December 31, 2017

MBA Core Management Knowledge - One Year Revision Schedule

The blog contains articles on all management subjects developed using the most popular book on the subject. You can read articles on the sybject of your choice or use the following schedule.

One Year MBA Knowledge Revision Plan

Revision Schedule

Current Month -  April  

January  - February  - March  - April  - May   -   June

July       - August     - September  - October  - November  - December

Subject Details of Each Month

January  (Principles of Management) - February (P.of M & Marketing Management from 23 Feb 2015 )
March (Mktg. Mgmt. & Operations Management from 17 March 2015)  -
April  (Supply Chain Management and Financial & Cost Accounting)

May  (Management Accounting & Organizational Behavior)  -
June (Innovation, Industrial Engineering and Economics)

July  (Economics, Engineering Economics, & Managerial Ethics)   - August    (Statistics, Quality and Six Sigma, OR & BRM)

September (HRM, Mentoring, Training, Maintenance, Energy & Environment Management)  -  October  (Information Technology and Management Information Systems, Logistics - Warehousing and Transport)

November (Strategic Management & Financial Management)  - December (Business Laws, Negotiation, Taxes and Government Relations)

Subject                                               Revision Period

Principles of Management                15 January   to   19 February

Marketing Management                    22 February to   16 March

Operations Management                   17 March     to    2 April

Supply Chain Management                 3 April       to  15 April

Financial & Cost Accounting            16 April       to  12 May

I am participating in April A to Z Blogging Challenge and I am writing on the theme Top Management Challenges.

Top Management Challenges.

Article 1: Awareness of Environment

Updated 1 April 2017.  22 February 2017,  10 December 2015

July 16, 2017

Value Engineering - Introduction

Product Industrial Engineering

We can use the term 'Product Industrial Engineering' to described the efficiency improvement carried out by industrial engineers in the product designs.

Product Design Efficiency Engineering - Component of Industrial Engineering

Value Analysis and Value Engineering - Miles Way (L.D. Miles)

Value engineering has for its purpose the efficient identification and elimination of unnecessary cost. First article on the topic was written by L.D. Miles in 1949. Link available in this article.

What is Value Engineering?

Value engineering has for its purpose the efficient identification of unnecessary cost, i.e., cost which provides neither quality nor use nor life nor appearance nor customer features. It focuses the attention of engineering, manufacturing, and purchasing on one objective – equivalent performance for lower cost. It results in the orderly utilization of low cost alternative materials, low cost alternative processes including new processes, and abilities of specialized suppliers to procure items at lower costs.
Lawrence D. Miles is the pioneer of this technique. He wrote the book - Techniques of Value Analysis and Engineering - in 1961. His designation at that time was Manager, Value Service, General Electric Company. He published the first article on value analysis in 1949 in American Machinist.

Functional design is not tampered:
Inherent in the philosophy of value engineering is the full retention for the customer of the usefulness and esteem features of the product. Miles argued emphatically right at the beginning of his book, “Techniques of Value Analysis and Engineering” that identifying and removing unnecessary cost, and thus improving the value, must be done without reducing in the slightest degree quality, safety, life, reliability, dependability, and the features and attractiveness that the customer wants.

What is Value?

Miles described  four types of value.

1. Use value: The properties and qualities which accomplish a use, work, or service.
2. Esteem value: The properties, features, or attractiveness which cause us to want to own it.
3. Cost value: The sum of labor, material, and various other costs required to produce it.
4. Exchange value: Its properties or qualities which enable us to exchange it for something else we want.

Even though Miles did not describe it that way, I feel value analysis or engineering is concerned with cost value without in anyway decreasing the use value, esteem value and exchange value

Value Analysis Techniques

Miles provided 13 ideas as value analysis techniques.
  1. Avoid generalities
  2. Get all available costs
  3. Use information from the best source
  4. Blast create and refine
  5. Use real creativity
  6. Identify and overcome roadblocks
  7. Use industry experts to extend specialized knowledge
  8. Get a dollar sign on key tolerances
  9. Utilize vendors’ available functional products
  10. Utilize and pay for vendors’ skills and knowledge
  11. Utilize specialty processes
  12. Utilize applicable standards
  13. Use the criterion, “would I spend my money this way?”
The list can be reorganized in this way to show their role in value engineering

At the start of the value engineering exercise some people will object to the project with some general statements.
    1. Avoid generalities  - Don't accept general statements. Try to find out the real objection and confirm whether it is a valid objection.

        Information Phase

        During information phase get information relevant to the product under evaluation
          2. Get all available costs
          3. Use information from the best source
          4. Get a dollar sign on key tolerances - Part of analysis, but it can be treated as information phase as routine information collection activity.

          Searching for low cost alternative materials, standard products and processes. 
          To reduce product through design changes, low cost alternative materials, components and production processes are to be identified.
            5. Utilize vendors’ available functional products
              6. Utilize specialty processes
                7. Utilize applicable standards

                After searching and identifying low cost alternatives which may be of use in redesign, redesign will start.
                  8. Use the criterion, “would I spend my money this way?”  - This idea refers to certain components that are having high costs. This gives rise to the feeling money is being wasted and forces the VE team to look for alternatives in more focused manner.
                    9. Blast,  create and refine - Blasting the current design by identifying a possible low cost alternative. Create is technically showing that the new alternative is a feasible. Refine is commercial design of the new alternative to go into the product

                    10. Use industry experts to extend specialized knowledge - The value engineering team has to approach industry experts to use new materials and new processes appropriately. 

                    11. Utilize and pay for vendors’ skills and knowledge - Vendors who can offer new process capabilities must be supported for developing the solution needed by the VE team.
                      12. Use real creativity - Creativity is required to identify the solution to the value engineering problem. A value engineer knows the function that he has to provide and he must be able to pick the relevant material, component or process from the collection of the information that he has gathered.

                      During presentation of the solution, a value engineer is likely to face objections. He must be prepared for these objections and answer them so that objection is answered adequately and the questioner is satisfied that the new solution is a suitable redesign.
                        13. Identify and overcome roadblocks

                        More detailed description of techniques

                        The Right Way to use the Techniques
                        Choose appropriate techniques to value engineer the specific product.

                        Arrange the techniques in best order for the particular job.

                        Use each technique imaginatively and effectively.

                        Use the techniques iteratively until useful information is developed to the extent that direction for decision and action is available.

                        To use the techniques an analyst requires special knowledge.
                        Value engineer is not a functional designer. He will have access to functional designers as needed in his value work. Hence his knowledge is not specialized to particular areas like mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, automobile engineering, or aerospace engineering. Knowledge required for high-grade value work is extremely broad.
                        The specialized knowledge required in value improvement work consists of information on materials, processes, functional products, sources of functional knowledge, approaches to function performance, and practical ideas for economical function performance.
                        It is important that the value engineer’s library of special knowledge contains a comprehensive volume of trade knowledge backed by efficient means for a quick recall of needed information. Value engineer also needs well-organized references to a maximum number of persons of special skills that may be consulted in connection with each problem.
                        Value engineers need develop a database having the association between properties of materials and costs apart from material and its cost. Similarly a database that shows the relationship between the properties of products produced by various processes and the cost of each process, including the material used is also valuable.

                        This topic will be discussed in more detail in a separate article 'Knowledge Required for Value Engineering'.

                        Job Plan for Value Engineering
                        Phase 1. Orientation: Understand the customers’ needs and wants. Understand the functions performed by the product and the contribution of each part and each feature of the part and the complete product to the functions to be performed by the product.
                        Value engineer has to make sure that he does not diminish the contribution of the product to the customers' needs and wants.
                        Phase 2. Information: Collection of information on quantities, vendors, drawings, materials, manufacturing methods, and costs.
                        Techniques to be used:

                        Get all available costs
                        Get a dollar sign on key tolerances

                        Phase 3. Speculation: Using all the techniques of value analysis to come out with alternative low cost materials and methods to produce components and the product. Creativity is to be employed here. Value engineer has to involve experts from various disciplines to help with ideas.
                        Techniques to be used:

                        Blast, create and refine

                        For each function to be performed by a product or a component, find alternative products, materials or processes that serve the function to a great extent but at a less cost. These alternative ideas do not satisfy the specified or required function completely but they do to a significant extent. Identify they function they perform and the cost involved,

                        During the blast activity use these techniques.
                        Utilize vendors’ available functional products

                      1. Utilize and pay for vendors’ skills and knowledge
                      2. Utilize specialty processes
                      3. Utilize applicable standards
                      4. Use the criterion, “would I spend my money this way?”

                      5. All the five techniques have the potential to suggest lower cost alternatives


                        In create phase, the technique of "Use real creativity" needs to be employed to come out with ways by which the low cost alternatives identified during the blast stage can be modified to accomplish the specified function to a much greater extent with pertinent increase in cost. During this stage also the improvement in function and the increase in cost are to be clearly identified.


                        In this step, much more creativity is used and also the techniques "Use industry experts to extend specialized knowledge" and  "Utilize and pay for vendors’ skills and knowledge" are used to refine the ideas developed during the create step to come out with a refined alternative that fully accomplishes the specified function at a lower cost. During refine step, some more functionality is added as well as some additional cost.

                        Phase 4. Analysis:  Technical and cost analysis of the alternative proposed.

                        The techniques to keep in mind and use during this stage are:

                        Avoid generalities

                        Use information from the best source

                        Identify and overcome roadblocks

                        Phase 5. Program planning: Approach the specialists to further refine the selected alternatives. Inform the specialists the accepted suggestions and give mandate to them to take steps to implement the suggestions.
                        Phase 6. Program execution: Pursue regularly the specialists and vendors to get their inputs on various tasks assigned to them. The output of this phase is a detailed design, successful trail  pilot  run of a manufacturing process or  a confirmed estimate from a vendor for supplying a component, material or sub assembly.
                        Phase 7. Status summary and conclusion. The results of the value engineering study are to be presented to decision makers. The reports needs to have a summary sheet as well as the full supporting documentation.  The value engineering project is concluded when the product is manufactured and distributed at the lowered cost as per the value engineering study.

                        Special Knowledge Required

                        In practically all fields, the operator used special tools and special or field specific knowledge. Value analysis and engineering is no exception.

                        Reach of knowlege: For value analysis, the knowledge required is extremely broad.
                        Nature of knowledge: Information on materials, processes,  and functional products.
                        Form and Constitution of Knowledge Fund: Handbooks, catalogues, charts, price lists, product and process descriptions, tables etc.
                        Listing of specialized Competence: Value analysis requires consulting specialists and specialized sources. So a list of consultants as well as special publication is required for various materials, processes and components.

                        Qualifications and Training for Value Analysts and Engineers

                        Qualifications: Logic, creativity, ability to make rapid searches, recall, ability to quickly sort out useful information,  synthesis of solutions, selection of promising alternatives.

                        Knowledge: Understanding of the properties of materials, and of manufacturing processes, their potentialities, and their limitations.

                        Traits required: Imagination, initiative, self-organization, cooperative attitude,
                        Attitude: belief in the importance of value

                        Training: Three weeks class room followed by six months of practical work.
                        Another round of three weeks class room followed six months of practical work
                        Another round of three weeks.

                        For further study:

                        First article by L.D. Miles in 1949 download the file 35.5 pdf from this page.

                        Lawrence D. Miles, Techniques of Value Analysis and Engineering, McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York 1961.

                        Note on Value Engineering

                        Especially gives Juran's and Clawson's comments on value engineering

                        Value Engineering - NPC, Chennai (77 page Document. Available online)
                        History of Value Engineering

                        1.17 minutes


                        Related Knols

                        Related Web Pages

                        Value Engineering
                        VALUE ENGINEERING MANUAL 
                        International society of Value Engineering
                        SAVE International - Value Engineering, Value Analysis, Value ...
                        Value Engineering Consultancy
                        Value Engineering, Value Management, and Value Analysis ...
                        Value Engineering in Highway Constructino
                        Value Engineering - Design - FHWA
                        SAP Value Engineering Module
                        SAP Business Process Expert Community - Value Engineering
                        Whitehouse Circular on Value Engineering

                        Circular No. A-131 -- Value Engineering
                        Value Engineerig Web Portal
                        VeToday Value Engineering Web Portal - Value Engineering ...
                        Value engineering programs and studies at Wisconsin-Madison by Snodgras
                         Value Engineering of Highways - Procedure Manual
                         Value World Issues
                        October 1996

                        Value Engineering -  Case Studies



                        Originally posted at
               - Knol Number 4

                        Industrial Engineering Knowledge Revision Plan - One Year Plan

                        January - February - March - April - May - June

                        Updated  17 July 2017,   27 June 2015
                        First Published on blog  15 December 2011

                        July 15, 2017

                        Product Management in Digital World - Recent Trends

                        The one-stop product management guide

                        Down the Book - Strategic Role of Product Management

                        The evolving role of product management
                        What product management is and why it’s so relevant today.
                        By Martin ErikssonRichard BanfieldNate Walkingshaw June 22, 2017
                        Excerpt from Chapter 1 of “Product Leadership.

                        “The job of a product manager is to discover a product that is valuable, usable, and feasible.”
                        Product management is the intersection between business, user experience, and technology

                        Product managers for the digital world
                        By Chandra Gnanasambandam, Martin Harrysson, Shivam Srivastava, and Yun Wu
                        May 2017

                        Product managers connect many functions related to  a product— market research, design, engineering,  marketing, sales, marketing, operations, finance, legal, and more. They are involved in the decisions about what gets built but also influence every aspect of how it gets built and launched.

                        The product manager of today is increasingly given the role of  the mini-CEO of the product.

                        16 Killer Videos on Product Management Essentials
                        June 9, 2016

                        A Panel Discussion on Product Management
                        12 March 2010
                        Stanford Graduate School of Business
                        Features executives formerly at Apple Computer, Hewlett-Packard, PeopleSoft, and Sybase:
                        Rita Iorfida, VP Products, Liquid Engines;
                        Rich Mironov, former VP Product Marketing, AirMagnet;
                        Tiffany Riley, VP Marketing at Nextance;
                        David Straus, SVP Worldwide Sales and Marketing, Corticon.


                        Product Management At Google

                        July 14, 2017

                        Manufacturing Policy - Review and Modification

                        Business strategy changes and manufacturing policy and strategy have to change. Wickham Skinner advocated the concept of focused factory. Focused factories reflect the business strategy of the organization. So when business strategy changes what happens to the focused factory. It can change and it has to change, asserts Prof. Wickham Skinner in a recent paper published in the journal, Production and Operations Management (October 2015). The paper describes the experience of  Hewlett Packard's plant for computer servers in Germany. It successfully changed its focus in line with the change in environment and the consequent business strategy.

                        Hendrik Brumme, Daniel Simonovich, Wickham Skinner, and Luk Van Wassenhove present new ideas and understandings about review and modification of focused production operations developed from insights derived from an historical analysis of the evolution of Hewlett-Packard’s (HP) award winning plant for computer servers in Germany. The plant was restructured from an innovation factory to an operational excellence factory and  then  to a solutions factory. The brings out the right timing of focus changes and discusses the critical structural and infrastructural changes required during the focus transitions as well as cross-functional coordination and leadership challenge. The production and related operations constitute a system and even as a focused factory or production system, it can adapt to disruptive change.  The article also lists out seven myths regarding focused factories and rebuts them.

                        The content is the paper is also reflected in this Knowledge @ Insead post.

                        July 9, 2017

                        Quality Management Principles and Actions

                        ISO Quality Management Principles

                         “ Quality management principles (QMP) ” are a set of fundamental beliefs, norms, rules and values that are accepted as true and can be used as a basis for quality management.

                        The seven quality management principles are :

                        QMP1 – Customer focus
                        QMP2– Leadership
                        QMP3 – Engagement of people
                        QMP4 – Process approach
                        QMP5– Improvement
                        QMP6 – Evidence-based decision making
                        QMP7 – Relationship management

                        QMP1 – Customer focus

                        The primary focus of quality management is to meet customer requirements and to strive
                        to exceed customer expectations.

                        Actions to be taken
                        •  Recognize customers: Recognize direct and indirect customers as those who receive value from the organization.
                        •  Research the needs and expecations of the customers (current and potential): Understand customers’ current and future needs and expectations.
                        •  Organizations objectives have to reflect customer needs: Link the organization’s objectives to customer needs and expectations.
                        •  Wide dissemination of customer requirements in the organization: Communicate customer needs and expectations throughout the organization.
                        •  Utilize customer needs understanding in developing products and services: Plan, design, develop, produce, deliver and support goods and services to meet customer needs and expectations.
                        •  Measure post purchase and use customer satisfaction: Measure and monitor customer satisfaction
                        and take appropriate actions.
                        •  Utilize customer feedback: Determine and take actions on interested parties’ needs and expectations that can affect customer satisfaction.
                        •  Maintain relations with customers: Actively manage relationships with customers
                        to achieve sustained success.

                        Customer focus is a part of market orientation.

                        QMP2– Leadership

                        Leaders at all levels establish unity of purpose and direction and create conditions in which people are engaged in achieving the organization’s quality objectives.

                        Managers at all levels have to create conditions in the work areas and the organization under them the conditions conducive to practice of quality principles.

                        Actions to be taken

                        • Communicate the organization’s mission, vision, strategy, policies and processes throughout
                        the organization. In the context of quality, quality policy and processes are to be communicated.
                        • Create and sustain shared values, fairness and ethical models for behaviour at all levels
                        of the organization. Quality must be a value in the organization.
                        • Establish a culture of trust and integrity. When any person in the organization provides an output to a customer, the quality is checked and confirmed by that person or he checks whether some other designated person has checked the item from quality angle. Self inspection by an operator is also valid quality check.
                        • Encourage an organization-wide commitment to quality.
                        • Ensure that leaders at all levels are positive examples to people in the organization. Every person in the organization follows the quality policy and processes.
                        • Provide people with the required resources, training and authority to act with accountability. The people are to be educated and trained in the quality processes and necessary tools are to be provided to them. Adequate authority is to be given to them to correct any item if a defect is found at any time.
                        • Inspire, encourage and recognize people’s contribution. People are economic people as well as social people. Positive social messages through verbal and body language, small rewards and awards will keep up the spirit of the people to engage in the activities of the organization energetically and happily.

                        Source: ISO Quality Management Principles

                        WHAT IS ISO 9001?

                        ISO 9001 is an internationally recognized Quality Management System standard published by ISO (International Organization for Standardization). A Quality Management System, as described in the current ISO 9001 Standard, helps an organization to implement streamlined processes and improve operational efficiency  based on the Quality Management principles.


                        Deming’s 14 Principles or Commandments for Total Quality Management

                        Create constancy of purpose for improving products and services.
                        Adopt the new philosophy.
                        Cease dependence on inspection to achieve quality.
                        End the practice of awarding business on price alone; instead, minimize total cost by working with a single supplier.
                        Improve constantly and forever every process for planning, production and service.
                        Institute training on the job.
                        Adopt and institute leadership.
                        Drive out fear.
                        Break down barriers between staff areas.
                        Eliminate slogans, exhortations and targets for the workforce.
                        Eliminate numerical quotas for the workforce and numerical goals for management.
                        Remove barriers that rob people of pride of workmanship, and eliminate the annual rating or merit system.
                        Institute a vigorous program of education and self-improvement for everyone.
                        Put everybody in the company to work accomplishing the transformation.

                        The list of 14 commandments is basis for  total quality management philosophy and thus is the foundation for TQM and its successor, quality management systems.

                        Juran’s 10 steps for Quality management and Quality improvement 

                        Build awareness of opportunity to improve.
                        Set-goals for improvement.
                        Organize to reach goals.
                        Provide training
                        Carryout projects to solve problems.
                        Report progress.
                        Give recognition.
                        Communicate results.
                        Keep score.
                        Maintain momentum by making annual improvement part of the regular systems and processes of the company.

                        Phil Crosby's Prnciples

                        The definition of quality is conformance to requirements (requirements meaning both the product and the customer's requirements)
                        The system of quality is prevention
                        The performance standard is zero defects (relative to requirements)
                        The measurement of quality is the price of nonconformance
                        The principle of "doing it right the first time" (DIRFT).

                        Total Quality Management: Focus on Six Sigma - Review Notes

                        Top Management Challenges

                        This article is part of #AtoZChallenge 2017 for Blogging Posts. My Theme for the Challenge is Top Management Challenges - Full List of Articles

                        Updated 11 July 2017, 20 April 2017

                        July 8, 2017

                        Business and Management Innovations - 2017

                        July 2017

                        Walmart is building giant towers to solve the most annoying thing about online ordering

                        Siemens inaugurates showcase digitalized factory in India

                        An inside look at 10 real-world digital transformations
                        CIOs at StubHub, HD Supply, JetBlue and other leading organizations are spearheading digital initiatives to drive business growth. Here’s a look at their evolving digital transformations.

                        July 7, 2017

                        Facilities Planning and Organizing

                        PPT of Salah R. Agha, Professor Industrial Engineering, Islamic University of Gaza on Facilities Planning and Materials Handling

                        Indicates role of IEs.

                        Facilities Planning

                        James A. Tompkins, John A. White, Yavuz A. Bozer, J. M .A. Tanchoco
                        John Wiley & Sons, 19-Jan-2010 - Technology & Engineering - 864 pages

                        When it comes to facilities planning, engineers turn to this book to explore the most current practices. The new edition continues to guide them through each step in the planning process. The updated material includes more discussions on economics, the supply chain, and ports of entry. It takes a more global perspective while incorporating new case studies to show how the information is applied in the field. Many of the chapters have been streamlined as well to focus on the most relevant topics. All of this will help engineers approach facilities planning with creativity and precision.