Part 3 of Series 5
When internal and external threats begin to reflect on key company metrics, sweeping changes are needed to reverse the damage. That’s precisely what Jindal Power realized in the midst of severe turbulence that the power industry has been through in the recent past.
The last couple of years have witnessed several disruptions in the external power business environment like policy regulations and penalties, slumping demand and escalating expenses. All key business metrics were adversely affected at Jindal Power while its market leadership position came under a real threat. The silo-style of working, where employees worked in functional caskets without much teamwork resulted in a rigid and supervised style of working, rife with hierarchical barriers. These factors demanded optimization of manpower cost and fostering a new philosophy of work that highlighted the importance of team work, multi-skilling, and creating cross functional teams. But this not only needed a functional overhaul, but also the creation of a forward-looking, learning. Furthermore, formalization of new processes and re-engineering of developmental activities was also required to balance the 4Ms of the industry: manpower, machine, money and materials. In other words, overarching changes in the organizational structure, practices, processes, systems and job roles were warranted.
A process-based working model named ‘Nipun’ was designed to serve the current business need of eliminating practices which caused mediocre performance, encouraging optimal people utilization, building an agile workforce besides reducing on the time lags and progressing as a resilient organization. With goals of reducing operation and maintenance costs, making plant function more efficient, reducing non-value adding workload disturbances etc. the innovative working model assured that the business needs were addressed.
‘Nipun’ advocated team-building philosophy by creating High Performance Process Teams (HPPTs)consisting of cross functional people working under one umbrella, breaking away the multi-layered hierarchical complex structure and making it into an inverted three-layered structure, eliminating the silo-structure of working, developing a more competent, confident and responsive workforce, allowing cross-functional exposure to employees, developing leadership qualities and empowering employees to provide independency.
The revamped model of working and learning delivered better operational results, and created a well-knit fabric of processes. The immediate benefits accrued were as follows:
- Shift from functional working to process based enterprise: With elimination of supervision and restrictive functional silos, a culture that valued innovation and process thinking created superior value proposition.
- Capacity Building: A six month module of training and transforming employees as tri-athletes was undertaken, and they were imparted with multi-functional training, thus building a pipeline of ‘power engineers’.
- Operational Excellence and Optimized Manpower Cost: Optimization of resources, manpower and inventory management reduced safety risks, easy compliances and provided an easy assessment of the entire resource pool utilization on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.
The leadership at the organization understood the value of process-based working, and strived to serve, inspire team leaders, find purpose & unleash their passion & creativity. This led to the evolution of team culture, elimination of self-limiting beliefs, and most essentially an improved emotional intelligence among the employees. Improved collaboration, transparency and tenacity to achieve quality work resulted in increased enthusiasm and energy among the workforce. Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) have been freed from day-to-day decision making and have the capacity for transformational and improvement work. Employees and leaders are empowered to take decisions on their own with clear and focused goals and a definitive approach. A notable improvement in communications, zero delay services, participation and involvement of employees in initiatives was also recorded.