Today, Knowledge Management today are not limited merely to : (A) 'knowing' or 'reading lots of books/scholarly articles' or (B) data mining, analysis, decision making, preventive actions, or (C) some Human Resources Management issue or (D) some ICT issue. Knowledge Management is about putting your knowledge, skills and competency into practice and most important IT WORKS! For you and your company or your business (Nik Zafri)

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Email: nikzafri@yahoo.com, nikzafri@gmail.com

Kelantanese, Alumni of Sultan Ismail College Kelantan (SICA), Diploma (Management), IT Competency Cert, Certified Written English Professional US. Has participated in many seminars/conferences (local/ international) in the capacity of trainer/lecturer and participant.

Affiliations :- Council Member of Gerson Lehrman Group NY, Institute of Quality Malaysia, Malaysian Institute of Management, Malaysian Occupational Safety and Health Professionals Association, Auditor ISO 9000 IRCAUK, Auditor OHSAS 18000 (SIRIM and STS) /EMS ISO 14000:2004 and Construction Quality Assessment System (CONQUAS, CIDB (Now BCA) Singapore),

* Possesses 26 years of experience/hands-on in the multi-modern management & technical disciplines (systems & methodologies) such as Knowledge Management (Hi-Impact Management/ICT Solutions), Quality (TQM/ISO), Safety Health Environment, Civil & Building (Construction), Manufacturing, Motivation & Team Building, HR, Marketing/Branding, Business Process Reengineering, Economy/Stock Market, Contracts/Project Management, Finance & Banking, etc. He was employed to international bluechips involving in national/international megaprojects such as Balfour Beatty Construction/Knight Piesold & Partners UK, MMI Insurance Group Australia, Hazama Corporation (Hazamagumi) Japan (with Mitsubishi Corporation, JA Jones US, MMCE and Ho-Hup) and Sunway Construction Berhad (The Sunway Group of Companies). Among major projects undertaken : Pergau Hydro Electric Project, KLCC Petronas Twin Towers, LRT Tunnelling, KLIA, Petronas Refineries Melaka, Putrajaya Government Complex, Sistem Lingkaran Lebuhraya Kajang (SILK), Mex Highway, KLIA1, KLIA2 etc. Once serviced SMPD Management Consultants as Associate Consultant cum Lecturer for Diploma in Management, Institute of Supervisory Management UK/SMPD JV. Currently – Associate/Visiting Consultants/Facilitators, Advisors for leading consulting firms (local and international) including project management. To name a few – Noma SWO Consult, Amiosh Resources, Timur West Consultant Sdn. Bhd., TIJ Consultants Group (Malaysia and Singapore) and many others.

* Ex-Resident Weekly Columnist of Utusan Malaysia (1995-1998) and have produced more than 100 articles related to ISO-9000– Management System and Documentation Models, TQM Strategic Management, Occupational Safety and Health (now OHSAS 18000) and Environmental Management Systems ISO 14000. His write-ups/experience has assisted many students/researchers alike in module developments based on competency or academics and completion of many theses. Once commended by the then Chief Secretary to the Government of Malaysia for his diligence in promoting and training the civil services (government sector) based on “Total Quality Management and Quality Management System ISO-9000 in Malaysian Civil Service – Paradigm Shift Scalar for Assessment System”

Among Nik Zafri’s clients : Adabi Consumer Industries Sdn. Bhd, (MRP II, Accounts/Credit Control) The HQ of Royal Customs and Excise Malaysia (ISO 9000), Veterinary Services Dept. Negeri Sembilan (ISO 9000), The Institution of Engineers Malaysia (Aspects of Project Management – KLCC construction), Corporate HQ of RHB (Peter Drucker's MBO/KRA), NEC Semiconductor - Klang Selangor (Productivity Management), Prime Minister’s Department Malaysia (ISO 9000), State Secretarial Office Negeri Sembilan (ISO 9000), Hidrological Department KL (ISO 9000), Asahi Kluang Johor(System Audit, Management/Supervisory Development), Tunku Mahmood (2) Primary School Kluang Johor (ISO 9000), Consortium PANZANA (HSSE 3rd Party Audit), Lecturer for Information Technology Training Centre (ITTC) – Authorised Training Center (ATC) – University of Technology Malaysia (UTM) Kluang Branch Johor, Kluang General Hospital Johor (Management/Supervision Development, Office Technology/Administration, ISO 9000 & Construction Management), Kahang Timur Secondary School Johor (ISO 9000), Sultan Abdul Jalil Secondary School Kluang Johor (Islamic Motivation and Team Building), Guocera Tiles Industries Kluang Johor (EMS ISO 14000), MNE Construction (M) Sdn. Bhd. Kota Tinggi Johor (ISO 9000 – Construction), UITM Shah Alam Selangor (Knowledge Management/Knowledge Based Economy /TQM), Telesystem Electronics/Digico Cable(ODM/OEM for Astro – ISO 9000), Sungai Long Industries Sdn. Bhd. (Bina Puri Group) - ISO 9000 Construction), Secura Security Printing Sdn. Bhd,(ISO 9000 – Security Printing) ROTOL AMS Bumi Sdn. Bhd & ROTOL Architectural Services Sdn. Bhd. (ROTOL Group) – ISO 9000 –Architecture, Bond M & E (KL) Sdn. Bhd. (ISO 9000 – Construction/M & E), Skyline Telco (M) Sdn. Bhd. (Knowledge Management),Technochase Sdn. Bhd JB (ISO 9000 – Construction), Institut Kefahaman Islam Malaysia (IKIM – ISO 9000 & Internal Audit Refresher), Shinryo/Steamline Consortium (Petronas/OGP Power Co-Generation Plant Melaka – Construction Management and Safety, Health, Environment), Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (Negotiation Skills), Association for Retired Intelligence Operatives of Malaysia (Cyber Security – Arpa/NSFUsenet, Cobit, Till, ISO/IEC ISMS 27000 for Law/Enforcement/Military), T.Yamaichi Corp. (M) Sdn. Bhd. (EMS ISO 14000) LSB Manufacturing Solutions Sdn. Bhd., (Lean Scoreboard (including a full development of System-Software-Application - MSC Malaysia & Six Sigma) PJZ Marine Services Sdn. Bhd., (Safety Management Systems and Internal Audit based on International Marine Organization Standards) UNITAR/UNTEC (Degree in Accountacy – Career Path/Roadmap) Cobrain Holdings Sdn. Bhd.(Managing Construction Safety & Health), Speaker for International Finance & Management Strategy (Closed Conference), Pembinaan Jaya Zira Sdn. Bhd. (ISO 9001:2008-Internal Audit for Construction Industry & Overview of version 2015), Straits Consulting Engineers Sdn. Bhd. (Full Integrated Management System – ISO 9000, OHSAS 1800 and EMS ISO 14000 for Civl/Structural/Geotechnical Consulting), Malaysia Management & Science University (MSU – (Managing Business in an Organization), Innoseven Sdn. Bhd. (KVMRT Line 1 MSPR8 – Awareness and Internal Audit (Construction), ISO 9001:2008 and 2015 overview for the Construction Industry), Kemakmuran Sdn. Bhd. (KVMRT Line 1 - Signages/Wayfinding - Project Quality Plan and Construction Method Statement ), Amiosh Resources - (1) Lembaga Tabung Haji - Flood ERP (2) WNA Consultants - DID/JPS -Flood Risk Assessment and Management Plan - Prelim, Conceptual Design, Interim and Final Report etc. (3) Tunnel Fire Safety - Fire Risk Assessment Report - Design Fire Scenario), Safety, Health and Environmental Management Plans leading construction/property companies/corporations in Malaysia. Timur West Consulting (1) Business Methodology and System (2) Information Security Management Systems (ISMS) ISO/IEC 27001:2013 for Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya ISMS/Audit/Risk/ITP Technical Team

* Has appeared for 10 consecutive series in “Good Morning Malaysia RTM TV1’ Corporate Talk Segment discussing on ISO 9000/14000 in various industries. For ICT, his inputs garnered from his expertise have successfully led to development of work-process e-enabling systems in the environments of intranet, portal and interactive web design especially for the construction and manufacturing. Some of the end products have won various competitions of innovativeness, quality, continual-improvements and construction industry award at national level. He has also in advisory capacity – involved in development and moderation of websites, portals and e-profiles for mainly corporate and private sectors, public figures etc. He is also one of the recipients for MOSTE Innovation for RFID use in Electronic Toll Collection in Malaysia

Risk Based Thinking ISO 9001:2015

(The answers provided are not to be deemed as solutions but basic guidelines, please contact me for further details of consultancy and training)

Q : Do I issue NCR for Risk Identification/Assessment? (i.e. HIRARC)

A : Risk Identification/Asessment and even HIRARC itself is an assessment NOT an audit/inspection. Please do not confuse the two. When we talk about risk, the word "proactive" must always come into the picture. Risk Based Thinking in the new ISO 9001:2015 is previously known as "Preventive Action" but spoken in a wider sense.

If you are using HIRARC, then there are "marks" to denote severity and likelihood of the risk being identified. You can note suggestion or instruction for improvement based on your findings and discuss in your Management Review.

Q : I am a newbie in Risk Management, where to start on Risk Based Thinking during upgrading from the old version?

A: ISO 9001:2015 do not make it "a must" to have a full risk management. Unless it's already part of your core business process (especially planning), e.g. using HIRARC, then that's different. Look at your core business process and identify/ brainstorm the possible risk associated with every process where applicable. Using the Risk Register would be a good idea.

The reason why "Risk Based Thinking" is introduced into ISO 9001:2015 is because to reduce non-conformance and customer complaints, to justify clearly (substantiated with evidence) the Department/Unit Objectives, KPI/KRA, Balance Scorecard etc. (not simply pick up a figure from 'the sky')

Note :



Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Taken from The Star - Business > News - Wednesday August 5, 2009

I think readers should read this article. I kinda like what Mr. Kumar is writing - it makes so much sense by asking two questions (save or spend - both have pro/cons) - almost related to what I've said in one of my articles about the paradox of 'so many sellers but not so many buyers'...both have pro/cons such as the purchasing power. Good work Mr. Pankaj...you made both Kurnia and Malaysia proud!!

Some suggestions on everyone's dilemma - To save or to spend?
By (Mr.) Pankaj Kumar (Chief Investment Officer - Kurnia)

OUR parents do it, our grandparents and forefathers did it, our siblings do it, as do some of our friends and colleagues. All for the rainy days, so we were told. Yes, savings.

We have to save for our future to ensure that we have something to meet unexpected expenses that may occur in our lives or to make the down-payment for the dream home or car or to pay for our once-in-a-lifetime event, where we become king and queen for a day.

When we are in a family with children, we also save for their future education needs as well as preparing ourselves for retirement.

Some say we do too much of it while others say there’s no such thing as enough. Our parents told us that we have to start young and we should build it up over the years so that by the time we retire we have enough to enjoy and live until we are called by Him.

Some say we have to save 10% of our monthly income as a benchmark while others try for more if they can afford it while some find it tough just to make ends meet, simply because of the higher cost of living.

One thing without doubt is that we have this inherent habit of saving for the future and, to the extent, we save so much that we do not know what to do with it.

My argument is simple as if we look at the current banking system in the country and capturing data related to savings, fixed deposits and demand deposits, individual savings amount to about RM388bil against the total of RM695bil as at June 30, 2009, representing about 56% of the banking system.

If we were to measure the above data in terms of per capita deposit and based on our total population of 28.3 million, per capita individual deposits in the banking system is about RM13,700.

In any society, savings is the pillar of economic expansion as the savings mobilised can be utilised to fund investments. This is indeed very different in Western society, particularly the US where it was only recently that the US found reasons to save due to the on-going economic fallout.

For years the rest of the world has been funding US consumption as the US has been running current account deficits for years and now ranks as the worst country in the world with the highest amount of current account deficit of US$862.3bil.

Malaysia proudly ranks number 17 with a current account surplus of US$17.86bil.

What is the irony of the Americans and us in Asia? It seems that much of Asia’s savings are channelled towards America’s consumption.

We save and the US spends, but it is Asia’s economy that is said to be weak while Uncle Sam is who the world looks up to as without the US spending power, the rest of the world could collapse, starting with significant decline in trade between the rest of the world and the US.

Based on a recent article by Dr Jagdish Bhagwati, a famous Indian-born economist in the US, the US had taken over US$5 trillion from the world and, today, to keep the US spending habits, the rest of the world has to invest US$2bil per day.

Today, almost US$1.3 trillion of US treasuries are held by the Chinese and Japanese. With more US papers flooding the market and to ensure that the dollar doesn’t collapse, the rest of the world has no choice but to buy these papers.

It is indeed a vicious cycle that we are in now as the world is too dependent on US consumption for its own growth.

Bhagwati further commented in his recent article that a nation cannot grow unless the people spend, not save. Not just spend, but borrow and spend. Saving is sin and spending is virtue.

I must say that the above argument has its merits in the American context but we Asians believe in our own values.

Hence, savings will remain a virtue and we will continue to embrace this belief in us and our children as it is our savings habit that has brought us to where we are today while our spending habits are slowly but surely rising.

It may not come as a surprise that one day, we in Asia too will increase our desire for goods and services to the extent it undermines our ability to save and, at the same time, our ability to be a source of funds for the nation’s economic growth.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009


I suppose most of us nationwide is aware of the KPI and KRA especially those who have heard about YAB PM recently announced.

So I like you all to take a bit of time to read the following and be alert on my 'cooking of management phrases'

Let's go to the Key Results Areas first (KRA). KRA was born from Management by Objective (MBO) concept introduced by Peter Drucker in 1954. I think KRA is not really part from MBO but rather an evolution to clarify Objectives and Goals better.

(Via a consulting firm in 1997, I was one of the accredited MBO consultant for few Banking and Financial Institutions)

To make it simple - I will explain briefly what to expect from MBO.

It has a Mission Statement then Objectives, Goals and finally Key Result Areas (KRA). Hmm how to put it huh? Ok...input and output hence Productivity was born together with Benchmarking.

The then PM, Honourable Tun Dr. Mahathir introduced the 'Participative Management Concept' via the Look East Policy somewhere around 1982 and the rest is history (Malaysian Incorporated, Privatization, Proton Saga and so on) The participative management is part of what we commonly know as Total Quality Management (TQM) where among others it promote teamwork, bottom-up management, QCC Tools, Small Group Activities (SGA), Six Sigma, human capital, PLAN-DO-CHECK-ACT (PDCA) etc.

The participative management concept has evolutionized MBO further which I also believe the reason for KRA to exist so that it would be on 'mutual consent' basis between the 'setter' and the 'implementer'.

Back to MBO, conceptually speaking, the only thing that may not be measurable is the Mission Statement (although some put 'to become 'x' in 'x' years' while the rest are ALL measurable - be it Objective, Goals and KRA. 'Objectives' in MBO are key strategies to achieve the Mission Statement. Goals in MBO are 'short term objectives' to achieve Main 'Objectives'.

At the micro level (immediately after Goals) KRA is the output expected within a certain period of time.

The art of measuring is also known as 'Benchmarking' (get it?)

In Human Resources, MBO/KRA facilitates the formation of Job Descriptions, Performance Indicators (also related to KPI) and Responsibilities/Authorities.

Objectives and Goals are measured using % where they are being prioritized by a 'brainstorming' session (SGA/QCC) But the numbers of Objectives and Goals may not be the same. Example - One Objective may require two different goals. KRA is considered as the output which will determine the success implementation and continual improvment of Goals and Objectives (cascading principle)

ISO 9000 also has a similar concept known as Department/Unit Objectives which are also 'measureable'.

However most people argued with me that it should also be 'achievable' (although it does not SAY "achievable" in the ISO clause) I disagreed because the 'achievable' may also depend on the scope of work of a business entity.

Say for example, the Department Objective of a 'construction division' is

"to reduce 'x' wastages to...say...3% per 6 months"

What arguers don't see is that :

a) this relates to the value and magnitude of the project itself and
b) the quantity surveyor/purchaser buying 'buffer stock' - just in case

I asked the 'arguers' - what if the contractor gained a bigger project?

The 3% need to be reviewed as it may be TOO MUCH to achieve (for a bigger project) - it should be reduced to 2% but the implementers must justify why it is being reduced. Agreed? (so the arguers now are now my supporters)

So this reviewal or adjustment or ALIGNMENT is also known as BALANCE SCORECARD. (more confused you are all I guess - not to worry - I'm almost finished) Balance Scorecard is part of Strategic Planning and Management popularized by Kaplan (of Harvard) and David Norton. The purpose is to ALIGN activities to the organizational 'vision and strategy', improve communication breakdowns (also in ISO as well), and monitor organization performance against strategic goals (also in Objectives & Goals of MBO) It is to give the implementers a more 'balanced' view of organizational performance. (see ISO's Data Analysis + Quality Cost below)

Again, ISO 9000 concept of Objectives are also based on MBO/KRA as well. But the good thing that we can adopt from ISO is that there is an activity call the 'Data Analysis' for Action Plans/Continual Improvement (not only having statistics and do not know what to do with it) Here's something for all the readers/decision makers to think before you leap :

In Data Analysis, you have number of non-conformances (NCR) per product and you will compare them with other products range (or services). Sometimes, on screen, you see the NCR is high (be it major or minor) on the system (which require minor amendment in certain documentation) and you also see certain NCR is low.

Be careful, go further by 3rd level analysis (by cost - or - Quality Cost) You will find that the 'high NCR' may only cost you about RM1.00 or less!! Why? Because the NCR is about amending documentation - papers or perhaps 'online documentation'. But you'll be shocked to find that the 'lower NCR' are major defects on your product that may cost you MILLIONS although the NCR is only 1 -2. So be careful during an analysis especially when you're doing ISO 9000. And also, don't focus at the 'bad numbers' but also the 'good numbers' (conformity) - as the latter will help you in BRANDING yourself - how do you want your customers to view you....so don't forget your strengths as well (SWOT)

But at least you can learn two things :

a) An objective or goals or KRA may not be 'ACHIEVABLE' if properly justified, (but they should be MEASURABLE of course)
b) You must have a THOROUGH data analysis and find out 'what went wrong' before you make decision.

Hey..wait a sec...where's KPI?

Huh, don't you see? KPI + KRA = BALANCE SCORECARD!! Gotcha!! (That's why I highlighted Balance Scorecard in BOLD)

So don't worry guys, just learn Balance Scorecard and you will learn everything that I've said here now. I'm sure the YAB Prime Minister would agree with me...I'm sure a lot 'thinkers' are telling him 'this and that' and he says...NO WAY...make it simple not complex...so the KPI + KRA are born - one is input, the other is output.

What do you think NIK?

I think that everything I've mentioned here is KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT...tadaaaah

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