April 30, 2019

Zero-Based Productivity Management of Supply Chain - McKinsey Way Supply Chain Industrial Engineering

All focus areas of industrial engineering have application in supply chain productivity management. McKinsey way (2019) shows the application clearly by proposing that the redesign has to start with cost measurement. Process based industrial engineering and value based industrial engineering are the core industrial engineering methods. Economic analysis and optimization are to be used. Human effort engineering is indicated in direct labor redesign. The whole exercise has to be planned, organized and controlled by productivity management.

Supply Chain Industrial Engineering - Video Presentation

Published on 7 Apr 2013


Supply Value Chain Redesign - Zero-Based Approach - McKinsey Way (2019)

Companies can identify substantial waste and increase value (Value Analysis and Value Engineering) by applying zero-basing to every part of the supply chain. An end-to-end assessment of the supply chain, including the intersections between functions (for example, the effect of specification choice by design department on manufacturability, or the quality of information shared between functions due to lack of trust) is critical to reduce complexity, optimize planning, and improve the coordination required to optimize the full supply chain.

By undertaking such efforts, some business firms have achieved overall cost savings of up to 50 percent. 

Where is  the value in a zero-based approach redesign of supply chain?

McKinsey consultants recommend start by breaking costs into four crucial categories—direct labor (including equipment), indirect labor (including equipment), warehouse and logistics, and materials  (including conversion yields)—and building  a bottom-up view on the existing cost base. The category which may have the highest opportunity  varies by industry and type of manufacturing. In more automated settings or continuous manufacturing, equipment category may have higher opportunity. Direct-labor may be more important in  manual assembly to find savings opportunities.

Establishing granular transparency

Companies have to  seek  granularity into costs. This  visibility of lower and lower level costs, gained by aggregating ledger account data from internal sources and benchmarking data from external sources, enables organizations to establish relevant benchmarks across spending categories. Data is collected from existing recorded data  and is augmented by specially made cost studies using  observations and targeted sampling where data is lacking. The  data has to point out  regulatory and customer special requirements, which act as constraints in the problem. 

Benchmarks for each value activity of the supply chain

Benchmarks are developed for each value activity of the supply chain. From the benchmarks technology to be used, capacity to be created and resources  needed to support the organization’ business strategy are determined in a zero-based approach to supply chain value activity design.  This analysis acts as a reset or a redesign or a zero-based design, giving managers a better understanding of best possible practice of each supply chain value activity.  Benchmarks are set with intelligent decision making  to determine aspirational—yet practical—business targets (smart goals).  Benchmarks at the narrow cost-bucket level often identify potential value improvement opportunities that would remain hidden in more traditional, high-level analysis 

Defining the survival state and Evaluating Organization Choices

The survival minimum performance of the supply chain and each value activity is defined by customer value requirement ( satisfying—but not exceeding—customer requirements for service, features, and specifications), regulatory requirements (such as hygiene standards), and nonnegotiable customer requirements, often related to quality.

The costs of activities related to satisfying  customer requirements and the costs of the organization’s own choices (often based on contingencies or concessions or delight features) are calculated and challenged for their contribution to the final customer value. Activities that are determined to be low-value are challenged before they are included in the future state. 

Value Analysis and Value Engineering in Supply Chain Value Activities

Value Engineering - Value Analysis Techniques - Video Presentations

A classic example is where an organization has included an extra quality check as the result of a customer claim event—and continues to follow it long after the quality risk has been fully mitigated by addressing the root cause.

Making informed strategic choices

Once the survival minimum is established and cost of additional features are determined, the supply chain redesign team then rebuilds the supply-chain function specifically to support business strategy. This design of a strategic optimum is calculated at every step to enable the organization to make conscious choices. 

After the strategic optimal supply value chain is specified,  the team designs each value activity by  further simplification (basic engineering thinking at mechanism level) and automation  solutions. These improved engineering solutions are subjected mathematical and statistical optimization to decide optimal factor levels. All value activities in the end-to-end supply chain are redesigned at a single step to make the right trade-offs to ensure system optimization rather than functional excellence.

Read the original McKinsey article

April 29, 2019

The Managerial Function of Leading - Harold Koontz

The managerial function  of leading is defined as the process of influencing people so that they will contribute to organization and group goals.

We have to remember we are explaining the whole process of managing in five steps. Planning, organizing, staffing (resourcing), leading and control. It is during the phase of leading that staff are actually told what is expected of them in next year, next five years or next ten years. The mission, objectives, vision and goals of the company are communicated to them. It means plans are to be communicated and many of the plans or budgets have to be clear. Resources are actually allocated and put under control of some people during the leading stage. Actions that come out of the control stage are implemented through leading function.

So the managerial function of leading is focused on contribution of group members  to organization and group goals. It explores more content when compared to  the process of leading examined in organizational behavior texts.

Koontz et al. clarify this by saying there is more to managing than just leading. Leading is an essential function of managers. Managing involves planning the result of the organization, setting up the organization structure with technology, facilities and people, acquiring various equipment and staff who are competent and controlling activity to correct deviations from the plans during the execution stage.

In the area of leading, behavioral sciences make a major contribution to managing.

Behavioral or Human Factors in Managing

The individuals who join organizations have needs and objectives that important to them and to achieve them only they join organization. Managers, in the function of leading have to ensure that each role in the organization contributes to the aim of the enterprise and also satisfies the needs and objectives of the individual who performs the role. Managers need to have an understanding of multiple roles that people play in society, the individuality of people, and the personalities of people.

Multiplicity of Roles

Both managers and people working in their organizations are members of a broad social system which has a tradition of human dignity and also membership in multiple groups with different descriptions of roles.

Average Person is a Useful Concept But Individual Differences Have to be Acknowledged and Managed

In the organization policies are designed for all persons assuming that they are alike. Even though, not all the needs of individuals can be satisfied by an organization, managers need to have latitude in making individual arrangements. There is need to fit the job to the specific person doing the job to some extent.

The importance of Personal Dignity

In an organization, the actions of managers should not violate the dignity of people. The concept of individual dignity means that people must be treated with respect, no matter what their position in the organization.

Consideration of The Whole Person

A person has knowledge, attitudes, skills and personality traits. Each person has a separate bundle. The human being is influenced by external factors and reacts to them quickly and unpredictably. People cannot come to an organization for work, forgetting many other things that are impacting them. Managers have to recognize that whole person is coming into the organization and be prepared to deal with them.

Yearning - Compassionate Leadership - Relevance for Operations Managers

Yearn (v.i) - Oxford Dictionary Meaning:  to be filled with longing or compassion or tenderness
hence, yearning (n)

But Oxford thesaurus says yearning: longing, craving, desire, want, hankering, wish

In this write-up, filled with compassion or tenderness meaning is used.

Compassion or tenderness is essential in leaders. Leaders have to take of care performance (wealth) along with happiness and health. Equity is a principles of management given by Fayol. He said it is justice with kindness.  Operations management system or operations system is a social system with the objective of sustainable social group. In the working of any group of people leadership is important. But leaders have to continuously demonstrate compassion and thus provide an example for every body in the group to show similar behavior to adjust to the irritants that are part of relationships and transactional activities.

Earliest article on Compassion and Leadership  be me.

Latest on Compassionate Leadership

The Dalai Lama on Why Leaders Should Be Mindful, Selfless, and Compassionate

The Dalai Lama with Rasmus Hougaard
FEBRUARY 20, 2019, Harvard Business Review Article

Dalai Lama Quotes on Compassion

Fear and anxiety easily give way to anger and violence.

The opposite of fear is trust, which, related to warmheartedness, boosts our self-confidence.

Compassion also reduces fear, reflecting as it does a concern for others’ well-being.

This, not money and power, is what really attracts friends.

When the mind is compassionate, it is calm and we’re able to use our sense of reason practically, realistically, and with determination.

Be selfless

We are naturally driven by self-interest; it’s necessary to survive.

But we need wise self-interest that is generous and cooperative, taking others’ interests into account.

Cooperation comes from friendship, friendship comes from trust, and trust comes from kindheartedness.

Once you have a genuine sense of concern for others, there’s no room for cheating, bullying, or exploitation; instead, you can be honest, truthful, and transparent in your conduct.

Be compassionate

The ultimate source of a happy life is warmheartedness.

When it comes to human beings, compassion can be combined with intelligence. Through the application of reason, compassion can be extended to all 7 billion human beings.

Destructive emotions are related to ignorance, while compassion is a constructive emotion related to intelligence. Consequently, it can be taught and learned.

Actions motivated by anger and greed tend to be violent, whereas those motivated by compassion and concern for others are generally peaceful.

We won’t bring about peace in the world merely by praying for it; we have to take steps to tackle the violence and corruption that disrupt peace. We can’t expect change if we don’t take action.

People often don’t realize that warmheartedness, compassion, and love are actually factors for our survival.

“Managing compassionately is not just a better way to build a team, it’s a better way to build a company.” - LinkedIn’s Jeff Weiner: How Compassion Builds Better Companies

Be selfless - Be compassionate

Become Better Leader – Human Relations First Perspective


About a Course on Compassion Science


The purpose of this course is to teach the emerging science of compassion, which explores the roots of a meaningful, purposeful, and happy life. Students will discover how cutting-edge research is yielding fundamental insights into the nature of human kindness, the origins of empathy, the promotion of altruistic behavior, and the benefits of living a more compassionate life. The fundamental premise of the course is that connecting to others, behaving in kind ways, and contributing to something larger than yourself is a primary driver of human happiness and flourishing. Students will gain expertise in cross-disciplinary research from psychology, evolutionary biology, neuroscience, and beyond.

UC Irvine Undergraduates:
Search course codes 54340 (Lecture) and 54341 (Discussion) on the UCI Schedule of Classes to see course details for the Winter 2019 term. No authorization code is required.

A good bibliography on Compassion  is given below.

Compassionate Leadership - Bibliography


Learning and Practice Steps for Compassionate Leadership as Physician
Good Presentation with multiple steps for practice
Indicates self compassion as also an important step.

Audio - Jeff Weiner: Defining Compassionate Leadership
On this podcast episode, LinkedIn’s CEO discusses the need for company values and how to prepare the workforce for the fourth industrial revolution.
November 30, 2018

Compassion is now a foundational aspect of leadership. One study from 2012 found that compassionate leaders appear stronger and have more engaged followers. Other studies have found that organizations with more compassionate leaders have better collaboration, lower turnover, and employees who are more trusting, more connected to each other, and more committed to the company. In a recent survey of  1,000 leaders from 800 organizations, 91% of them said compassion is very important for their leadership and 80% said they would like to enhance their compassion and would like to have avenues for it.

HBR article
Assessment: Are You a Compassionate Leader?
Rasmus Hougaard, Jacqueline Carter, Jason Beck
MAY 15, 2018

Compassionate Leadership: A Mindful Call To Lead From Both Head And Heart
Margie Warrell

Why a Compassionate Leader Gets Results
March 22, 2017/John C. Maxwell


Meysam Poorkavoos

Academy of Management ProceedingsVol. 2016, No. 1
Operationalizing Compassionate Leadership Behavior
Brad Shuck, Meera Alagaraja, Jason Immekus, Denise M. Cumberland and Maryanne Honeycutt-Elliott


Compassionate Leadership: How to create and maintain engaged, committed and high-performing teams
Manley Hopkinson
Hachette UK, 04-Dec-2014 - Business & Economics - 240 pages

This book will introduce you to the art of compassionate leadership - the art of getting the best for and out of people through the fulfilment of self-worth. It will show leaders how to give their teams a real sense of purpose and direction in order to motivate and inspire them to perform at a high level.

To illustrate his message, author Manley Hopkinson draws on his background as a board member of companies including ATLAS Consortium and Hewlett Packard Defence UK, his career as an inspirational speaker and his adventure experiences as skipper in the BT Global Challenge (a round the world yacht race) and The Polar Race (an expedition style race to the Magnetic North Pole).


Compassionate Leaders are Effective Leaders
Great companies have compassionate leaders, says Google's "Jolly Good Fellow."


Compassionate Leadership

Ted Engstrom, Paul Cedar
Baker Books, 18-Jul-2011 - Religion - 176 pages

What do compassionate leaders with years of experience have to say to leaders of today? What does Christ's example show us about leadership? What are the perils and pitfalls that can ensnare young Christian leaders? In Compassionate Leadership, Ted Engstrom and Paul Cedar bring their considerable experience to bear on the issues facing young leaders of today. Instead of discussing power, management, and organization, their advice involves being generous, believing in people, and helping to meet needs, encouraging friends, getting excited about the good things that happen to others, and helping others in their walk with the Lord. Jesus told us that to become great, we must be compassionate servants. Here's how.

NRao Management Blog - NRaoMtr - Domain Authority - 89/100

30 April 2019
Backlink profile for http://nraomtr.blogspot.com
Domain with all its subdomains
Domain rating 26
Backlinks 15,306  95% dofollow
Referring domains 322 25% dofollow

30 April 2019

External links to page 2,307
URL age (Years) 7.3
External links to domain 13,175
Website age (Years) 7.3


I came to know today that I can check domain authority for blogs.

I checked the DA for http://nraomtr.blogspot.com/

The website for it is http://www.seoreviewtools.com/website-authority-checker/

It gave me the score as 89/100.

It says social shares are 213. I know it is a big number when compared to my other blogs.

89 is a good performance.  I am happy.

Thanks to the blogger for the page http://www.girlgonedreamer.co.uk/2017/03/blogging-tips-learn-from-others.html

Updated on 30 April 2019,  2 April 2017

April 27, 2019

Management Theory and Practice - Bulletin Board

Engineering and Management News - A Daily Publication  - Management Principles and Propositions

HBR Business Blogs

April 2019

One of the best tests of effectiveness of a social system is the number of ideas generated lower down and accepted higher up. - Bill Reddin

September 2018

7 daily habits of the best managers
August 9, 2018
Kristin Tyndall, editorKristin Tyndall, Senior Editor

March 2018

Managing Greatest people - Steve Jobs

The greatest people are self-managing -- they don't need to be managed. Once they know what to do, they'll go figure out how to do it. What they need is a common vision. And that's what leadership is: having a vision; being able to articulate that so the people around you can understand it; and getting a consensus on a common vision.



Among Planning, Organizing, Resourcing and Staffing, Directing and Controlling, directing activity can be minimized when you have greatest people in your team. Recruiting them is important. Once you have such people Managing can be planning, organizing and controlling the main events. The processes can be left to the people to figure out and execute. You don't have to micro manage things.

Jobs terms people with highest maturity of business processes and tasks as greatest people.




November 2017

Transformations by New CEOs

Amoeba Management - Kazuo Inamori - Full Web Page on the topic with various links


27 August 2016

Why Companies Can’t Perceive Customer Insights and Can't Turn the limited Customer Insight into Growth

BCG Perspectives
16 August 2016

Many companies spend more time looking inward. Check in your next internal meeting, record on one sdie each mention of an internal topic, such as financial or operational performance, plans, metrics, organization, employees, or culture. On the other side, record each discussion of an external topic, related to competition such as technology, innovation, purpose, testing, social media conversations, or topics related to customer,  customers’ behaviors, needs, and wants. You will be surprised to see that internal topics dominate the external topics. Hence people spend more time in preparing for answering internal issues related questions and spend less time customers and competition.  This is not a good way of allocating top management and middle management resources. At each meeting, the priority area is to be decided and adequate time is to be given to that area. There has to be balance in various activities of the organisation. This principle was given by Henri Fayol way back in 1920s.

Values of Business Schools

Popular Posts of This Blog









Updated  30 March 2018,  12 November 2017, 20 October 2016,  27 August 2016,  18 September 2015

April 26, 2019

Xenogamy (Cross Fertilization) - Evolution of Operations Management

                                          Location: NITIE Office Room in Old Academic Building

Manufacturing has progressed from individual or cottage or craft based activity into industrial organisation and now into the post-industrial economy. There are many key thinkers and turning points in the development of modern operations management that plans, organizes, resources, directs and controls a net work of manufacturing, storing and transport facilities connected by information and financial flows and supplies goods and services at  prices market is willing to buy and at costs that give adequate profits to all the participants in the supply chain.

Production and Operations Management - The Beginning

1886 - ASME - Henry Towne - Shop Management and Works Management

American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) made the beginning in the field of works management and shop management.

Henry Towne, in a paper presented to the society (ASME) in 1886 observed that  the work of all engineers, especially that of the mechanical engineers, includes the executive duties of organizing and superintending the operations of industrial establishments, and of directing the labor of the artisans whose organized efforts yield the fruition of his work.

To insure the best results, the organization of productive labor must be directed and controlled by persons having not only good executive ability, and possessing the practical familiarity of a mechanic or engineer with the goods produced and the processes employed, but having also, and equally, a practical knowledge of how to observe, record, analyze and compare essential facts in relation to wages, supplies, expense accounts, and all else that enters into or affects the economy of production and the cost of the product. 

It will probably not be disputed that the matter of shop management is of equal importance with that of engineering, as affecting the successful conduct of most, if not all, of our great industrial establishments, and that the management of works  has become a matter of such great and far-reaching importance as perhaps to justify its classification also as one of the modern arts. A vast amount of accumulated experience in the art of workshop management already exists, but there is no record of it available to the world in general. Surely this condition of things is wrong and should be remedied. The remedy should originate  from  engineers, and, for the reasons above indicated, particularly from mechanical engineers. So, Towne put forward the question, "why should it not originate from, and be promoted by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers?"

The discussion and the dissemination of useful knowledge in this specialty, group themselves under two principal heads, namely: Shop Management, and Shop Accounting. A third head may be named which is sub-ordinate to, and partly included in each of these, namely: Shop Forms  and Blanks. Under the head of Shop Management fall the questions of organization, responsibility, reports, systems of contract and piece work, and all that relates to the executive management of works, mills and factories. Under the head of Shop Accounting fall the questions of time and wages systems, determination of costs, whether by piece or day-work, the distribution of the various expense accounts, the ascertainment of profits, methods of book-keeping, and all that enters into the system of accounts which relates to the manufacturing departments of a business, and to the determination and record of its results.

This work, if undertaken by the society, may be kept separate and distinct from the present work of the society (engineering work) by organizing a new "section" (which might be designated the " Economic Section'').

In the case of shop information of  a manufacturing establishment, there is now in use, in connection with the manufacturing accounts and exclusive of the ordinary commercial accounts, some twenty various forms of special record and account books, and more than one hundred printed forms and blanks. .The primary object to which all of these contribute is the systematic recording of the operations of the different departments of the works, and the computation therefrom of such statistical information as is essential to the efficient management of the business, and especially to increased economy of production. All of these special books and forms have been the outgrowth of experience extending over many years, and represent a large amount of thoughtful planning and intelligent effort at constant development and improvement. The methods in use presently,  would undoubtedly be of great value to others engaged in similar operations, and particularly to persons engaged in organizing and starting new enterprises. The society can provide a platform for explaining the present practices and many would come forward to engage in such a dialogue to benefit from the idea generated in the discussions.

Costs of products were reduced by many companies without encroaching upon the earnings of the men engaged and the results we know are quite striking.

A portion of the cost reductions indicated resulted from improved appliances, larger product, and increased experience, but after making due allowance for all of these, there remains a large portion of the reduction which, to the writer's knowledge, is fairly attributable to the operations of the peculiar piece-work system adopted. Henry Towne, promised to present the details and operations of this system followed in his company in the proceedings of the new section of  the society, in due time. He expressed the hope that other, and probably much more valuable, information and experience relating to systems of contract and piece-work would doubtless be contributed by other members.

One can clearly see in the paper by Towne, the acceptance of the idea of "Xenogamy (Cross Fertilization)" to develop the subjects of shop management and works management.

For the full paper of Towne

The Engineer as an Economist- Henry Towne

Gain Sharing, Piecework and Day Work Systems

Henry Towne presented his ideas on involving labor in cost reduction work of the production organization in the paper "Gain Sharing" presented in 1889. This paper advocated bonus to all the employees based on the reduction achieved in the cost of production relative to a base year. Halsey in 1891 presented a paper and argued for production time as the basis for paying bonus to the individual workers. F.W. Taylor presented a more comprehensive system in 1895. It is very important to note that Taylor, proposed that organization of "Elementary Rate Fixing Department" as the fundamental step to achieve cost reductions. To implement the changes proposed by the rate fixing departments, differential piece rate system has to be introduced.

Elementary Rate Fixing Department (1895 - Taylor)

Taylor started this department of section in his company and its successful record was presented to the ASME in 1895. This department has to study the productive capabilities machines and men in a scientific manner and establish the speeds at which machines can work and men can work and based on the speed information has to decide the time required for completing various jobs or tasks. Such scientific information has to be used to set piece rates. This department must have status equal to the engineering department of the organization.  So Taylor organized the first industrial engineering department that is parallel to the engineering department of the company and is focused on the study of machines and men and in actual working on specific  jobs and in designing best methods of working that reduce cost of production.

Shop Management (1905 - Taylor)

Taylor responded to the call by Towne to described innovations in the field of management done by engineers who had done managerial work as part of engineer's functions. He contributed a paper on redesign of belts based on cost data (1893) and another paper on increasing productivity and reducing costs by organizing elementary rate fixing department and installing differential piece rate system.

In 1895, he presented a book length paper on shop management. He described many practices that will contribute to productivity improvement and effectiveness improvement. He also indicated the innovations of many others in the field of shop management. Taylor also contributed to discussions on shop accounting and its contribution to improving productivity.

In the paper "Shop Management", Taylor wrote, "The art of management has been defined, "as knowing exactly what you want men to do, and then seeing that they do it in the best and cheapest way.""  No concise definition can fully describe an art, but the relations between employers and men form without question the most important part of this art. In considering the subject, therefore, until this part of the problem has been fully discussed, the other phases of the art may be left in the background. Once again, we have to carefully note this sentence. Taylor said, the many other items are left in the background and issues related to managing men are highlighted.

For more details of shop management

F.W. Taylor - Shop Management - With Appropriate Sections and Themes

Works Management - Harvard Business School and New York University

Works management was taught at Harvard Business School (HBS). James Gunn who first mentioned the word industrial engineering in 1901 worked in HBS. C.B. Thompson who wrote many papers and book on Scientific Management worked in HBS.

A New York University Engineering College, Walter Rautentrauch, organized a course on works management during 1908 to 1911. C.B. Going taught Industrial Engineering as a part of that course.

Industrial Engineering Course - Penn State College

Hans Diemer is the first full time industrial engineering faculty. He started the four year industrial engineering course in Penn State College. He published his proposed 4 year program in an article. Walter Rautentrauch criticized the course for lack sufficient attention to manufacturing, the key focus of industrial engineering.

In the modern era, Elwood Buffa is given the credit for developing Production Management subject.

A detailed writeup on Operations Management

Operations Management by Martin Spring in Oxford Handbook of Management

Books on Shop Management, Works Management, Production Management and Operations Management

The Commercial Management of Engineering Works
by Francis G. Burton
Publication date 1899
Publisher The Scientific publishing co.

Production factors in cost accounting and works management
byChurch, A. Hamilton (Alexander Hamilton), 1866-1936
Publication date 1910
Topics Cost accounting, Factory management
Publisher New York, The Engineering magazine

The human factor in works management
by Hartness, James, 1861-1934
Publication date 1912

The Science Of Works Management
by Batey, John
Publication date 1914

Creative Construction - Path for Effective Innovation Management

Creative Construction: The DNA of Sustained Innovation

Creative Construction, a readable practicum of a book aimed at senior leaders written Gary Pisano, HBS. He writes in it, building an organization’s capacity to innovate involves three essential leadership tasks: (1) creating an innovation strategy, (2) designing an innovation system, and (3) building an innovation culture.”



James Taylor


Human Component of Supply Chain Management Will Come Down - Machine Component Will Increase.

HBR Article

The Death of Supply Chain Management
Allan Lyall, Pierre Mercier, Stefan Gstettner
JUNE 15, 2018

Technologies will soon take over supply chain management.

Within 5-10 years, the human component of  supply chain function may be obsolete, replaced by a smoothly running, self-regulating utility that optimally manages end-to-end work flows and requires very little human intervention.

With a digital foundation in place, companies can capture, analyze, integrate, easily access, and interpret high quality, real-time data — data that fuels process automation, predictive analytics, artificial intelligence, and robotics, the technologies that will soon take over supply chain management.

April 25, 2019

What is Operations Management?

Picture Source:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tillamook_County_Creamery_Association

While marketing uncovers needs of people in general and uncovers needs of people at a particular point and books orders for the goods and services, it is the operations function of a business firm that develops goods and services and produces and delivers them to customers at the place where they desire the delivery.

MIT's Explanation of Operations Management.

Operations Management deals with the design and management of products, processes, services and supply chains. It considers the acquisition, development, and utilization of resources that firms need to deliver the goods and services their clients want.


Harvard Business School - Operations

As the world of operations has changed, so have interests and priorities within the Unit. Historically, the TOM Unit focused on manufacturing and the development of physical products. Over the past several years, we have expanded our research, course development, and course offerings to encompass new issues in information technology, supply chains, and service industries.

The field of TOM is concerned with the design, management, and improvement of operating systems and processes. As we seek to understand the challenges confronting firms competing in today's demanding environment, the focus of our work has broadened to include the multiple activities comprising a firm's "operating core":

the multi-function, multi-firm system that includes basic research, design, engineering, product and process development and production of goods and services within individual operating units;

the networks of information and material flows that tie operating units together and the systems that support these networks; 

the distribution and delivery of goods and services to customers.


University of Strathclyde, Glasgow

Operations management is a value-adding area of an organisation concerned with innovation, production and distribution of goods and services to customers whilst ensuring that the use of organisational resources remains efficient and effective.


Understanding Operations Management
Open University UK Note


Slides on Operations Management

Slides based on book by Roberta Russell and Bernard W. Taylor
919 slides

April 24, 2019

Visionary Leadership for Operations Management

Aligned Vision, Task Completion capability (with Effectiveness and Efficiency), Happy Employees and Supply Chain Partners - Three Dimensions of Importance in Operations Management

                                      Picture source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Jobs

Stage 3 Leadership - David El Berlew - Leadership and Organizational Excitement

Stage 3 leadership  comprises of  custodial,  managerial and charismatic  leadership.  The word "charisma" has been used in many ways with many meanings. Berlew defines it  in terms of three different types or classes of leadership behavior which provide meaning to work find generate organizational excitement. These are:
• the development of a "common vision' organization related to values shared organization's members;
• the discovery or creation of value opportunities and activities within the work of the mission and goals of the tion; and
• making organization members feel and more in control of their own destiny individually and collectively.

The first requirement for Stage 3 or leadership is a comm on or shared vision the future could be. To provide mean generate excitement, such a common vision must reflect goals or a future state of affairs valued by the organization's members thus important to them to bring about.

All inspirational speeches or writings have the common element of some vision or dream of a better existence which will inspire or excite those who share the author's values. This basic wisdom has to be incorporated in managerail practice.

Characteristics of Visionary Leadership

In describing the characteristics of visionary leaders, David Berlew (1974) purports that the first requirement for Stage 3 leadership is the existence of a common or shared vision for the future of
the organization. He states that "all inspirational speeches or writings have the common element of some vision or dream of a better existence which will inspire or excite those who share the author's
values" (1974, p. 24) . He claims "a vision, no matter how well articulated, will not excite or provide meaning for individuals whose values are different from those implied by the vision" (1974, p. 24), Berlew states that no matter how well articulated, a vision that is not congruent with the values and beliefs (or individual visions) of the subordinates will not be accepted. Therefore, the vision must arise from the values of the group being led. It is not just created by the leader and then "sold" to the subordinates. Berlew states, "one problem for heads of complex organizations is that . . . they must represent and articulate the hopes and goals of many different groups. . . . Only the exceptional leader can instinctively identify and articulate the common vision relevant to such diverse groups" (1974,
p. 24) .

Another quality of the exceptional leader is the ability to act consistently in accordance with the vision. "The effectiveness of the common vision depends upon the leader's ability to 'walk the talk':

Bennis and Nanus in their research found that  leaders were all concerned primarily with the organizations ' basic purpose and were "vision-oriented" (1985, p. 21) . They identified four areas of competency ("strategies") that all of these leaders embodied. Strategy I is attention through vision . The leader clearly articulates a compelling results-oriented vision for the future that grows out of the needs of the entire organization. Bennis and Nanus claim, "Leaders are the most results-oriented individuals in the world, and results get attention. Their visions are compelling and pull people toward them" (1985, p. 28)

Strategy II is meaning through communication . The leader influences and organizes meaning and interprets events for the members of the organization in a way that fosters creation of the vision. "An
essential factor in leadership is the capacity to influence and organize meaning for the members of the organization" (Bennis and Nanus , 1985, p. 39)

Strategy III is trust through positioning . Trust is created and subordinates accept the vision when the leader is "reliable and tirelessly persistent" (Bennis and Nanus, 1985, p. 45) . The leader acts consistently with the vision which creates trust in the leadership. The leader communicates through actions his/her commitment to the vision. "Leaders acquire and wear their visions like clothes" (Bennis and Nanus, 1985, p. 46). This concept is similar to Berlew's (1974) description of the importance of the leader's willingness to "walk the talk."

Strategy IV is deployment of the self through positive self-regard and through the "Wallenda Factor." It is important to have self confidence and to maintain one's focus on the vision, not the obstacles. These leaders, like Karl Wallenda, the tightrope aerialist, "simply don't think about failure, don't even use the word (Bennis and Nanus, 1985, p. 69) . Mistakes are not considered failures because they lead to new learnings.

The ability to articulate and define reality and the vision for the future is especially important in the change process, in transforming organizations, where the social architecture must be revamped
(1985, p. 139) . Bennis and Nanus state that "for a successful transformation to be achieved, three things have to happen . . . [the leader must] 1) create a new and compelling vision capable of bringing the work force to a new place, 2) develop commitment for the new vision, and 3) institutionalize the new vision" (1985, pp. 140-141).

Mary Parker Follett (1941) supports this concept in her statement: . . . the most successful leader of all is one who sees another picture not yet actualized. He sees the things which belong in his present picture but which are not yet there. . . . Above all, he should make his co-workers see that it is not his purpose which is to be achieved, but a common purpose, bom of the desires and the activities of the group, (pp. 143-144)

According to Bennis and Nanus (1985) , commitment is created, achieving the "alignment" within the organization around a common vision, by helping co-workers realize that one's vision is in fact a common vision. They state: A vision cannot be established in an organization by edict, or by the exercise of power or coercion. It is more of an act of persuasion, of creating an enthusiastic and dedicated commitment to a vision because it is right for the times, right for the organization, and right for the people who are working in it. (p. 107)

Bennis and Nanus (1985) agree with Berlew (19 74) that "if the organization is to be successful, the image must grow out of the needs of the entire organization and must be 'claimed' or 'owned' by all the important actors" (Bennis and Nanus, 1985, p. 109). Bennis and Nanus also agree with Berlew that the vision must begin at the top of the organization and is the responsibility of the CEO (chief executive officer) who "articulates the vision and gives it legitimacy" (Bennis and Nanus, 1985, pp. 109 and 141)

Sashkin (1986) discusses thinking processes used by visionary leaders. He describes visionary leaders as being able to think in terms of long time spans (10 to 20 years or more) in order to conceptualize long-range visions. He terms this characteristic "cognitive ability" which is derived from the work of Elliott Jacques' (1964) theory of "time span of discretion." Sashkin (1986) further describes four processes or thinking skills that visionary leaders use in creation of a vision. The first skill is called "expressing the vision" and involves performing actions to make it real such as meeting with involved people or writing a policy. The second step involves "explaining" the vision or describing the actions required. The third skill is "extending" the vision, the ability to apply the necessary actions to a variety of situations. The fourth skill is called "expanding" the vision and involves applying it not just in a variety of similar ways but in a wide range of circumstances.

Sashkin (1988) identifies three critical elements of visionary leadership. The first element involves personality prerequisites concerning the leader's need for power and the four cognitive skills described above. The second element involves the leader's understanding of "key content dimensions" that are essential for an effective vision and which are based on certain functions that define the organization's culture. Sashkin describes three underlying themes that constitute an effective vision: dealing with change effectively, developing high-standard and important goals, and providing ways that people can work together and feel ownership for the vision. The third element involves the leader's ability to articulate the vision through certain behavioral skills which are used to implement programs and policies that reflect the leader's organizational philosophy.

Kiefer and Stroh (1984, p. 182) state these leaders are able to:

1. Create and commianicate a personal and organizational vision to which they are wholeheartedly committed,
2. Catalyze alignment around a common vision.
3. Revitalize and recommit to the vision in the face of obstacles
4. Understand an organization as a complex system whose structure may enable or thwart realization of the vision. Develop (or change) structures as needed to support the vision.
5. Empower themselves and empower others.
6. Develop intuition as a complement to rational thinking.

Kouzes and Posner (1987) report the results of a study where over 500 executives were asked to describe their "personal best" leadership experiences. From analysis of responses, they determined consistent leadership practices that involved five strategies. The first is "challenging the process" or looking for new innovative ways to do things. The second is "inspiring a shared vision." The third is
"enabling others to act" or empowering others. The fourth is "modeling the way," which is similar to Berlew's (1974) concept of "walk the talk." The fifth is "encouraging the heart," which involves celebration and recognition of successes along the way.

Kouzes and Posner (1987) describe ten behavioral commitments that visionary leaders exhibit (p. 14) . These commitments are listed below with the strategy to which they relate.

Challenging the Process
1. Search for Opportunities
2 . Experiment and Take Risks Inspiring a Shared Vision
3. Envision the Future
4 . Enlist Others Enabling Others to Act
5. Foster Collaboration
6 . Strengthen Others Modeling the Way
7. Set the Example
8. Plan Small Wins Encouraging the Heart
9. Recognize Individual Contribution
10. Celebrate Accomplishments

Abraham Zaleznik (1977) describes the following characteristics of Stage 3 leaders. He refers to these leaders as "twice-born" personalities, who search for change; who possess an imaginative capacity to visualize purposes; who have the ability to communicate it to others; and who are able to generate value in their work. He compares these leaders to Stage 2 leaders which he refers to as "once-born" personalities.

Value of a Clear Vision for Groups

The process of creating, articulating, and agreeing upon a vision for a group elucidates the purpose of the group (Kiefer and Stroh, 1984) . When the purpose of the group is clear, members move more
easily in the same direction with less conflict and are able to agree upon goals and objectives more easily.

Allen and Kraft (1984) assert an advantage of articulating a clear, agreed-upon vision and the resulting goals for groups is that this process directly influences the group's norms. Norms are the
implicit and explicit expectations held by group members about acceptable group behavior (Schein, 1969, p. 59). Allen and Kraft (1984) describe norms as "the building blocks of our cultures-those expected, accepted, and supported ways of behaving that determine so much of what we do" (p. 93) .

Allen and Kraft (1984) assert that influencing norms is essential in any change process, a concept which is supported by Kanter (1983)
Allen and Kraft (1984) maintain that a focus on a clear, articulated vision for a group facilitates the development of helpful norms for a group.

Kiefer and Stroh (1984) also speak to the power of having a clear vision for a group. They state, "A vision has the capacity to motivate people far more effectively than a precisely defined solution" (p.
174) . They maintain, "The vision embodies people's highest values and aspirations (for self-actualization, excellence, service and community) . It inspires people- to rise above their fears and preoccupations with current reality" (p. 174)

Bennis and Nanus (1985) state, "Vision animates, inspirits, transforms purpose into action" (.p. 30) . They offer a description by Jerry Neely of how a clear vision influenced daily functioning in Smith
International, a major manufacturer of oil drilling and rigging equipment: "The employees were willing to take a chance because they felt part of something magic and they wanted to work that extra hour or make that extra call, or stay that extra Saturday" (p. 216)

Vision in Peak Performing Organizations

Kiefer and Senge (1984) and Kiefer and Stroh (1984) describe visionary or high performing organizations as ones where all members are aligned around a powerful, unifying vision. Kiefer and Stroh (1984) assert that these organizations are capable of inspired performance and have attained the highest levels in both organizational performance and in human satisfaction (p. 171) . The organization operates with viction that it can shape its own destiny (Kiefer and Senge, 1984, p.
70) . This viewpoint is grounded in the interpretive paradigm described by Smircich (1983) and Weick (1979) which asserts it is possible to affect one's sense of reality through the meaning one assigns to events. Stroh (1984), Kiefer and Senge (1984), Kiefer (1983) et al. assert that it is possible to create whatever one wants and that people and organizations need not be bound by current circumstances or limited by outside forces. For example, perhaps an organization might define a new product line developed by a competing organization as an obstacle or a limiting factor. The peak performing organization would maintain its focus on its purpose or vision, not the obstacle, and
might define the obstacle as a "challenge" or "test" or "step" in move- ment toward the vision. In other words, the peak performing organization would use the "obstacle" to its own advantage instead of fighting it or giving up, while another organization might limit itself in the face of the "obstacle."

Kiefer and Senge (1984) state that the unifying principle of these high performing organizations is that "individuals aligned around an appropriate vision can have an extraordinary influence in the world" (p. 70) . This principle forms the basis for a coherent organizational philosophy with five primary elements:

(1) a deep sense of vision or purposefulness,
(2) alignment around that vision,
( 3) empowering people
(4) structural integrity,
(5) the balance of reason and intuition

Bennis, Warren and Nanus, Bert. Leaders: The Strategies for Taking Charge . New York: Harper and Row, 1985.

Berlew, David E. "Leadership and Organizational Excitement," in California Management Review , 1974, 17, 21-30.

Follett, Mary Parker. Dynamic Administration . New York: Harper and Row, 1941.

Jacques. Elliott. Ti.e-Span Handbook. London: Hainemann. 1964.

Sashkin, Marshall "The Visionary Leader," Training and Development Journal, 1986 May.

Doctoral Dissertation 1988

Visionary leadership, management, and high performing work units : an analysis of workers perceptions.
Madelyn Jessica Stoner-Zemel
University of Massachusetts Amherst


Visionary Leadership - Leadership Competency - Strategic Alignment

Visionary leadership, the communication of a future image of a collective with the intention to persuade others to contribute to its realization, is widely seen as a particularly effective way of mobilizing and motivating followers.

We take stock of the state of the science in visionary leadership and conclude that conclusions regarding the effectiveness of visionary leadership are overly optimistic at least in the sense that the existing evidence base leaves much to be desired.

We identify methodological and conceptual issues to take into consideration in moving the study of visionary leadership forward.

Visionary leadership is widely seen as key to strategic change. That’s because visionary leadership does not just set the strategic direction — it tells a story about why the change is worth pursuing and inspires people to embrace the change. Not surprisingly, then, science and practice have a very positive view of visionary leadership as a critical leadership competency.

But research finds that the positive impact of visionary leadership breaks down when middle managers aren’t aligned with top management’s strategic vision. This can cause strategic change efforts to slow down or even fail.

Visionary leadership is not just important for senior managers; it also matters for middle and lower level managers, who play a key role in carrying out strategic change. Their ability to inspire their own teams and create strategic alignment — a shared understanding of and commitment to the company’s strategy — within them is a core element in successful strategy execution.

Google’s data-driven Project Oxygen identified visionary leadership as one of the eight traits of stellar middle managers.

When middle managers were aligned with top management’s strategic vision, things played out as the widespread view of visionary leadership would suggest: the more these managers engaged in visionary leadership (by communicating their vision for the future and articulating where they wanted their team to be in five years,) the greater the shared understanding of strategy in their team, and the more the team was committed to strategy execution.

For managers that were misaligned with the company strategy, however, the dark side of visionary leadership became evident. The more these misaligned managers displayed visionary leadership, the less strategic alignment and commitment were observed among their teams.

Out interview findings extended these results. Employees of misaligned visionary managers indicated that their managers created confusion and uncertainty about what the company strategy entailed. This disengaged their teams from the company strategy.

Whereas visionary leadership thus was a positive force when managers were aligned with the company strategy, it became a negative force standing in the way of strategic alignment when the middle manager’s vision diverged from the company’s.

The importance of these findings lies in the fact that they caution against what is common practice in many companies. Many companies invest heavily in leadership development. Almost invariably, visionary leadership is seen as a crucial leadership competency in such efforts.

At the same time, companies tend to invest markedly less in creating strategic alignment among their managers.  Research on strategy execution has documented, however, that there are a range of reasons for why managers may not be aligned with company strategy. Managers’ strategic alignment cannot be assumed as a given.

How do you ensure that managers are aligned on your company’s strategy? strategic alignment  starts with creating strategic alignment among middle managers before strategy execution efforts begin. This should not be one-time communication but a dialogue; people will only take ownership of strategic change if they are consistently persuaded by its value.

Why Visionary Leadership Fails

Nufer Yasin Ates, Murat Tarakci Jeanine P. PorckDaan van KnippenbergPatrick Groenen
HBR, February 2019

Colette M. Taylor, Casey J. Cornelius, Kate Colvin, (2014) "Visionary leadership and its relationship to organizational effectiveness", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 35 Issue: 6, pp.566-583, https://doi.org/10.1108/LODJ-10-2012-0130

Visionary Leadership: Creating Scenes that Change the Future

Nano Tools for Leaders® are fast, effective leadership tools that you can learn and start using in less than 15 minutes — with the potential to significantly impact your success as a leader and the engagement and productivity of the people you lead.

Are You a Visionary Business Leader?
Dave Lavinsky

Visionary Leadership: A Proven Pathway to Visionary Change
William A. Ihlenfeldt
AuthorHouse, 2011 - Education - 116 pages

Bibliography on Leadership

Theories of Leadership

Leadership Theories - Bibliography

Related Articles

Leadership - Koontz and O'Donnell - Review Notes  - Points on leadership given in principles of management book

Leadership Styles, Roles, Activities, Skills and Development
Cognitive Resources Theory of Leadership
The concepts of Leadership and Management
Changing Leadership Style
Successful Leadership - Effective Leadership
Social and Emotional Intelligence for Effective Leadership

Leadership Themes

Authentic Leadership
Servant Leadership - An Explanation
Team Leadership
Leadership Roles - The Concept

April 23, 2019

Understanding Resource Utilization: Machine, Material, Man, Information and Energy

Picture source: https://archive.defense.gov/photos/newsphoto.aspx?newsphotoid=6931

Understanding of Product and Resources Used in Producing It.

A business cannot be started unless the customer requirement is understood and a product or service that satisfies those requirements is developed and designed. Once a product is developed, complete understanding the products features that the benefits they provide to the customer or the requirements they satisfy is to be understood by many in the business. The marketing and sales people have to know the product thoroughly and also the customer requirements which were targeted to be satisfied by the product.

A production or operation system is designed to produce the goods or services. Resources are used in the production system. In resource planning, which is part of organization function of management, based on the products to be produced and the output over a long period, resource requirements are determined and the resources are acquired. Operations managers have to understand the services that each resource can provide and its utilization. Such an understanding will provide opportunities to increase utilization and also cost effective utilization.

Operations managers have to understand the utility of  machine, material, man, information and energy. They have to assess the rationality of each of these resources or entities in their role in the operations system they are running.

Product - Customer requirements and approval of the design in the form of prototype. Operations analysis from the manufacturability angle, quality angle, and productivity angle.

Machine - Understanding the operations that can be performed on the machine. Is the operation specified and machine selected right decision from quality and cost angles?

Material - Is the material specification right? In value engineering, a question regarding applicable standards is raised. Are applicable standard materials being used in appropriate way?

Man - Operations managers have to understand the man. They have to study human sciences adequately and utilize the practice implications of various theories developed in human sciences and organization behavior subject. Ergonomics is an applied science related work of man.

Information -The role of information in shop management or operations management was indicated by F.W. Taylor in 1895. Emphasis on written operations instructions is the first point that highlighted the importance of information and information system. The evolution of information systems into Internet of Things  systems, a comprehensive information system that includes machines and men makes understanding information systems imperative for operations managers.

Energy - Energy is now a significant input in operations/production systems. Automation has increased in operations systems. Now operations managers have to understand energy utilization and ways to conserve energy.

Understanding all the resources or inputs used in a process is part of process analysis.

Understanding manufacturing processes is essential to ensuring a firm's competitiveness. A process is any part of an organization that takes inputs and transforms them into outputs that ideally are of greater value to the customer than the original inputs. Processes can be analysed and improved for increasing effectiveness and efficiency. Effectiveness improves when a process can produce to better specifications in terms size and performance. Efficiency is improved when a process utilizes less resources and produces less number of defects. Operations managers use industrial engineering techniques to improve efficiency of processes.

In the book (Chase et al.), Using examples of a fast food restaurant and a Las Vegas slot machine, processes are described and cycle time and utilization are presented. In the slot machine example, the diagram or process flowchart is discussed.

Analyzing a process allows some important questions to be answered, such as: What is the production rate?  How much does the process cost? What is the process capability? etc.  The purpose of the analysis needs to be clarified first to select an analysis technique.

Processes can be either single-stage or multiple-stage. For multiple-stage processes buffers or storage areas exist between manufacturing activities. Key manufacturing issues arising from multiple-stage operations include buffering, blocking, starving, and bottlenecks.

An additional way to classify manufacturing processes is either as make-to-order or make-to-stock. The type of process depends on whether the production is initiated in response to an actual order or whether customer orders are filled from existing finished goods inventories. Hybrid processes combine features of both make-to-order and make-to-stock environments.

Process Metrics

Measuring process performance is an important activity. Companies can be compared to others in a benchmarking process.

The most common process metric is utilization. Utilization is the ratio of the time that a resource is actually being used relative to the time it is available for use.

Productivity is the ratio of output to input. It is also popularly used to assess a firm's performance. Efficiency is defined as the ratio of the actual output to a standard output.

Run time is the time required to produce a batch of parts. Setup time, and operation time along with throughput time and throughput rate are also important metrics.

Process velocity (also known as throughput ratio) is the ratio of the total throughput time to the value added time.

The chapter ends with a discussion of ways to reduce throughput time and offers suggestions including performing activities in parallel, changing the sequence of activities, and reducing interruptions.

An operations manager uses job design techniques to structure work to meet the physical and behavioral needs of the employee. Work measurement methods are used to determine the most efficient means of performing a given task, as well as to set reasonable standards for performing it. Work performance standards are important to the workplace so accomplished can be measured and evaluated. Standards permit better planning and costing and provide a basis for compensating the work force and even providing incentives.

Trends in job design include quality as part of the worker's job. Today many workers are cross-trained to perform multiskilled jobs and total quality programs are important for all employees. Team approaches, information, use of temporary workers, automation, and organizational commitment are other key issues in job design decisions.

Behavioral considerations in job design include how specialized a job will be. Specialization has unique advantages and disadvantages. At the other extreme from specialization are the concepts of job enlargement and job enrichment. Sociotechnical systems of the interaction between technology and the work group influence job design as do ergonomic or physical consideration.

Work methods determine how the work should be accomplished in organizations, while work measurement determines how performance may be evaluated. Work methods can be established for an overall productive system, a worker alone, a worker interacting with equipment, and a worker interacting with other individuals.

Work measurement and standards exist to set time standards for a job. A technique used in work measurement is the time study. Examples of time studies are included for a four-element job and for a nursing environment. Finally, work sampling is compared to time study.

Another issue in job design is the financial incentive plan. These plans determine how workers should be compensated. In preparing a financial incentive plan, management must consider individual, group, and organization wide rewards.

Total 'X' Managements in Operations Management

Total 'X' Managements  - Total indicates that all in the company have to focus on the activity. All can mean all departments. All can mean all employees. Each employee has to a role to play and contribute something for the activity for the organization as a whole to succeed.

Education and training are to be provided to all in the performance of the activity subject to the idea that appropriate education and training are provided. Many total 'X' managements are initiated. In this article, some of them will be described.

Total Improvement Management

Total Improvement Management is a concept promoted by Dr. H. James Harrington, CEO of Harrington Institute Inc.

He identifies Total Quality Management (TQM), Total Resource Management (TRM), Total Cost Management (TCM), Total Productivity Management (Tpmgmt), and Total Technology Management (TTM) as five improvement movements competing for the scarce budget resources of an organization. To aid management decision making in this competitive situation, an improvement pyramid is advocated by Harrington.

A Video by Harrington Group


A Presentation by Harrington (Good Presentation - Download and read it)

H. James Harrington, (1995) "The new model for improvement: total improvement management", Management Decision, Vol. 33 Iss: 3, pp.17 - 24

Total Improvement Management - Book By Harrington

Article by Harrington

2 page brochure

Determination of Optimum Productivity Improvement Programs: Total Productivity Based Model
Mohamed Zaki Ramadan,

Total Effectiveness Management

Total Effectiveness Management by Understanding Means
Google Book Page Link

Advances in Design

Hoda A. ElMaraghy
Springer Science & Business Media, 2006 - Technology & Engineering - 576 pages

Advances in Design examines recent advances and innovations in product design paradigms, methods, tools and applications. It presents fifty-two selected papers which were presented at the 14th CIRP International Design Seminar held in May 2004 as well as the invited keynote papers. Dr. Waguih ElMaraghy was the conference Chair and Dr. Hoda ElMaraghy was on the program committee.

Christer Karlsson, Christer Norr, (1994) "Total Effectiveness in a Just‐in‐Time System", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 14 Issue: 3, pp.46-65, https://doi.org/10.1108/01443579410058522

Total Productive Maintenance (Management)

This concept was first introduced by M/s Nippon Denso Co. Ltd. of Japan, a supplier of M/s Toyota Motor Company, Japan in the year 1971. Total Productive Maintenance is an innovative approach to maintenance that optimizes equipment effectiveness and  eliminates breakdowns and promotes  day-to-day activities involving total workforce

A strategic approach to improve the performance of maintenance activities is to effectively adapt and implement strategic TPM initiatives in the manufacturing organizations. TPM brings maintenance into focus as a necessary and vitally important part of the business. The TPM initiative is targeted to enhance competitiveness of organizations and it encompasses a powerful structured approach to change the mind-set of employees thereby making a visible change in the work culture of an organization. TPM seeks to engage all levels and functions in an organization to maximize the overall effectiveness of production equipment. This method further tunes up existing processes and equipment by reducing mistakes and accidents. TPM became  a world class manufacturing (WCM) initiative that seeks to optimize the effectiveness of manufacturing equipment. Whereas maintenance
departments are the traditional center of preventive maintenance programs, TPM seeks to involve workers from all departments and levels, including the plant-floor to senior executives, to ensure effective equipment operation.

Modem manufacturing requires that to be successful, organizations must be supported by both effective and efficient maintenance practices and procedures.  One approach to improving the performance of maintenance activities is to implement and develop a TPM strategy. The TPM implementation methodology provides organizations with a guide to fundamentally transform their shopfloor by integrating culture, process, and technology. 

TPM is a methodology originating from Japan to support its lean manufacturing system, since dependable and effective equipment are essential pre-requisite for implementing Lean manufacturing initiatives in the organizations. While Just-In-Time (JIT) and Total Quality Management (TQM) programs have been around for a while, the manufacturing organizations off late, have been putting in enough confidence upon the latest strategic  maintenance tool as TPM. TPM is the corner stone activity for most of the lean manufacturing philosophies and can effectively contribute towards success of lean manufacturing. TPM is a production-driven improvement methodology that is designed to optimize equipment reliability and ensure efficient management of plant assets  . TPM has been depicted as a manufacturing strategy comprising of following steps :

- maximizing equipment effectiveness through optimization of equipment
availability, performance, efficiency and product quality;
- establishing a preventive maintenance strategy for the entire life cycle of
- covering all departments such as planning, user and maintenance departments;
- involving all staff members from top management to shop-floor workers; and
- promoting improved maintenance through small-group autonomous activities.

Nakajima (1989), a major contributor of TPM, has defined TPM as an innovative approach to maintenance that optimizes equipment effectiveness, eliminates breakdowns, and promotes autonomous maintenance by operators through day-to-day activities involving the total workforce. The emergence of TPM is intended to bring both production and maintenance functions together by a combination of good working practices, team-working and continuous improvement   TPM is a system (culture) that takes advantage of the abilities and skills of all individuals in an organization. An effective TPM implementation program provides for a philosophy based upon the empowerment and encouragement of personnel from all areas in the organization. 

TPM is about communication. It mandates that operators, maintenance people and
engineers collectively collaborate and understand each other’s language. TPM describes a synergistic relationship among all organizational functions, but particularly between production and maintenance, for the continuous improvement of product quality, operational efficiency, productivity and safety ( Sun et al., 2003). According to Chaneski (2002), TPM is a maintenance management programme with the objective of eliminating equipment downtime. TPM is an innovative approach to plant maintenance that is complementary to Total Quality Management (TQM), Just-in-Time Manufacturing (JIT), Total Employee Involvement (TEI), Continuous Performance Improvement (CPI), and other world-class manufacturing strategies ( Schonberger, 1996; ). According to Besterfield et al. (1999), TPM helps to maintain the current plant and equipment at its highest productive level through the cooperation of all functional areas of an organization.

TPM harnesses the participation of all the employees to improve production equipment’s availability, performance, quality, reliability, and safety. TPM endeavours to tap the “hidden capacity” of unreliable and ineffective equipment. TPM capitalizes on proactive and progressive maintenance methodologies and calls upon the knowledge and cooperation of operators, equipment vendors, engineering, and support personnel to optimize machine performance, thereby resulting in elimination of breakdowns, reduction of unscheduled and scheduled downtime, improved utilization,
higher throughput, and better product quality. The principal features of TPM are the pursuits of economic efficiency or profitability, maintenance prevention, improving maintainability, the use of preventive maintenance, and total participation of all employees. The bottom-line achievements of successful TPM implementation initiatives in an organization include lower operating costs, longer equipment life and lower overall maintenance costs. Thus TPM can be described as a structured equipment-centric continuous improvement process that strives to optimize production effectiveness by identifying and eliminating equipment and production efficiency losses throughout the production system life cycle through active team-based participation of employees across all levels of the operational hierarchy. The following aspects necessitate implementing TPM in the contemporary manufacturing scenario:

. To become world class, satisfy global customers and achieve sustained
organizational growth.
. Need to change and remain competitive.
. Need to critically monitor and regulate work-in-process (WIP) out of “Lean”
production processes owing to synchronization of manufacturing processes.
. Achieving enhanced manufacturing flexibility objectives.
. To improve organization’s work culture and mindset.
. To improve productivity and quality.
. Tapping significant cost reduction opportunity regarding maintenance related
. Minimizing investments in new technologies and maximizing return on
investment ROI.
. Ensuring appropriate manufacturing quality and production quantities in JIT
manufacturing environment.
. Realizing paramount reliability and flexibility requirements of the organizations.
. Optimizing life cycle costs for realizing competitiveness in the global
. Regulating inventory levels and production lead-times for realizing optimal
equipment available time or up-time.
. To obviate problems faced by organizations in form of external factors like tough
competition, globalization, increase in raw material costs and energy cost.
. Obviating problems faced by organizations in form of internal factors like low
productivity, high customer complaints, high defect rates, non-adherence to
delivery time, increase in wages and salaries, lack of knowledge, skill of workers
and high production system losses.
. Ensuring more effective use of human resources, supporting personal growth
and garnering of human resource competencies through adequate training and
. To liquidate the unsolved tasks (breakdown, setup time and defects).
. To make the job simpler and safer.
. To work smarter and not harder (improve employee skill).

In addition, TPM implementation in an organization can also lead to realization of intangible benefits in the form of improved image of the organization, leading to the possibility of increased orders. After introduction of autonomous maintenance activity, operators take care of machines by themselves without being ordered to. With the achievement of zero breakdowns, zero accidents and zero defects, operators get new confidence in their own abilities and the organizations also realize the importance of employee contributions towards the realization of manufacturing performance (Dossenbach, 2006). TPM implementation also helps to foster motivation in the workforce, through adequate empowerment, training and felicitations, thereby enhancing the employee participation towards realization of organizational goals and objectives. Ideally, TPM provides a framework for addressing the organizational objectives. The other benefits include favourable changes in the attitude of the operators, achieving goals by working in teams, sharing knowledge and experience and the workers getting a feeling of owning the machine.

Framework of total productive maintenance

TPM seeks to maximize equipment effectiveness throughout the lifetime of the equipment. It strives to maintain the equipment in optimum condition in order to prevent unexpected breakdown, speed losses, and quality defects occurring from process activities.

There are three ultimate goals of TPM: zero defects, zero accident, and zero breakdowns (Nakajima, 1988; ).

Organizational manufacturing priorities and goals realized through TPM

- Productivity (P) Reduced unplanned stoppages and breakdown improving equipment availability and productivity Provide customization with additional capacity, quick change-over and design of product
- Quality (Q) Reduce quality problems from unstable production
- Reduced in field failures through improved quality
- Provide customization with additional capacity, quick change-over and
design of product
- Cost (C) Life cycle costing
- Efficient maintenance procedures
- Supports volume and mix flexibility
- Reduced quality and stoppage-related waste
- Delivery (D) Support of JIT efforts with dependable equipment
Improves efficiency of delivery, speed. and reliability
Improved line availability of skilled workers
Safety (S) Improved workplace environment Realizing zero accidents at workplace
Eliminates hazardous situations
Morale (M) Significant improvement in kaizen and suggestions
Increase employees’ knowledge of the process and product
Improved problem-solving ability
Increase in worker skills and knowledge
Employee involvement and empowerment

Nakajjima suggests that equipments should be operated at 100 percent capacity 100 percent of the time (Nakajima, 1988). Benchmarking on overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), productivity (P), quality (Q), cost (C), delivery (D), safety (S) and morale (M) etc. can facilitate an organization to realization of zero breakdown, zero defect, zero machine stoppage, zero accidents, zero pollution, which serve as the ultimate objective of TPM. TPM has been envisioned as a comprehensive manufacturing strategy to improve equipment productivity. The strategy elements include cross-functional teams to eliminate barriers to machine uptime, rigorous preventive maintenance programs,
improved maintenance operations management efficiency, equipment maintenance training to the lowest level, and information systems to support the development of imported equipment with lower cost and higher reliability.

Swanson (2001) describes the four key components of TPM as worker training, operator involvement, teams and preventive maintenance. As TPM is a common element to the lean drive, it requires not nly flexible equipment, but also flexible employees involved in the production process (Sahin, 2000). The practices of TPM help eliminate waste arising from an unorganized work area, unplanned downtime, and machine performance variability.

McKone et al. (2001) identify training, early equipment design, early product design, focused improvement teams, support group activities, and autonomous and planned maintenance as the six major activities in TPM implementation. In measuring TPM implementation, Maier et al. (1998) consider preventive maintenance, teamwork shop floor employee competencies, measurement and information availability work environment, work documentation, and extent of operator involvement in maintenance activities as factors reflecting TPM implementation. The basic practices of TPM are often called the pillars or elements of TPM.  TPM paves way for excellent planning, organizing, monitoring and controlling practices through its unique eight-pillar methodology. TPM initiatives, as suggested and promoted by Japan Institute of Plant Maintenance (JIPM), involve an eight pillar implementation plan that results in substantial increase in labor productivity through controlled maintenance, reduction in maintenance costs, and reduced production stoppages and downtimes. The core TPM initiatives classified into eight TPM pillars or activities for accomplishing the manufacturing performance improvements include Autonomous Maintenance; Focused Maintenance; Planned Maintenance; Quality Maintenance; Education and Training; Office TPM; Development Management; and Safety, Health and Environment ( Hatakeyama, 2006).

 TPM uses the following tools to analyze and solve the equipment and process related problems: Pareto Analysis, Statistical Process Control (SPC – Control Charts, etc.) Problem Solving Techniques (Brainstorming, Cause-Effect Diagrams and 5-M Approach) Team Based Problem Solving, Poka-Yoke Systems, Autonomous Maintenance, Continuous Improvement, 5S, Setup Time Reduction, Waste Minimization, Bottleneck Analysis, Recognition and Reward Program and Simulation. 

TPM provides a comprehensive, life cycle approach, to equipment management that minimizes equipment failures, production defects, and accidents. It involves everyone in the organization, from top-level management to production mechanics, and production support groups to outside suppliers. The objective is to continuously improve the availability and prevent the degradation of equipment to achieve maximum effectiveness. These objectives require strong management support as well as continuous use of work teams and small group activities to achieve incremental improvements.

Source for TPM
Total productive maintenance: literature review and directions
I.P.S. Ahuja and J.S. Khamba
International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management
Vol. 25 No. 7, 2008, pp. 709-756.

Some More

Total Quality Management

Total Cost Management

Total Productivity Management

Total Industrial Engineering