December 31, 2017

MBA Core Management Knowledge - One Year Revision Schedule

The blog contains articles on all management subjects developed using the most popular book on the subject. You can read articles on the sybject of your choice or use the following schedule.

One Year MBA Knowledge Revision Plan

Revision Schedule

Current Month -  April  

January  - February  - March  - April  - May   -   June

July       - August     - September  - October  - November  - December

Subject Details of Each Month

January  (Principles of Management) - February (P.of M & Marketing Management from 23 Feb 2015 )
March (Mktg. Mgmt. & Operations Management from 17 March 2015)  -
April  (Supply Chain Management and Financial & Cost Accounting)

May  (Management Accounting & Organizational Behavior)  -
June (Innovation, Industrial Engineering and Economics)

July  (Economics, Engineering Economics, & Managerial Ethics)   - August    (Statistics, Quality and Six Sigma, OR & BRM)

September (HRM, Mentoring, Training, Maintenance, Energy & Environment Management)  -  October  (Information Technology and Management Information Systems, Logistics - Warehousing and Transport)

November (Strategic Management & Financial Management)  - December (Business Laws, Negotiation, Taxes and Government Relations)

Subject                                               Revision Period

Principles of Management                15 January   to   19 February

Marketing Management                    22 February to   16 March

Operations Management                   17 March     to    2 April

Supply Chain Management                 3 April       to  15 April

Financial & Cost Accounting            16 April       to  12 May

I am participating in April A to Z Blogging Challenge and I am writing on the theme Top Management Challenges.

Top Management Challenges.

Article 1: Awareness of Environment

Updated 1 April 2017.  22 February 2017,  10 December 2015

April 30, 2017

Supply Chain Management Revision Articles with Links

3 April to 5 April 2016

Understanding the Supply Chain:
Supply Chain Performance: Achieving Strategic Fit:

Supply Chain Drivers and Obstacles - Review Notes:
Designing the Distribution Network in a Supply Chain:

Facility Decisions: Network Design in the Supply Chain:
Network Design in an Uncertain Environment:

2nd Week

8 April to 12 April 2016

Demand Forecasting in a Supply Chain:
Aggregate Planning in the Supply Chain - Review Notes:

Planning Supply and Demand in the Supply Chain:
Managing Economies of Scale in the Supply Chain:

Managing Uncertainty in the Supply Chain: Safety Inventory:
Determining Optimal Level of Product Availability:

Sourcing Decisions in a Supply Chain:
Transportation in the Supply Chain - Chopra and Meindl:

Pricing and Revenue Management in the Supply Chain:
Coordination in the Supply Chain - Review Notes:

3rd Week

15 April 

Information Technology and the Supply Chain:
e-business and the Supply Chain:

View Twitter for latest in Supply Chain

April - Management Knowledge Revision



1 April to 5 April 2016

Material Requirements Planning - Review Notes
Operations Scheduling - Review Notes

Financial Analysis - Review Notes
Operations Technology - Review Notes

Supply Chain Management

 3rd April 2016

Understanding the Supply Chain
Supply Chain Performance: Achieving Strategic Fit

Supply Chain Drivers and Obstacles - Review Notes
Designing the Distribution Network in a Supply Chain

Facility Decisions: Network Design in the Supply Chain
Network Design in an Uncertain Environment

2nd Week

8 April to 12 April 2016

Demand Forecasting in a Supply Chain
Aggregate Planning in the Supply Chain - Review Notes

Planning Supply and Demand in the Supply Chain
Managing Economies of Scale in the Supply Chain

Managing Uncertainty in the Supply Chain: Safety Inventory
Determining Optimal Level of Product Availability

Sourcing Decisions in a Supply Chain
Transportation in the Supply Chain - Chopra and Meindl

Pricing and Revenue Management in the Supply Chain
Coordination in the Supply Chain - Review Notes

3rd Week

15 April to 19 April 

Information Technology and the Supply Chain
e-business and the Supply Chain

Financial Accounting

Accounting: The Language of Business
Recording Transactions - Review Notes

Accrual Accounting  - Revision
Measuring Income to Assess Performance and Balance Sheet - Review Notes

Detailed Accounting Procedures

Accounting for Sales - Review Notes
Inventories and Cost of Goods Sold - Review Notes

Long-Lived Assets and Depreciation - Review Notes
Liabilities and Interest - Review Notes

4th Week

22 April to 26 April 2016

Statement of Cash Flows - Review Notes
Financial Statement Analysis - Review Notes

Cost Accounting

23 April 2016
Role of Costing and Cost Accounting in the Organizations
Introduction to Cost Terms - Review Notes

Traditional Cost Objectives and Their Utility
Job Costing - Review Notes

Activity-Based Costing and Activity-Based Budgeting
Process Costing - Review Notes

29 April

Operations Management - Subject Update 2016
Supply Chain Management - Subject Update 2016

To May - Management Knowledge Revision

One Year MBA Knowledge Revision Plan

January  - February  - March  - April  - May   -   June

July  - August     - September  - October  - November  - December

Included in the A to Z Blogging Challenge Posts

Birthdays of Management Scholars and Executives in April

1 - Prof Maike Andresen (1971) - Chair for HRM
2 - Jan Jantsch (1960)
3 - Mark Albion (1951)
4 - Charles Buxton Going (1863)  - Principles of Industrial Engineering - Book in 1911
6 - Armand V. Feigenbaum (1920) - Total Quality Control
      Clayton Christensen (1952) - Disruptive innovations
10 - Joseph Pulitzer (1847), Perry Sink Marshall (1969)
11 - Charles Eugene Bedaux (1886) - Check?  26 October 1886 (according to Wikipedia)
12 - Elwood S. Buffa (1923)  - Modern Production Management, Operations Management
13 - W. Charles Redding (1914), -
        Michael Hammer (1948) - Business Process Reengineering
14-  Eric Brynjolfsson (1962)
15 - Glen L. Urban (1940)
17 - J.P. Morgan (1837)
18 - Frederick Herzberg (1923),   Hygiene factors - Motivation factors model
       Bengt R. Holmstrom (1949),
       Niall Ferguson (1964),
       Robert Allen Phillips (1968)

19- James J. Heckman (Economics Nobel Prize Winner, 1944), James B. Orlin (1953),
      Peter Bowman Scott-Morgan (1958)
21- Max Weber (1864)
      Alan Cerf
29 - Dan Ariely (1967)

January  - February  - March  - April  - May   -   June

July  - August     - September  - October  - November  - December

Included in the A to Z Blogging Challenge Posts

Last Year Plan Items

Cost Information for Pricing Decisions

Cost Behavior Analysis and Relevant Costs

Costing for Strategic Profitability Analysis

Cost Information for Customer Profitability Analysis

Costing for Spoilage, Rework and Scrap

Costing for Quality, Time and the Theory of Constraints

Costing for Inventory Management, JIT and Backflush

February 19 - 25

Cost Information and Analysis for Capital Budgeting

Cost Information for Management Control and Performance Control

Cost Information for Transfer Pricing

Managerial Accounting or Management Accounting - Review Notes

Relevant Information and Decision Making - Marketing Decisions

Relevant Information and Decision Making - Production

Relevant Information and Decision Making - HR

The Master Budget - Accounting Information

Flexible Budgets and Variance Analysis - Review Notes

Responsibility Accounting for Management Control

February 26 to March 4

Accounting Information for Management Control in Divisionalized Companies

Capital Budgeting - Accounting and Cost Information

To May - Management Knowledge Revision

One Year MBA Knowledge Revision Plan

Management of Training Programmes - Training Function

Managing Change in Improvement Projects

Manufacturing Management - Introduction

Mergers and Acquisitions - Introduction

Engineering Economy or Engineering Economics:

Introduction to Engineering Economics

April 23 - 29

Present-Worth Comparisons

Required Rate of Return for Investment or Expenditure

Rate-of-Return Calculations

Equivalent Annual-Worth Comparisons

Machine Selection Problem

Sensitivity Analysis - Engineering  Economics

Structural Analysis of Alternatives

Peter Drucker on Scientific Management - Industrial Engineering,

To May - Management Knowledge Revision

One Year MBA Knowledge Revision Plan

January  - February  - March  - April  - May   -   June

July  - August     - September  - October  - November  - December

Included in the A to Z Blogging Challenge Posts

April 26, 2017

Values Statement of the Organization

In the organizational culture model, behavior is the result of values and beliefs. Values are ideas now being promoted by the organization. Beliefs are the results of values promoted earlier and also the experience of people and the organization.

Behavior can be changed by values being promoted presently. Hence, values statement by the top management is very important. It is not just statement. The management has to assess the behavior that will result from the values being promoted. Is the behavior positive for organizational goals? They have to estimate the results that will come with various values and have to select the right combination.

Build-A-Bear Workshop

Core Values: Reach, Learn, Di-bear-sity Colla-bear-ate Give, Cele-bear-ate


Core Values Statement: Sell good merchandise at a reasonable profit, treat your customers like human beings, and they will always come back for more.
This quote from Leon Leonwood Bean has been known as “L.L.’s Golden Rule” at his namesake company since the 1920s, and it is posted prominently in its retail stores and manufacturing and shipping facilities,

10 Core Values:
1. Deliver WOW Through Service
2. Embrace and Drive Change
3. Create Fun and a Little Weirdness
4. Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded
5. Pursue Growth and Learning
6. Build Open and Honest Relationships with Communication
7. Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit
8. Do More with Less
9. Be Passionate and Determined
10. Be Humble

Wegmans Food Markets

Our “Who We Are” Values: Caring, High Standards, Making a Difference, Respect, and Empowerment

Bright Horizons Family Solutions

Core Values Statement: The HEART Principles:

Coke’s values include having the courage to shape a better future, leveraging collective genius, being real, and being accountable and committed.

Differentiating Role of Values from Other Similar Concepts

A vision statement says what the organization wishes to be like in some years’ time. It’s usually drawn up by senior management, in an effort to provide a memorable destiny.

The mission describes what business the organization is in (and what it isn’t) both now and projecting into the future. Its aim is to provide focus for management and staff.

Values describe the desired culture. They serve as a behavioral compass.

Principles give employees a set of directions.

Purpose provides outward focus. Purpose statements must  inspire your staff to do good work for customers. So purpose statements  must  express the organization’s impact on the lives of customers and clients.  Make employees feel the benefit they are providing to customers.

Your Company’s Purpose Is Not Its Vision, Mission, or Values

Top Management Challenges

This article is part of #AtoZChallenge 2017 for Blogging Posts. My Theme for the Challenge is Top Management Challenges - Full List of Articles

To Know More About A to Z Blogging Challenge

April 25, 2017

Utility - Value to Customer

The products of any organization must have utility to the customer. Based on the utility to him customer values a product and offers it to the producer in return for the product.

Product conception, development and design and its further marketing activities are part of product management. Within the marketing discipline product management is popularly used. Within the product development and design areas product development management is the term more popularly used.

The managers of the company have to see that the products utility is more to get higher value for it. The value given for a product depends on other services also that are provided along with the product like delivery location, warranty offered, the retail environment etc.

Product Management is a technical capability in marketing and it deals with the planning, forecasting, production and marketing of a product, proposition or portfolio of products, throughout a product life cycle.

Below are 5 levels of this competence  in the area of innovation and management

Level 5

Leads organisation wide co-operation in the development of customer value propositions, identifying strategic opportunities for innovation.

Leads and directs the management of projects related to the delivery of customer value propositions and product/service portfolios


Manages cross-functional processes for the development of customer value propositions and their progression to market

Manages and maintains customer value propositions and product/service portfolios through cross-functional teams

Contributes to the development of customer value propositions

Contributes to the management of customer value propositions and product/service portfolios

Provides information to support the development of customer value propositions

Assists with the management of customer value propositions and product/service portfolios

Recognises the importance of analysing product portfolio performance and innovating new customer propositions

Recognises the importance of developing, launching and monitoring customer value propositions

CEO has to develop level 5 competence in development of customer value proposition and managing to provide value to customer.

Top Management Challenges

This article is part of #AtoZChallenge 2017 for Blogging Posts. My Theme for the Challenge is Top Management Challenges - Full List of Articles

To Know More About A to Z Blogging Challenge

April 24, 2017

Technology Management and Innovation

Innovation is a challenge for top managers. Innovations are risky, with the likelihood of failures which will be noticed by one and all. But new products and services are to be developed and introduced to create winners which will allow the company to grow and survive in a competitive market wherein new entrepreneurs continually enter with new ideas and products. A company cannot engage itself totally in exploiting the existing products neglecting invention, development and new product introduction. Hence innovation management is a challenge for top managers.

Excerpts from
44th Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya Memorial Lecture. 2001
Industry,Academia and Innovation
Dr Amit Chatterjee
Chief Technology Officer, TATA STEEL, Jamshedpur

Innovation is the outcome of two distinct steps - firstly, the generation of an idea or invention; and secondly, the conversion of that invention into business. It is possible to represent innovation as Innovation = Invention + Exploitation.

Invention encompasses all steps aimed at creating new ideas and getting them to work. Exploitation
includes all stages of commercial development, including focusing of the ideas generated towards specific objectives, followed by evaluation of those objectives. Thus, while Invention through extremely difficult is the outcome of a brief moment of inspiration and magic, exploitation is more involved and needs time. The overall management of technological innovation is a science by itself. It includes the organisation and direction of human and capital resources towards effectively: (i) creating new knowledge; (ii) generating technical ideas aimed at new and enhanced products, manufacturing processes, as well as services; (iii) developing those ideas into working prototypes; and finally (iv) transferring them into manufacturing, distribution, and use by mankind at large.

Technologically innovative outcomes take many forms - incremental or radical in degree; modification of existing entities or the creation of entirely new entities; embodied in products, processes or services; oriented towards consumer, industrial, or governmental use; and based on various single or multiple technologies. Whereas invention is marked by the discovery of a state of new existence, usually in a laboratory or at best at a bench-scale level, innovation is characterised by first use (in manufacturing or in a market). Most organised scientific and engineering activities, certainly within any given manufacturing segment, stretch beyond the idea-generating stage. This may not always produce radical breakthroughs, but result in a broad base of incremental technological advances, sometimes leading to major technical changes.

Research conducted so far in the area of technology management has focused primarily on incremental product innovations oriented toward industrial markets. Neither the less frequently arising areas of radical innovation nor process innovation has received much attention.

The right balance of what organisation theorist James March has termed exploitation of proven knowledge versus exploration of new possibilities varies from industry to industry. But, even in companies that are taken as role models for encouraging innovation, only a small percentage of effort is usually devoted to generating and testing new products and services. This comparative rarity helps explain why practices that support innovation may seem odd and provoke discomfort and why managers hesitate to use them even when they should.

Traditional thinking about the management of innovation focuses almost exclusively on internal factors - the capabilities and processes within companies for creating and commercialising technology. Although the criticality of these factors is undeniable, the external environment for innovation is at least as important. For example, the striking innovative output of Israeli firms is due not simply to more effective technology management, but also, to Israel's favourable environment for innovation, including strong universityindustry linkages and a large pool of highly trained scientists and engineers. The most fertile location for innovation also varies markedly across fields. The United States was an especially attractive environment for innovation in pharmaceuticals in the Nineties, while Sweden and Finland have seen extraordinary rates of innovation in wireless technology (Ericsson and Nokia).

While the innovation infrastructure sets the basic conditions for innovation. it is ultimately companies that introduce and commercialise innovations. Innovation and the commercialisation of new technologies take place disproportionately in clusters - geographic concentrations of interconnected companies and institutions in a particular field.

44th Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya Memorial Lecture. 2001
Industry,Academia and Innovation
Dr Amit Chatterjee
Chief Technology Officer, TATA STEEL, Jamshedpur

Top Management Challenges

This article is part of #AtoZChallenge 2017 for Blogging Posts. My Theme for the Challenge is Top Management Challenges - Full List of Articles

To Know More About A to Z Blogging Challenge

Transfer of Brand Equity from One Brand to Another in a Corporate - Brand Portfolio Management

Companies that enter new businesses to escape a weak position generally become weaker still, because they move into markets where they lack the capabilities needed to succeed.

If you already have one successful product line, you want to be able to use that reputation to help boost your new product line. can help you utilize a positive reputation in various areas of your business. This will allow you to impact your business quicker and more effectively than trying to build your reputation from the ground up.

What is Corporate Reputation? 

There  are  3  elements  to  reputation,  known  as  the  reputational radar.

•  Brand  Reputation –  how  the  public  perceives  a  brand.
•  Organisational  reputation –  what  the  public  think  about  the  ‘organisation’  as  oppose  to  the  brand.  For  example, Unilever  PLC has a house of brands and also has individual sub brands. Therefore the  public  reputation  of  the  company  can  be  different  to  the reputation of the individual brands.
• Stakeholder reputation– the reputation that stakeholders have of  the  brand  or  the  company  that  they  are  dealing  with.
(Stakeholder  =  person  group  or  another  organisation that  has  a direct or indirect stake in a company.)
Corporate Reputation: definitions and representative history of literature
contributed by Toby Ingram

Brand name substitution and brand equity transfer
Journal of Product & Brand Management, 2012, Vol. 21 Issue: 2, pp.117-125,

Reputation Transfer to Enter New B-to-B Markets: Measuring and Modelling Approaches
Christine Falkenreck
Springer Science & Business Media, 17-Oct-2009 - Business & Economics - 229 pages

An increasing number of products and services are not differentiated by inherent features, but by the vendors, particularly their reputation and marketing commu- cation. Consequently, a positive reputation provides competing vendors with a virtually inimitable competitive advantage. Contemporary research concerning antecedents and consequences of reputation in the domain of marketing is dominated by branding and line extension issues. Organizations’ communication efforts and the relation of reputation and the c- munication media are not fully understood; nor have they been challenged up to now. Moreover, customers’ perception of reputation is clearly embedded in their cultural context. However, contemporary marketing research restricts both conceptual and empirical considerations to Western-type cultures. Frequently, even the differences in Western-type cultures are neglected. Considering these shortcomings in contemporary marketing research, Dr. Christine Falkenreck investigates the opportunities and limits, and also the potential bene?ts and dangers of transferring a vendor’s positive reputation to product categories never produced or offered by the considered vendor. Embedding the empirical investigation of both reputation management and reputation transfer in a coherent theoretical framework, which is grounded in the Commitment-Trust theory, is her merit. She derives and validates an integrated model that appears to be valid in all cultures considered in her study. The results of this analysis contribute substantially to our understanding of reputation measuring and managing. These results are not restricted to academic interests and they provided practitioners with a variety of new insights. Thus, this thesis will ho- fully be widely discussed in both academia and management practice.

Advances in Consumer Research Volume 30, 2003     Pages 72-79


Leif E. Hem, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration
Nina M. Iversen, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration

Top Management Challenges

This article is part of #AtoZChallenge 2017 for Blogging Posts. My Theme for the Challenge is Top Management Challenges - Full List of Articles

To Know More About A to Z Blogging Challenge

April 22, 2017

Alternatives to Bureaucracy

Why bureaucracy must die
Gary Hamel
Mar 26, 2014

Bureaucracy and the Alternatives in World Perspective
K. Henderson, O. Dwivedi, Timothy M. Shaw
Springer, 03-Jun-1999 - Political Science - 330 pages

This volume seeks to explore bureaucratic forms of administration in the Third World and alternatives to them. Experts with wide experience in development are assembled to deal with issues of reform, indigenization, and desirable futures.

Can Business Beat Bureaucracy?

Alternatives to Bureaucracy: Democratic Participation In The Economy
Annual Review of Sociology
Vol. 12:307-328 (Volume publication date August 1986)
DOI: 10.1146/

Sales Planning and Execution - CEO Involvement

Sales Execution by CEO

CEO has to be the Chief Sales Person of the organization.CEOs Need to Get Serious About Sales

CEO has to be the Chief Sales Person of the organization. He may have to personally interact with the important clients and clinch the sale. His deal making and negotiation skills come in handy in this activity. Sales requires product knowledge and CEO will demonstrate his knowledge about the products that his company is making and selling by making a sales presentation himself.

Ram Trichur, Maria Valdivieso de Uster, and Jon Vander Ark, authors of the article "CEOs Need to Get Serious About Sales" published in Harvard Business Review in 2012 state that CEOs who put sales management at the heart of their agenda have captured astonishing growth — outstripping their peers by 50 to 80 percent in terms of revenue and profitability.

They recommend three activities as highly significant to drive sales growth.

Crank up the analytics
Build a lean selling machine (Identify and eliminate waste - It may remove unnecessary activities and free up salesmen's time for more productive activities.)
Make sales a team sport.

CEOs and CSOs

As Chief Executive Officer, the CEO is ultimately responsible for the decisions that are made at the highest levels of the company and the results of those decisions. This is the position where all of the other C-Level decisions and strategies come together for a final decision and corporate strategy. Therefore, the CEO takes input from each of the other C-Levels. 

At the top of the administrative or executive side of the organization is the CEO.  This tier is the Visionary level. Every organization needs a visionary – someone sees the opportunities and comes up with plans to utilize the opportunity for the benefit of the organization. This is the person who has
the longest view of the future of the organization, industry, markets, etc.

The second tier of an organization is the Strategic Level. These individuals are part of the  planning team for the future as well, but they have a more near-term view objectives to satisfy. Their focus is on developing the necessary strategies for achieving the corporate plan prepared and got approved by the CEO.  At this level are Chief Financial Officer whose responsibility is to plan for the financial future of the organization and then manage the corporate expenditures accordingly, the Chief Operations Officer who plans for the future of the operational functions and capabilities while overseeing the existing production of the organization, the Chief Marketing Officer etc.. This second tier, the strategic level, is known as the C-Suite or the C-Level.

The CEO may be thinking and planning for three to five years in the future while the strategic levels focus two to three years out.

The third tier is the Tactical level. Typically this is the vice presidential level where leaders are handed the corporate strategies and then are expected to develop and execute the tactics necessary to make the strategies happen.

The CEO position is actually an amalgam of all of the C-Levels. The CEO is ultimately responsible for the corporate expenditures making this person the Super Chief Financial Officer (SCFO). They are also ultimately responsible for the operational efficiencies and effectiveness so they are also the Super Chief Operations Officer (SCOO). He is also the Super Chief Marketing and Sales Officer.

What are the activities of the CEO-as-CSO? Here are a few tips based on some value-added selling principles:

•  Ask your salespeople good questions and develop the whole organization: Rather than asking them how many sales calls they are going to make or how many units they are going to sell, ask them questions like, “What are the top three problems your customer is facing right now and what can we do to help them?”

•  Take the same sales training and refresher courses. Stay on top of your game as a sales officer by keeping your sales skills sharp. You will understand the principles and techniques your salespeople are using and you will be supporting the concept of continuous sales improvement.

•  Think strategic:  The CSO is exposed to the latest ideas in the market and in the industries they serve. Balance the “latest and greatest” with the wisdom of the streets. Ask the salespeople before implementing new ideas and programs and assess pros and cons.

•  Network with other CEO-CSO’s. When you are a part of a CEO networking group, learn from others and develop your CSO skills.

CSO White Paper Series from Chuck Reaves, CSP, CPAE, CSO

When CEOs establish a personal rapport with their customers, the results invariably demonstrate why the sales function merits more of their time and energy. A CEO writes, "apart from  my impact on sales, I also know the opportunities I’ve had to get closer to the marketplace have contributed to my effectiveness as a CEO; they have helped me to identify priorities and to guide the company."

The CEO brings another factor to the customer interface. He or she has a unique perspective of the company-cutting across all divisions and subsidiaries. That means the CEO may spot opportunities others could overlook.

Harvard Business School Working Knowledge

MBA Class of 1973 Senior Lecturer of Business Administration

CEO and Sales

Latest Book on Sales
Contemporary Selling: Building Relationships, Creating Value

Mark W. Johnston, Greg W. Marshall
Routledge, Feb,2016 -  436 pages

Full coverage of 21st century personal selling processes. The overarching theme of the book is enabling salespeople to build relationships successfully and to create value with customers.
Johnston and Marshall have created a comprehensive, holistic source of information about the selling function in modern organizations that links the process of selling (what salespeople do) with the process of managing salespeople (what sales managers do). A strong focus on the modern tools of selling, such as customer relationship management (CRM), social media and technology-enabled selling, and sales analytics, means the book continues to set the standard for the most up-to-date book on selling on the market today.

April 21, 2017

Good CEOs Create Organizational Slack and Bad CEOs Create Organizational Stress

Organizational slack is excess of resources over the current requirement. Organizational stress is over worked organizational resources. Men break down and machines break down in organizations under the management of bad CEOs, whose ambition and greed do not match their capabilities of finding opportunities and managing their utilization to create profits for the organization.

Good CEOs create slack by working effectively and efficiently. Effective working creates markets for the products of the companies and profits for the organization. Improving efficiency reduces resource use and creates the slack for the organization. This slack can be utilized for the growth of the organization in the existing products or new products. When a successful organization launches a product the market welcomes it with anticipation and thus less marketing expenditure is required.

When companies are managed by bad CEOs, the effectiveness and efficiency goes down. The existing products do not do well in the market. When new products are launched the market is lukewarm. Bad CEOs force their stressed human resources to exert more and get more orders. The result is increased stress. The contribution of CEO himself will not be up to the mark. His or her incremental contribution to the performance of the organization is below expectation of all the employees of the organization as a whole.

Dysfunctional leadership creates high stress in work place.

Dysfunctional leadership symptoms and early warning signs:

Dictatorial Leadership
Ineffective Meetings
Domination of Personal Agendas
Highly Stressful Workplace

Dictatorial Leadership: A manager that does not allow disagreements out of insecurity or arrogance, creates a fear based decision environment that limits collaboration and creativity in finding solutions to everyday business problems.

Ineffective Meetings: Argumentative and heated cross-divisions meetings with discussions and language focusing on point-scoring and buck-passing rather than sharing responsibility and collaborating to solve the problem

Personal Agendas: Recruitments, selections and promotions are based on internal political agenda, for example hiring friends to guarantee personal loyalty at the expense of highly performing and more-qualified employees.

Highly Stressful Workplace: Employees are stressed and unhappy. There is a high rate of absenteeism and a high employee turnover rate.

Redesign - Design Iterations

Planning Design Iterations

Darian W. Unger, Steven D. Eppinger

Given  uncertainties and interdependencies, iteration is inevitable and must be managed effectively. Iteration is defined broadly to include almost any kind of work that involves correction, feedback or

The two tasks are interdependent if each requires information about the other. Many design processes have hundreds or thousands of such cyclically dependent tasks. These feedback cycles, or iterations, have been successfully modeled by the design structure matrix, a system analysis and project management tool useful in mapping iterations, as shown by Eppinger. Interdependent tasks that require feedback are complex and introduce the potential of burdensome and expensive rework if poorly managed.

Effective iteration provides feedback with each round, thus increasing the likelihood of success in the next round.

The scope of iteration can be a telling component of a company’s PD process.  Narrow iteration is intraphase, exemplified by several rounds of interdependent detailed design tasks.  Comprehensive
iteration is cross-phase, exemplified by processes that do not just cycle around a specific part, but rather over a range of process stages from concept to

Iterating over different parts of the PD process can have a wide range of effects. For example, building several prototypes may mitigate technical risk by determining if the product performs to the level of quality promised by design. It may also address risk by providing information on whether the product will satisfy customer needs. An early cross-phase iteration to determine if a potential architecture is reasonable may help managers estimate schedules accurately but will not necessarily mitigate market risk.

World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology
International Journal of Mechanical, Aerospace, Industrial, Mechatronic and Manufacturing Engineering Vol:7, No:1, 2013

Managing Iterations in Product Design and Development 

K. Aravindhan, Trishit Bandyopadhyay, Mahesh Mehendale, and Supriya Kumar De

Identification  of  what  will  work  and  what  will  not  work  happens  as the design  evolves  with  multiple  iterations  carried  out before  the expected  specifications  are  met.  Terms  like  “iterative”  and “creative” apply to PD.

Iterative rework taxonomy introduced by Richard et al. [2005]  provides  further  classification  –  evolutionary,  avoidable retrospective and avoidable corrective types of rework.  The evolutionary  rework  typically  occurs  when  the  developers could  not  have  known  about  or  foreseen  the  changes  that happen  in  user  requirements,  market  requirement  and design constraints.  Retrospective  rework  occurs  because  developers knew the needs but did not accommodate them for reasons such as lack of time, time to market pressure. Avoidablere work is primarily  the  rework  involved  in  fixing  defects  due to incomplete development.

Ulrich and Eppinger [2000]  define iteration as repeating  an  already  completed  task  to  incorporate  new  information. Iterations  are  inherent  in  design  and  development  since  it  is many a times a heuristic reasoning process.


Entire  product  development  involves  many  decisions  and each  decision  can  either  make  an  improvement  towards  the final product or can be a step back due to it resulting in re-work and  re-design.  The  decisions  determine  whether  the  progress has been made towards achieving the goals or there is a need to rework or iterate the earlier completed work items. Extending the  decision  point  concept  to  product  development  flow  and using  this  concept  to  identify  iteration  probability  is  a  novel idea introduced by the authors. Planned decision points are for example  reviews,  testing,  early  prototyping  etc.  Pre-planned decision points indicate the existence of planning  for iteration
in a product development or possible events in the development flow when iteration may occur. The entire product development can be visualised as a network of decision points to provide insight into identifying the iteration probability of the product development flow.

Multi Body Simulation

Multi Body Simulation or MMS is, a precursor activity, used to accurately simulate the motion of an assembly component relative to others. It incorporates the effects of motion parameters within components of an assembly. While estimating the motion and relevant physical parameters, it can also combine the mates in the assembly, and consequently motion constraints, material properties, mass, and component contacts.

Whilst carrying out the Structural Performance of a large assembly, MMS gives the relevant loading constraints in terms of reactions, displacements, trace paths, and many others. This helps to arrive at faster structural performances of the components.

Other CAE Capabilities Per need, following specific activities are used during product development stages. These helps establish a path for the design driven product development.

Preliminary Engineering Program (PEP): provides baseline specifications of components for Conceptual Design.

Multi Disciplinary Optimization (MDO): Couples product performance thru' various analyses and achieves desired objective

Knowledge Driven Program (KDP): Provides a program based on the statistical mapping of various effects of Design Drivers on the sizing and shaping of product configuration. Relevant CAE activities are extensively used to eliminate its further use, thereby faster validation coupled with time and cost saving.

@ESEC Engineering Simulation Excellence Centre or ESEC@LUMIUM comprise of a dedicated team of CAE Experts seeking the near perfect performance of the product. Team works in collaboration with the design team at various stages, which helps manage risks involved in various phases of the product design and development

With sound theoretical knowledge; baseline specifications of product, its features & guidelines for engineering concepts are established. Customized design driven approaches, considering various disciplines are used to achieve a comprehensive solution. This also helps reducing number of design iterations and lead time. Different product configurations are explored before proceeding towards final analyses. ESEC has the design driven and multi domain expertise that assists in precise definition of boundary condition for analyses. Product is iteratively Simulated, Rectified, Validated and Optimized. Thus, ESEC substantially provides support to Design Teams in critical decision making.

ESEC's CAE practices help reduce product development time and costs while improving product quality, performance and durability.

Top Management Challenges

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April 20, 2017

April 3rd Week - MBA Management Knowledge Revision

Quality Management Principles and Actions

ISO Quality Management Principles

 “ Quality management principles (QMP) ” are a set of fundamental beliefs, norms, rules and values that are accepted as true and can be used as a basis for quality management.

The seven quality management principles are :

QMP1 – Customer focus
QMP2– Leadership
QMP3 – Engagement of people
QMP4 – Process approach
QMP5– Improvement
QMP6 – Evidence-based decision making
QMP7 – Relationship management

QMP1 – Customer focus

The primary focus of quality management is to meet customer requirements and to strive
to exceed customer expectations.

Actions to be taken
•  Recognize customers: Recognize direct and indirect customers as those who receive value from the organization.
•  Research the needs and expecations of the customers (current and potential): Understand customers’ current and future needs and expectations.
•  Organizations objectives have to reflect customer needs: Link the organization’s objectives to customer needs and expectations.
•  Wide dissemination of customer requirements in the organization: Communicate customer needs and expectations throughout the organization.
•  Utilize customer needs understanding in developing products and services: Plan, design, develop, produce, deliver and support goods and services to meet customer needs and expectations.
•  Measure post purchase and use customer satisfaction: Measure and monitor customer satisfaction
and take appropriate actions.
•  Utilize customer feedback: Determine and take actions on interested parties’ needs and expectations that can affect customer satisfaction.
•  Maintain relations with customers: Actively manage relationships with customers
to achieve sustained success.

Customer focus is a part of market orientation.

QMP2– Leadership

Leaders at all levels establish unity of purpose and direction and create conditions in which people are engaged in achieving the organization’s quality objectives.

Managers at all levels have to create conditions in the work areas and the organization under them the conditions conducive to practice of quality principles.

Actions to be taken

• Communicate the organization’s mission, vision, strategy, policies and processes throughout
the organization. In the context of quality, quality policy and processes are to be communicated.
• Create and sustain shared values, fairness and ethical models for behaviour at all levels
of the organization. Quality must be a value in the organization.
• Establish a culture of trust and integrity. When any person in the organization provides an output to a customer, the quality is checked and confirmed by that person or he checks whether some other designated person has checked the item from quality angle. Self inspection by an operator is also valid quality check.
• Encourage an organization-wide commitment to quality.
• Ensure that leaders at all levels are positive examples to people in the organization. Every person in the organization follows the quality policy and processes.
• Provide people with the required resources, training and authority to act with accountability. The people are to be educated and trained in the quality processes and necessary tools are to be provided to them. Adequate authority is to be given to them to correct any item if a defect is found at any time.
• Inspire, encourage and recognize people’s contribution. People are economic people as well as social people. Positive social messages through verbal and body language, small rewards and awards will keep up the spirit of the people to engage in the activities of the organization energetically and happily.

Source: ISO Quality Management Principles

Deming’s 14 Principles or Commandments for Total Quality Management

Create constancy of purpose for improving products and services.
Adopt the new philosophy.
Cease dependence on inspection to achieve quality.
End the practice of awarding business on price alone; instead, minimize total cost by working with a single supplier.
Improve constantly and forever every process for planning, production and service.
Institute training on the job.
Adopt and institute leadership.
Drive out fear.
Break down barriers between staff areas.
Eliminate slogans, exhortations and targets for the workforce.
Eliminate numerical quotas for the workforce and numerical goals for management.
Remove barriers that rob people of pride of workmanship, and eliminate the annual rating or merit system.
Institute a vigorous program of education and self-improvement for everyone.
Put everybody in the company to work accomplishing the transformation.

The list of 14 commandments is basis for  total quality management philosophy and thus is the foundation for TQM and its successor, quality management systems.

Juran’s 10 steps for Quality management and Quality improvement 

Build awareness of opportunity to improve.
Set-goals for improvement.
Organize to reach goals.
Provide training
Carryout projects to solve problems.
Report progress.
Give recognition.
Communicate results.
Keep score.
Maintain momentum by making annual improvement part of the regular systems and processes of the company.

Phil Crosby's Prnciples

The definition of quality is conformance to requirements (requirements meaning both the product and the customer's requirements)
The system of quality is prevention
The performance standard is zero defects (relative to requirements)
The measurement of quality is the price of nonconformance
The principle of "doing it right the first time" (DIRFT).

Total Quality Management: Focus on Six Sigma - Review Notes

Top Management Challenges

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April 19, 2017

Productivity Management - A Top Management Challenge

Productivity Management - A Top Management Challenge

Managers have important role to play in increasing productivity. All management activities are applicable to the process of productivity improvement. Planning, Organizing,Resourcing, Executing and Control have to be done in the productivity improvement process.

The boundaries of productivity move outward or production from the same resource input will increase, when engineers and managers innovate and implement more effective and efficient ways of producing goods and delivering services and when designers and engineers create new and better products and services. For example, in the United States, Wal-Mart contributed to a retail-productivity boom in the late 1990s through managerial innovations that increased the sector’s competitive intensity.

Pushing out the productivity boundary or frontier will require a willingness on the part of managers and the organization to make significant changes in business processes and organizational structures, as well as trade-offs between mature businesses with healthy cash flows, on the one hand, and disruptive (often digital) business models, on the other, with the potential for self-cannibalization even as they offer a transformative productivity potential. This is a management  decision based on foresight and vision.

Digital business models have transformative productivity potential.

Labor productivity management may be become critical for world economic growth in the coming years.  In the world as a whole, the United Nations forecasts an average of just 0.03 percent annual growth in the number of employed persons during the next 50 years, compared with 1.8 percent in the last 50. Thus, for global economic growth to match its historical rates, virtually all of it must come from increases in labor productivity. But labor productivity improvement requires capital deepening as capital equipment productivity increase.

Research related to Productivity Management

Stefan Bender, et al.


NBER Working Paper 22101, March 2016


Recent research suggests that much of the cross-firm variation in measured productivity is due to differences  in  use  of  advanced  management  practices.  Many  of  these  practices  –  including monitoring,  goal  setting,  and  the  use  of  incentives  –  are  mediated  through  employee decisionmaking  and  effort.  To  the  extent  that  these  practices  are  complementary  with  workers’ skills,  better-managed firms will tend to recruit  higher-ability workers and adopt pay practices to retain  these employees. We use a unique data set that combines detailed survey data on the management practices of German manufacturing firms with  longitudinal earnings records for their employees to  study  the  relationship  between  productivity,  management,  worker  ability,  and  pay.    As documented  by  Bloom  and  Van  Reenen  (2007)  there  is  a  strong  partial  correlation  between management  practice  scores  and  firm-level  productivity  in  Germany.  In  our  preferred  TFP estimates only a small fraction of this correlation is explained by the higher human capital of  the average  employee  at  better-managed  firms.  A  larger  share  (about  13%)  is  attributable  to  the human  capital of the highest-paid workers, a group we interpret as representing the managers of
the firm.  And a similar amount is mediated through the pay premiums offered by better-managed firms.  Looking  at  employee  inflows  and  outflows,  we  confirm  that  better-managed  firms systematically  recruit  and  retain  workers  with  higher  average  human  capital.    Overall,  we conclude  that  workforce  selection  and  positive  pay  premiums  explain  just  under  30%  of  the
measured impact of management practices on productivity in German manufacturing.

Research on Productivity by McKinsey Company

Well-managed firms have higher productivity. Our research further indicates that more than 80 percent of all productivity variation occurs within a given sector for a given country and that there’s a “long tail” of persistently badly managed firms in all countries and across all sectors.

The possible solutions our research suggests include transplanting superior management practices between countries by rotating key managers, both inside companies and outside them. Rotation boosts productivity performance over time by ensuring that a larger number of operations benefit from the leadership of more productive managers. The weak managers are to be identified and have to be developed in better managers. They may be even demoted to their earlier roles where they were more effectve.

February 21, 2017

Japan Petroleum Exploration Co., Ltd.
JAPEX named “the Excellent Enterprises of Health & Productivity Management ~White 500~”

Japan Petroleum Exploration Co., Ltd. (JAPEX) was selected as one of “the Excellent Enterprises of
Health & Productivity Management ~White 500~” which is a program conducted by the Ministry of
Economy, Trade and Industry (METI)and Nippon Kenko Kaigi to award large enterprises to pursue efforts for health and productivity management.  “The Excellent Enterprises of Health & Productivity Management ~White 500~” is a new program established in fiscal 2016, which is going to certify 500 excellent enterprises  by 2020 in view of making excellent practices for health and productivity management collaborating with their insurer such as health insurance society. Health and productivity management is a practice in which enterprises focus on and strategically carry out efforts with regard to their employees’ health from a management perspective. By the establishment of this program, enterprises are expected to recognize their own efforts  objectively and improve their top managements’ awareness to health and productivity management.
JAPEX positions  HSE (health, safety, and environment) as the priority of the core CSR themes, and we have been promoting to secure occupational HSE collaborating with the human resource department, health insurance society, and occupational health staffs. In recent years, we have conducted follow up programs after medical checkup or stress check test, support programs for prevention or improvement of lifestyle related diseases or smoking-cessation, health seminars to help keeping and promoting employees’ health. Moreover, we also have strived to optimize employees’ working hours and secure their work-life balance through recommending days to have paid leave, holding time management seminar and others.  JAPEX continues to promote measures concerning employees’ health as a company-wide important priority and will pursue to further increase our corporate value.

Management practices and productivity among manufacturing businesses in Great Britain: Experimental estimates for 2015

Productivity in the Modern Office: A Matter of Impact
May 08, 2013

Margret Borchert, Stefanie Klinkhammer, Eva Koch

Strategic Productivity Management in Small and Medium-Sized Service Enterprises Using the Service Navigator

Enterprise Modelling and Information Systems Architectures, Vol. 7, No. 1, November 2012

In general, traditional productivity expresses the ‘yield of the combination of operational factors’ (Gutenberg 1958, p. 28) and addresses the question of how usefully the resources of an enterprise are combined and used. Unproductive activities and thus a low productivity are linked with inappropriate use of resources, which may result in competitive disadvantages for an enterprise. For this reason, productivity is one of the most important performance parameters for enterprises (Nachum 1999, pp. 939f. Fricke 1961, p. 135).

The performance result (output) can be conceived as the products or services produced by an enterprise within a specific period (Corsten and Gössinger 2007, p. 132; Lasshof 2006,
p. 27; Chew 1988, p. 112). Hence, the output is the result of a transformation process and reflects the (quantitative) yield of the transformation process (Lasshof 2006, p. 27; Gerhardt 1987,
pp. 73f.). The input is transformed into the desired performance result during the operational
production process.

Customer satisfaction and the perceived service quality are therefore measures of effectiveness
that are relevant for productivity. However, these measures have not been identified as outputs
in the traditional definition of productivity.

Traditional Productivity  Output/Input

Strategic Productivity
x  Cause-Effect Relationships among Inputs, Processes and Outputs
x  Consideration of Efficiency and Effectiveness Parameters
x  External (e.g. Customer Satisfaction, Service Quality)
x  Internal (Parameters related to Processes,People, Partnership and Leadership)

Productivity Management from a Super Competent Perspective
Laura Stack , 2009

Organizational Linkages
Understanding the Productivity Paradox
Washington, D.C.

Top Management Challenges

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