Japanese View on Business Process Management
While Fredrick Taylors scientific management had help create huge American corporations that were quick to adopt the viewpoint, the 1970s saw the emergence of Japanese corporations. These corporations were very small at the end of World War-2 when Japan had been economically devastated. However within two decades, a group of Japanese companies completely turned the tables on the Americans. The most notable examples being companies like Toyota, Suzuki, Nissan and Honda. They had defeated the American giants of Ford Motors, General Motors and Chrysler on home turf.
The sales of Japanese imported cars were outstripping the number of local cars sold even though there were high import duties to act as trade barriers. This brought the Japanese philosophy of process to the worlds knowledge. Since it had exploited loopholes in the hitherto invincible Scientific Management theory, it became even more popular. Here are the concepts laid in the Japanese viewpoint.
The Flaw in Fredrick Taylors Philosophy
Fredrick Taylor had created an immaculate system to create a process at a given point of time. However, he forgot to take into account the dimension of time. Simply put Taylors methods were good in their heyday, however the world was a dynamic place. New and new technologies were being introduced every day. These new technologies were capable of changing the best practices of many businesses.
Organizations like Ford Motors did not realize that their best practices were no longer the best practices at all. One particular example is about the falling prices of information technology and computing and the consequent utilization of these technologies by Japanese in monitoring their inventory real time cutting significant costs.
Hence the Japanese viewpoint teaches the world that processes are not static and should not be considered that way. There are changes which affect the price and availability of inputs like labor, technology and raw material. An effective process keeps a good watch on the changes and continuously improves to be abreast with the market. The focus here is not only on creating best processes but ensuring that the best processes remain best over an extended period of time.
Principles of Japanese Way of Business Process Management
Some of the principles of the Japanese way have been mentioned below. However it is essential to understand that they are mere tools and not bigger that the concept itself. The tools are as follows:
The philosophy enabled Japanese companies to do the right things and do things rightly enabling them to compete and outmaneuver American giants.
- From People Driven to Process Driven
- Components of a Process
- Fredrick Taylor View on Process
- Hammer & Champys View on Process
- Different Levels of a Process
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