em.

At Volvo Auto India, MD Tomas Ernberg has started adding the suffix jee after the names of his colleagues to show them an equal measure of respect. “People in India give too much importance to hierarchy. Even unconsciously it does reflect in their style of working and interaction,” he says.

Michael Thiemann, CEO, ThyssenKrupp India tried to demolish hierarchies in his company and distribute responsibilities according to capabilities, like they do in Germany. The result, he says, was chaos. Thiemann then called in his senior colleagues to rework things. “We developed the concept of team work with an Indian flavour, taking care of the hidden rules of the Indian working culture,” he says.

We’re lousy at work-life balance

Indian CEOs pooh-pooh the issue saying we have to work 18 hours and build the nation, but expats find the lack of work-life balance in India quite appalling. “When I started working at BMW India, I was amazed to see e-mails coming from colleagues well after mid-night. I personally went to them and told them they need to maintain a good work-life balance,” says Philipp von Sahr, President, BMW Group.

Some expat CEOs attribute this impatience with due process and the desire for shortcuts to age. “India has a much younger workforce and I like to give enough space to employees. I don’t want to take away the freedom from employees,” says Guillaume Sicard, President, Nissan India.

Still, systems and processes are the life blood of an MNC and many expat CEOs fret over this issue. As Volkswagen’s Michael Mayer says: “It may take people take some time to get used to it, but it’s important to understand the rationale behind these systems since each one of us has to adapt to the entity we represent.”

We’re all stuntmen

Where the West has adventure sports, Indian have daily life. As managing director of Chyso India, a French manufact urer of chemicals used in the construction industry, Giles Everitt has seen labourers atop skyscrapers, painting the walls without a proper harness or life-line. “If there is one thing I would like to change in Indian work culture, it is the attitude towards health and safety,” he says.

Why do we take so much risk? It is mostly lack of awareness says Ben S almon of Assetz Property, who believes real estate developers are now creating that. “Earlier, the cost of safety wasn’t built in and construction labour didn’t see their job as a trade. That’s changing, though we’re still nowhere near global standards.”

We say what you want to hear

If someone says “I’m 99% sure I will be there,” most of us know he doesn’t plan to be there at all. But for an expat CEO, such lines create big misunderstandings. New Zealander Glen Peat of Hyatt Hotels used to take a statement like “I’ll be with you in five minutes” at face value — and find himself waiting a long time. “It’s ingrained in Indian culture. It’s not very honest, but I’ve realised it’s a way of being courteous,” adds Peat.

We do everything at the last minute

The Indian attitude towards deadlines has been known to send many expat CEO blood pressures through the roof. “It took time for me to adjust with the time management of people in India,” says Ricoh’s Takano. “But if a deadline is not being met, they would stretch and make sure things fall in place.”

Guillaume Sicard of Nissan Motor India, used to be incredulous at the confidence his Indian colleagues displayed as deadlines approached. “Time management is quite fluid in India. They will work late hours into the night, even on weekends, to meet the deadline. Americans or Europeans would never do that. There they believe in a strict 8 to 5 pm working day.”

Be that as it may, doing things at the last minute can lead to shoddy quality. ThyssenKrupp’s Michael Thiemann never takes that chance. “In India, up to 95% progress, everything is done very well. However, the boring 5% remains and that is where I get involved to make sure that the work is really done,” he says.

Acknowledgement: The Economic Times Corporate Dossier – 26-December-2014

P.S. If your leaders and colleagues are also interested in this subject, do them a favor and share this link. They may thank you for your concern and initiative.

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Kaizen Institute India was invited by SKF India

Kaizen Institute India was invited by SKF India to run a session for one hour during their internal Kaizen competition. The objective of the session was to give to give insight on How to approach Kaizen,  how to see  the opportunity from Kaizen eye and  common tips of achieving high level of  output .

Kaizen in SKF

Around 20  teams across locations and business  areas  with a  mix of manufacturing and non-manufacturing  teams  had participated in this competition.

P.S. If your leaders and colleagues are also interested in this subject, do them a favor and share this link. They may thank you for your concern and initiative.

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