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Bouncy Bouncy

F.Y. Teng | April 11, 2012
The story of a well-crafted change management initiative that keeps people and business going on the up and up at top Asian manufacturer of slab stock polyurethane, Sheela Foam

"This message brings everyone on one page, provides a clear picture of what all has happened up to yesterday and where we are today," Mahkotia adds. "It also helps everyone to plan better for the day as this message is sent early morning. SMS for monitoring performance has now become a habit for the management team and they eagerly wait for it."

Motivation to Alignment
As with most enterprisewide initiatives, Sheela Foam's Align Business Systems with TOC effort encountered resistance from the various functional heads and their teams. So a great deal of communication was needed to drive home the message that what was to come out of the systems modification, and the process changes that came with it, would be good for them.

"Over a period of time as per the need, various performance parameters got developed within each department. We needed a system which could help us to align all performance parameters and to achieve our overall business objective. Moreover, our reporting and reviewing mechanism used to work on a monthly frequency, thus any correction was only possible at a month's interval. It was also difficult in such conditions to change things within a month itself, as all activities for the month were planned in advance," says Mahkotia, explaining the drawbacks of Sheela Foam's old way of doing things. "With the rapid changing environment, we felt the need of such systems through which our performance can be reviewed at a shorter frequency and all departmental, zonal objectives, plans and targets get aligned with overall business objectives."

"Everyone was in a comfort zone, practising their own measures for measuring performance. Thus, there was resistance," Mahkotia says. "The concept required us to build in transparency down the levels, which was also felt as a threat-confidential information was to be shared. We were trying to shift the focus onto a single concept, TOC, which was not easily acceptable to all top functional heads, as their performance was not being directly measured. Service departments were required to align their working with TOC, which was a very difficult job. Old performance indicators were no longer required to be modified, which was not liked by various top and middle management teams."

"The major challenge was to make everyone understand the concept and then motivate them to align their working measurements with it," Mahkotia says.

So the project management team worked on the message for all stakeholders and senior executives at Sheela Foam. They came up with "only correct measurements can derive correct results" and they drove it home at the senior levels of the organisation with training sessions and workshops on the concept that ran over the course of three months.


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