Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Education, training or paper qualification for SCM

Education, training or paper qualification

Many top management may be disappointed with their heavy investment in information and communications technologies (ICT), simply because the R.O.I. cannot be attained as planned. After spending hundreds of millions on consulting, implementation, software and hardware, more often than not the key users may still resort to their own spreadsheets to carry on their day-to-day job functions.

It is quite possible that the management begin to look for MBA holders to help in salvaging the ERP or SCM systems that are not effective after painstaking efforts in implementation. Soon the key users will still be reluctant to change the way of using spreadsheets to help them in their job because of the inherent flexibility. It is not so much of denial or resistance to change, but they need a strong leader to help them in integrating the business processes with the ICT solutions supported whole-heartedly by the people. Not that the MBA holders cannot help them, but the gap of communication may be the stumbling block, more so if the cultural issues have not been solved.

The management may then begin to embark on professional certification programmes to ensure that the operations management and key users are having some form of qualification. The problem is that some of the certification examinations are really testing the understanding of the concepts rather than how to use the concepts in the practical environment. There are also organizations that can sell questions to simulate the examinations, so the participants can buy the thousands of questions to practice. Upon passing the examination, the management may be disappointed that these certified practitioners are still the same old self without any improvement in the knowledge and practices.

Management coaches will probably conclude that it is not the qualification, but the knowledge and the ability to use them in practice along with the people skills and teamwork, in order to bring about cultural change.

It is simply the cultural change that is the most difficult part to change.

It is not just having somebody who has passed the certification examination teaching others how to pass the examination.

In order to change the culture of the organization, applied psychology may be needed on top of fundamental education. The management coach must be able to provide the leadership to reach out to the heart of the participants to achieve the sincere and unwanvering commitment, before feeding their mind about the knowledge and practices. It is back to the need for effective education to open up the heart and mind of the participants in order to inspire and motivate them to develop the habits of continuous improvement and innovation.

Start the cultural change now in order to transform!