Report on Learning to live with complex systems: A missing link in Iranian industries!!

 | Post date: 2021/06/30 | 

Introduction of Webinar Speakers and Experts:

Professor at Department of Technology and Safety, University of Tromso, the Arctic University of Norway


Faculty of Technical & Engineering, Imam Khomeini International University, Qazvin, Iran

Department of Industrial Engineering, Khatam University

This webinar was held by the New Technologies Research Group of the Center for European Studies on Jun 24th ,2021.   

A complex system has three elements: i) Hardware, ii) Software and iii) Wetware. In most production facilities, information regarding the hardware/software performance and their issues are collecting in different databases. Using this information, employees (as wetware) can understand them. Later on, such knowledge will be used to improve these systems. But the main questions are “Who should understand the wetware?” And “How should their performance be enhanced?”. In most industries, such issues need to be addressed by top/ senior /middles managers. In other words, they are responsible for understanding employees who are going to understand hardware/ software. But most practices which are using by top/ senior /middles managers are not so effective for this aim. This talk addresses these subjects and tries to build a ground for possible solutions. In the second part of the talk, Value Stream Mapping (VSM) will be introduced as essential tools for performance improvement along with a case study, VSM purchasing process of Iran Alumina Company.

At the beginning, the main speaker of the ceremony Professor Barabadi, explained the complex systems and developments of the world industry:
 "Complex systems consist of three parts: hardware, software and wet (labors). The workforce usually manages the other two departments. In 1920, the only use of manpower was their physical strength, and the only major issue was the work entrusted to them. Since 2005, industrial developments have accelerated. In classical industry, it was believed that by scaring and isolating the workforce, they could be trained to be loyal. After the Industrial Revolution, the type of human being needed in industry changed. At that time, the industry only needed skilled and obedient labor. In fact, manpower did not know what the system was training him for?!. Since 2000, the market has needed creativity. It should be noted that the seeds of creativity bear fruit only in group work. In the classical system, equipment was the most important source, but in the modern system, humans play the main role. In the information age, we first pay attention to human resources and their unique capabilities, and finally define the project based on it. The mistake of Iranian industry is copying solutions. Machine repair was important in the 20th century, but now what matters is the resurrection of humans. What is the solution? The main issue is how to do our project. We still follow the classic view. In the classic view, the project must start from the beginning and end with a certain process. But the truth is that during this journey we encounter all kinds of uncertainties. It is a fact that managers are unaware of. The only way to change our management system. The manager of an organization is not responsible for the work, but the people who do it. Our intellectual system is made up of 4 chemicals that make it mobile:
  1. EN: Endorphins, or natural analgesics in the body, are substances secreted by the mucous glands by stimulation of these glands by the hypothalamus, and their main effect is to relieve pain. Endorphins, called the body's natural morphine, are actually very similar to narcotics - they act like morphine and are produced during physical activity, excitement, pain, eating peppermint foods, sexual activity and feelings of love. In general, endorphins cause happy and relaxing moods. They also eliminate the sensation of pain by stopping sending pain messages to the brain.
  1. DO: Dopamine plays the most important role in creating pleasure and reward. Increasing dopamine in certain areas of the brain known as the reward center causes a person to feel happy (reward). In simpler language, this substance is designed to create a sense of happiness after achieving a goal. Of course, there is a risk of addiction to this substance.
  1. SE: Human is a social being. We have created culture to remain social. Serotonin is released when we have a higher status and our social status is established among the people. This substance creates solidarity between people.
  1. OX: (OXYTOCIN) This substance is known as the substance of love, security and friendship, and also enhances creativity and problem-solving ability, prevents addiction and revives the sense of altruism in us.
  1. CO: Cortisol causes the body to contract in situations that require fighting or escaping from dangers and challenges. The problem is that with the spread of cortisol in the brain, stress and anxiety are institutionalized in the organization. In this case, no trace of love remains. Creativity. So this material should be controlled and a sense of empathy and trust should prevail in the organization.”

Then, Dr. Nouri introduced "VSM" and added:

“In reputable companies in the world, such as Toyota, first, human resources are analyzed through psychological questions and according to the type of personality, they receive their position in the company. According to this database, the company knows where each person is. They have strengths and how each member reacts in critical situations. After World War II, the company combined the philosophy of lean manufacturing with the philosophy of mass production. The cornerstone of any organization's strategy is recognizing value. In the next step, this philosophy draws a system flow map. To achieve optimal production, our workforce needs to be encouraged and must be part of the company. Now the question is, "Why go for VSM?" It is not just the implementation of the Lane system in the organization. In the first stage, VSM must be implemented otherwise it is not possible to measure the system as a whole. Primary converts the customer into a product or service. VSM connects the value chain to system thinking. System development depends on fulfilling the responsibility of all components. VSM provides us with the tools to analyze and develop the system, and its use is not limited to senior managers, all members of the organization can use it to finally use the material flow map and information to reach a strategy that is approved by all employees. Implementing this process will lead people to have a clearer understanding of their work system. VSM is not just for industrial work, but can also be implemented in headquarters systems and used to design the future plan of the organization.”

To gain a deeper understanding of the material, he referred to his joint and successful experience with Professor Barabadi in implementing the VSM system at the Iran Alumina Plant (the largest aluminum plant in the Middle East).

Excerpts from questions and answers:
Professor Tavakoli Moghaddam, the honorary host of the webinar, referring to the importance of creating a culture of teamwork and reporting, said that what is important in the fifth industrial revolution is the mentality and creativity of human beings and this culture should be taught to our students. Western industry has very skillfully followed this process, and we, especially in terms of resilience engineering, should follow their example, considering the Iranian and Iranian culture.

"What are the ways to control the mind?"
For the production of OX and SE, a reliable environment must be provided. For example, if it were possible to revive the war heroes, if we asked Martyr Hemmat, "How did you do all this bravery and courage?!" He would most likely say: "Because The other warriors made the same sacrifices for me. "All the heroes who fought in Khorramshahr were martyrs. Our company environment should be such that people are allowed to make mistakes and express their mistakes without any fear and no one blames them. It is interesting to know that research has proven that a team that has not built trust between people, have fewer errors. With a superficial look, we expect to conclude that this system is more appropriate. But in such systems, due to lack of empathy between members and the absence of small errors, suddenly a small event becomes a serious threat to the organization in the future!!!

Summary and Conclusion:
We need to change the structure of organizations. In order to achieve this goal, the human mind must be changed. If there is a conflict between production and human beings, human beings must be given importance in the first place. A manager has the role of leading an organization and it should not be chosen solely on the basis of performance, what matters in the 21st century is a trusted organization. We need to hire people in organizations who can talk to each other without formal compliments and be able to form a large family with other people in the organization. To create this organization and avoid tensions, it is necessary to design an environment for recovery and revitalization of the workforce. According to Toyota, it should be seen, examined and asked why? And human beings to be respected. Part of human rights is to position every human being according to his or her individual characteristics, to encourage him or her to feel useful. This is how the country's economy will grow.

A word to you:
One of the research areas of the Center for European Studies is the introduction of the 2027 European horizon and its plans. This webinar will be an introduction and a start for the upcoming webinars. We hope to be able to guide a part of the Iranian community of researchers and students to current and practical issues in Europe by continuing this series of meetings.

Good news for industry and business owners:
Owners and senior managers of organizations, industry and businesses who wish to implement these courses in their organizations, can contact CES via e-mail "" to use the guidance Prof. Barabadi and Dr. Nouri to hold special courses related to the content presented in this webinar in their industry and organization.



Master s.t of system optimization.
Contact me with:


View: 938 Time(s)   |   Print: 203 Time(s)   |   Email: 0 Time(s)   |   0 Comment(s)