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SWOT Analysis – Simplified

SWOT analysis is integral part of ‘determination of success factors’ while planning annual goals and building strategy. This blog post focuses on two key elements – ‘How to segregate business processes at large demarcated between Internal and External elements?’ and ‘ Simple method to run SWOT analysis of sub-processes with one example each from Internal and External processes?’.

Element 1 : Segregate Business Processes

Business processes can be segregated among 4 pillars – Finance, Sales, Operations and Human Resources. Lets divide some key business process among these pillars for manufacturing :

 

internal external processes

I an in love with the above image which classifies processes beautifully. Internal Processes are grouped under group 1. Blue color denotes Finance process and its sub-processes, orange color denotes Sales process, pink denotes Internal Processes and green denotes HR process.  Group 2 contains external processes. Red denoting typical stake holders and typical key elements. Yellow denoting SEPTEM which is important Social, Economical, Political, Tech, Environmental and Legal aspect can affect business situation.

These internal and external processes can vary depending on nature of business a company has got. The above list is very generic for a manufacturing / service organization. These processes can be further tiered so that specific actions can be identified for work groups withing plants/ sites. Lets look at example of internal process number 1.10 production and lets see a typical example of further tiered level of its further processes. Similarly lets look at example of external process number 2.9 technological and lets see a typical example of its further tiered levels.

internal external processes-sub processes

 

Element 2 : Running Template for each sub-process to arrive at SWOT results  

Segregation of processes is key to arrive at good planning and to produce successful SWOT outcome. Once processes and sub-processes are identified. A simple template can be run for each process. Lets review one internal process example for sub process 1.10.4 Scrap.

internal SWOT example.png

 

Lets review one external process example for sub process 1.9.3 New Product Technology.

external SWOT example.png

After collecting results for each sub-process by template-run involving relevant work groups withing organization, one ends up summarizing SWOT summary. This SWOT summary is important element of ‘ Determine Success Factor’ while evolving annual plan in annual strategy meeting of organization.

The SWOT summary can look like below template with clearly defined priority level, activity proposal and savings value.

SWOT summary.png

It provides immense impact on organization planning process to complete SWOT Summary and use it as an input to ‘Determine Success Factor’.

With focused template approach the ‘Annual Goal Setting’ exercise can be completed in 1 day of execution and some planning ahead. SWOT workshop can be completed in half day with multiple groups handling set of processes.

For more details about ‘SWOT’ and ‘Annual Goal Setting‘ process and free templates reach out to author at ichbinano@gmail.com or +919810637103.  All the best.

 

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Author blog URL : www.RishiDiwan.com

 

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Business and Gita |Introduction

 

Gita is 5000 year old 700 verses hindu scripture in sanskrit. It’s a narrative between pandava prince Arjuna and his guide n charioteer God Krishana. Gita is about ethical and moral struggle of human life and finding the ‘way’ or the ‘right path’. In business life with growing conflict between earning dollars and saving the planet – Gita is as relevant as it has ever been. In this series we will see parallels between Business and Gita. This is introduction video of the series ‘Business and Gita’.

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Annual Goal Setting – Step by Step

Top performance athletes and top performance companies have something in common. Both are aware of power of goal setting and importance of figuring out their annual goal respectively. Irrespective of actual success towards end of the year – goal setting and progress measurement works like a compass in ever increasing complexities to manage businesses – small and big alike.

CipherOn is a mid size organization based out of New Delhi – they have discovered a simple yet powerful way of arriving at their annual goal. 4 steps are involved.

Step 1 : Analyze Potential of Org

Step 2 : Decide on Goals & Objectives

Step 3 : Determine Success Factors

Step 4 :  Plan and Control activities

Lets look at each in further depth

Step 1 : Analyze Potential of Org

In consideration of organization’s ‘Vision’, ‘Business Model’ and ‘Mission’ it is important to access ‘Market Attractiveness’ and ‘Competitive Advantage’.

‘Market Attractiveness’ can be accessed based on ‘Investment Portfolio (risk return portfolio by Harry M. Markowitz, 1952)’, ‘Ansoff Matrix ( Markets Vs Products matrix between new as well as present ones in both by Harry I. Ansoff, 1965)’, ‘Product Life Cycle (profiling under – introduction, Growth, Maturity and Decline by Theodore Levitt, 1965)’, ‘BCG Matrix (Market Growth Vs Market Share to classify Cash Cows, Poor Dogs, Question marks and Starts by Bruce D. Henderson, 1968) ‘, ‘Supply Portfolio (deciding buy/control/make based on Potential for competitive Edge Vs Risk of Outsourcing by James B. Quinn, 2002).

‘Competitive Advantage’ can be evaluated on corporation level criteria and product level criteria between your org vs competition orgs. Common corporation criteria are market share, financial strength, management, employee skills, R&D potential, Time to market and cost efficiency. While common product criteria are function, quality, cost and reliability. Each of these criterian can be measured on scale of average, good and excellent.

Lastly both ‘Market Attractiveness’ and ‘Competitive Advantage’ can be plotted on 2X2 matrial as suggested by GE-McKinsey, 1970s to complete the visualization of step 1 – Analyze Potential of Org. As a matter of facts, largely most organization are not completing this step due to lethargy of top management.

For each of the above concept a free of cost template is available on request by writing to author at ichbinano@gmail.com

Step 2 : Decide on Goals & Objectives

Goals and Objectives can be defined in 4 sub steps of building document for each of the following – Strategy Map, Balanced Scorecard, Sales Plan, Business Plan taking in consideration customer needs, supplier capabilities, product portfolio and production/service footprint.

Strategy Map is building four perspectives further.

Financial Perspective : What financial goals & objectives do we need to achieve, not only to survive, but to develop our business?

Customers & Markets Perspective: How do we need to be recognized by our customers, not only to keep,but to develop our competitiveness?

Internal Business Processes Perspective : How do our business processes need to perform, so that our customers recognize us as a competitive, first class supplier?

Learning & Growth Perspective: What kind of resources do we need to acquire and what talents and skills do we need, so that our business processes perform to the expected level?

Each of above can be called Financial perspective, sales perspective, operations perspective and human resources perspective respectively.

Balanced Scorecard is breakdown of strategic objectives into key indicators and each key indicator is assigned a strategic value target. For example sustainability and growth, a strategic objective can be broken into key indicator like productivity and it can have a numeric target like 240 products per man-hour. This enables identifying gap against this target at any given point in the year.

Sales Plan to include number of products/ services to be sold in the year month by month for each customer, for each product group and for each region.

Business Plan to contain resources in form of investment required to achieve proposed sales plan and expected return of the investment by customer, by product groups and by region.

Step 3 : Determine Success Factors

Success factors can be determined by doing ‘SWOT Analysis’ considering potential, new targets & objectives and actual performance. Internal SWOT will map Strength and Weakness of org while external SWOT will map Opportunities and Threats.

For each business process SWOT can be run by asking simple 5 questions for each of sub business process. Lets take example SWOT – Internal of ‘Scrap’ as a subprocess in a manufacturing org:

Q1: In general , what is your status today?

The actual scrap rate is about 3.5%.

Q2: How us the actual position f your direct competitor(s)?

Our direct competitor has achived a scrap rate of 2.2%.

Q3: Did you achieve your defined targets and objectives?

We did not achieve our scrap target of 2.9%.

Q4: Is your status a strength or a weakness?

Weakness.

Q5: What is your improvement action proposal?

Project: Reduce scrap. Target 2.0%. Dollars 500k savings.

SWOT summary of each process can give prioritization of strength, weakness, opportunity and threat to work on.

Step 4 :  Plan and Control activities

Based on the SWOT summary in a priority order for each business process, divide the identified objectives within each process into ‘project of the process -X’ assign a project team to each project and in the process eliminate less important projects if you can not find resources to do it or if you are overloading some specific resource. What you will end up with is to-do for entire organization.

The guided approach enables 1 day workshop with some advance preparation to arrive at ‘Annual Goal Setting’ document for entire organization – irrespective of size. Unprepared Orgs will anyway will not do it or will do it half-hearted for no or poor results. If org evolve and follow what works for them annual goal setting can do wonder in the space of Organizational Performance.

For needed support (free content / workshop) contact author at ichbinano@gmail.com or +919810637103

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INBOX (Zero) – How to achieve email productivity?

Tim, a senior manager, is hesitant to plan a long holiday this summer. He is serving a critical role in the organization. Last year when he returned back from a week long holiday he jumped off the chair after downloading his 800 odd emails waiting for his response. Average emails Tim is receiving are 150 everyday. How can one optimize handling tons of emails received daily- many of us are not in the luxury to stare at desktop / mobile phone whole day now and then. If some of us has this luxury its shear waste of valuable time to only respond to email and do not employ ourselves to other forms of productive work like engaging a team in person to produce good work. The million dollar question is what can be done about this?

Golden rule is define a regular frequency like once a day or maximum twice a day when you will attend to your email box. Staring at mailbox all the time is big killer of your day’s plan.

Next important thing to do is bucket your emails first always to arrive at INBOX (Zero). This is basic housekeeping like we clean our desks daily before start of work. The bucketing itself does 90% of the job for you. At the end of it you have no email in the INBOX and you have achieved INBOX (Zero) state. I personally like to do bucketing into below 4 categories. The moment i read the subject or first few lines first thing is to identify the bucket and move the email to that bucket. You can create folders by the name of these in your mailbox.

Answer Now : Bucket #1

If you find you can answer an email in less than 30 second go ahead and do it. This saves you from planning and action taking time. Take action right now.

In the bucket #1 you can choose stuff which is urgent and important. Lets understand this. There is important and not important stuff. So there is urgent and non-urgent stuff. There are four combinations of urgent and important stuff – ‘Urgent and Important’, ‘Urgent and not-Important’, ‘Not-Urgent and Important’ and ‘Not-Urgent and not-Important’.

Delegate : Bucket #2

If you find stuff which can be done by your team and falls into the job description of one of your team member or a colleague – do not hesitate to delegate. You can do so for stuff which is ‘Urgent and not-Important’, where you find a person who is directly responsible can add value or a person who would not mind extending you a helping hand.

Next Action : Bucket #3

The stuff which is ‘Not-Urgent and Important’ it is the right bucket. Keep a folder where you park all your such stuff and come back to it when you plan to attend to it. Easy way to handle such stuff is put a reminder. If you need help in a group – schedule a meeting. The calendar will do the rest.

Read later : Bucket #4

The stuff which is going to find place here is ‘Not-Urgent and Not-Important’ – so who cares. Just Chill. You probably will not be visiting this folder at all – just move the email here and  you are all done towards INBOX (Zero).

‘Less is more’ – a phrase from 1855 poem ‘Andrea del Sarto’ by Robert Browning is so relevant while managing your mail box. You have more productive time, once you shrink your mailbox to ‘INBOX (Zero)’.

Happy productive time – Happy ‘INBOX (Zero)’.

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Why ERP Implementation Fails?

There are a number of things which goes into planning an ERP implementation project. There are success factors which can contribute towards success if given right attention. The failure reasons described in this blog can become those success factors. The top three reasons majority of implementation fails in the priority order are user engagement, master data quality control and sustenance strategy. Let us look at them individually.

 

User Engagement

In one of the auto-component company manufacturing site in Sankt Michael, Austria the schedules to vendors were not going because the local plant team could not run the MRP – Material Requirement Planning – Module of SAP. While there was no problem on same topic at another manufacturing site of same company at Munich, Germany going live on SAP simultaneously. Both teams spent similar time for training local users. When investigated what is understood that there was time allocated and users attended training but there was no clear tool to assess whether users have learned what is required to transact post go live. A company need to plan assessments by conducting ‘day in a live scenario’ pre-go-live to ensure success in one go. The troubleshooting team recovered the situation by rushing some central core team resources to site to run MRP module – this resulted in logistics on halt for 2 days which was avoidable.

 

Master Data Quality Control

Vendor quota numbers were entered incorrect in the master data resulting into wrong procurement quantity in vendor schedule at manufacturing site of same auto-component company at New Delhi site in India. The data upload happens very close to go live date. The last minute hustle can be killing if proper quality control is not in place. One aspect that can help is multi-tiered control layer. Secondly a high frequency tracker is very helpful to check if each tier is able to complete task in time and within quality standard. Lastly data validation checks need to be performed and enough correction time needs to be granted as in the absence of such buffer time team leader tend to skip some checks or delay go live date. The validation checks can be simple like all routing data in a production organization sums to appropriate cost of produced item.

 

Sustenance Strategy

A well tiered help-desk function, tracking of business value additions and augmenting new features plan can ensure stabilization, stake holder motivation and growing value add to business respectively.

A well tiered help desk can mean below structure or what may work in your org like-

Users (example – Production Planning executive)

Key Users – supports Users (example – central planning project core team member)

Consulting Partner – supports Key Users  ( example – IBM)

Product Partner – supports Consulting Partner (example – SAP)

Tracking of business value additions can be additional reports like ‘New Product Development Profitability reports’ using ABAP/other developments. This can include launch of any further DSS – Decision Support System – layer. This layer sits at Level 5 of ISA95 from data collection and usage perspective. This can ensure constantly improved motivation of stake holders of various business processes.

New Feature Plan can ensure continued value addition to business by launching additional features like Ware House Management , Customer Relationship Management as future modules. Thus making the implementation process a continuously evolving and enriching process for organization.

 

In summary the top three major success factors user engagement, master data quality control and sustenance strategy are discussed. The project scope involves large number of aspects so it also important to focus on overall planning process. Visit change implementation blog to see more elements.  In addition the importance of promotion of project withing organization, making sure process owners in the business are engaged from beginning till end with clear deliverable association, a full time project team as organization of change along with operational team which has process owner who are responsible for final delivery through their teams are very important for project success.

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What is Time?

Science and religion both have been intrigued by the question – what is time? Science is attempting to find answers through theoretical physics using mathematical models and abstractions to explain nature of universe and time. Experimental physics does not provide any signs in the near future to explain or simulate experience to travel to past or future. Theoretical physics claims feasibility of time travel according to laws of physics.

Theoretical physicists are dealing with questions like :

Why we only remember past and not future?

Why an egg can turn into omelet but not vice versa?

Why time we experience is uni-direction?

Theoretical physicists are trying to fathom and continue to make effort to provides answers. Some of the physicists are enjoying rock-star status while trying to do so. It will be time which will tell where this branch of science is going to take our understanding of time. Religion on the contrary has used two approaches to explain nature of time – ‘start with a belief’ and ‘perceptional experiments’. In the century of millennials there is increasing trend of people not subscribing to belief based religious doctrine. God created time is too simple belief for our time to accept and feel satisfied. Curiosity prevails.The second approach ‘perceptional experiments’ employs real-time experiments. It gives some promise and growing acceptance. The jury is still out. Lets look at each aspects.

 

Arrow of time

We remember the past but do not remember future. We can see an egg changes form into omelet but the reverse is impossible. What is behind irreversible direction of time. In 1927, British Astronomer, Arthur Eddington introduced concept of ‘one-way direction of time’ or ‘arrow of time’. Eddington reemphasized discovery made by Boltzmann, Austrian Physicist, in 1872,  relative to ‘Law of disorder’ or ‘Ever increasing Entropy’. According to this 2nd law of thermodynamics – ‘Entropy of an isolated system can only increase’. Eddington has tried to associate ‘Entropy – Law of disorder’ and ‘Arrow of time’. This suggests law of physics does not allow increased level of orderliness. The question remained unanswered why in the first place in the beginning always time starts with lowest level of entropy. What is the connection?

 

Multiverse

Our visible universe is estimated to be 14 billion years old. It began in the state of great order and it will be winding down to nothing. Important to notice that say a room is messier and some one cleans and makes it orderly. The orderliness has improved but as a system for just the room as additional entropy of other system is increase in the act of cleaning and making it orderly. In the multiverse theory, Sean Carroll, theoretical physicist at Caltech points out to existence of a static universe in the middle from where many universes like ours are popping out and pointing to difference arrows of time. This static universe is reference universe according to Carroll and there is no arrow of time for it. There is no future with respect to past and everything is equal to each other. Nothing is happening in this universe but according to quantum mechanics suddenly booms an alpha particle, it comes out, except an alpha particle  is a new universe.

 

Big bang conditions

Knowing egg to omelet irreversible issue, lowest entropy at big bang , only remembering past not future and our experience of growing old from younger age all question condition of big bang. These conditions of low  entropy attract today’s scientist to explore rationale behind it.

 

Psychological time – Perceptional Experience

Perception comes before understanding. We all have ability to perceive using our senses and ever evolving subconscious. Scientists explain if we understand more deeply about natural mystique force like gravity on theoretical level it will not make any difference on how we experience gravity in our perception.

What this boils down to? Irrespective of how much more we know about ‘nature of time’ or ‘nature of universe’our perceived reality about how we experience time or life will not change. At the same time if we employ our entire perception building resources we can reach to new levels of perceived reality. Therefore the appeal to work done by Buddha employing all his humanly available resources – body and mind in its entirety – is invaluable and contagious. Before Buddha and after him many ‘perception scientists’ – if i may call them so – have achieved an elevated level of perception. In this heightened level of perception mind achieves ‘no thought state’ or ‘no mind state’. What does it do? Is it helpful in any way?

 

No mind – No time

The thought removal is a process to reach a level of experience where one experience no thoughts and remain an observer. This creates a phenomenal psychological state where relevance of time loosen up. This is a freedom state of the human perception. The most important seed this starts with is to develop special understanding. This special understanding is a claim : a mental state free of goals / desired – temporary or long term  -brings association to completeness of your being as is in this very moment. The moment you are content as is your mind stops to worry about what happened in the past and what will happen in the future. In modern time there are methods in yoga to work on this aspect. All Buddhist meditations are to prepare mind to become no mind. The no mind state has brought higher levels of happiness and peace withing themselves and conduct life which is more rich experimentally, like becoming children again. As Jesus once said ‘It is those who will enter the kingdom of God who are childlike’.

 

Which side have you taken 

Theoretical physics gives promise to unfold deeper understanding of time. ‘Perceptional experiments’ employs real-time experiments. It gives common man a tool to experiment with own perception and build a heightened perception. One can take a side or enjoy developments happening at both ends. What is your status – please share below.

 

 

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Eighth Infra – Conclude and Link : Implementing change initiative across organization 8/8

 

Every organisation big or small in order to remain relevant to its customers need to constantly improve. A recent study by Forbes suggests that majority of change initiatives TQM, Zero PPM and Green Org fail to produce intended results. ‘8 Infrastructures’ or ‘8 Success Factors’ is a practice which is evolved by Rishi Diwan by practicing these success factors while running mid size to large organizations.

8 Infrastructures can bring enormous value to such initiatives by making them sustainable and a win-win for all in the organization.

This video is about ‘Eighth Infra – Conclude and Link’ of the series of 8 videos on each Infra to implement change across organization.

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Seventh Infra – Diagnosis and Monitoring : Implementing change initiative across organization 7/8

 

Every organisation big or small in order to remain relevant to its customers need to constantly improve. A recent study by Forbes suggests that majority of change initiatives TQM, Zero PPM and Green Org fail to produce intended results. ‘8 Infrastructures’ or ‘8 Success Factors’ is a practice which is evolved by Rishi Diwan by practicing these success factors while running mid size to large organizations.

8 Infrastructures can bring enormous value to such initiatives by making them sustainable and a win-win for all in the organization.

This video is about ‘Seventh Infra – Diagnosis and Monitoring’ of the series of 8 videos on each Infra to implement change across organization.

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Sixth Infra – Incentives and Awards : Implementing change initiative across organization 6/8

 

Every organisation big or small in order to remain relevant to its customers need to constantly improve. A recent study by Forbes suggests that majority of change initiatives TQM, Zero PPM and Green Org fail to produce intended results. ‘8 Infrastructures’ or ‘8 Success Factors’ is a practice which is evolved by Rishi Diwan by practicing these success factors while running mid size to large organizations.

8 Infrastructures can bring enormous value to such initiatives by making them sustainable and a win-win for all in the organization.

This video is about ‘Sixth Infra – Incentives and Awards’ of the series of 8 videos on each Infra to implement change across organization.

Video

Fifth Infra – Diffusion of Success Stories : Implementing change initiative across organization 5/8

 

Every organisation big or small in order to remain relevant to its customers need to constantly improve. A recent study by Forbes suggests that majority of change initiatives TQM, Zero PPM and Green Org fail to produce intended results. ‘8 Infrastructures’ or ‘8 Success Factors’ is a practice which is evolved by Rishi Diwan by practicing these success factors while running mid size to large organizations.

8 Infrastructures can bring enormous value to such initiatives by making them sustainable and a win-win for all in the organization.

This video is about ‘Fifth Infra – Diffusion of SuccessStories’ of the series of 8 videos on each Infra to implement change across organization.