Teams in action – a case study


Joint Prayers and Exercise

In Munjal auto components as well as some other group companies, the employees start their shift by saying joint common prayers followed by physical exercises and discussion on a theme for that day. As part of this, the employees get together at a prescribed place in the factory premises. One of them acts as a leader of the gathering. All of them recite a secular prayer wherein they pray for well being of the world and freedom from fear, pain and misery. They pray for the success of their work. This helps them in affirmation towards achievement of the company’s targets Another leader leads the gathering for undertaking physical exercise which propels them towards better physical and mental efforts in achieving the company’s targets. The discussion on a theme helps them to focus o value-added activities.

Self-managed Team members

In Hero Honda Motors, the operator on the assembly-line also undertakes quality checks and maintenance activities apart from operations related activities. As a part of this, the operator identifies using prescribed systems, the quality check-points and maintenance check-points. These check-points help him in improving quality and reducing break-downs. This results, in having post production quality checks and schedule overhauls which considerably results in saving of time, material and manpower.

Lateral thinking Teams (FATCATS)

Inter-company and Intra company teams under take lateral thinking using Edward D Bono’s techniques to generate and evaluate “Out-of-Box� ideas. As part of this, the employees are first trained in concepts and techniques of Lateral Thinking by a certified trainer. Thereafter, teams are formed and themes for applying Lateral Thinking are identified by the teams in association with senior managers. The teams apply the techniques of Lateral Thinking, such as concept triangle challenge, random entry, etc and generate “out-of-boss� ideas. These ideas are evaluated and presented to the senior management for acceptance. Once the ideas are accepted, the team which has suggested the idea gets involved in its implementation

Quality Circles

In Hero Honda and Munjal Showa, cross-functional teams work together to solve factory related problems using seven quality control techniques. As a part of this, the employees voluntarily form their teams after being trained by the qualified trainers by the qualified trainers in applying seven quality control techniques. Each team comprising 4-8 members choose a name for the team and also workout, work allocation amongst members, frequency and process of meetings and other related matters. The teams identify and select problems. These problems are solved by using the seven quality control techniques. The solutions are presented to the respective senior persons for approval. The teams are involved in implementation of the ideas suggested by them.

5-S Teams

In many Hero Group companies, inter-departmental teams work together to identify and solve house-keeping problems using Japanese 5-S techniques. The system is based on 5 Japanese words which means—sort, set in order, shine, standardize and sustain. As a part of this, the areas of concern are identified and respective team coordinators are nominated / identified. They work on the respective areas and workout recommendations. These recommendations are evaluated by the senior persons. The respective teams are asked to implement the recommendations.

This appears to be most common or not the latest technique. But it is not so because the organizations can use the techniques which benefit them and teams think positively about these. Whatever is the method, it should be implemented systematically with proper follow up and encouraging the teams suitably.