Takeshi Kawase is one of Japan’s foremost authorities on Industrial Engineering.
Definition of Industrial Engineering
Kawase defines IE as dealing with the efficiency of systems that include humans.
Compare with definition of Narayana Rao K.V.S.S.
Industrial Engineering is Human Effort Engineering and System Efficiency Engineering.
Believing that IE lies between science and the humanities, he draws from both approaches. Thus, Kawase insists that manufacturing must be automated to the fullest, while never losing sight of the fact that people are not machines. As he clearly shows, above all else people make value judgments, and it is these judgments that will lead to effective problem solving.
Although well versed in the theories and techniques of IE, Takeshi Kawase focuses on the philosophy of problem solving. The keystones of his philosophy lie in the ideas that every problem has an owner and that a problem’s owner is the person best equipped to solve the problem, as long as the techniques are straightforward and the necessary support is provided. The goal therefore is to come up with a solution that matches the owner’s needs and that will enhance rather than diminish job satisfaction and pride. To this end, Human-Centered Problem Solving advocates the implementation of the line-centered model of problem solving as the most effective way to achieve this goal.
Human-Centered Problem Solving: The Management of Improvements - Book by Kawase
Human-Centered Problem Solving: The Management of Improvements presents problem solving as an on-going process. Thus, a problem is never entirely solved. It changes, evolves, and points to new goals, for a system without problems is static and therefore unproductive. Without problems, there can be no innovation. As Kawase reminds his readers, kaizen was a relatively unused word when it was chosen to translate the term “improvement” imported from the United States.
Human-Centered Problem Solving: The Management of Improvements does not offer a quick fix. Rather, it calls for a long-term perspective that allows for the democratization of problem solving. Only by avoiding the common mistake of delegating problem solving to “specialist” will every member of an organization become a problem-solving specialist. Only then will the organization become vibrant, innovative, and successful.
Human-Centered Problem Solving: The Management of Improvements is must reading for harried corporate staff overwhelmed by seemingly impossible problems. For students of IE, it will shape their thinking now and throughout their careers. Human-Centered Problem Solving: The Management of Improvements’ approach to problem solving points to a future when problems are seen as opportunities, not barriers.