Standards and their importance for the Organizations...

Standards and their importance for the Organizations The modern and globalized world cannot exist without standards which are sup­porting cooperation, trade, health, safety, and economic growth etc. In fact, standards exist in almost all aspects of modern life. They range from standards in information and communication technology which ensure the interoperability of diverse components to standards for the quality of products or services, and underlie areas ranging from the harmonization of international accounting systems to the governance of the social and environmental performance of the organizations. Stand­ards have a huge influence on everyday life. They play a key role in an environment where an organization is to be at its best for achieving success. They are open access documents with no charge or license fee for their use, apart from the cost of its purchase. The development of standardization as an engineering activity was pioneered by Eli Whitney, who in 1793 invented the cotton gin, a machine for separating cotton fibres from their seeds. Whitney later introduced the production of interchangeable components for the manufacture of guns. Standardization of screw threads by Sir Joseph Whitworth dates back to 1841. Other instances of early standardization can be found in the dawning age of the railway industry, as the establishment of a standard width between the two rails on the railway track, the manufacture of railway couplings, air brakes and the signaling system called for increasing levels of standardized work. But major impetus to the development of standards came around the turn of the 20th century, when a large number of national standardization organizations were founded, including organizations that are nowadays known as the British Standards Institution (BSI) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Their purpose was to create sets of rules for the design...

Project Management in for a Steel Project...

Project Management in for a Steel Project Project consists of a group of tasks, performed in a definable time period, in order to meet a specific set of objectives. It is a temporary activity. It is a one-time program hence different from operations where tasks are repeated in a routine way. Every project has a life cycle, with a specific start and end. The work scope of a project can be categorized into definable tasks. Project has a budget within which it is required to be completed. During the execution of the project, there is likely requirement of multiple resources. Many of these resources can be scarce and may have to be shared with others. Steel project like any other project has a life cycle (Fig 1) which includes (i) initiation, (ii) planning, (iii) execution, (iv) monitoring and control, (v) commissioning and handing over, and (vi) closing of the project activities. Fig 1 Project life cycle Steel project has four components namely (i) performance, (ii) cost, (iii) time, and (iv) scope. All these four components are interrelated and dependent on each other. Performance is the quality of the work being done. Cost is the expenditure made on the project work and is directly related to the human and physical resources applied. Time is the schedule which is required to be met for completing the work. Scope is the magnitude of the work to be performed. One of the key ingredients for successful project management in a steel project is having the right people on the job and managing them appropriately. Both of the two elements ‘having the right people’ and ‘managing people appropriately’ are important for the project success. However, in practice both conditions are frequently violated. There are several groups of activities in...

Management of Man and Machine...

Management of Man and Machine Human intervention of the production processes has undergone a big change after automatic and computerized controls have been introduced for the production processes. A large number of activities previously done by human beings have been taken over by the automation. But this has not eliminated the need for operator for the running of the equipment/process though his role has changed a lot with the automation of the process. Today mass production would not exist without the usage of automated and flexible manufacturing processes. These automated processes need machines and equipments which require human intervention for controlling them. Close and harmonious interaction by operators with their machines is a necessity for the productive output. An integrated and coordinated communication between machines and the men operating them is needed for the productive output. The complexity of industrial processes has greatly increased during the last few decades. This tendency has originated due to a number of reasons, such as (i) the enlargement of the scale of the modern plants, (ii) the required specifications dealing with the product quality, (iii) the need for the energy conservation, (iv) the requirements for the environmental pollution control, (v) the necessity of safety in the plant, and (vi) the progress in process control and informatics creating totally new possibilities. This essential change in the process operation has led to the definition of new human operator tasks. In the last thirty years, human manual control has become much less important and human supervisory control has been developed as the main concept for man and machine interactions. The tasks of the human supervisor are now predominantly cognitive ones, and contain at least the following six subtasks namely (i) the monitoring of all data presented to the human supervisor, (ii)...

Organizational Agility for Excellence...

Organizational Agility for Excellence Organizational agility is the ability of the organization to manage continuous, rapid and sustainable change. It is the capacity and flexibility of the organization to be consistently adaptable to market and environmental changes with rapidness and speed. It is the efficiency with which the organization can respond to nonstop change. It is the organizational ability to exploit both revenue enhancing and cost cutting opportunities within its core business more quickly, effectively, and consistently than its  competitors. It makes the organization to operate at the speed with which the opportunities are getting created. In the fast changing complex environment of the present day organizational agility is  the key differentiator between organizations. Organizational agility is achieved by enhancing the organizational capabilities to identify and respond quickly in an effective and efficient manner to the opportunities and threats. Agility makes the organizational processes flexible and the response time of the organization to the critical issues reduces to a great extent. Agile organization is quickly able to take advantage of the opportunities and protect itself against the threat. It believes in putting in place systems to gather and share the information required to spot opportunities and by building processes to translate organizational priorities into focused action. Agile organization manage the challenge of change effectively and efficiently without falling prey to either chaos and inertia. Implementing organizational agility requires management to regard all areas of the organizational operations as potentially subject to change. It must recognise that changes come from the external world of customer demands, competitor influences, technological advances, regulatory changes, macro-economic shifts, change in political thinking and so on, and not simply as an internal activity. Management must also be able to use available resources in a timely, flexible, affordable and relevant manner,...

Balanced Scorecard

Balanced Scorecard  Balanced scorecard (BSC) is a strategic planning and management tool which is extensively used by the organizations  worldwide to align business activities to the vision and strategy of the organization, improve internal and external communications, and monitor organization performance against strategic goals. The concept was originated in 1992 by Robert Kaplan and David Norton as a performance measurement framework that added strategic non-financial performance measures to traditional financial metrics for providing management of the organization a balanced view of the organizational performance. Kaplan and Norton have described the BSC as given below. “The balanced scorecard retains traditional financial measures. But financial measures tell the story of past events, an adequate story for industrial age companies for which investments in long-term capabilities and customer relationships were not critical for success. These financial measures are inadequate, however, for guiding and evaluating the journey that information age companies must make to create future value through investment in customers, suppliers, employees, processes, technology, and innovation.” In the view of Kaplan and Norton the measurement is fundamental to the organizational management. If the organization is to improve the management of its intangible assets then it has to integrate the measurement of the intangible assets into the management system. The concept explain that if the managers can measure what they say and express it in numbers then they know something about it. But if they cannot measure it and cannot express in numbers then their knowledge of the subject is very limited and unsatisfactory. The concept is based on principle that the things cannot be improved unless they are measured. Though the ‘balanced scorecard’ phrase received its popularity in 1992, but this type of approach was followed even earlier by many organizations. Several organizations have used systems consisting...