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DISCUSSION1 Six Sigma Identify one of the goals of Six Sigma shown in Table 13-1


DISCUSSION1 Six Sigma Identify one of the goals of Six Sigma shown in Table 13-1 of the text and provide an example of a project you have been involved with where the method could have helped the project outcome. Comment if your organization uses Six Sigma and, if so, the influence it has had on the results of projects and the overall business. #1 Erik Siwak Reading about the goals and methods of Six Sigma resonated with me because of how it could apply to a situation I have been dealing with at work. One of my main responsibilities is to oversee the company’s blog. Each blog post is a small project that I must manage. The blog process works pretty well, except for one area that tends to be an obstacle on almost all of these projects. The Creative team insists that they need to create new banners to accompany each blog post, but they are only able to work on these images on Tuesdays because of the team’s production schedule. Frequently, blogs are ready to be published, but have to be held up for days while I wait for the next Tuesday when Creative will finish their work. The frustrating policies of the Creative team are inefficient and seem badly out of step with organizational strategy – the blog is used as a marketing tool to draw new customers to our business, so it is in our best interest to publish as quickly as we can. Unfortunately, my organization does not appear to use Six Sigma or any other method to prioritize improvement. If we did, I think Six Sigma would help to identify project management roadblocks, such as the one created by the Creative team. After all, one of the goals of Six Sigma is improving productivity and the main method for improving productivity is to examine the efficiency of product management (Kerzner, 2005). I would like to think that a Project Management Office using Six Sigma would see that the Creative team’s processes are inefficient and slow the organization’s ability to reach its goals. As it is, I think it is probably up to me to try to point out the inefficiencies in this situation and propose some solutions. Understanding the concepts of Six Sigma will help me to make the business case for changing Creative’s processes. If the Creative team’s processes are impeding our ability to support organizational goals, then those processes need to be re-examined. #2 Thurston Miles Six Sigma Six Sigma involves an accepted and proven strategy used by organizations to improve their business processes. The methodology helps organizations achieve higher performance that is significant in improving profitability (Antony, Rodgers & Cudney, 2017). In our case, the table identifies one of the major goals presented by Six Sigma. This goal refers to Improved Productivity. This goal plays a significant role in raising organizational efficiency after its implementation. Its implementation ensures that there is increased process productivity hence greatly improving organizational competitive advantage (Antony et al., 2017). Its main focus is on reducing cycle time, such as the time is taken to serve a single customer that is directly proportional to the number of clients that can be served. This aspect is also evident in the elimination of duplicates hence, streamlining service delivery that encourages value addition in the process. From personal experience, while in an internship in a local bank, we worked on a project whose objective was improving service delivery in the Bank. Since the main goal that Six Sigma focuses on is quality improvement, its statistical improvements have incorporated significant improvements that have greatly reduced associated defects in product and service delivery (Antony et al., 2017). As a result, its incorporation in improving the banks’ service delivery has effectively helped in improving overall business performance. Utilizing the goal of improved productivity, Six Sigma will help raise efficiency, especially at the banks’ tellers, by reducing the time taken to complete one processing process. As identified, our organization uses Six Sigma in improving its competitive advantage in the industry. Although the bank has not yet fully adopted the methodology, it has significantly influenced on the overall performance of the business (Antony et al., 2017). After the adoption of this strategy, there has been improved customer and employee satisfaction and also general improvement in service delivery across all departments in the bank. The improvement has encouraged better partnerships that have also greatly encouraged the development of long-term partnerships with individuals and other associated companies. DISCUSSION 2 Earned Value Review the Fleming and Koppelman article from your assigned readings. Evaluate two of the ten EVM requirements and analyze how a project you have worked on in the past could have been more effective by using the measures. Provide detailed information if your organization consistently uses EVM and the benefits that have resulted. #1 Thurston Miles Fleming and Koppelman article review. The article by Fleming and Koppelman portrays Earned Value Management (EVM) as granting stakeholders full truth. They express that the option to use EVM should be completely upheld by the stakeholders and executives at all levels, as EVM accomplishment information can be accessible to all investors in the business. The authors provide ten requirements for utilizing EVM and two of them are intensively discussed in this paper. The first one expresses that EVM necessitates that the project to be fully defined, comprehended, and checked to incorporate a hundred percent efforts of the project (Fleming & Koppelman, 2016). It is essential for investors in the project to comprehensively understand a hundred percent of tasks so that they can evaluate progress as time goes. Besides, EVM also needs the measuring of physical performance to be done based on schedule metrics that were previously defined. The earned value of the project can be assessed (Fleming & Koppelman, 2016). My organization frequently uses Earned Value Management. The advantage of measuring physical performance is; if the project is not taking the appropriate direction in terms of performance, then corrective measures may be implemented to avoid hazardous results. Also, all investors are aware of a hundred percent of the efforts put up in the project. This gives them a chance to engage in making informed decisions concerning those projects. In conclusion, it is essential for investors to be aided in comprehending the project exhaustively. By doing so, negative efforts in the projects are projected and handled earlier. Physically measuring the performance of the project helps to keep a particular project on the right track. Physical performance is obtained by using a mechanism such as the Cost Performance Invoice. #2 Erik Siwak At a previous job, I was on the project team that was charged with procuring a new content management system (CMS) for the company website and converting the current website to the new CMS. This was an important project for the company since the old CMS was outdated and lacked some functionality that we needed to attract and convert new customers. We knew this would be a large project, but I do not think the project team was quite prepared for how big it would be. As a result, the project ended up running over schedule and over budget. Reading the analysis of earned value management (EVM) written by Fleming et al. (2009), I recognized a few areas where the CMS project team failed to meet the stated requirements for effective EVM. The big problem is that our team did not completely understand the whole scope of the project. Working with the selected vendor to create templates for every conceivable page on the website was a much bigger task than anyone realized. Similarly, converting the content over to the new templates was also daunting. Since we misjudged this foundational activity, we pretty much set ourselves up to fail to meet budget and schedule expectations. Had we known, the budget and schedule would likely have been adjusted at the beginning of the project. Fleming et al. (2009) also stated the importance of restricting unauthorized work on the project. Scope creep became an issue on the CMS project. As we got further into the project, the writing team and I were asked to rewrite numerous pages of the website. These rewrites were not part of the original project. Other team members received similar requests to add on tasks that were never part of the planned project. The mindset seemed to be that since we were already making changes, why not add some additional changes. From a project management viewpoint though, these add-ons virtually ensured we would never meet our schedule. Also, it should be pointed out that the CMS project team did not use EVM to measure project progress. Had we done so, we probably would have realized earlier in the project that we were heading over budget and schedule. With that knowledge, we would have been better able to course correct. Fleming et al. (2009), however, seemed to suggest that it can be difficult to course correct significantly during a project. Nevertheless, our project team would have had a better chance to fix the problems had we recognized them earlier