The first full day seminar addressing how Lean methods are to be used in the Public sector was delivered on 14 December at the Hector Kobbekaduwa Institute on Wijerama Road.
The National Human Resource and Development Council (NHRDC) chaired by Dinesh Weerakoddy coordinated this seminar for management staff from the public sector. The seminar was delivered by Arosha Jayasundera, Director of the Asian Institute of Excellence. Over 50 participants attended the workshop, including senior police staff, senior management from the Ministry of Environment and Disaster Management and from the Technical College, Maradana. A number of senior female staff from Ministries also attended the workshop. Several practical sessions were conducted with the participants to emphasise the need for increasing speed of transactions and to reduce ‘waste’.
This first seminar addressed the need to measure processes within departments and introduced staff to the importance of minimising the Eight Lean Wastes which enables them to deliver more timely services. Sri Lanka trails badly in the World Competitive Index and is now 85th out of around 140 countries having slipped down in the last year. A very poor productivity level in the workforce is a major contributor to Sri Lanka’s low ranking. Sri Lanka ranks at 135 out of approximately 140 countries, in terms of labour productivity.
Arosha Jayasundera is a Lean Six Sigma (Black Belt) who has been trained by Standard Chartered Bank, where she was Head of Project Management and Service Quality. Since then she has delivered a number of lectures for the banking and tourism sectors. She is also working with the Federation of Chambers of Sri Lanka, has been involved in setting up the South Asian Lean Construction Institute and was recently trained by the Asian Productivity Organisation (APO) to be a Productivity Judge, which was coordinated by the National Productivity Secretariat.
Productivity and Efficiency are critical factors for Sri Lankan companies to compete effectively in world markets. Technology alone cannot enable companies to be competitive. Use of Data analytics and appropriate KPI can provide critical insights into the efficiency of the day to day running of the organisation. Effective branding is also built on a strong and fit organisation and advertising is only sustainable in the medium to long term if the organisation can deliver standard products at all times. Lean methodology is also very much part of the marketing mix and enables products and services to be delivered with additional value which then satisfies more customers and leads to better sales.
Arosha Jayasundera is also a Director of the Intrinsic Leadership Academy which provides training to Corporates on the Six Holistic Dimensions of Leadership. From January 2018, this Academy will be rolling out a set of public courses which will transform Managers into Leaders during five one-day workshops spread over a five-week period. Arosha Jayasundera was also recently featured on TV1 on a program about Lean Construction and has written a number of articles on productivity.