Define Phase of Lean Six Sigma Tutorial

2.1 Introduction To Define

Hello and welcome to the second lesson of the Certified Six Sigma Green Belt Course offered by Simplilearn. This lesson will cover the details of the define phase. Let us start with the objectives of the lesson in the next screen.

2.2 Objectives

After completing this topic, you will be able to: Explain various components of project identification Describe customer data collection methods List various means of project documentation Discuss risk analysis and management Describe project management and planning tools Explain the concepts used in evaluation of project performance Discuss team stages and dynamics Let us start with the first topic in the following screen.

2.3 Topic 1 Project Identification

In this topic, we will discuss Project Identification. Let us see the prerequisites of a Six Sigma project in the following screen.

2.4 Prerequisites Of A Six Sigma Project

Six Sigma can be applied to everything around. It can be applied across almost 70 different sectors. However, it cannot be applied to all problems. The first step is to check if the project qualifies to be a Six Sigma project. The questions that need to be asked are as follows: Is there an existing process? To implement the DMAIC (Pronounced as: D-MAC) methodology of problem solving, a process needs to exist. The process should be in operation for the development of the product or service. Is there a problem in the process? Ideally the process should not have any problem. If there is a problem in the process performance, the process needs to be improved. Is the problem measurable? The problem has to be measurable to assess the root cause and the impact of the problem on the process. Does the problem impact customer satisfaction? If the problem affects customer satisfaction, an action needs to be taken immediately. Else the customer may start finding alternate products or switch to competitor’s products. Does working on the problem impact profits of the company? It is very essential to assess the impact of the project on the profits of the company. If the project affects the profits of the company adversely, then such a project is not feasible. Is the root cause of the problem unknown? If the root cause of the problem is visible, then a six sigma project is not required. Other problem solving techniques can be used in this case. Is the solution unknown? If the solution to the problem is already known, then there is no need for any project. The company can directly implement the solution. The Define phase of DMAIC (Pronounce as: D-MAIC) will be introduced in the next screen.

2.5 Introduction To Define Phase

The Six Sigma project process is known as a DMAIC (pronounce as: D-MAIC) process. ‘Define’ is the first phase in the six sigma project process. In the define phase, the problem is defined and the Six Sigma team is formed. The objectives of the Define phase are as follows: Clearly define the problem statement through customer analysis. Understand customer requirements and ensure that the Six Sigma project goals are aligned to these requirements. Define the objectives of the Six Sigma project. Plan the project in terms of time, budget, and resource requirements. Define the team structure for the project and establish roles and responsibilities. In the next screen, let us learn about benchmarking.

2.6 Benchmarking

Benchmarking is the process of comparing an organization’s business processes, practices and performance metrics with that of industry leaders. There are various types of benchmarking. Let us briefly look at each type. Process benchmarking entails comparing specific processes to a leading company or an industry standard. This is useful to obtain a simplified view of business operations and enables a focused review of major business functions. Process benchmarking includes comparisons of production processes, data collection processes, performance indicators, and productivity and efficiency reviews. Financial benchmarking is performed to assess overall competitiveness and productivity. It is done by running a detailed financial analysis and analyzing the result. Performance benchmarking involves comparison of products and services with those of competitors with the intention of evaluating the organization’s competitiveness. Product benchmarking involves designing new products or services or upgrading existing products or services. This can involve reverse engineering a competitor’s products to study the strengths and weaknesses and modeling the new product on these findings. Strategic benchmarking refers to studying strategies and problem-solving approaches in other industries. Functional benchmarking is the focused analysis of a single function with the aim of improving it. Complex functions may need to be divided into processes before benchmarking is done. Competitive Benchmarking includes standardizing organizational strategies, process, products, services and procedures against the competitors in the same industry. Collaborative benchmarking is a type of benchmarking where the standardization of various business parameters is carried out by a group of companies and the information is shared. If the subsidiary units of a company or its various branches carry out the benchmarking, it is called collaborative benchmarking. Let us take a look at best practices for benchmarking in the next screen.

2.7 Benchmarking best Practices

Best Practice is a method that ensures continuous improvement, leading to exceptional performance. It is also a method to sustain and develop the process continuously. Some of the best practices in benchmarking are as follows: Increase the objectives or scope of benchmarking. Set the standards and path to be followed at the initial stage. Reduce unnecessary effort and comply with the scope. Recognize the best in the industry to set a benchmark. Share the information derived from benchmarking. In the next screen, we will discuss project selection.

2.8 Project Selection

There are 5 basic steps for selecting a project. They are: Identify organizational need, identify the projects, evaluate the projects, select the right project, and review the project. Click each tab to learn about these steps in detail. Identify organizational need: Almost all organizations have a defined mission and vision statement. Therefore it can be assumed that the organization has a pre-set strategy to take care of the following current and future needs of the organization: Projects to improve and develop the functional areas of the organization. To serve and meet the customer needs Identify the projects: The organization analyses the list of proposed projects, the project idea, and its brief description. Projects that support the organizational strategy or are aligned with the organizational need are identified and accepted. Projects that do not meet the set strategy are rejected. Evaluate the projects: The projects that support the organizational need are further scrutinized. They are evaluated in the following areas: Net Present Value or NPV is the difference between the present value of cash inflow and outflow of the project over the project life cycle. Cost benefit ratio is the summary of the costs and benefits of a proposed project. The cost and benefit are expressed in monetary terms. Internal rate of return is the rate at which the net present value equals zero. Opportunity cost is the cost of missed opportunity. It is cost of selecting one project over another. Payback period is the total time required for the recovering of the initial investment made in a project. Select the right project: During evaluation, the project which meets the strategy and matches the organizational requirement is selected and initiated. Review the project: Once the project is selected and initiated, it will be reviewed on a timely basis to ensure it aligns to the organizational goals. Click the formulae button to learn more. NPV = CO + CT / (1+r) n (Pronounced as: N-P-V-equals-C-O-plus-C-T-over-one-plus-R-whole-to-the-power-of-N) Where NPV is the net present value, CO is the cash outflow, CT is the Cash inflow for a year, r is the rate of return and n is the time in years. Cost benefit ratio = PV in/PV out (Pronounced as: P-V-in-over-P-V-out) Where PV in is the proposed value inflow, and PV out is the proposed value outflow. Payback period = Total cash out over Average per period cash in

2.9 Process Business Process And Business System

Let us understand process, business process, and business system in this screen. A process is a series of steps designed to produce a product or service to meet the requirement of a customer. A process mainly consists of three elements – Input, Process, and Output. A business process is a systematic organization of objects such as people, machinery, and materials, into work activities designed to produce a required product or service. As shown on the screen, a process is a subset of a business process. A business process is in turn a part of a business system. A business system is a value-added chain of various business processes such as Sales or Finance. For example, Payroll calculation is a process in the HR business process of an IT company, which is a business system. In the next screen, we will look at the process elements.

2.10 Process Elements

A business process has five elements: supplier, input, process, output, and customer. The acronym formed from these five elements is SIPOC (pronounced as sye-pawk). SIPOC is a macro-level map drawn in the define phase. Click the elements to understand each one of them. The supplier is a person or organization providing resources like information, materials, services etc. to the process concerned. Input is the information, material or services provided by the supplier. The next element, Process, is the set of steps which transforms the inputs into output. From the customer’s standpoint, this particular process element adds value to the inputs. Output is the final product or service outcome of the process. And finally, customer is a person, a process, or an organization which uses the output. In most service processes, the demand often comes from the customer, and hence the customer step is updated first. The SIPOC map, when used in service environments like a call center, is called as COPIS (Pronounce as: copis) map.

2.11 SIP Output Interaction

Let us learn about SIP — Output interaction in this screen. As is evident from the diagram, one or more changes in supplier, input, or the process actions, will result in a change in the process output. In other words, a change in output means one or more of the SIPs (pronounced as S-I-P), that is, supplier, input, and process parameters, must have changed. This helps us to understand that if the SIPs are stable, the output will be stable as well. The relationship between SIPs and Output provides methods to understand and define possible correlations and cause-effect relationships. As an important aspect of Six Sigma projects, these relationships can be termed as closed-loop business systems. Click the button to see an example of SIPOC. For a better understanding of the SIPOC concept, please go through the SIPOC form example for a call center given on the screen.

2.12 Challenges Of Business Process Improvement

Let us discuss the challenges to business process improvement in this screen. The improvement to a business process of an organization faces challenges due to the traditional business system structure because it is generally grouped around the functional aspect. The main problem in a functionally grouped organization is the movement or flow of a product or service. A product or service has to go through various functions and their functional elements to reach the customer or end user. The other problem is management of the flow of products or services across various functional elements. This is difficult as usually there is no one in-charge. These business process improvement problems can be solved using the project management approach to produce the product or service. In the next screen, we will learn about process owners and different stakeholders of a project.

2.13 Owners And Stakeholders

The representation of where the process owner and stakeholders are placed in the organizational hierarchy is on the screen. The process owner is a person at a senior level in the hierarchy. He is the one who takes responsibility for the performance and execution of a process, and also has the authority and the ability to make necessary changes. On the other hand, a stakeholder is a person, group, or organization which is affected or can affect an organization’s actions. Businesses have many stakeholders like stockholders, customers, suppliers, company management, employees of an organization and their families, the society, etc. Let us discuss the effects of process failure on various stakeholders in the next screen.

2.14 Effects Of Process Failure On Stakeholders

While it is an absolute business necessity to keep one’s stakeholders satisfied at all times, failure to meet one or more process objectives may result in negative effects on them. In such situations, for the stockholders, the perceived value for the company gets reduced. Customers may seek other competitors for their deals, while imposing penalties and finding recourse in legal action against the company. Suppliers may be on the losing front with delayed payments or not being paid at all. Company management may require cost cut-down. Employees will receive diminishing wages. The community and society will be affected due to pollution created by the organization. In the next screen, we will understand the relationship between business and the stakeholder.

2.15 Business Stakeholder Relationship

In the diagram shown on the screen, each stakeholder is both a supplier as well as a customer, forming many closed loop processes that must be managed, controlled, balanced, and optimized for the business to thrive. Communication is the key in such situations and is facilitated through internal company processes. The next screen covers the importance and relevance of stakeholder analysis.

2.16 Importance And Relevance Of Stakeholder Analysis

Stakeholder analysis is an important task to be completed before doing a Six Sigma project. A business has many stakeholders and any change to a business process affects some or all of them. When a process does not meet its objectives, it results in the stakeholders being negatively affected, which in turn affects the organization’s performance. The Six sigma team must factor in the reasons why a stakeholder may oppose the change effort. Let us proceed to the next topic of this lesson in the following screen.

2.17 Topic 2 Voice of the Customer

In this topic, we will discuss Voice of the customer. Let us start with how to identify the customer in the following screen.

2.18 Identify Customer

Customers are the most important part of any business. A customer is someone who decides to purchase, pays, consumes, and gets affected by a particular product or service. It is critical to identify and understand the customer requirements. The products or services can be designed according to these requirements. Consequently, the company is able to provide products or services the customers are willing to purchase. There are two types of customers: Internal and external customers. In the next screen, we will learn about internal customers.

2.19 Internal Customers

An internal customer can be defined as anyone within the business system who is affected by the product or the service while it is being developed. Most often, internal customers are the employees of the company. For example, let us assume that there is a series of processes in a particular business system. In such a scenario, the second process is the internal customer for the first process. The third process is an internal customer for the second process and so on. The basic needs of an internal customer are to be provided proper tools and necessary equipment, imparted proper training, and given specific instructions to carry out their responsibilities. However, the needs are not limited to these alone. Other needs include the provision of company newsletters, projects, storyboards to display the letters, etc., team meetings to share business news and announcements, staff meeting to share information, and quality awards from suppliers. An internal customer is important. First of all, the activities of an internal customer directly affect the final or ultimate customer. Secondly, the activities of an internal customer, affect the next process in the system. Finally, an internal customer also affects the quality of the product developed or service provided. When the needs of the internal customers, in most cases, employees, are met, they are more likely to have higher perceptions of quality and also contribute to greater productivity. The satisfaction levels of the internal customers can be improved in various ways. These include a higher amount of internal communication through company newsletters and team meetings, recognitions for work, quality awards etc. Constant training on how to be ahead and well equipped in a competitive environment is very essential too. In the next screen, we will learn about external customers.

2.20 External Customers

External customers are not a part of any organization; however, they are affected by it. They are the source of revenue for any business system and are therefore extremely important. There are three types of external customers: intermediate customers, end users, and affected parties. Click each type to know more. Intermediate customers purchase a particular product or service, modify or assemble, repack and resell the product or service to an end user. Retailers and distributors are common examples of intermediate customers. End users are the category of external customers who purchase a particular product or service for their personal use. Affected parties are the customers who do not purchase the product or service; however, they are impacted by it. For an educational system, the affected parties would be parents, service companies who hire students, communities etc. Another example can be that of a defense artillery manufacturing unit. If the manufacturing unit causes a lot of pollution, then the health of the people living in the nearby areas will be badly affected.

2.21 Positive Effects Of Project On Customers

This screen focuses on the positive effects of a project on the customers. The most important aspect of any process improvement project is the customers. Internal customers are the ones who drive the project. Hence the effect of the project on internal customers is a critical factor that needs to be considered. The positive impact of a project on the internal customers is as follows: The project is driven by highly motivated individuals or internal customers who are aware of the project objectives and scope. Individuals belonging to a credible project understand the project deliverables and display high levels of job satisfaction. These individuals go the extra mile to take up tasks beyond their job description. Such individuals make a highly motivated team focused on delivering their responsibilities in order to meet the customer requirements. Working together in a positive environment also improves team spirit and bonding. The positive impact of a project on the external customers is as follows: Process improvement projects analyze the problems and come up with an effective solution, consequently ensuring a better product. A successful process improvement project assists the organization in effectively meeting customer expectations or requirements. There is visible improvement in customer service. Good quality product and service ensures high customer satisfaction. Let us learn about different methods of customer data collection in the following screen.

2.22 Collect Customer Data

Once you begin to identify the customer types, you need to look forward to collecting customer data. Collecting data from customers is very essential as it helps consider the levels at which these customers affect the business. Begin by collecting feedback from both internal as well as external customers. Customer feedback helps fill the gaps and improve the various business processes in the organization. It helps define a good quality product as perceived by the customer and identify qualities that make that competitor’s products or service better. It also helps identify factors which provide a competitive edge to the product or service on offer. There are various methods to collect feedback from the customers. Many of you might be involved in a similar activity at some point or the other. Popular and common methods are surveys conducted through questionnaires, focus groups, individual interviews with the customers. Customer complaints received via call centers, emails and feedback forms are also quite prevalent. Feedback received in this form are from the dissatisfied customers. In the next screen, we will learn about questionnaires.

2.23 Questionnaire

A Questionnaire can be given in a form of a survey. It is a method of deriving feedback from individuals though structured multiple choice questions, either personally or by communicating over emails, telephone, etc. Twenty-five to thirty questions are an adequate number for a survey. The Following are the steps in the survey process: Scope of the survey, define the survey group, pick a methodology, develop a questionnaire, and compilation (Pronounce as: com-pie-lation). Click each step to learn more. Initially, plan the scope of the survey. Make a list of all the points that need to be covered. Plan the participants required for the survey. This is a critical step as the group needs to represent a heterogeneous market. Surveys can be conducted as a personal interview, or through emails, telephone calls, etc. Depending on the time, budget, and demography of the survey participants, decide on a survey method that is suitable and effective. Developing the questionnaire is the critical step in a survey process. Even if the participants are willing to provide all the information or feedback, it is up to a brief, professional, and neat questionnaire to encourage the participants in making that effort. The final task of compilation (Pronounce as: com-pie-lation).involves scanning of questionnaires and developing a report.

2.24 Advantages And Disadvantages Of Questionnaire

Let us discuss the advantages and disadvantages of questionnaires in this screen. The advantages of a questionnaire are that it costs less, the phone response rate is high, anywhere from around seventy to ninety percent, and it produces faster results. Also, analysis of mail questionnaires requires few trained resources. Questionnaire is a method used to gather data, however, there are a few disadvantages associated with it. There may be incomplete results and unanswered questions leading to a lack of clarity. The response rate of mail surveys is about twenty to thirty percent only. At times, phone surveys can produce undesirable results as the interviewer can influence the person being interviewed. We will differentiate between telephone survey and web survey in the next screen.

2.25 Telephone Survey Vs. Web Survey

There are different methods to collect data for a survey. The methods need to be based on the requirements and needs of the organization. The popular methods of survey are the telephone survey and web survey. Both have their own drawbacks and benefits which are given on the screen. The organization needs to choose a method of collecting data according to the situation. It is recommended to go through the content for a better understanding. In the next screen, we will learn about focus group.

2.26 Focus Group

A Focus group is generally a small group of three to twelve individuals who assemble for one or two hours to explore specific topics and questions. It is an assembly of potential and/or (Pronounced as: and-or) existing customers, cleverly chosen to represent the heterogeneous market. The focus group is led by a skilled moderator who presents the topic to the group and carefully notes the feedback generated from their discussion. There are four steps in the process of conducting a focus group. They are: Preparatory stage, Planning stage, Session, and Compilation (Pronounce as: com-pie-lation). Click each step to learn more. The Preparatory stage includes identifying the scope of the focus group and analyzing the problems that need to be addressed. In the planning stage, the session venue and timings are finalized. The means for transcription needs to be decided. Advertisements of session details must be put up in public media or in-house journals. Refreshments must also be arranged for. In the next stage, the moderator facilitates introductions and explains the purpose of the session. After stating the agenda and transcription factor involved, the moderator starts the recording device and withdraws to an observatory. In the observatory, the moderator takes notes while listening to the discussion. During the compilation (Pronounce as: com-pie-lation) stage, the moderator studies the transcription material and takes important notes of the session.

2.27 Advantages And Disadvantages Of Focus Group

Let us now discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using a focus group for data collection. The interaction in a focus group generates information, provides in-depth responses, and can address more complex questions or qualitative data. It is an excellent platform to get critical to quality or CTQ definitions as well. On the other hand, the disadvantages of focus groups are that the learning only applies to those within the group and it is not possible to generalize. The information collected is more qualitative than quantitative, which is another drawback. Additionally, they can also generate a lot of information from anecdotes and incidents experienced by the individuals in the group. In the next screen, we will discuss the Interview technique.

2.28 Interview

Interview is a technique of questioning and probing an individual to gather information. Interviews are informal and encourage the interviewees to voice their opinion. Individual interviews for collecting customer feedback are quite common, however, they can be time consuming and range anywhere from thirty minutes to one hour. The steps in the process of an interview are introduction and greetings, gather feedback, and compilation (Pronounce as: com-pie-lation). Click each step to know more. The interviewer can start the session with a friendly greeting and get to know the interviewee’s background, interests, and knowledge level. These help in understanding the interviewee’s hold on the topic at hand. Such small-talk helps in developing rapport, which makes the session comfortable and hence effective. During the session, the interviewer must resist the urge to take notes or use any form of transcription. Display of complete attention to what the participant has to say is the sign of a skilled interviewer. The interviewer must gather information at all levels and understand the interviewee or customer’s perception of the topic. After the session the interviewer needs to make a list of the points discussed, the ideas that cropped up, suggestions, etc.

2.29 Advantages And Disadvantages Of Interview

This screen discusses advantages and disadvantages of using the interview technique for data collection. Interviews have a capability to handle complex questions and a large amount of information. They also allow us to use visual aids in the process. It is a better method to be employed when people do not respond willingly and/or accurately by phone or email. However, there are some shortcomings as well. Interviews are time consuming and the resources or interviewer needs to be trained and experienced to carry out the task. Let us discuss the importance and urgency of these inputs in the next screen.

2.30 Importance And Urgency Of Various Inputs

The table shows the importance and urgency of different kinds of input. To understand the kind of input to be chosen, different kinds of methods for collecting data are identified. Telephone survey, web survey, and interview are the data collection methods identified. To select the best methods, the criteria or the factors which are important to the organization are listed. The criteria are the factors based on which an organization is going to make decisions. This list of factors is then given weightage based on the importance of each factor in decision making. As seen, cost is the most important criterion for which the weightage given is 20, response rate of the customer is next important factor, and the list follows. Visualizing feature, and compiling and analyzing data are the factors which have the lowest impact on the decision of selecting the methods for data collection. Each of the data collecting methods is rated between 1 and 10, based on its impact on the listed factors, with 10 being highly favorable to the organization and 1 being least favorable. After rating all the methods with the factors listed, the sum or total is calculated. The calculation of the total involves multiplying each method’s rating with the factor weightage and adding all the multiplied values of the column. That is For telephone survey, the rating is multiplied with factors rating: = 8 X 12 + 8 X 6 + 3 X 20 + 5 X 5 + 3 X 5 + 7 X 15 + 1 X 10 + 7 X 3 + 0 X 2 + 3 X 2 + 1 X 10 + 7 X 5 + 8 X 5and the total of this is 471. In a similar way, calculate the total value for the remaining 2 methods. The total of other two methods are 744 and 522 respectively. Looking at the overall total of the methods, 744 is the highest. Hence, web survey is the best method for the organization to use for data collection. Let us look at the pros and cons of customer complaints data in the next screen.

2.31 Customer Complaints

There are pros and cons in gathering information from customer complaints. Advantages include availability of specific feedback directly from the customer, and ease in responding appropriately to every customer. On the contrary, feedback in this method does not provide an adequate sample size and may lead to process changes based on one or two inputs from the customer. The next screen will discuss the difference between product complaint and expedited service request.

2.32 Product Complaint Vs. Expedited Service Request

Product complaints and expedited service requests can act as inputs to the company for improving their process. These details address the needs of the customer in an indirect way. A product complaint means that the customer is not happy with the product that he has purchased from the company. An Expedited service request means a service request is being rushed. If the customer requires the items immediately, then an expedited service request is raised from the customer. And the organization tries to fulfill it to please the customer. Product complaint implies that a product is not meeting customer specification, hence it has to be improved. Expedited service request implies that service timelines are not meeting customer requirements, hence service has to be improved. Product complaint also implies that the customer needs for product are not completely identified whereas expedited service request implies that the customer timings need to be recalculated. Let us discuss the importance and urgency of these inputs in the next screen.

2.33 Importance And Urgency Of Various Inputs

The table shows the importance and urgency of different kinds of input. To select the best methods, the criteria or the factors which are important to the organization are listed. The criteria are the factors based on which organization is going to make decisions. These factors are then given weightage based on the importance of each factor in decision making. As seen, cost involved and identification of customer need are the most important criteria for which the weightage given is 15 and the list follows. Time consumption, and compiling and analyzing data are the factors which have the least impact on the decision of selecting the methods for data collection. Each method is rated between 1 and 10, based on its impact on the listed factors, with 10 being highly favorable to the organization and 1 being least favorable to the organization. After rating all the methods with the factors listed, the sum or total is calculated. Calculation of the total is derived by multiplying each method’s rating with the factor weightage and adding all the multiplied values, that is For product complaint, the rating is multiplied with the factors rating: = 8 X 15 + 4 X 15 + 3 X 2 + 1 X 10 + 1 X 10 + 1 X 10 + 1 X 8 + 1 X 10 + 4 X 2 + 1 X 8 + 1 X 10 and the total of this is 260. In the similar way, calculate the total value for Expedited service request. The total of expedited service request is 817 and hence it is effective to the organization. Let us discuss the key elements of data collection tools in the next screen.

2.34 Key Elements Of Data Collection Tools

Data collection tools will be selected based on the type of data to be collected. The key elements that make these tools effective are as follows: Data is collected directly from the primary source or customer. Hence there is no scope for miscommunication or loss of information. Data is collected exclusively for the stated purpose. Hence data is highly reliable. The data is captured is after understanding the organizational purpose. This makes the data exclusively relevant and serves the purpose of the organization. Data is collected instantaneously when there is a requirement. This ensures that the data is up-to-date. Hence the data is valid. The tools accurately define customer requirements. The customer requirements could be current needs or improvement to the product or service that they are currently using. The tools help to get enough information about customer requirement through which the process for improving or creating the product or service that the customer requires can be developed. In the next screen, we will discuss how the collected data can be reviewed.

2.35 Review Of Collected Data

Collated data must be reviewed to eliminate vagueness, ambiguity, and any unintended bias. Nutri Worldwide buys laptops for its employees from a company that is into manufacture and sales of laptops. The company also provides servicing and repairs for their products to the customers. To understand the level of customer satisfaction in Nutri Worldwide and to improve its process, the laptop company is conducting a survey. The questionnaire which was prepared initially (questionnaire – before review) had questions that led to ambiguity, vagueness and unintended bias. Let us look at each item on the survey- To understand the level of usage of the laptop and to know their customer better, the survey is raising a question related to the occupation of the customer. It gives the option of student or professional. But with this low amount of information, the company is neither able to gather the information nor will the given option cover the entire possible occupation in the market. Including an option of other (please specify) would help the customer to choose and provide the information, if he do not belong to one of the two given groups. Hence, the same is added in the review so that the customer will not be in any ambiguity while filling the questionnaire. The question whether the sales executive was supportive, with an option of yes or no, is a question which leads again to ambiguity and unintended bias. The customer might be partially happy or partially not happy. But the choice does not let them inform their exact feeling. If the customer selects ‘no’ as the option, then the company does not get enough information to understand where their sales executive went wrong. Hence in the reviewed questionnaire, the customer is asked to rate the qualities of their sales executive which will provide better data to the company in order to improve the process. Next, we will discuss a technique named Voice of Customer.

2.36 Voice Of Customer

The voice of customer is a technique to organize, analyze and profile the customer’s requirements. ‘Voice of the customer’ is an expression for listening to the external customer. The table shows the customer requirements while purchasing an air conditioner. In all cases, the customer is purchasing for his or her domestic usage. Each customer is further categorized according to his needs and requirements. When the customer says that he needs a silent air conditioner, he needs sound sleep at night in the bedroom. This is primarily to remain fresh the next morning and to get rid of the noisy ceiling fan being used currently. In case the customer says that he needs an efficient AC, he needs a machine which provides good cooling at night in the bedroom. This is mainly because it gets extremely hot in summer. Also, he currently uses a ceiling fan which is not so effective in summers. On the other hand, when the customer wants to buy an AC which is not too costly, he has limited cash for the purchase. He wants to purchase a low cost AC. Let us discuss the importance of translating customer requirements in the next screen.

2.37 Importance Of Translating Customer Requirements

Customer requirement is the data collected from customers that gives information about what they need or want from the process. Customer requirements are often high-level, vague, and non-specific. Some customers may give you a set of specific requirements to the business, but broadly, customer’s requirements are a reflection of their experience. Customer requirements, when translated into critical process requirements that are specific and measurable, are called Critical to Quality (CTQ) factors. A fully developed CTQ has four major elements: output characteristic, Y metric, target, and specification or tolerance limits. We will discuss the meaning of CTQ in the next screen.

2.38 Critical to Quality

Critical to Quality factors are the critical quality parameters set by the organization relating to the customer needs. CTQ tree is a diagram-based tool that helps in developing and delivering quality products and services. The steps to develop a CTQ tree are identify critical needs, identify quality drivers, and identify performance requirements. Click each step to know more. Identify the critical needs that the product has to meet. Define the product requirements in broad terms. Ask the customers directly or brainstorm their needs with people in direct contact with customers. Identify the specific quality drivers that must be in place to meet the needs. Identify all the drivers that are important to the customers. Speak to people who have customer contacts and ask the customers what factors are important to them. Identify the minimum performance requirements. Satisfy the requirements for each quality driver to provide a quality product. Remember the things that may affect your ability to deliver these.

2.39 Quality Function Deployment

Let us understand what quality function deployment is in this screen. QFD is a process to ensure that the customer’s wants and needs are heard and translated into technical characteristics. It is also known as the voice of the customer or house of quality. QFD is a process to understand the customer’s needs and translate them into a set of design and manufacturing requirements, while motivating businesses to focus on their customers. It also helps companies to design and build more competitive products in less time and lesser costs. QFD helps in prioritizing customer requirements, recognizing strengths and weaknesses of an organization, and recognizing areas that need to be worked on and areas that need immediate focus of efforts. QFD is carried out by asking relevant questions to the customers and tabulating them to bring out a set of parameters critical to the product design. Let us discuss phases of QFD in the next screen.

2.40 Phases Of Qfd

Quality function deployment involves four phases. Phase 1. Product Planning. In this phase, the QFD team translates the customer requirements into product technical requirements. Phase 2. Product Design. In this phase, the QFD team translates the identified technical requirements into key part characteristics or systems. Phase 3. Process Planning. In this phase, the QFD team identifies the key process operations necessary to achieve the identified key part characteristics. Phase 4. Production Planning or Process Control. In this phase, the QFD team establishes process control plans, maintenance plans, and training plans to control operations. Next, we will understand the structure of QFD.

2.41 Structure of QFD

Quality function deployment or House of Quality comprises six steps: Customer Requirements, Planning Matrix, Technical Requirements, Inter-relationships Matrix, Roof, and Targets. Click each step to know more. ‘Customer requirements’ is the most important part of the House of Quality that must be completed first. This is a documented version of the customer’s requirements for a product. The inputs for this part are usually collected through customer conversations, where they can describe their needs in a product. This customer requirements box is known as WHATS in the QFD and it deals with what the customer needs and the rating to the requirements gathered from the customers. The list of such inputs must be structured before it enters the HOQ. The organization can also collect customer requirements by brainstorming with people who work with customers directly. For example, sales personnel and customer service executives have a good knowledge of the customer requirements in the products they deal with. Click the button to learn about importance weightage, which is part of the step 1, customer requirements. Customer requirements can be prioritized in a few simple steps: Measures for each customer requirement are gathered from the questionnaire and Analytical Hierarchy Process or AHP. AHP is a technique to organize and analyze complex decisions, based on mathematics and psychology. High priority requirements are rated 1 and low priority requirements are rated 0. For every requirement, the sum of customers who voted it as high priority is calculated. The percentage of these customers is calculated. The planning matrix section provides a measure of customer satisfaction with the existing products. It is used to rate the industry competitors on each of the customer requirements or ‘WHATs’. The customers will be asked to consider the performance of all the existing products in satisfying their requirements. It helps the organization get an overview of their performance when compared with industry competitors. A 5 scale rating is used; where 5 signifies high customer satisfaction and 1 signifies low customer satisfaction. A rating of 1, 2 or 3 in WHATs signifies room for improvement. This section is also known as Engineering Characteristics or Voice of the Company. This section describes products in terms of the company. The QFD team generates this information, wherein they identify all the measurable characteristics of the product which they perceive are related to meet specified customer requirements. It helps to identify the minimum performance requirements that the organization must satisfy for each WHATs or customer requirements, in order to provide a quality product. There are many things that may affect the organization’s ability to deliver the desired high quality product. These factors need to be listed. This section forms the main body in the HOQ matrix. This section may consume more time to complete. The purpose of this matrix is to translate customer requirements into technical characteristics of the product. It speaks about the impact or influence of the HOW’s on what’s. The QFD team identifies the significance of these inter-relationships. They consider each requirement, customer and technical, in turns. The level of inter-relationship is weighted on a scale. Each level is assigned a score that is agreed by the QFD team before completing this matrix. For example, high is 10, medium is 5, low is 3, and none is 0. The relative values of these ratings should be chosen to suit the individual project requirements. Roof speaks about the impact or influence of HOW’s on what’s. This component is a triangular matrix used to identify where the technical requirements of the product support or obstruct each other. The QFD team considers the pairings of the technical requirements to form this matrix. Before filling each cell in this matrix, the QFD team considers whether improving one requirement will lead to deterioration or improvement of the technical requirement. If it leads to deterioration, there exists an Engineering Trade-Off and hence a minus symbol is entered into the cell. In the alternate case, a tick or a plus symbol is entered into the cell. Different levels of such interactions can be indicated using different symbols. The information gathered in this matrix can be used by the design team. This matrix highlights the areas where the focused design improvement leads to a range of benefits to the product. It also focuses on the negative relationships in the design. If no relation is found between the technical requirements, then the box is left blank. Targets is the last section of the HOQ in order of completion. This section summarizes the conclusions drawn from the data from the entire matrix and the team discussions. This section is made of three parts, technical priorities, competitive benchmarks, and targets. Technical Priorities: Each inter-relationship weighting is multiplied by overall weighting from the planning matrix. Competitive benchmarks: Each technical requirement identified as an important characteristic of the product can be measured for the company’s existing product and the available competitive products. Creative benchmarks show the relative technical position of the existing product and helps to identify the target levels of performance to be achieved in a new product. Technical requirements will be compared and the requirement with a higher interrelationship value will be chosen. Targets. This is the final output of the HOQ matrix. It is a set of engineering target values to be met by the new product design. Building this matrix enables the targets to be prioritized based on the understanding of the customer needs, competitor performance, and organization’s present-day performance. The QFD team decides values to this section based on all this information.

2.42 Post Hoq Matrix

Let us see what happens after completing the HOQ matrix. Completing one HOQ matrix is not the end of the QFD process. The output of the first HOQ matrix can be the first stage of the second QFD phase. As shown in the image, the translation process is continued using linked HOQ type matrices until the production planning targets are developed. Let us proceed to the next topic of this lesson in the following screen.

2.43 Topic 3 Voice Of The Customer

In this topic, we will discuss the basics of project management. Let us start with a discussion on problem statement.

2.44 Problem Statement

Every Six Sigma project targets a problem that needs to be resolved. The first step of project initiation is defining the problem statement. A problem statement needs to describe the problem in a clear and concise manner. A problem statement needs to identify and specify the observed gap in performance. It should indicate the current performance state of a process and the required performance state completely derived from customer requirements. A problem statement should be quantifiable. This means, it should have specified metrics including the respective units. Please note that the problem statement cannot contain solutions or causes for the problem. In the next screen, we will discuss the IS or IS NOT template.

2.45 Isis Not Template

The IS or IS NOT technique was first popularized by Kepner Tregoe, Inc. in the 1970’s. It is a powerful tool that helps define the problem and gather required information. An example of a problem statement of Paper cup leaks is given on the screen. The Six Sigma team has to answer “What is the problem? What isn’t the problem? Where is it? Where isn’t it? When is it? When isn’t it a problem? To what extent is it a problem? And to what extent isn’t it a problem” This information is then used to fill the question areas in the IS and IS NOT issue template. In the Analysis phase, if a cause cannot describe the IS and the IS NOT data, then it’s not likely the main cause. In the next screen we will list the criteria for the project objectives.

2.46 Project Objectives Criteria

The project objectives must meet the SMARTS (Pronounced as: smarts) criteria. SMARTS is an acronym of the characteristics desired in project objectives: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-based and stretch. The project deliverables should be specific. Example: Hospitals maintain records of all patients. Often, a few forms are rejected or missed due to errors in recording the ID numbers. In this case, setting the objective as ‘Reduce form rejection’ is very vague. Instead, ‘Reduce patient ID errors in recording lab results’ is specific and effectively targets solving the problem. The project objectives should be quantifiable. Example: Setting the objective as ‘Fewer form rejections’ is very vague. Instead, ‘Reduce patient ID errors by 30%’ sets a specific goal. The Project objectives should be achievable and practical. The project objectives should be relevant to the problem. The project objectives must specify a time frame within which they should be delivered. The project objectives must not be easily achievable. Example: Most problems and errors can be reduced by creating awareness. Hence the objective must stretch beyond the easily attainable state. In the next screen, we will understand project documentation.

2.47 Project Documentation

Project Documentation refers to creating documents to provide details about the project. Such documents are used to gain a better understanding of the project, prevent and resolve conflict among stakeholders, and share plans and status for the project. Documentation of a project is critical throughout the project. Some of the benefits achieved through project documentation are mentioned below. Documentation serves as a written proof for execution of the project. It helps teams achieve a common understanding of the requirements and the status of the project. It removes personal bias as there is a documented history of discussions and decisions made for the project. Depending on the nature of the project, each project produces a number of different documents. Some of these documents are the project charter, project plan and its subsidiary plans. Other examples of project documentation include project status reports, including key milestones report, risks items and pending action items. The frequency of these reports is determined by the need and complexity of the project. These reports are sent to all stakeholders to keep them abreast of the status of the project. Another example of project documentation is the final project report. This report is prepared at the end of the project and includes a summary of the complete project. Project Storyboard, inputs generated from Statistical tools, outputs from spreadsheets, checklists and other miscellaneous documents are also classified as project documents. In the next screen, we will understand project charter.

2.48 Project Charter

A project charter is a written document that defines the team’s mission, scope of operation, objectives, time frame, and consequences for the project. It is considered as a formal approval from the senior management to start the project. The project charter includes measurable objectives to be achieved from the project and the organizational and operating scope of the project. A good charter contains a section which includes support and commitment from the top management. The top management has to endorse the team’s project charter to provide the direction and support needed for the team to succeed. The project charter includes activities such as write, review, and approve. Click each activity to learn more. A Green Belt holder writes the problem statement and project charter. The project charter is reviewed by a Black Belt. The Black Belt is also responsible to get the Champion’s approval for the project charter.

2.49 Project Charter Sections

We will list the project charter sections in this screen. The major sections of a project charter are project name and description, business requirements, name of the project manager, project purpose or justification including ROI, stakeholder and stakeholder requirements, broad timelines, major deliverables, constraints and assumptions, and the budget summary of the charter. In the next screen, we will understand the project plan.

2.50 Project Plan

A project plan is the final approved document which is used to manage and control the various processes within the project and ensure its seamless execution. The project manager uses the project charter as an input to create a detailed project plan. A project plan comprises various sections, prominent among them being the project management approach, the scope statement, the work breakdown structure, the cost estimates, scheduling, defining performance baselines, marking major milestones to be achieved, and the key members and required staff personnel for the project. It also includes the various open and pending decisions related to the project and the key risks involved. Additionally, it also contains references to other subsidiary plans for managing risk, scope, schedule, etc. In the next screen, we will learn about project scope.

2.51 Project Scope

Project scope refers to all the work involved in creating the products of the project and the processes used to create them. Project boundaries are developed and reviewed to ensure that the project adds value to the customer. Project scope management has an important role to play. It includes the various processes involved in defining and controlling what is included and what is not included within the project. Following are some terms associated with the project scope: Scope planning, scope definition, Work Breakdown Structure or WBS, scope verification, and scope control. Click each term to learn more. Scope Planning is the process to decide how the project scope will be defined, verified, and controlled. Scope definition is the process of reviewing the project charter and the preliminary scope statement and adding information as requirements are developed and many change requests are approved. The Work Breakdown Structure or WBS (pronounced as W-B-S) is a tool used to define and group the project deliverables and work elements into smaller, organized, and manageable components. The process of formally receiving the acceptance of the project scope from the stakeholders and sponsors is known as scope verification. Scope control is one of the keys to effective project management. Scope control allows changes or addition of critical tasks without adding unnecessary items which might cause the project to miss critical deadlines. In other words, scope control refers to controlling the changes to the project scope.

2.52 Interpretation Of Project Scope

We will look at different techniques used for interpreting the project scope in this screen. Project scope can be interpreted from the problem statement and the project charter using various tools like the Pareto chart and the SIPOC (si-pock) map. The principle behind the Pareto chart or the eighty twenty principle as we know it is of “vital few, trivial many.” The Pareto chart helps the teams to trim the scope of the project by identifying the causes which have a major impact on the outcome of the project. The SIPOC map is a high level process map which helps all team members in understanding the process functions in terms of addressing questions like who are the suppliers?, what are the inputs they provide? , what are the outputs that can be obtained? and who are the customers?. As discussed earlier, SIPOC stands for suppliers, inputs, process, outputs and customers. In the subsequent screen, we will learn about process maps.

2.53 Process Maps

SIPOC is a macro level map that provides an overview of the business process, whereas a process map is a micro level flow chart that provides an in-depth detail of a process. The process map covers details at all levels and provides a walk-through-the-current-process experience. The SIPOC map is used as a basis while drawing a process map. A level one process map provides in-depth information. But the final process map drills further into detail. In the following screen, we will understand the project metrics.

2.54 Project Metrics

The fundamental elements required for measuring a project’s progress are the project metrics. They are needed to ensure that the project requirements are measurable and controlled throughout the project. Primary project metrics and secondary project metrics are the two kinds developed. The project metrics are selected while preparing the project charter. In the define phase, the primary metrics of the project are developed. However, they are not finalized till the measure phase of the project. Click each tab to learn about the two kinds of project metrics. Various sources provide the primary metrics for consideration in the project. These sources are the suppliers, internal processes, and customers. Examples for primary metrics for the project are quality, cycle time, cost, value, and labor. The secondary metrics for the project are usually the numerical representation of the primary metrics. Some of the examples for secondary metrics would include the number of Defects per Unit or DPU, the number of Defects per Million Opportunities or DPMO, the average age of the receivables, the number of lines of error-free software code, and reduction in the amount of scrap. Use of project metrics consistently throughout the project will enhance focus of the team, and help them understand the impact and benefit of the six sigma project to the organization.

2.55 Consequential Metrics

Let us discuss consequential metrics in this screen. Consequential metrics measure any negative consequences. These can be business metrics, process metrics, or both. They measure the negative effects of improving the primary or key metrics. They are used to measure the indemnity triggered by any damage in the project. The inconsistent use of consequential metrics can lead to loss of opportunity and rework after a project ends. Consequential metrics help to understand the cause-and-effect relationship between the primary and the secondary metrics, and the impact it has on the organization. Let us take a look at an example for consequential metrics in the next screen.

2.56 Consequential Metrics Example

The commonly seen situation is that the primary metrics is phrasing the goal of a project to display the savings in a given area rather than improving the process. This creates ambiguity of primary metrics with financial metrics. Let us consider a scenario. A project is carried out to increase the pace of introducing offers to the customers. But in the current practice, releasing the offers at a faster pace will hamper the quality of the previous offer. Due to this, the current offer of the product will be degraded as overpriced or it can degrade the project margin from the upcoming offer as the product will be underpriced. Click the button given on the screen to know the solution. Instead of increasing the pace of introducing offers and calling it an improvement to the process, the team can create and introduce a new design or modify the process to benefit the organization. By increasing the pace of introducing offers, the project can show the profit it makes, however, it fails to record the loss and downfall of the previous offers. This is where the consequential metrics help you understand the cause and effect relationship between the primary and the secondary metrics, and their impact on the organization.

2.57 Consequential Metrics Best Practices

We will discuss the best practices in this screen. The following are some of the best practices of consequential metrics: Setting consequential metrics during the measure phase and monitoring these metrics after finalizing the project will help to analyze whether the link between previous primary and secondary metrics has been established. Also, linking consequential metrics with primary metrics and finally linking them with secondary metrics provides clarity on the impact of these metrics. Assessing and evaluating the cause-and effect-relationship between these metrics is helpful to the organization as a whole. In the next screen, we will list some project planning tools.

2.58 Project Planning Tools

The project manager uses various tools to plan and control a project. One of the tools which he uses is the Pareto chart. Other prominent tools include the network diagram, the critical path method, also called CPM (Pronounced as: C-P-M), the program evaluation and review technique which is also known as PERT (Pronounced as: pert), Gantt charts, and the Work Breakdown Structure, also known as WBS (Pronounced as: W-B-S). In the next screen, we will discuss Pareto chart.

2.59 Pareto Chart

Pareto chart is a histogram ordered by the frequency of occurrence of events. It is also known as the eighty twenty rule or “vital few trivial many”. It helps project teams to focus on the issues which cause the highest number of defects or complaints. To explain further, the given chart plots all the causes for defects in a product or service. The values are represented in descending order by bars. And the Cumulative total is represented by the line. Pareto chart emphasizes that 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. Thus, a Pareto chart narrows the scope of the project, or problem solving, by identifying the major causes affecting quality. Pareto charts are useful only when required data is available. If data is not available, then other tools such as brainstorming and multi-voting should be used to find the root cause of any problem. In the following screen, we will continue to discuss Pareto chart with an example.

2.60 Pareto Charts Example

A hotel receives plenty of complaints from its customers and the Hotel Manager wishes to identify the key areas of complaints. Complaints were received in the following areas: cleaning, check-in, pool timings, minibar, room service and miscellaneous. Cleaning and check-in can be noted as areas of concern with 35 and 19 complaints respectively. Percentage is calculated for each cause of complaint and the cumulative is derived. Pareto Chart is plotted using this data. In the next screen, we will discuss network diagrams.

2.61 Network Diagrams

Network diagrams are one of the tools used by the project manager for project planning. They are also sometimes referred to as ‘Arrow’ diagrams because they use arrows to connect activities and represent precedence and interdependencies between activities of a project. There are some assumptions that need to be made while forming the Network Diagram. The first assumption is that before a new activity begins, all pending activities have been completed. The second assumption is that all arrows indicate logical precedence. This means that the direction of the arrow represents the sequence that activities need to follow. The last assumption is that a network diagram must start from a single event and end with a single event. There cannot be multiple start and end points to the network diagram. In the next screen, let us discuss some terms related to network diagrams.

2.62 Network Diagrams Terms

For the network diagram to calculate the total duration of the project, the project manager needs to define four dates for each task. The first two dates relate to the date by when the task can be started. The first date is Early Start – this is the earliest date by when the task can start. The second date is Late Start – this is the last date by when the task should start. The second two dates relate to the dates when the task should be complete. Early Finish is the earliest date by when the task can be completed. Late Finish is the last date by when the task should be completed. The Duration of the task is calculated as the difference between the Early Start and Early Finish of the task. The difference between the Early Start and Late Start of the task is called the slack time available for the task. Slack can also be calculated as the difference between the Early Finish and Late Finish dates of the task. Slack time or float time for a task is the amount of time the task can be delayed before it causes a delay in the overall project timeline. In the next screen, we will discuss Critical Path Method.

2.63 Critical Path Method

Critical Path method, also known as CPM, (Pronounced as: C-P-M) is an important tool used by Project Managers to monitor the progress of the project and to ensure that the project is on schedule. The Critical Path for a project is the longest sequence of tasks on the network diagram. The critical path in the given network diagram is highlighted in orange. Critical path is characterized by zero slack for all tasks on the sequence. This means that the smallest delay in any of the tasks on the critical path will cause a delay in the overall timeline of the project. This makes it very important for the project manager to closely monitor the tasks on the critical path and ensure that the tasks go smoothly. If needed, the project manager can divert resources from other tasks that are not on the critical path to tasks on the critical path to ensure that the project is not delayed. When a project manager removes resources from such tasks, he needs to ensure that the task does not become a critical path task because of the reduced number of resources. During the execution of the project, the critical path can easily shift because of multiple factors and hence needs to be constantly monitored by the project manager. A complex project can also have multiple critical paths. In the next screen, we will discuss project evaluation and review technique.

2.64 Project Evaluation and Review Technique

The Project Evaluation and Review Technique, commonly abbreviated as PERT (pronounced as PERT), is a form of the network diagram. PERT is used for identifying the critical path for the project. This technique was developed to simplify the planning and scheduling of large and complex projects and create a more realistic estimate of the duration of each activity. While the standard network diagram uses one estimate for the duration of each activity, PERT involves three kinds of estimates for each activity. Click each estimate to know more. The first estimate is an optimistic estimate represented as to (pronounced as T-O). The optimistic estimate expects all factors that affect the activity to go in favor of the activity. For example, optimistic estimates will assume that no issues are encountered during the activity and all resources perform at their highest efficiency levels. Optimistic estimates are therefore slightly less than other estimates. The second estimate is called the “most likely” estimate and is represented as tm (pronounced as T-M). This estimate assumes that the activity will encounter some issues during execution and hence provides for some contingency buffers in the estimate. The third estimate is the “pessimistic” estimate and is represented as tp (pronounced as T-P). This estimate assumes that whatever can go wrong during the execution of an activity, will go wrong. This estimate therefore includes large contingency buffers and is the highest amongst all the three estimates. The realistic estimate for the activity is represented as te (pronounced as T-E) and is calculated by taking an average of all the three estimates. While calculating the average, the “most likely” estimate is assigned a weightage of 4 whereas the other two estimates are treated as is. The estimates must be divided by six because in reality, there are six different estimates (although three of these estimates are the same number). The formula is shown on the screen. The final realistic estimate calculated using PERT takes more time to calculate, however, is more realistic than estimates calculated without PERT.

2.65 Gantt Chart

Let us learn about Gantt chart in this screen. Developed by Henry Laurence Gantt in 1910, the Gantt chart provides a graphic method to schedule, plan and control the project, and record progress toward completion of various activities in the project. The Gantt chart helps in representing a large amount of information in a compact graphical form. It represents project schedule as a bar chart spread over a timeline. The baseline, actual completed, remaining duration, and slack of a task are indicated using bar length and color codes. The difference in colors and the length of the bar chart helps project managers identify delays, or schedule overruns in the project. To see an example of Gantt chart, click the example button given on the screen. As depicted in this Gantt chart, you can see that task A and task B were completed on time. However, Activity D seems to be running late and is expected to have a schedule overrun of about 1 day. The chart also shows that activity B and activity C will start only after completion of activity A. Arrows are used to represent dependency. Activity D will start after completion of activity B and activity E will start only after completion of activity C. Task F is dependent on task D. Hence the schedule overrun of task D will impact activity F, and it will also finish about 1 day later. This chart also depicts another way of representing Critical Path for a project. You can see that activities C and E have slack associated with them and hence are not on the critical path. On the other hand, activities B, D and F do not have any slack and are interdependent on each other, thereby creating the Critical Path for the project.

2.66 Work Breakdown Structure

Let us understand work breakdown structure in this screen. A Work breakdown structure, also called WBS, is a delivery oriented hierarchical decomposition of work. It is often used to define the total scope for the project and identify required deliverables for the project. A detailed project deliverables enable all stakeholders to get a common understanding of the project scope. Each team knows exactly what needs to be developed. WBS divides each project deliverable and project work into smaller and manageable components. Items at the lowest level of the WBS are called Work Packages. A work package can be scheduled, cost estimated, monitored, and controlled individually. Breaking up a large project into smaller work packages enable the project to be better planned, tracked, and managed. Click the button on the screen to view an example of WBS. For example, in a project to develop a Telephone, a WBS will be used to break down the components of the telephone into smaller components until each component can be individually assigned, estimated, and developed. The final list of the components as derived by the WBS will also indicate the features that the phone will support. Anything that is not listed in the WBS will not be a part of the final product, in this case, the telephone. The sample WBS for this example is shown on the screen.

2.67 Risk

We will understand the concept of risk in this screen. Risk is an uncertain event or consequence probable of occurring during a project. The main objectives of any project are time, cost, quality, and scope. Risk affects at least one of the four project objectives. It is important to understand that risk can be both positive as well as negative. A positive risk enhances the success of the project, whereas a negative risk is a threat to a project’s success. Some of the terms used in risk analysis and management are risk probability, issue, and risk consequences. The likelihood that a risk will occur is called risk probability. To assess any risk is to assess the probability and impact of the risk. Issue is the occurrence of a risk. Risk consequences are the effects on project objectives if there is an occurrence of a risk or issue. In the subsequent screen, we will understand the process of risk analysis and management.

2.68 Risk Analysis and Management

Just as project documentation is performed throughout the life cycle of the project, project risk management is also performed throughout the life cycle of the project. Risk analysis and management are crucial to the success of the project. Risk analysis helps to identify risks proactively before they become an issue. Risk analysis is a five step process: Identify risk, evaluate risk, prioritize and prevent, implement, and monitor and control. Click each step to learn more. In the first step, the team identifies potential risks using qualitative techniques like interview, brainstorming, and check sheets. In the second step, the identified potential risks are evaluated or assessed using quantitative methods like FMEA. Each risk will be evaluated under 3 criteria, namely, occurrence, severity and detection. In the third step, the identified risks will be prioritized based on their RPN number calculated with the help of an FMEA Tool. Counter measures or the prevention measures for the risks are identified using a brainstorming technique. In the fourth step, the identified counter measures are implemented. In the last step, the whole project will be monitored and controlled so that the risk and its impact are under control.

2.69 Elements Of Risk Analysis

We will list and understand some of the elements of risk analysis in this screen. Qualitative method: Qualitative methods like Interview, check lists and brainstorming are used to identify potential risks. Quantitative method: Quantitative methods are data based and a computer is required to calculate and analyze. These methods are used to evaluate the cost, time, and probabilistic combination of individual uncertainties. Feasibility: Feasibility is the study of the project risk. This is usually carried out in the beginning of the project when the project is most flexible and risks can be reduced at a relatively low cost. It helps in deciding different implementing options for the projects. Potential Impact: Once the potential risks are identified, the impact of these on the project is determined. Using this data, possible solutions for the risks are identified. RPN: RPN of a failure is the product of its probability of occurrence, severity, and detectability. A failure is prioritized based on its RPN value. A High RPN indicates high risk. RPN assists to prioritize risks. Avoiding risk: When potential risks are identified, their impact in terms of cost, time, resources, and objective perspective is calculated. If the impact is huge, then avoiding the risk is the best option. Mitigating risk: Mitigating is the second option while dealing with risks. The loss that arises from mitigating a risk is much less than the loss that arises from the temporary avoiding of risk. Accepting the risk: If a risk cannot be avoided or mitigated, then it has to be accepted. The risk will be accepted if it doesn’t greatly impact the cost, time, and product objective. In the following screen, we will discuss benefits of risk analysis.

2.70 Benefits Of Risk Analysis

Benefits of risk analysis are as follows: Once the risk has been identified, it can be either mitigated, transferred or accepted. When risk is identified in a task, slack time is provided as a buffer. Identifying risks also helps in setting up an actual time line for a project. Slack time for an activity in a project could be the result of a risk identified proactively. Identifying risks helps in setting realistic expectations from the project by communicating the risk probability and consequence to stakeholders. Risk analysis also helps to identify and plan contingency activities if the risk become an issue. The project team is then well prepared to work on the issue, thereby reducing the impact of the risk. In the following screen, we will take a look at the risk assessment matrix.

2.71 Risk Assessment Matrix

The potential risks of a project are assessed using the risk assessment matrix. It covers potential risk areas like project scope, team, personnel, material, facility and equipment, and communication. Each of these areas is assessed in terms of risk of loss of money, productivity, resources and customer confidence. In the subsequent screen, we will discuss project closure.

2.72 Project Closure

By definition, a project has a beginning and an end. But without a formal closure process, project teams can fail to recognize the end, and then the project can drag on, sometimes at great expense. Every project requires closure. For large or complex projects, it's a good idea to close each major project phase, for example, design, code and test individually. Project closure ensures that: Outcomes match the stated goals of the project, Customers and stakeholders are happy with the results, Critical knowledge is captured, The team feels a sense of completion, and Project resources are released for new projects. In the next screen, we will list the goals of a project closure report.

2.73 Goals Of Project Closure Report

This project closure report is created to accomplish the following goals: Review and validate the success of the project Confirm outstanding issues, limitations, and recommendations Outline tasks and activities accomplished to complete the activity Highlight the best practices for future projects Provide the project report or summary Provide a project background overview Summarize the planned activities of a project Evaluate project performance Provide a synopsis of the process Generate discussions and recommendations Generate project closure recommendations In the following screen, we will list and understand project closure activities.

2.74 Project Closure Activities

During project closure, the project manager needs to take care of the following activities: Finalize the project documents Much of a project's documentation is created during the life of the project. Document collection and update procedures are well established during the project life line. Capture the project knowledge Project documents are helpful for future projects, in troubleshooting the product, or in a future audit. Set up a project library Ideally, the project library is set up at the beginning of the project, and team members add documents as they produce them. Document the project learnings Project learnings can be captured through team meetings, meetings with stakeholders and sponsor, and through feedbacks from consultants and vendors. Provide knowledge transfer The project manager needs to provide a summary of the project results to team members, either as a presentation at a meeting or as a formal document. Consultants should not be relieved from their position until they have transferred all the important product maintenance knowledge to the team. Get a final signoff Schedule a meeting with the project's sponsor and key stakeholders to get their final signoff on the project. Close the project office If the project team used a project management office or a dedicated work area, arrangements need to be made to return that space for general use. Recognize and reward The project manager has the best understanding of which of the team members have worked the best, have transformed themselves with new skills, and who might be ready for a new level of responsibility. The project manager needs to report to the team's superiors what each team member has brought to the project. Celebrate After completion of every project, the team needs and deserves a celebration. A team dinner, a team outing, gift certificates, or other rewards are minor costs that generate a large return in terms of morale and job satisfaction. Make a public announcement An announcement to the organization is a good way to highlight the success of the project and its benefits to the company. Conclude Formal project closure ensures that the team has met its objectives, satisfied the customer, captured important knowledge, and been rewarded for their efforts. Let us proceed to the next topic of this lesson in the following screen.

2.75 Topic 4 Management And Planning Tools

In this topic, we will discuss management and planning tools. Let us start with a discussion on Affinity diagram in the next screen.

2.76 Affinity Diagram

The Affinity diagram method is employed by an individual or team to solve unfamiliar problems. It is an effective medium when the consensus of the group is necessary. The given Affinity diagram is based on an organization where the employees are not satisfied. To begin with, each member writes down ideas and opinions on sticky notes. Each note can have a single idea. The points which have surfaced during the brainstorming session are that the workers are unkind, pay is low and it is difficult to survive on the pay structure, working hours are too long, etc. In the next step, all the sticky notes are pasted on a table or wall. The sticky papers are arranged according to categories or thought patterns. Members happen to arrange their ideas based on affinity. In case a particular idea is good to go into more than one category, it is duplicated and added to several categories. After the arrangement is done, each category is named with a header card. The header card captures the central idea of all the cards in that category, and draws a boundary around them. Poor compensation combines ideas like low pay, long working hours and complaints about wages. Poor work environment encompasses issues like poor lighting, uncomfortable rooms, and stuffy air. Similarly, poor relationships prevail in the workspace as the workers are unkind and there is mutual dislike. Lack of motivation is due to repetitive work and no work-related challenges. You can see in the diagram on that slide that once all the ideas are grouped to the respective header cards, a diagram is drawn and borders are placed around the group of ideas. Thus Affinity diagram helps in grouping ideas with a common theme. In the next screen, we will discuss the Interrelationship diagram.

2.77 Interrelationship Diagram

During problem solving, the interrelationship diagram technique helps in identifying the relationship between problems and ideas in complex situations. If the problem is really complex, it may not be easy to determine the exact relationship between ideas. The given Interrelationship diagram is the result of a team brainstorming session which identified ten major issues involved in developing an organization’s quality plan. Initially the problem is defined and all the members put down their ideas on sticky notes. Each note contains only one idea. All the sticky notes are put on a table for a random display. In the next step, the causes or areas of concern are identified and a cause-effect arrangement of cards is constructed by drawing an arrow between the causes and effects of the cause. This is done untill all the ideas on the sticky notes are accounted for and made a part of the interrelationship diagram. Take a large sheet of paper and replicate the cause effect arrangement on it. As depicted in the image, a larger number of outgoing arrows indicates the root cause, whereas a higher number of incoming arrows indicates an outcome. There are as many as six arrows originating from lack of quality strategy. This leads us to understand that it is a root cause. On the other hand, there are three arrows ending with the idea ‘Lack of TQM commitment by managers’, making it an outcome. In the next screen, we will understand the Tree diagram.

2.78 Tree Diagram

The Tree diagram is a systematic approach to outline all the details needed to complete a given objective. In other words, it is a method used to identify the tasks and methods needed to solve a problem and reach a predefined goal. It is mostly used while developing actions to execute a solution, while analyzing processes in detail, during the evaluation of implementation issues for several potential solutions, and also as a communication tool to explain the details of a process to others. The given tree diagram shows the plan of a coffee shop trying to set standards for the coffee it delivers. First, the objective is noted on a note card and placed on the far left side of the board. The basic goal of the coffee shop is to provide a delightful Cappuccino experience. In the next step, the Coffee shop needs to determine the means required to achieve the goal and furnish three different solutions. In other words, the answers to the how or why questions of the objectives. In this case, the Cappuccino needs to be at a comfortable temperature and it should have strong and pleasing coffee aroma with the right amount of sweetness. In the next step, the three issues mentioned in the second stage are addressed at length. Each issue is answered. By maintaining the espresso and steamed milk temperature, the Cappuccino can be served at a palatable temperature. Strong flavored Cappuccino can be prepared using a good amount of finely ground coffee beans. And a good quality sweetener used in the right amount makes a great Cappuccino. Thus, the Tree diagram can be used to achieve a goal or define a process. In the following screen, we will discuss Prioritization Matrices.

2.79 Prioritization Matrices

Prioritization matrices are used to prioritize a set of tasks or a set of product or service characteristics based on known weighted criteria. It is a method of decision making without using the computer. There are three types of Prioritization Matrices, the full analytical criteria method, the consensus criteria method, and the combination interrelationship matrix method. Of the three methods, the fully analytical criteria method is the complex method and involves the consensus criteria method too. Both of them require sets of matrices to form the final matrix. The combination matrix method is used to prioritize the options and when the key issues have been identified and the options available must be narrowed down. Click the button given on the screen to view an example of a prioritization matrix. The sample content for this example is given within the table. Please go through this for a better understanding of the concept. Using brainstorming, list down the criteria that are required for meeting the goal and calculate their relative importance. Then list down the options to be compared against weightage criteria and calculate relative importance. Similarly, calculate the relative importance for all other criteria. In the full analytical criteria method, bring all these matrices together. Arrange the list in the L matrix and calculate the relative importance. The calculation indicates that machining geometry is the first priority, coil forming is second and the list goes on. The Highest value will be getting first priority.

2.80 Matrix Diagram

Let us learn about Matrix Diagram in this screen. Matrix diagrams show the relationship between objectives and methods, results and causes, tasks and people, etc. Their objective is to provide information about the relationship. They provide importance of task and method elements of the subject. They also help determine the strength of relationships between a grid of rows and columns. They help in organizing a large amount of inter-process related activities. Let us discuss various types of matrices in the next screen.

2.81 Types of Matrices

There are different types of matrix diagrams. The major five are the L type, T type, X type, Y type, and C type matrices. Click each type to know more. The L matrix compares one list against another, with one set of elements on the x-axis and another on the y-axis. The T type matrix has two sets of elements on the y-axis which are split by a set of elements on the x-axis. It compares one list against the two others in pairs. The X type matrix has two sets of elements on both the x and the y axes. It is used to compare four lists, each one against two other lists, in pairs. The Y type matrix has two L type matrices joined at the y axis. It compares three lists, each against another, in pairs. The C matrix is a combination of two L type matrices, joined in the y axis in a three dimensional space. The C matrix depicts only one set of relationships. In other words, it compares three lists against each other.

2.82 Process Decision Program Chart

Let us learn about a process decision program chart in this screen. Process Decision Program Chart or the PDPC method is used to chart the course of events from the beginning of a process till the goal. While emphasizing the ability to identify the failure of important issues on activity plans, the PDPC helps create appropriate contingency plans to limit the number of risks involved. The PDPC is used before implementing a plan, especially when the plan is large and complex, if the plan must be completed on schedule, or if the price of failure is quite high. The given process decision program chart shows the process which can help in securing a contract. The process starts when the seller receives an order request from a potential buyer. This can lead to fixing an appointment with the buyer, confirming the appointment date and meeting the buyer. If a date is not fixed, then buyer should be contacted till the meeting is confirmed. Without a meeting there is a risk of losing the order. Considering an optimistic scenario where a meeting is fixed with the buyer, the seller describes the price of the product or service. If the price is competitive, the order is secured. If the price is not competitive, the seller may have to repeat the bid until the buyer agrees and the order is secure. However, the buyer may not agree to a revised bid either, in which case the seller might lose the bid. In such a scenario, the seller can justify the pricing and pursue the buyer to agree to the bid. It might work and the seller might secure the order. In the next screen, we will discuss the Activity Network diagram.

2.83 Activity Network Diagram

An Activity Network diagram is used to show the time required for solving a problem and to identify items that can be done in parallel. It is used in scheduling and monitoring tasks within a complex project, or process with interrelated tasks and resources. Moreover, it is also used when you know the steps of the project or process, their sequence and the time taken by each of the steps involved. The original Japanese name for this tool is arrow diagram. The given Activity Network diagram shows a house construction plan and identifies the factors involved separately. Like the amount of time for each operation in one situation, the relationship of work without time for each operation, and an operation by itself. The number of days is denoted by d. So the time taken for an activity like foundation to scaffolding takes around five days plus 4 days which is 9 days in total. The line joining “Electrical work” and “Interior Walls” is dotted. This shows relation between them but without any time line. Basically it means that “Electrical Work” has to be done before interior walls but the time is either not important or not available. Let us proceed to the next topic of this lesson in the following screen.

2.84 Topic 5 Business Results For Projects

In this topic, we will introduce business results for projects. Let us start with a discussion on defect per unit.

2.85 Defect per Unit

Defect per unit or DPU (read as: D-P-U) is the average number of defects per unit of a product. DPU is an important business measure because it defines the number of defects observed in one unit. It is calculated by dividing the total number of defects by the total number of units. To view an example of DPU, click the button given on the screen. Suppose DPU needs to be calculated for the given matrix. According to the matrix, there are no defects in 70 units of the product, 1 defect in 20 units of the product, 2 defects in 5 units of the product, 3 defects in 4 units of the product, and 5 defects in 1 unit of the product. First, the total number of defects is calculated. Each of the 20 units has 1 defect, hence there is a total of 20 defects. Each of the 5 units has 2 defects and that makes a total of 10 defects. Likewise, there are 12 and 5 defects. Therefore, total number of defects is 20 plus 10 plus 12 plus 5, which is 47. Total number of units is 70 plus 20 plus 5 plus 4 plus 1 which is 100. Therefore, DPU is 47 divided by 100, which is 0.47.

2.86 Throughput Yield

We will learn about Throughput Yield in this screen. Throughput Yield or TPY (Pronounced as: T-P-Y) is the number of acceptable pieces at the end of a process divided by the number of starting pieces, excluding scrap and rework. Throughput Yield is used to measure a single process only. If the DPU (Pronounced as: D-P-U) is known, TPY can be easily calculated as ‘e’ to the power of the negative of DPU. Here ‘e’ is the mathematical constant and has a value of 2.7183. The expression can also be stated as DPU equals the negative of natural logarithm e of TPY. In the next screen, we will discuss Rolled Throughput Yield.

2.87 Rolled Throughput Yield

Rolled Throughput Yield or RTY (Pronounced as: R-T-Y) is the probability of the entire process producing zero defects. RTY is the true measure of process efficiency and is considered across multiple processes. It is important as a metric when a process has excessive rework. TDPU (Pronounced as: T-D-P-U) is Total Defects per Unit and is defined for a set of processes. When the Total Defects per Unit is known, Rolled Throughput Yield is calculated using the expression ‘e’ to the power of negative of TDPU. The expression can also be written as TDPU is equal to negative of natural logarithm of RTY. When the defectives are known, Rolled Throughput Yield can be calculated as the product of each process’s First Pass Yield or FPY. First Pass Yield is the number of products which pass without any rework over the total number of units. First Pass Yield is calculated as Total number of quality products over Total number of units. Total number of quality products is total number of units minus total number of defective units. In the following screen, we will understand FPY and RTY (Pronounced as: F-P-Y-and-R-T-Y) with an example.

2.88 FPY and RTY Example

A Company has three processes: A, B, and C. Process A received 100 input parts from the supplier. 85 parts passed inspection without any rework and 5 parts passed inspection after rework. 10 parts were scrapped as they were found unusable. Process B received 90 input parts from the supplier. 80 parts passed inspection without any rework and 5 parts passed inspection after rework. 5 parts were scrapped. Process C received 85 input parts from the supplier and all parts passed inspection without any rework. Hence the output from process C is sent to the customer. Using this data, calculate the FPY and RTY. Click the button on the screen to know the answer. First Pass Yield is calculated as Total number of quality products over Total number of units. Hence FPY (Pronounced as: F-P-Y) of process A, B, and C is 0.850, 0.889, and 1 respectively. Rolled Throughput Yield can be calculated as the product of each process’s First Pass Yield, Which is 75%.

2.89 Defect per Million Opportunities

We will learn about Defect per Million Opportunities in this screen. Defect per Million Opportunities or DPMO (Pronounced as: D-P-M-O) is a measure of process performance. It standardizes the number of defects at the opportunity level and allows you to compare processes with different complexities. The opportunity varies. There might be as less as one opportunity for a defect per unit or infinite opportunities for defects per unit. The DPMO is also known as Non-Conformities per Million Opportunities or NPMO (Pronounced as: N-P-M-O), wherein non-conformity is also a defect. DPMO is calculated as Total number of defects divided by total number of opportunities and the whole multiplied with one million, also written as ten to the power of six. The formula for total number of opportunities is the units multiplied by number of opportunities per unit. Click the button to view an example of DPMO. There are 5 units with 5 defect opportunities each. The total number of defects is 8. Calculate DPMO (Pronounced as: D-P-M-O). As discussed, the total number of opportunities is the units multiplied by the number of opportunities per unit. Thus the product of 5 and 5 is a total of 25 opportunities. DPMO is Total number of defects divided by total number of opportunities, whole multiplied with one million. Thus 8 divided by twenty five and the whole multiplied by one million is 320,000.

2.90 Cost of Quality

We will understand the concept of Cost of Quality in this screen. Cost of Poor Quality or Cost of Quality is the cost incurred by a process if it cannot consistently make a perfect product. Poor quality severely affects the cost incurred in making a product or service. Rework and retesting of products are some of the examples. There are four types of cost of quality, preventive cost, appraisal cost, internal failure cost, and external failure cost. Click each type to know more. Preventive cost is the cost incurred in preventing a failure. Training programs and improvement programs are examples of preventive cost. Appraisal cost is the cost incurred when a product or service is being tested for quality conformance. Testing, audits, and inspection of a product are some examples for Appraisal cost. Internal failure cost is associated with defects that are identified before a product or service reaches a customer. Rework and scrap are examples for this category. External failure cost is associated with defects after a product or service reaches the customer. This could be in terms of warranty, returned products, or lost reputation.

2.91 Process Capability

We will discuss Process Capability in this screen. Process Capability or CP (Pronounce as: C-P) is defined as the inherent variability of a characteristic of a process or a product. In other words, it might also mean how well a process meets customer requirement. CP is an indicator of capability of a process and is expressed as difference of USL (Pronounced as: U-S-L) and LSL (Pronounced as: L-S-L) divided by product of 6 sigma. USL stands for Upper Specification Limit, LSL is Lower Specification Limit and sigma is the standard deviation of a process. The difference between USL and LSL is also called the Specification width or Tolerance. In the following screen, we will discuss Process Capability Indices.

2.92 Process Capability Indices

Process Capability Indices or CPK (Pronounce as: C-P-K) was developed to objectively measure the degree to which a process meets or does not meet customer requirements. It was developed to account for the position of mean with respect to USL and LSL. To calculate Cpk, the first step is to determine if the process mean is closer to the LSL or the USL. If the process mean is closer to LSL, CpkL (Pronounce as: C-P-K-L) is determined. CpkL is mean minus LSL divided by product of 3 and sigma. If the process mean is closer to USL, CpkU (Pronounce as: C-P-K-U) is calculated. CpkU is USL minus mean divided by product of 3 and sigma. Here, mean is the process average and Sigma represents the Standard Deviation. If the process mean is equidistant, either of the specification limit can be chosen. CPK takes up the value of CPKU and CPKL, depending on whichever is the lower value. In the next screen, we will understand Process Capability Indices with an example.

2.93 Process Capability Indices Example

A batch process produces high fructose corn syrup with a specification for the dextrose equivalent to be between 6.00 and 6.15. The DEs are normally distributed, and a control chart shows the process is stable. The standard deviation of the process is 0.035. The DEs from a random sample of 30 batches have a sample mean of 6.05. Determine Cp and Cpk. Click the button on the screen to know the answer. CP and CPK have to be determined for the batch process. Process Capability equals Upper Specification Limit minus Lower Specification Limit divided by 6? (Pronounced as: Six Sigma). Using this expression CP is calculated as 0.71. CPKL and CPKU need to first be determined to calculate CPK. CpkU is USL minus mean divided by product of 3 and sigma. Using this expression CPKU is calculated as 0.95. CpkL is mean minus LSL divided by product of 3 and sigma. Using this expression CpkL is calculated as 0.48. Minimum of these two values will result in Cpk. In this case, CPK is 0.48. This batch process has higher CP when compared to CPK. This means that process mean is not at the center of the limits. In the calculation shown here, since CPKL has less value when compared to CPKU, the mean is offset from the center toward LSL. The mean should be at the center of the specification width so that a small shift in the process to either side does not go outside the limits. In this example, a small shift from mean toward LSL has more chance of producing a defect as compared to a small shift from mean toward USL.

2.94 Cpk And Cp Interpretations

In this screen, we will discuss Cpk and Cp Interpretations. A Cp value of less than 1 indicates the process is not capable. Even if Cp > 1, to ascertain if the process really is not capable, check the Cpk value. A Cpk value of less than 1 indicates that the process is definitely not capable but might be if Cp > 1 and the process mean is at or near the mid-point of the tolerance range. The Cpk value will always be less than Cp, especially as long as the process mean is not at the center of the process tolerance range. Non-centering can happen when the process has not understood the customer expectations clearly or the process is complete as soon as the output reaches a specific limit. For example, a shirt size of 40 has a target chest diameter of 40 inches, but the process consistently delivers shirts with a mean of 41 inches as the chest diameter. A machine stops removing material as soon as the measured dimension is within specified limit. Let us proceed to the next topic of this lesson in the following screen.

2.95 Topic 6 Team Dynamics And Performance

In this topic, we will discuss team dynamics and performance. Let us start with a discussion on team stages.

2.96 Team Stages

There are five typical stages in the team building process. Each team passes through these stages as they start and proceed through the project. The five stages in the team building process are as follows: Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning. In the next screen, we will discuss the first stage – forming.

2.97 Team Stages Forming

The first stage in the team building process is called the forming stage. In this stage the team comes together and begins to formulate roles and responsibilities. The team leader is identified and he/she starts directing the team and assigning responsibilities to other team members. Most team members at this stage are generally enthusiastic and motivated by a desire to be accepted within the team. The leader employs a directive style of management which includes - delegating responsibility within the team, providing a structure to the team, and determining processes needed for the smooth functioning of the team. Toward the end of this phase, the team should achieve a commitment to the project and an acceptance of a common purpose. In the next screen, we will discuss the second stage – storming.

2.98 Team Stages Storming

The second phase in the team building process is called the storming stage. As suggested by the name itself, in this stage, conflicts start to arise within the team. Team members often struggle over responsibilities and control within the project. It is responsibility of the team leader to coach and conciliate the team. The leader employs a coaching style of management which is reflected through facilitating change, managing conflict, and mediating understanding between different parties. Toward the end of this phase, team members need to learn to voice disagreement openly and constructively while staying focused on common objectives and areas of agreement. In the next screen, we will discuss the third stage – Norming.

2.99 Team Stages Norming

The third stage in the team building process is called the norming Stage. In this stage, people get along and the team develops a unified commitment toward the project goal. The team leader promotes the team and participates in the team activities. Team members look to the leader to clarify their understanding as some leadership roles begin to shift within the lower rungs of the group. The leader employs a participatory style of management through facilitating change, working to build consensus, and overseeing quality control. Toward the end of this phase, team members need to accept individual responsibilities and work out agreements about team procedures. In the next screen, we will discuss the fourth stage – performing

2.100 Team Stages Performing

The next stage in the team building process is called the performing stage. This is the most productive stage for the project team. In this stage, team members manage complex tasks and work toward the common goals of the project. The leader employs a supervisory style of management by overseeing progress, rewarding achievement, and supervising process. The team leader leads the project on more or less an automated mode. When the project has completed successfully or when the end is in sight, the team moves into the final stage. In the next screen, we will discuss the fifth stage – adjourning.

2.101 Team Stages Adjourning

The last stage of team building is called the adjourning stage. In this stage, the project is winding down and the goals are within reach. The team members are dealing with their impending separation from the team. The team leader provides feedback to the team. The leader employs a supportive style of management by giving feedback, celebrating accomplishments, and providing closure. The team leader needs to adopt a different style of leadership at every stage. It is therefore important for a leader to understand these stages and identify the current stage that a team is in. The success of the team depends on how well the leader can guide them through these phases. In the next screen, we will learn about negative dynamics.

2.102 Negative Dynamics

Team members can exhibit negative behavior in more than one way, during the project lifecycle. This behavior has a negative effect on the dynamics of the team. The first kind of negative participants fall in the category of overbearing participants. These participants use their influence or expertise to take on a position of authority, discounting contributions from other team members. To cope with such participants, Team leaders must establish ground rules for participation, and reinforce that the group has the right to explore any area pertinent to team goals and objectives. Another kind of negative participant is often referred to as the Dominant participant. These participants take up an excessive amount of group time by talking too much, focusing on trivial concerns, and otherwise preventing participation by others. Team leaders need to be able to control dominant participants without inhibiting their energy or enthusiasm. Some other participants are reluctant participants, who feel intimidated and are not happy with the team process. Owing to their reluctance, they miss opportunities to bring up data that is valuable to the project. This can often lead to hostility within the team. One way to deal with reluctant participants is to respond positively and with encouragement to any contribution from the team member. Teamwork is more than a natural consequence of working together. Team management is more than building a relationship with individual team members. All teams face group challenges that need group-based diagnosis and problem solving to ensure that negative participants are able to contribute and perform as part of the team. In the next screen, we will learn about group challenges.

2.103 Group Challenges

The project team faces various challenges during the project lifecycle. These challenges affect the team’s productivity and motivation levels. Opinions, feuding, groupthink, floundering, rush to achieve, attribution, discounts, and Plops, digressions, and tangents are some of the challenges faced by the team. Click each challenge to learn more. The first challenge faced by a team is opinions. Every individual in a group has his or her viewpoint. Opinions are useful for exploring team creativity, however one should not blindly accept opinions as facts. This can lead to serious miscalculations or misinterpretation. To overcome this problem, it is important that the team is objective and critical when dealing with opinions, and decisions should be based on evidence in the form of data. The next challenge is Feuding. Feuds, also known as disputes, are often a result of issues which are not related to the project. These are often triggered as a result of a difference of opinion between two individuals. Feuds between team members negatively affect the group dynamic and can be intimidating to people not involved in them. To overcome this issue, the Team Leader can deal with feuding by developing ground rules for interpersonal behavior within the group. Groupthink is a challenge faced by the team during a tightly scheduled project. Groupthink is characterized by a situation where the group wants to reach a consensus quickly without critically testing, analyzing, and evaluating all ideas. To overcome this problem, the team needs to be challenged to come up with alternative approaches and solutions, and ensure all ideas are discussed and evaluated carefully. At times, the team is unsure about the project strategy. This challenge can be termed as floundering. Floundering is referred to as a situation when teams have trouble making progress due to the inability to make or commit to the decisions. To overcome this issue, assess the roles and responsibilities of team members, and open effective communication channels with the team and other stakeholders. Rush to achieve or accomplishment is a challenge faced by the team during a tightly scheduled project, similar to groupthink. It occurs when a team's desire for getting the results supersedes the team's sensitivity to alternate courses of action. To overcome this problem, remind the team members that agendas provide them enough time to accomplish tasks, keep them on schedule, and emphasize on quality. Attribution occurs when decisions are formed based on inference, rather than facts and data. The solution to attribution includes analyzing the inferences for their accuracy and applicability. Discounts are yet another challenge faced by the team. A discount occurs when contributions of individual team members are dismissed by the group. To overcome this issue, refocus the team’s attention on the individual’s contribution to ensure it is not overlooked. Plops, digressions, and tangents are the challenges faced by the team due to factors that are not associated with the project. Plop is when one member criticizes others in the group. Digressions and tangents occur when group members lack focus and discuss unrelated topics or face interruptions. The team leader has to ensure that the team remains focused and constructive to overcome this problem.

2.104 Six Sigma Team And Their Responsibilities

Six Sigma team and their responsibilities are described here. Various roles assist the smooth execution of a Six Sigma project. These roles are required to support the project by providing the information and resources that are needed to execute the project. The first important member of the six sigma team is the Executive sponsor. Sponsors are the source or conduit for project resources, and they are usually the recipients of the benefits the project will produce. The sponsor is responsible for setting the direction and priorities for the organization. The sponsor may be a functional manager, or an external customer. The next important role is that of the Process owners. They work with the Black Belts to improve their respective processes. They provide functional expertise about the process to the project. Usually this role is played by the functional managers in charge of specific processes. The next role in the project is that of the Champions. They are typically upper level managers who control and allocate resources to promote process improvements. They ensure the organization is providing necessary resources to the project and the project is fitting into the strategic plans of the organization. The first role related to the execution of the project is the role of the Master Black Belt. This role acts as a consultant to team leaders and offers expertise in the use of Six Sigma tools and methodologies. Master Black Belts are experts in Six Sigma statistical tools and are qualified to teach high-level Six Sigma methodologies and applications. Each Master Black belt will have multiple Black Belts under him. Black Belts are the leaders of individual Six Sigma projects. They lead project teams and conduct the detailed analysis required in Six Sigma methodologies. Black Belts act as instructors and mentors for Green Belts and educate them in Six Sigma tools and methods. They also protect the interests of the project by coordinating with functional managers. Green Belts are trained in Six Sigma but typically lead project teams working in their own areas of expertise. They are focused on the basic Six Sigma tools for acceleration of projects. Green Belts work on projects on a part-time basis, dividing time between project and functional responsibilities. An Executive is the person who manages and leads the team to ensure smooth working of tasks and has the power to execute decisions. A Coach takes on a number of roles. He or she is the person who trains, mentors, teaches, and guides the team when required. Coach also motivates and builds confidence of the members. A Facilitator is a guide for the team or group, also known as a discussion leader. Facilitators help the group or team to understand their common objective and plan their activities. A Sponsor is a person who supports the event or the project by providing all the required resources. A Team member is an individual who belongs to a particular project team. A team member contributes to the performance of the team and actively participates for fulfillment of the project objectives. The progress, achievements, and the details of the project have to be effectively communicated to the team, management, customers and stakeholders. We will learn about modes of communication in the next screen.

2.105 Modes of Communication

The communication method is selected based on the type of the information to be conveyed, the person to whom the information is to be conveyed, and the time or process stage when the information is conveyed. The different modes of communication are meetings, memos, email, newsletters, and events. Click each mode to learn more. Meeting is one of the common methods used for all effective purposes. Meeting could be conducted one-on-one or with a group of people. Meeting helps you to analyze, discuss, and present the information to everyone. A meeting could be conducted using visuals or audio tools. Soon after the meeting, meeting minutes have to be prepared and circulated to all the people concerned with the meeting. Memos are short business letters, normally exchanged between colleagues. They are used to exchange limited information. Emails are the major form of information exchange through text format. Newsletter is a regularly circulated publication which helps the employees and stakeholders to be informed about the changes or the developments in the company. An event is an occasion where the people meet for a purpose and exchange information. It could be for celebration, educative purpose, sales and marketing, etc. Conference, exhibitions, pre-launch, etc. are some of the formal events.

2.106 Communication within the Team

Let us understand communication within the team in this screen. The purpose of communication within the team, and the modes of communication used are as follows: Meetings and emails are suitable to communicate the roles and responsibilities of the team members. Meetings, memos, and emails are used by the team to understand the project status. Workshops and meetings are conducted to identify the outstanding tasks, risks, and their corrective actions. Team meetings assist decision making. Meetings and emails ensure coordination and efficient work. The next screen will focus on communication with stakeholders.

2.107 Communication With Stakeholders

The purpose of communication with stakeholders, and the modes of communication used are as follows: Meeting, Emails, and events are suitable to convey project objectives and goals to stakeholders. Meetings, emails, and newsletters assist stakeholders in understanding project status. Workshops, meetings, and events help stakeholders to identify the adverse effects of a situation. Meetings with stakeholders assist decision-making process. In the next screen, we will discuss the communication techniques.

2.108 Communication Techniques

Communication techniques can be grouped in various ways. The first grouping of communication techniques is based on the direction in which communication flows. Vertical Communication consists of two sub types, namely Downward Flow of Communication and Upward Flow of communication. In the Downward Flow of Communication, the Managers must pass information and give orders and directives to the lower levels in the organization. On the contrary, upward communication consists of information relayed from the bottom or grass root levels, to the higher levels of the company. Horizontal communication refers to the sharing of information across the same levels of the organization. This can be in the form of Formal and Informal Communication. Formal communications are official company sanctioned methods of communicating to the employees. The grapevine, rumor mill, etc. are some of the means of informal communication in the organization. The second grouping of communication techniques is based on the usage of words. Verbal communication includes use of words for communication, via telephone, face-to-face, etc. Non-verbal communication conveys messages without the use of words, through body language, facial expressions, etc. The last grouping of communication techniques is based on participation of the people involved in communication. One-way communication happens when information is relayed from the sender to the receiver, without the expectation of a response, like memos and announcements. Two-way communication is a method in which both parties are involved in the exchange of information. Team tools are a part of the team dynamics and performance. The various team tools that are used are brainstorming, nominal group technique and multi voting. We will learn about each of these in the forthcoming screens.

2.109 Team Tools Nominal Group Technique

Let us start with the first team tool, multivoting. Multivoting is a decision making tool used in six sigma to arrange and simplify a long list of items to a considerably smaller or manageable number. It is a group effort where each member of the group ranks or votes to trim down a list of ideas or solutions. The steps in the multivoting process are generate a list, choose from the list, vote, and conclude with a smaller list. Click each step to learn more. Initially a list of items is generated. Each item is numbered for identification. In the next step, each of the participants chooses one third of the items on the list. Later, these items are collated and votes are cast by each of the participants to rank them in order. The second and third steps are repeated till the group ends up with a smaller list.

2.110 Team Tools Brainstorming

In this screen, we will learn about the next team tool, brainstorming. Brainstorming is a tool used by the project team to generate solutions to the predefined problems. There are three key members in a brainstorming session, the session leader, the facilitator, and the writer. Identification, information, speculation, suspension, evaluation, analysis, and presentation are the stages involved in the brainstorming process. Click each stage to learn more. In the Identification stage, the issues are identified and the session is planned and convened with all the members of the team. In the information stage, the facilitator describes the issue and states the goals of the session. Relevant background information and criteria are also provided to the team by the facilitator. The action begins with the speculation stage wherein a pool of ideas is generated by the team. The writer compiles the ideas generated by the team in the suspension stage. In the evaluation stage, the ideas generated are prioritized and multivoting is used. In the analysis stage, the team begins reviewing a few of the top ideas generated and investigates each of them against the project data and requirement. In the presentation stage, the final report is prepared and presented to the decision maker to obtain the final approval.

2.111 Team Tools Nominal Group Technique

Let us understand the third team tool, nominal group technique in this screen. Nominal Group Technique or NGT (Pronounced as: N-G-T) is similar to the brainstorming process. However, it restricts the interaction between the members of the team to avoid the influence of social group or peers on the ideas presented by the members. Explain issue, note ideas individually, vote, and prioritize are the steps involved in the nominal group technique. Click each step to learn more. First, the facilitator explains the issues to all the members. Next, the team members list down their ideas silently. In this stage, it is an individual contribution from all the members. The time taken by them can be anywhere from five to ten minutes. In the next step, all the ideas are collated and finalized using the process of voting. Each participant casts their vote to rank the ideas. Lastly, the ideas are prioritized.

2.112 Quiz

Following is the quiz section to check your understanding of the lesson.

2.113 Summary

Let us summarize what we have learned in this lesson. Project selection includes identifying organizational need, identifying the projects, and evaluating them. SIPOC is a macro-level map drawn in the define phase. Quality Function Deployment (QFD) is a process to ensure that the customer’s wants and needs are heard and translated into technical characteristics. Project Documentation refers to creating documents to provide details about the project. Project Charter, project plan, Key milestone report, and Risk-items list are some examples of project documentation. Risk analysis and management is crucial to the success of a project. We will continue the summary in the next screen. Risk analysis includes identification, evaluation, prioritization and prevention of risk, implementation, and monitoring and controlling of risk. Affinity diagram, Interrelationship diagram, Tree diagram, Prioritization Matrices, Matrix Diagram, Process Decision Program Chart, and Activity Network diagram are examples for management and project planning tools. Rolled Throughput Yield (RTY) is the probability of the entire process producing zero defects. Defect per Million Opportunities (DPMO), or Non-Conformities per Million Opportunities (NPMO), is a measure of process performance. The Team building process includes Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning.

2.114 Thank You

With this, we have come to the end of this lesson. The next lesson will focus on the Measure phase.

  • Disclaimer
  • PMP, PMI, PMBOK, CAPM, PgMP, PfMP, ACP, PBA, RMP, SP, and OPM3 are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

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