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TQM, Lean, 6 Sigma Implementation Is Possible With IT Applications

TQM, Lean, Lean-Six-Sigma and Six Sigma are various theories of Operations Management or management on the whole that are helping organizations become more efficient and profitable around the world. I believe that these theories or management philosophies have a lot in common and should be pursued in spirit. We should try and understand the end goal of these theories rather than trying to implement them blindly without proper consideration. These theories should be treated more like guidelines rather than a set of rules or do’s and don’ts. What all these theories tend to stress on is the reduction of operational costs, increase of throughput, attention to Quality, better relationships and involvement of customers, employees and suppliers and above all the pursuit of sustainable profitability.
These theories lay emphasis on understanding the external environment and internal capabilities and achieving a dynamic equilibrium between the two. The approach to achieving this end goal is different in different theories, but the goal is the same. One major pointer that is emphasized in all modern management theories is that management should be fact based, that management decisions must be based on hard evidence and not managerial whims and fancies. The fact based approach brings me to the topic of my blog, which is implementation of management practices through IT applications.
IT applications can prove to be an effective way to apply and practice management theories. The beauty of such IT applications is that they can be tailor made for your process, which makes it easier for the staff to implement and can help improve the operations in the future. Depending upon the industry, IT applications can be programmed to monitor all vital process metrics, analyze the process performance, impart training, aid communication, facilitate supply chain integration, control production, improve safety, achieve quality excellence and the list can practically go on for ever. We need to understand that IT applications are not and elixir to our problems but are tools that can help us better resolve existing problems that we face on a day-to-day basis.
The idea is to implement IT applications in such a way that they facilitate real-time, fact based and potent decision making at all three levels of decision making i.e. at the Strategic level, Tactical level and at the Operational level. The design of the IT application should be such that it can suffice the decision making needs at all three levels and yet be comprehensive in its reach throughout the Organization. IT can help any organization and at any desired level of management, the need and scope of IT applications remain debatable and are best analyzed when considered for a particular process. My agenda here is to highlight that IT is a great tool because of its speed, agility and accuracy and should be given a consideration by all Organizations who are in pursuit of Operational Excellence and Profitability. I do not believe in following any management theory blindly without understanding its possible outcomes and neither do I promote blind faith in IT as an ultimate cure for all management problems.
I believe it is important to understand what your business needs to achieve the goal it has set for itself, besides the obvious goal of profit maximization. I strongly advocate fact based management and believe the IT applications can help achieve better results in a faster more organized manner. However, it is very important that before jumping to a so called IT solution we analyze our needs both external and internal, we understand the problem areas or pain points and then decide how and to what extent an IT platform can help appease our needs. I would like to conclude by reemphasizing a few pointers that I believe should be a part of any endeavor made towards improving management and improving profitability, they are, never choose a management practice blindly, use management practices as guidelines, try and improve profitability and quality and above all consider IT as a vital tool available to achieve your goals. If you have any questions or comments about this blog feel free to write to us at info@i2ds.com or just leave a comment in the comment box and I will get back to you.

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