Mauro Giorgini – Senior Consultant
“Today in Europe many politicians
are only thinking on the number, but the human being is not a number he is a universe.“
Mr Mauro Giorgini has been working side-by-side with the Cypriot Government helping them reduce inefficiency, waste and save time and money after the Cypriot Government was forced by the Troika.
Thank you for accepting our interview request Mr Giorgini, tell us something about your background and actual job.
I’m a Senior Consultant with a Master Degree in Bioengineering, got from the Politecnico of Milan in 1982; just after my university degree I joined IBM. In this company I increased my knowledge in the ITC environment, in the project management and in the quality assurance; In IBM I had many different responsibilities, from system engineering to mainframe architect. During this exciting period, I had the opportunity to work in many different countries, Europe, USA, Japan, and on different ITC strategic projects. After 20 years, I left IBM to join Poste italiane as responsible manager of Poste italiane ITC distributed infrastructure. I’ve been working in Poste for 10 years, covering many managerial positions; in December 2013 I left Poste italiane to start working as freelancer consultant. Today I collaborate with Notoria International and with Kpmg Italy on different strategic projects.
What can you tell about “Notoria International” which is the company you work for?
Notoria International is a Cypriot brand new company, founded by a young Italian entrepreneur, Alessandro Martinelli. Its main core business is to deliver services in the area of productivity improvement, by adopting the Lean Six Sigma methodology and in the design efficiency, utilizing the Design For Six Sigma approach.
How would you define Lean Management and Six Sigma?
Lean Six Sigma is like a special cocktail that the barman should prepare for a special guest: the agent 007. Everyone knows how deep is the knowledge of the secret agent 007 on this specific matter; its Martini should be shaken a little bit but not mixed and must have an olive inside. This means the barman should use all his know how in the cocktail preparation. The same happen, when a consultant is approaching a process improvement project through the adoption of the lean Six Sigma methodology. His ability is at first to well understand his customer, his needs, his final goal and very important his schedule, than, based on these data, define the right mixture between lean management and statistic models.
To conclude, on Lean Six Sigma can be written a new Britannica encyclopedia, but for me, based on my experience, this method can be summarized as the right combination of two important pillars: the relationship with people, involved in the process to improve, and the statistic theories. Considering the success of a Lean Six Sigma project is not to solve a problem, identified by someone inside the management organization, but to seed inside the people, responsible for that process, the idea they are capable to improve. Of course the relationship with people is the most difficult aspect, in which every Master Black Belt must pay his prime attention.
Do you think Lean Six Sigma can be applied in any sector/field?
In my professional experience I’ve always implemented the principles of the Lean Six Sigma method; in many projects all the suite, in some others only a part and in a few only the spirit.
In my professional carrier, education sessions like this I had many; on the other hand, for the fact IBM was an open minded company, I also had courses on process quality improvement and on leadership, in which I learned the Six Sigma principles and the famous Toyota Manufacturing Process. Today, if I had to make a balance on all the courses I attended, those courses that gave me a real increment in my knowledge are those related to the Lean Six Sigma.
In your opinion would you say Lean Six Sigma is well-known by Italian companies?
Unfortunately I have to negatively answer to this question, but my experience is not the correct one, because in IBM the process improvement knowledge was mandatory for everyone, especially for people with managerial responsibility; on the other hand in Post italiane, this approach was like science fiction.
In Poste italiane I tried to adopt this method in some projects and the outcomes was very positive from the people, directed involved in the process improvement project, but on the other hand, I didn’t receive the right support from the high management.
I think, in Italy there are many small and medium companies that have a deep knowledge on Lean Six Sigma, because they have to fight in a real market where product quality, the customer satisfaction and the price are steering the wheel. Unfortunately, Poste italiane, operating in a monopoly market, doesn’t have this need: “politics is more important than ROI.”
What are the possible obstacles Italian companies face up with implementing a Lean Six Sigma “culture” in their business?
Many Italian companies should realize today it is important to stop performing as it is used to and it is mandatory to approach in a very different way; but to do this, is necessary to have courage, to be a little bit foulness and to be like Odysseus, a man that loves the unknown. The problem, in our productive infrastructure, is a lack of these special mixture.
Please explain in details the project you developed for the Cypriot Government?
The project in which I was involved is the reform of the Local administration of Cyprus. Today in Cyprus the local administration is made up of two layers: 30 municipalities and roughly 350 small communities. The total yearly operating cost of this infrastructure is 380 M€ with a total debt of 500 M€, in addition they are losing 12 M€ every year. With our assessment, based on the Lean Six Sigma method, we identified a way to reduce the existing operating cost by 40%, to increase the productivity and to establish between the local entities a solidarity mechanism capable to write off their debt in 10 years. Click here to see the project!
The full project will be published soon into the “WAR ROOM“
Where did it all start from? How did you get in touch with the Cypriot administration?
My involvement in the Cyprus project is very simple, as you well know in March 2013 the Cyprus government asked a bail out to the European Community and in return to this economic help the Troika required to modify the local Cyprus administration infrastructure. The central government asked to receive some guidelines from an English consultant company and the outcome was the well known cure: service cut, tax increment, lay off and new fees.
When I started working on this project, I thought on the sematic of the word “man” in ancient Greek: ἄνθρωπος. This word is a combination of three words: anà (= up), athrèo (=look), òps (=eye), therefore “looking upward”. This semantic interpretation of the term “Man” in ancient Greek gave me the idea to approach to the problem in a different way. Today in Europe many politicians are only thinking on the number, but the human being is not a number he is a universe.
For this reason I changed the strategy and I cast my net to the right side of the boat and after a couple of months during the assessment, I discovered that, through the application of the Lean Six Sigma approach, there was room to cut the existing operating cost of 40%, without laying off any people or increasing the taxes or cutting services.
Which were the main obstacles you faced up with?
Our main obstacles were from the politicians side, because the inefficiencies are for them very important, being a vehicle of corruption. But in our specific case they were pushed by the Troika to change their habits, and this helped us in our job.
Did you get the results both you and administration expected?
Our study was a pre-assessment; its aim was to verify the possibility to identify a different way to afford the reorganization of the Cypriot local administration reform, avoiding the well-known austerity based approach; the outcome of the study was positive, showing the direction of a virtuous cycle able to reduce the present inefficiencies and to increase the global productivity, achieving at the completion of the implementation of a roughly 40% reduction in their existing operational cost, without changing the quantity of the delivered services.
Which advice would you give to a person/student, who wants to study or become a Lean Six Sigma professional? Where should he/she start from?
This question is the more complicated to answer; Lean Six Sigma is a mare magnum, it is a universe; in any case, my suggestion, based on my personal experience, is to combine the theory and the practice in a right and balanced mixture. On the other hand, what makes a Lean Six Sigma project successful is to inspire into the involved people the curiosity on this improvement method, by facilitating their involvement in all the project aspects and always considering important any their suggestions. With this simple attitude, we can catch their attention to the methodology and we are certain that their future approaches in this field will be based on the reapplication of the same winning strategy. In short word, for a successfully Lean Six Sigma project, what it is important is to create, among the responsible team, the idea that the project is not coming from the top management, but it is generated by their needs and by their suggestions.
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