Lean management @ Quidgest

How Lean Management transform an entire organization

We are in 2017 and the competition in the technology market is tough. Lean management is allowing companies to stay competitive, being able to beat the competition every single day.

 

Lean originated from the Toyota Production System, which was the way Toyota found to be competitive in the Post War. Having visited USA, Taiichi Ohno recognized something in American supermarkets. The scheduling of work wasn’t driven by targets but by actual sales. This reflection was fundamental for the definition of a Pull System, which allowed Toyota to be more flexible producing only the units required and reducing the total costs of stocking.

One of the main principles of Lean is identifying value as perceived by the customer. Depending on the area you are studying, this might not be so easy to define, but once you understand what customers really want it is way more simpler to keep them happy, delivering the exact amount of value they are expecting from you.

Imagine Lean as a set of tools and principles that help you managing your projects, giving you some advantage in many situations. Two of the greatest benefits of following Lean principles are the organization inherent to the culture you’re trying to implement and the way tools integrate with each other.

Another focus of this Lean Environment is the quality of products and the continuous improvement associated. One time is enough if you do it right the first time. According with Lean, one of the worst wastes is the rework, and people are doing it all the time. Some years ago, it wouldn’t shock you if the product you would buy wasn’t working properly, you would go to the store and they would change for a new one. Nowadays, customers are much more demanding and don’t even expect anything but a product completely operational. Lean principles and methodologies helped many companies in the last decades to reach a high level of quality, mitigating this reality I mentioned.

Lean thinking is one of the effective way to transform the way organizations operate. Sometimes people face processes that are done the same way for years and nobody stops to rethink the whole process. Technology changed the way people work and you really need to question yourself if you’re doing it the right way.

Lean organizations encourage their people to improve continuously by giving them the chance and resources to implement new ways to operate. This kind of proactive action definitely requires a safe environment where people are not afraid of trying new techniques. This culture needs to be managed by a Lean Leader who has to be always available to help, not only implementing but also making sure the organization follow the changes and contributes to integrate the change in company’s culture.

There is usually a strong resistance to change for many people that wouldn’t mind keeping the Status Quo. This resistance often comes from those who are going to benefit from this change, however it seems to be part of human nature to resist any type of change at all.

The people who work in a company define the organization and we must remember that people are different. To reach everyone’s attention and to change the way people see their work you should adapt your communication to every single worker, let them comfortable to ask any question and to give real feedback without any consequences.

Maybe because changing is hard for us human beings, we tend to create some resistance to that change. The reality we face today tells us that technology is improving our work exponentially, and as Peter Drucker wrote, “People have to believe that it has 10 times the advantages of what people were previously doing”. Drucker was a leader in the development of management education, created the concept of management by objectives and self-control. He also has been described as “the founder of modern administration”.

Quidgest is creating information systems that are providing data to make better decisions. These systems are one of the most flexible tools when developed according with customer needs, which is exactly what we do. The implementation of these systems may be almost a futuristic way of working for those who are used to older processes and ways to do the job.

This concept of working with the technology has been changing our jobs for better. Many people consider this evolution a threat but nowadays we already have plenty of proof that humans will become way more productive when they delegate repetitive tasks to machines. We just need to embrace the change and make the difference!

Cristiano Alves

 IT Management Consultant at Quidgest

 

Industry 4.0 @ Quidgest

Industry 4.0 is not a futuristic concept, it is already a reality that begins to have an effect on the operational indicators of companies. At the basis of this revolution is the digital connectivity that comes from the massive use of the Internet. Products, machines and people are networked, increasingly in number, through digital platforms that provide information in real time. Several concepts and technologies inhabit initiatives related to Industry 4.0: interoperability between machines, Machine to Machine; Internet of Things; repositories with massive amounts of data (Big Data); data analysis and real-time decision-making in the digital world with fractional second-to-second delays relative to events in the physical world; Artificial Intelligence, either through the use of Chatbots in interaction with humans, or through Machine Learning algorithms. Industry 4.0 is not, therefore, a chain or a fashion, but an evolution that guarantees benefits such as reducing costs, energy, increasing safety and quality, and improving process efficiency. Industry 4.0 is already a reality and the way we deal with production is changing. It is up to us to take advantage of its benefits for the competitiveness and the success of the business.

 

Amélia Pinto Basto

International Business Consultant @ Quidgest

 

Design Thinking @ Quidgest

A human-centered approach to innovation

As Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO, said “Design thinking is a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success.”

Design thinking (DT) has become more and more popular, as some of the world’s leading brands (Apple, Google and Samsung) have rapidly adopted this approach. In other words, DT can be used to tackle big ideas in a manageable way, for those who “dream big”. DT is an approach to solving problems that puts end users at the center of the process. And how can we do that? There are essentially five steps:

  1. Empathise – with your users;
  2. Define – your users’ needs, their problem, and your insights;
  3. Ideate – by challenging assumptions and creating ideas for innovative solutions;
  4. Prototype – to start creating solutions;
  5. Test – solutions.

It’s important to note that the five stages are not always sequential. They do not have to follow any specific order and can often occur in parallel and repeat iteratively. But keep in mind that the goal is to develop useful products and solutions that fit the needs of the user, not the other way around!

Here, at Quidgest, we provide clients around the world with unique software solutions deployed automatically in minutes, which fit what they really want.

What do you think about this approach?

 

Rui Val de Ovelha

International Business Consultant @ Quidgest

 

Digital Transformation @ Quidgest

Mobility, use of social networks, remote access, infrastructure and cloud services, Internet of Things, data analysis and big data. Words like these come to your mind when talking about digital transformation? Much more than a bunch of fashionable words (some not so much…), digital transformation involves the restructuring of processes and the absorption of a digital culture, aimed at generating productivity gains in several ways: -Better customer experience  – New ways of marketing products and services -Optimization of the chain of processes – Assisting in strategic decision-making. This, just to mention some of the most relevant advantages.

Ask yourself 3 questions when planning your digital transformation:

-What new benefits can be made available to customers in order to realize more value in your product or service?

-How can your chain of processes (internal, with suppliers and partners) benefit from this transformation?

-What are the consequences of this for the company’s results?

Here, I leave 3 links for those interested in this topic, to better understand what digital transformation is and how you can optimize your business processes:

https://lnkd.in/eVjJZSy

https://lnkd.in/e_iPiv2

https://lnkd.in/efXJYaC

 

Amélia Pinto Basto

International Business Consultant @ Quidgest

 

Data Privacy Regulation @ Quidgest

The European Commission has been debating about a subject that has an influence on everyone who uses information systems and digital businesses and demands privacy: data protection legislations.

It is essential to ensure that Europe fits the digital age, providing data protection and its privacy, regardless of where data is processed.

From this process, General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR) was born. The primary objective of the GDPR is to give citizens back control of their personal data. Once GDPR takes effect (the compliance deadline for this was set for May 2018) it will harmonize previous and other data protection regulations already existing throughout the EU.

To address the GDPR compliance requirements, organizations must employ (at least one) encryption methods and strong key management, to ensure the protection of the encrypted data. Organizations will also need a way to verify the legitimacy of user identities and transactions, and to prove compliance. It is critical that the security controls in place be demonstrable and auditable.

According to GDPR organizations must:

  • Only process data for authorized purposes;
  • Ensure data accuracy and integrity;
  • Minimize subjects’ identity exposure;
  • Implement data security measures.

 

To preserve subjects’ privacy, organizations must implement:

  • Data protection by design and by default;
  • Security as a contractual requirement with their partners and service providers;
  • Encryption;
  • Security measures that respond to their risk assessment;
  • Safeguards if they are to keep data for additional processing.

Here, at Quidgest, we make sure that our entire client’s data is protected and kept private, with all the necessary means to this end. 

 

Rui Val de Ovelha

International Business Consultant @ Quidgest

 

Software Academy @ Quidgest

The Impact of Digital Transformation

At Quidgest Q-Day Conference 2017 we discussed the impact of digital transformation at many levels. One of the panels focused the debate on the learning process of programming skills by present and future generations. Many like Quidgest shared a common idea: programming will soon be a necessary skill to all.

I confess that for those like me, without a background in Engineering or specific knowledge of computers, this prediction causes a certain discomfort. How can we catch up with programmers and the infinity of languages available without taking, again, approximately twenty years of study?

Quidgest gave us the answer. The Software Academy at Quidgest combines the main theoretical learning concepts with a no-code Development Platform that enables those in training to quickly develop software without coding. The result? The trainees were able to create a customized basic solution in three weeks!

Furthermore, many like me felt that their consultancy skills were pushed to the next level: now we can discuss the specifications of a software solution and clearly “speak” the language.

At Quidgest, the combination of a no-code platform and years of know-how created a Software Academy that is able to easily prepare present and future generations for programming.

 

Maria Martins

International Business Development Consultant @ Quidgest

 

DevOps @ Quidgest

Fundamental to cloud environments and to the current IT market, DevOps is a combination of the words “development” (Dev) and “operations” (Ops). It should be understood as a strategy to increase a company’s ability to distribute applications and services at high speed and with quality. DevOps principles help development and operation teams work together to streamline and improve software creation and maintenance. The main benefit, and also the biggest change in the strategy of a DevOps environment, is having different professionals working together. It can be in hybrid teams  or teams acting together. The idea is to reduce the tension between teams so that, working collaboratively, they deliver more results to the company. By fostering a collaborative culture and stimulating teamwork, DevOps ultimately improves employee engagement and significantly increases the speed at which applications are developed and performance issues are addressed. That’s why many organizations are managing to build applications and deploy software updates faster. It is due to this strategy that Quidgest can offer customized systems in a reduced and favorable time according to our customers’ expectations.

 

Amélia Pinto Basto

International Business Consultant @ Quidgest