TPM was first introduced in Japan, where Grand Sensei Nakajima San, along with some great engineers, academicians and scientists brought it to maturity. They developed it over half a century to its current form and the development cycle continues, with immense research in Japan! Today, successful TPM implementations have been made extensively in discreet, batch and continuous process plants. Its expanse covers the entire spectrum from automobiles and auto-ancillaries, chemicals and petrochemicals, tyres and tyre cords, battery manufacturing, white goods production, pharma, textiles …… almost all sectors. TPM is also now extended in non-manufacturing business such as law firms, municipalities and utility companies.
It has now become a development engine for success in achieving organizational goals and is a fully blown business excellence program. It encompasses all aspects like vision, mission and goal setting followed by deployment of goals in a seamless manner; and sustaining the gains through developing standards.
On the flip side, there have been many instances when businesses have embarked upon a TPM program with great pomp and show, however proven to be short-lived and died an infant death. Driving a successful program has to be adequately steered with unflinching top management commitment, a structured roadmap with true north in perspective, adopting the Gemba, Genchi Gembutsu (Japanese for real facts at real workplace) approach. Besides these attributes, a key ingredient for success in TPM is having a proficient KAIZEN™ Promotion Officer in the organization, who is empowered through knowledge and skills of a successful deployment. Above all, it is imperative to have a Sensei who has the capability of wearing multiple hats viz:
- Hat of an able strategist – The Sensei should have deep exposure to right diagnostic skills for the business. He should have requisite skills to collect facts on the gemba, analyze, strategize and build a structured program for change management
- Hat of a mentor – The Sensei should feel the pulse of the organizational developmental needs and roll out right knowledge/ skill interventions with the most effective methodology.
- Hat of an effective communicator – The Sensei should first be a good learner/ listener himself after which he can be a good communicator. In a change management program, having a strong and effective upward, lateral and downward communication is a very important ingredient for success.
- Hat of a campaigner – This world is a swarm of fence sitters. For every change management initiative, we would ordinarily find only a handful of change managers. There would be a handful of the naysayers too. But a large chunk would be fence sitters (A recent research in change management says that it would be about 74% to 90%). For companywide enrolment in the operational excellence program, we need to have a high-pitched program to take these fence sitters on board. This calls for design and roll out of a high pitch campaign in favor of this program. The Sensei needs to gauge the anxieties of these fence sitters and design campaigns that will enroll and bring them on board. There should be well thought out reward and recognition programs that will encourage the fence sitters to cross over as high performing change agents.
- Hat of a good navigator – It is just not enough to have the horsepower or will to succeed, but also have a foresight of the true north and the ability to navigate a successful operational excellence program. The Sensei must be able to navigate so as to remain on track of the roadmap and also take necessary steps to steer the lost course of the ship in turbulent and choppy waters. He should have the perseverance to stay the course. At the same time, the Sensei must not bring in animosity or fear amongst the team. It would be counterproductive if this is not managed adequately. This calls for high understanding of tools and techniques with hands-on skill of deployment.
Key to a successful operational excellence program in TPM is effective Management of Change! The journey is difficult to tread & is never a short haul! Having said so, the most bitter pill is the most potent medicine. If you are ready to bite the bitter pill for becoming a performing, sustainable and a successful business then get in touch with a group of Sensei’s “Kaizen Institute Consulting Group”, who, after years’ of practical experience, have developed a proven, potent & performing ‘Kaizen™ Change Model’ that is helping hundreds of organizations worldwide to successfully steer their journey to business excellence through TPM or other proven approaches…
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