Muda (muda) - means loss

    The Japanese word Muda (muda) - means losses, unjustified expenses and any activity that consumes resources, but does not create value for the client.

    I have been thinking for a long time on the topic of inefficient communications, both within the company and between different companies, as this impedes the development of the market and the creation of new products.

    Recently, they discussed with Felix Muchnik, the director of Softkey, the situation that communications between companies at the level of department heads or executors can last for months, without leading to results. A meeting at the level of directors gives the result in 30 minutes. An ordinary phone call is often enough. Is the question only about the powers of the people or something else?

    Perhaps the root cause is that, due to our fast-growing industry, the heads of departments of many IT companies are people who are specialists in their fields, but who do not know how to perform the functions of managers, and who often do not know how to negotiate and hear the other side.

    Discussed a similar problem with the director of the construction company, Victor Nevara. An experienced and mature person, he says that in the Union people worked for years in one position and gained experience, studied and grew in proportion to their experience and knowledge. And now the market is sublimating “positions”, and knowledge and heads remain at the same level.

    This morning I had breakfast and watched Discovery. They talked about the history of cars and the Japanese philosophy of producing customer value. I have long liked the Japanese strategy for producing maximum added value, and not just turnover or maximizing profits. But then I heard a new word for himself Muda (muda). I repeat the meaning of the word.

    Muda (muda) - means losses, unjustified expenses - any activity that consumes resources, but does not create value for the client.
    “Many losses at the enterprise that impede efficiency are inherent in the organization of interaction between divisions,” says Andrey Gavrichenkov. - Performing their functions, employees often do not think at all about how they will continue to interact with neighbors - internal suppliers and customers. Losses include everything that does not bring value to the client. These are unnecessary movements of people, an extra stage between processing, waiting during the processing of an order, transportation. Everything that we spend resources on, but not needed by the client, refers to losses. And this applies not only to production processes, but also to work with documents. For example, the process of sighting a document takes three hours, but 90% of this time, no operations are performed on the document - it simply lies on the table. We must not forget that for the customer, the lead time is an indicator of the value of services. After all, wasted time often entails additional costs (for example, renting a room) or downtime. "


    As an example of Muda, I will give a case from my life. I then worked at a bank and headed the department of Internet technologies, telecommunications and payment systems. And on duty, he oversaw lease agreements for sewage, through which wires from the bank building pass. And once Telecommunication increased the rental price 3 times! “Horror,” the vice president of the bank said, “it’s unacceptable to do them.” Lawyers worked for two weeks, made complaints, corresponded with Telecommunications, the time dragged on ... but the new contract was not signed and we were trite to cut off the wires.

    No one recalls that Telecommunication, being a monopoly, approves its tariffs in the antimonopoly committee and will not change the price. And the employees of the Telecommunications did not understand, apparently, in general, the meaning of the letters of our legal department. But that was not the funniest thing.
    The rental price really increased 3 times, from 100 rubles to 300 (conditionally, I do not remember the price exactly, but the order is that).

    I didn’t really go deep into efficiency issues then, I just had to work and not disconnect the bank from communication. I brought the contract to the vice president and showed him the amount, said that over the last month we spent so much that we could dig our ditch through the avenue and that it is better to sign everything and forget about the 3-fold tariff increase. The contract was signed in 2 minutes by showing its amount. And I understood this lesson as a lesson, apparently, very recently, when I myself faced the same inefficiency in the work of lawyers and consultants hired by us.

    Need to learn! Everyone, and directors and department heads and employees.

    And periodically it is worth looking at ourselves and our work and company a little from the outside and marking the areas in which we successfully produce MUDA, which is not necessary for our customers, and for ourselves.

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