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November 2009 Blog Posts (40)

Project Managers: The Enemy Within?

They huddle in a corner, hunched over the Gantt chart you just handed out, muttering darkly. Only the occasional, quick glance in your direction betrays that you are the subject of their reproach. You sigh and for a moment are tempted to bat for your corner, but in the end you realise that it’s best to ignore them. A quick drink after work and they’ll come round. Instead, you scan through the list of Change Requests, Outstanding Issues, Bug Fixes and the Financial Summary and prepare yourself… Continue

Added by Harvey Kandola on November 30, 2009 at 7:08am — No Comments

Selecting Effective Metrics and Dashboards for Process Improvement Efforts

Author: Anantha Kollengode

Metrics and dashboards play an integral and critical part of process improvement efforts. Metrics complement the Six Sigma methodology by providing vital signs of the effectiveness and the efficiency of the process improvement efforts.

Metrics help the organization focus on the most critical business factors (Key Performance Indicators, KPI) that have a profound impact on sustaining business success. Metrics also help with the understanding of… Continue

Added by Genna Weiss on November 27, 2009 at 10:44am — No Comments

“My Six Sigma Leadership Changed—Now What?”

Author: Jeff Cole

The other day I drove by a local company and it brought up some sad memories. In their heyday they had implemented Six Sigma, broke even on their investment in record time and had a 4x ROI the first year with just a handful of projects. They took pride in having implemented Six Sigma the way it was intended to be done. Over the past several years, the company went through multiple leadership changes. What they were currently doing, although still labeled “Six… Continue

Added by Genna Weiss on November 27, 2009 at 10:43am — No Comments

Project Planning Agility

Effective planning is critical to project success, but it can be a highly complex task, prone to error and rarely approach by people with fondness. Many people these days are adopting agile planning approach for the benefits it brings such as reduced risk, better governance, stakeholder buy-in, to name only a few.

A fundamental difference between agile and traditional project planning is that agile project planning is highly collaborative in nature and the team takes responsibility… Continue

Added by Mark Ridgwell on November 27, 2009 at 9:54am — No Comments

Too Many Six Sigma Tools, Too Little Time

In short, we spend so much of our limited training time covering a multitude of Six Sigma tools, which one probably will rarely use, that we leave little time for skill practice, including the practice of group dynamics skills.

Author: Kevin McManus

In my previous two articles on the topic of why Six Sigma training does not work ("Are Group Dynamics Problems Compromising the Effectiveness of Your Six Sigma Projects" and "Six Sigma Failures: Why Does Six Sigma Training… Continue

Added by Genna Weiss on November 25, 2009 at 6:05am — No Comments

You Need More Than Just an Analytical Mind—Four Qualities That Identify a Successful Six Sigma Belt Candidate

Author: Robert Stapp

How do you identify people who will make good Six Sigma Green Belt or Black Belt training candidates? This is a great question and one that has been discussed time and again. As the president of a consulting firm that educates and certifies many talented young men and women and a fellow practicing certified Black Belt since 1998, I will explore this question and provide some insight as to how one should go about identifying these special… Continue

Added by Genna Weiss on November 25, 2009 at 6:03am — No Comments

Conflict Resolution Management Best Practices

Conflict is all around us in work and in life and it's not necessarily a bad thing. If approached with calm, respect and understanding, successful conflict resolution can have some very positive outcomes such as better team effectiveness, improved staff retention, increased understanding and personal development.

Different people with different goals come into conflict, its human nature, but too often the result is bad feeling, tension and personal animosity. This is a very damaging… Continue

Added by Mark Ridgwell on November 25, 2009 at 5:30am — No Comments

Facebook Ads for your job search

In a recent tweet from Dan Schawbel he included a link to a blog post about using Facebook Ads to promote yourself to try to find a job. It sounded like an interesting idea so I tried it out for 4 weeks.…


Added by Ryan Endres on November 24, 2009 at 6:24pm — No Comments

Plan your communications with your “wins” in mind - The Public Relations of Project Management Part 4

As with all things, preparing for a successful outcome with communications and public relations on a project starts with a good plan. Creating a communication plan for your project helps you identify who your stakeholders are and what the unique communication requirements are of each constituency. If you have stakeholders in different locations who will participate in meetings, you probably need to consider virtual meeting technologies such as the use of web tools that allow you to share… Continue

Added by Cindy Vandersleen on November 24, 2009 at 4:50pm — No Comments

Can Lean Six Sigma Training Be Done Online?

Author: Joseph T. Dager

I was recently awarded my Lean Six Sigma Black Belt from an online training program. The Lean Six Sigma training addressed understanding the physics of flow, waste components, statistical process control, Theory of Constraints and the principles of both Lean and Six Sigma DMAIC. The use of statistical software, Minitab and Sigma XL, were covered in the course, and 8.75 Continuing Education Credits were awarded upon completion. But was the online experience… Continue

Added by Genna Weiss on November 24, 2009 at 9:01am — No Comments

Using Lean Six Sigma Methodologies to Dream with Customers: A Xerox Case Study

Author: George Liebermann, Ph.D., P.Eng., FCAE

Xerox has evolved its innovation process by focusing on customer pain points for research inspiration and product enhancement. The approach is called “dreaming with customers"; and it promises future technologies that reduce processes or systems that aren’t as effective and efficient as needed.

According to Sophie Vandebroek, Xerox Chief Technology Officer, “Customer pain points power innovation. Engaging the customer early… Continue

Added by Genna Weiss on November 24, 2009 at 8:59am — No Comments

New Employee Training on Continuous Process Improvement - Strategies and Methods to Touch Every New Employee

Author: Lieutenant Dennis Narlock

Every organization that has implemented a process improvement methodology or methodologies is faced with the dilemma of how to train new employees in such a way that they fully understand the organization and its approach to Continuous Process Improvement (CPI). You are seeking to provide an overview of your Continuous Process Improvement program and how it ties to your strategic business plan. Once an employee has been hired by an organization that… Continue

Added by Genna Weiss on November 23, 2009 at 6:58am — No Comments

Handling Change Management Right the First Time

Author: Bruce Rideout and Angelique Rewers, ABC, APR

As business leaders rush to implement cost-saving, productivity-boosting measures to survive the recession, daily news coverage shows that very few are thinking about the unintended consequences their change management actions will have on the relationships with those they count on most. But change management in any form sends powerful messages to key stakeholders, including customers, employees, business partners and investors in… Continue

Added by Genna Weiss on November 23, 2009 at 6:57am — No Comments

A Painless Look at Using Statistical Techniques to Find the Root Cause of a Problem

The business press is not aware of it. Neither is corporate America. National magazines deny its existence. And public service organizations think it’s a process by which to extend the shelf life of milk.

Author: From the Desk of the Executive Editor

Editor's note: There are three concepts that must be understood by all Six Sigma practitioners—namely, homogeneity, detecting significant variation in performance metrics and disaggregating non-homogeneous data into meaningful… Continue

Added by Genna Weiss on November 19, 2009 at 7:10am — No Comments

Project Management Best Practices (& common sense) ...

Projects screw-up all the time. Organizations search hard for the key to unlocking the 'mystery' of project management success, but the steps to successfully delivering projects is no mystery at all — just standard, common sense procedures that if executed right will dramatically improve a project’s chances of success. Projects fail because of poor planning, fuzzy requirements and ineffective communications - period.

I've created a… Continue

Added by Mark Ridgwell on November 19, 2009 at 4:57am — No Comments

Project Closeout

By Laura Bamberg - Global Sales Administrator

For project managers, one of their favorite processes is closing out their project. This can involve some celebration, especially if the road has been long and laden with pitfalls successfully navigated!

However, at the close of a project, how often do you get to say it was finished on time, on budget, with no scope creep or numerous changes? If I were to poll all of you, I would bet that doesn't happen often. Instead, it seems… Continue

Added by Laura Bamberg on November 18, 2009 at 10:58am — 3 Comments

DMEDI or DMAIC? That is the Question

Author: Steven H. Jones

As the acceptance of Six Sigma grows and penetrates deeper into common business culture, a question has arisen to determine when a process needs to be improved versus designed: How do you decide which roadmap is better for a given problem, DMEDI or DMAIC?

While clear to veteran practitioners, this question is not quite as clear to the general business public or newer Six Sigma professionals. This question also exists primarily due to the way Six… Continue

Added by Genna Weiss on November 18, 2009 at 6:46am — No Comments

11 Things Every New Project Manager Ought to Know

(In no particular order)

Don't act like you know it all know-it-all by by TedsBlog via Flickr

When you're new to a role, it's natural to cover up your own ignorance. You want to earn respect, and everyone is looking at you. So you may not speak up when a topic is discussed that you don't nod your head instead of asking a "stupid" question.

Here's the thing: you will only learn by asking questions. Why not do it while you're still the "new PM" on the… Continue

Added by Josh Nankivel on November 18, 2009 at 5:00am — 2 Comments

An Introduction to Six Sigma Management

Author: Howard Gitlow

Non-Technical Definitions of Six Sigma Management

Six Sigma management uses statistical process control to relentlessly and rigorously pursue the reduction of variance and standard deviation in all critical processes to achieve continuous and breakthrough improvements that impact the bottom-line and/or top-line of the organization and increase customer satisfaction.

Another common definition of Six Sigma management is that it is an… Continue

Added by Genna Weiss on November 17, 2009 at 8:32am — No Comments

Projects Need Value. When all else fails... Punt?


Projects can be on-time, within budget, meet the specifications and still be a failure. Case in point, the new Dallas 160x72 foot mega screen. It seems the screen displays what it should, but…


Added by Todd C. Williams on November 16, 2009 at 11:00pm — No Comments

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