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Project Management Essay: A Review on Lean Transformation Framework

Question

Task: Assessment Task.
Prepare a project management essay answering the following questions

Q1. A) How is Six Sigma different from Lean Six Sigma?
B) Explain how you can increase the value of your processes so that your customer remains satisfied? (example of processes: Loan application at financial institutions, buying coffee at a café, service / repair of your laptop with a computer sales and repair company)

C) Explain how an organisation can integrate lean management and Six Sigma philosophy to improve its business operations.

Q2. A) "The use of social media tools contributes to lean project management capability". Justify your opinion (you can either agree or disagree)

B) You have been asked to lead the adoption of social media tools for a project within your organisation. Explain how you would accomplish this task successfully.

Q3. A) In your opinion, what are the critical success factors for lean six sigma implementation in an organisation?

B) What is your opinion on the following statement? "Having a robust project management methodology is absolutely necessary to guarantee project success"

Answer

Introduction
As stated herein project management essay, in the present-day context, the most debatable and featured topic in the business world is six sigma and lean six sigma. The businessmen of all over the world have their different thoughts on the acceptance of the strategy among these two. Some of them think that six sigma is the best strategy for the better business processing and waste elimination where on the other hand some of them think that lean or lean six sigma is the best strategy for the better development of the business. So, there are proponents and detractors at the same time (Sweeney, 2017). At the end of the day some of the businessmen also think that we should evolve the concept and mix them together and make it lean six sigma which will then apply the features of six sigma and also the features of lean sigma at the same time.

Main Body
Differences between Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma 80 words

Six Sigma is basically used in a business to eliminate the wastages and defects, thereby improving the quality and efficiency of those aspects. There are some features of six sigma such as it works to optimize the organization through database, it decreases the variation within the business strategies, the main feature is to reduce the defect and wastages and making it quality and efficiency. Lean basically creates flow by eliminating any activity which is a waste that consumes resources without adding any value.Lean six-sigmais a mixed strategy uses features from six sigma and lean which combines data driven methods and waste cutting tolls to identify the root causes of any waste and defect. Amidst of the concepts there is another aspect on the basis of which we can differentiate the concept of six sigma and lean six sigma. The aspect of lean six sigma mainly focuses on speed and cost effective whereas the main focus of six sigma is on quality (Mikkelsen & Riis, 2017).

Increasing the value of your processes to satisfy customers
The success of a company or an organization depends on the feedbacks of the customers. If an organization can fulfil the satisfaction level of a customer, then the company will create a good imagery network among the customers which will then bring more customers. For the satisfaction the company needs to identify the Voice of the Customers (VOC) means who are customers? And what they want? This is basically to understand the target population for a service or a product, if a product is play station, then the company needs to understand the maximum no of customers will be male population from the age group of 10-30. So, they try to make that product according to this group of population and then the company needs to understand the demand of the target population. Do they want some changes in the product? Are they want some added features in the product? Then the company needs to understand the Critical Customer Requirements or CCR means the specific and precise expectations the customer is demanding (Prashar, 2020). The product must be understandable by the customer, must have the features they are demanding, must have some measurable nature etc.

Some examples that describe it are as follows:
Loan application at financial institution: The institution should be friendly in nature, they should make the paper works as small as they can because the population will be from different age groups, documents should be required of the applicant not from his or her past generations, make the loan granted as early as possible so the customers can rely on the institution

Buying coffee at café: The café owner should make a very attractive atmosphere in the café, should hire some very friendly staffs, make the coffee affordable for almost all then population within the locality, can make some special dishes of their own, should make the most demandable coffee or dish more special etc. (Costa et al., 2018).

Repairing of laptop: The laptop repairing company can provide the original spare parts so the customers will gain some trust on the company, can give some warranties of the parts, affordable parts, repairing without removing the data of the customer if possible, etc.

These could be some facilities the company or the organization could provide to the customers for the better responses from them and better development of the company or business.

Integration of Lean Six Sigma philosophy within an organization
As discussed before that Lean Six Sigma is the most important business strategy companies are adopting. So many well-known companies like Toyota, GE are adopting this strategy for their own development. Lean Six Sigma is an integrated approach which reduces the lead time, create flow and value to the system and increase proficiencies in all processes, improve the quality of the services, minimise the variation, cost and delivery of the final product or services to the customers. Some companies use six sigma and clean management differently but the company needs to use or apply the both strategies for the better development. Lean management tools can be very effective in the first phase of process improvement and thereafter tackling the different difficult problems optimum use of resources, waste elimination is needed. There are some basic criteria that a company needs to follow for the integration of these two approaches:

It is imperative to be holistic in nature, be tool-based or specifically use need based tools at the time of problem mitigation, use the strategies simultaneously not parallels, use the DMAIC framework as the basis, integrate both in a way that both don’t dominant or subordinate the other one, use VSM technique, consider the differences between the two methodologies, be result focused, avoid sub-optimal process improvement, be body oriented or include body or knowledge, be focused on processes, prepare an infrastructure of well-trained people for different organizations, have the criteria for robust project selection, be extended to the consumers or the customers, ensure the proper management, have the motivation and good communication system, have a reward system and visibility and financial accountability, having a proper supporting structure of management systems, having a proper standardization system, having proper structure of information technologies, having sales marketing and supply chain. These are the basic criteria that company needs to follow for the integration of six sigma and lean management.

According to Antony et al. (2018), there are some six sigma tools like hypothesis testing, control charts, regression, design of experiments, measurement analysis and capability analysis. On the other hand, lean management have some tolls like Kanban, visual workplace, single minute exchange of die, layout planning, and single piece flow. When a company try to integrate the two different strategies together, they have to consider some different tolls which will represent both the six sigma and lean management. These tools are like brainstorming, process mapping, standardization, mistaken proofing. In this way a company can integrate the two strategies for the better development of the company.

Using social media tools’ contribution to lean project management capability
The process and philosophy of lean project management is to keep on improving continuously without any proper start or finish. This is a continuous and conscious effort to keep on improving as long as it exists. For the organization to keep on improving it is extremely important to be aware and involved in the modern way of things and the usage of social media tools is one of the most important things to keep up with the customers and trends of the present-day world (Kadry, 2018).

I agree the fact that in order to improve the organization in every way possible it is necessary to come up with proper and strategic social media campaigns and that can only be done with the help of proper social media tools that are many in number, with each tool serving a different purpose to the overall agenda to create a proper social media campaign. According toSzabo? Ga?boret al. (2019), the history and culture of lean project management, it states that is it more of a culture and way of thinking rather than a proper method or approach. There are no specific or one particular strategic approach to lean management rather it is the dedication and priority of each and every member and owner involved in a particular organization to keep on improving their quality of production, management and services and at the same time, create the best possible working environment possible.

Coming back to the point of social media tools, these help the organization in multiple aspects such as content creation (free or paid both are available) through different forms like videos, info graphics, blog posts etc., publishing that content with the entire world and then analyzing their results and responses and comparing with other organizations. All these things will enable the organization to indirectly interact with their customers and extended audience bases and from that, they will get a clear idea about the present-day trends and the demands of the general public. From that, the organization will take necessary steps and respond accordingly. Thus, through the help of all these different listening, publishing, and competitive analyzing platforms, the organization will be able to take in valuable information and experience that will ultimately make them better and also potentially gain a competitive edge over other organizations.

Using social media tools to do a project
First and foremost, social media campaigns or any form of target-oriented project on social media using social media tools do not guarantee success. There must be proper planning and objectivity behind the project and it must be made clear at the beginning that what is the aim or goal of this project from this social media campaign. If a project is given that says to make sure that it is successful on the social media, there is requirement for proper strategizing and using the proper and best-suited social media tools. According to ROUTLEDGE (2020), there are a wide range of variables that determine the success of a social media campaign and today, there are special teams who are experts in social media campaign strategizing. However, there is a blueprint of steps that if followed, may bring in positive results if executed right. These steps will be the bases of managing this project and trying to make it successful.

  • Identification of the goals- A smart way to start any campaign or project is to understand what we are trying to achieve. It is important to set proper goals by SMART-goal setting strategies with all the resources that the organization have on their ands for this particular project. The main four things that a goal must be are; relevant, attainable, measurable and specific. The validity of these four features will serve the project well in the long run and assess the project also later on.
  • Finding the target audience- It is important to find the target audience with the right social media tools. It will be useless to waste time on that section of people who will not be interested in the product anyways, no matter what.
  • Selection of best social media platforms- Different social media platforms has different advantages. The advantages must be compared and then the most appropriate platform must be selected for further procedures (Prashar, 2018).
  • Maintenance- this section involves a wide variety of work. By maintenance, it refers to the maintenance of the technical support, the tools, the current trends, reviewing the clients and surveying customer support based on obtained sources of data and reports (Erdil, Atkas&Aani, 2018).
  • Audience growth- Necessary steps must be taken to grow and involve more audience in these platforms. Audience involvement is a key feature of successful social media projects.
  • Audience engagement- Audience must be engaged. Some ways to engage audience in these platforms are by tagging them, responding and interacting with them and linking them to other causal tasks for entertainment.
  • Measurement of results- In order to come to conclusion on the level of success that or is not achieved, measuring of results must be done using social media tools for measuring purposes.
  • Lather, Rinse, Repeat-There should always be alternative plans ready if the initial plans do not go as per intended.

All these steps if maintained properly and done using the most appropriate social media tools, will give the people working on it the confidence and the success of this project will seem to be very much attainable.

Critical success factors for lean six sigma implementation in an organisation
The lean six sigma helps organizations to accelerate their potentials for overall organizational development and enhances it to gain their missions and strategic goals quicker. The philosophy of continuous development of all the departments within an organization helps the organization to totally change their attitude and outlook towards their operations and missions. Critical success factors are the ones, which decide the fate of a project being carried out. The companies must consider the critical success factors in order to ensure that the project runs efficiently without any sort of issues. There are a lot of different reasons on why the lean six-sigma is so beneficial to an organization. Some of them are discussed as follows:

  • The lean six sigma focuses on the reduction and optimization of workload and working efficiency. This helps in two main things primarily which are; it increases the working capacity of the staff or the organization as a whole and enables for faster product production. According to Alblooshiet al. (2020), the secondary result of this is the employees become a lot more comfortable and do not have to deal with too much pressure but at the same time, can also maintain proper efficiency and pace of work. In the long run all these factors result in the incensement of profits and the whole organization and everyone within it benefits greatly.
  • The primary objective of the six sigma which is to remove the waste that is created during the process of production is a huge factor in reducing the production costs of the organization. This not only reduces the cost but also permanently removes the problems of dealing with the management and disposal of those wastes created and thus, solves many problems proactively. This method of eliminating the root of the problem is the best possible way to reduce unwanted costs and time is also saved in the process.
  • Lean six sigma within an organization is also so much successful as it plays a role in improving the customer experience too (Sartor &Orzes, 2019).
  • This philosophy has also gained worldwide popularity as it has continuously successfully managed to improve the working efficiency and as well as the effectiveness of the organization if implemented right. The efficiency helps the organization to deal with all the external and internal factors with more confidence, less costs and better scientific methods and the effectiveness makes sure that their plans are well executed, the customers are satisfied and their production and manufacturing processes are done according to customer requirement while maintaining good level of profit too (Stone, 2020).
  • The lean six sigma approach inspires all the members within an organization not to blame on each other and work in a negative or demotivated manner. According to Shokri (2017), priority is given on maintenance of a very healthy working environment with great levels of communication and professionalism. Emphasis is given on issues like proper man-management, maintaining healthy relationships, working as a team and mutual respect among employees. All these factors do leave a mark on the output and success of the company and also improve the goodwill and reputation of the organization. Thus, the lean six sigma helps the organization to develop effective people and teams.

Necessity of having a robust project management methodology
The success of projects and teams within an organization depend on a variety of factors. While it is quite obvious to state that the quality of input has a direct relation to the quality of output, there are also other factors that cannot be quantified that easily but they do play a pivotal role in assisting to the success of the organization. yes, it is extremely necessary to have a robust project management methodology but it has been always kept in mind that the methodology must be flexible enough to be able to adapt to change quickly if there ae any changes or alterations in any of the internal or external factors that may influence the organization. According to Yadav &Desai (2017), the existence of a strong methodology of management ensures discipline, consistency and efficiency within the organization during moments of crisis. Moreover, having a robust project management methodology in place would make it feasible for a company to ensure that the risks involved are being dealt in an efficient manner. Along with this, the stakeholders of the project including the client will be engaged all through the numerous development stages to make necessary amendments, as per the client feedback if needed.

Conclusion
On completion of the essay, it can be concluded that six sigma differs in several ways as compared to Lean. Although both the methodologies have their own pros and cons, the selection must be done on the grounds of project’s nature to avoid any sort of consequences in the development stages. In order to ensure that the customers remain satisfied the processes, it is essential to improve the value by determining who the customers are alongside what are their needs. Besides this, social media tools can also play a vital role in lean project management; however, the negative aspects of the same should be accounted to ensure smooth flow of the overall process. Critical factors entailed in lean six sigma are reduction and optimization of workload, removal of the wastes created in the process of production; enhance the working efficiency, and maintenance of a positive working environment.

References
Alblooshi, M., Shamsuzzaman, M., Khoo, M. B. C., Rahim, A., &Haridy, S. (2020).
Requirements, challenges and impacts of lean six sigma applications – a narrative synthesis of qualitative research. International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, 12(2), 318–367. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJLSS-06-2019-0067

Antony, J., Gupta, S., Sunder M, V., &Gijo, E. V. (2018). Ten commandments of lean six sigma: a practitioners’ perspective. International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, 67(6), 1033–1044. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPPM-07-2017-0170

Costa, L. B. M., Godinho Filho, M., Fredendall, L. D., & Gómez Paredes, F. J. (2018). Lean, six sigma and lean six sigma in the food industry: a systematic literature review. Trends in Food Science & Technology, 82, 122–133. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tifs.2018.10.002

Erdil, N. O., Aktas, C. B., &Arani, O. M. (2018). Embedding sustainability in lean six sigma efforts. Journal of Cleaner Production, 198, 520–529. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2018.07.048

Kadry, S. (Ed.). (2018). Understanding six sigma : concepts, applications and challenges (Ser. Management science - theory and applications). Nova Science. https://lesa.on.worldcat.org/oclc/1060605615

Prashar, A. (2020). Adopting six sigma dmaic for environmental considerations in process industry environment. The Tqm Journal, 32(6), 1241–1261. https://doi.org/10.1108/TQM-09-2019-0226

ROUTLEDGE. (2020). Digital and social media marketing: a results driven approach. http://public.eblib.com/choice/PublicFullRecord.aspx?p=6186718.

Sartor, M., &Orzes, G. (Eds.). (2019). Quality management : tools, methods and standards (First). Emerald Publishing. https://lesa.on.worldcat.org/oclc/1099525084

Shokri, A. (2017). Quantitative analysis of six sigma, lean and lean six sigma research publications in last two decades. International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, 34(5), 598–625. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJQRM-07-2015-0096

Stone, B. (2020). Implementing lean and six sigma techniques. Society Publishing. https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&scope=site&db=nlebk&db=nlabk&AN=2324458.

Sweeney, B. (2017). Lean six sigma quickstartguide : the simplified beginner's guide to lean six sigma. ClydeBank Media LLC. https://lesa.on.worldcat.org/oclc/1014262878

Szabo? Ga?bor, Polatkan, G., Boykin, O., &Chalkiopoulos, A. (2019). Social media data mining and analytics. John Wiley & Sons. https://lesa.on.worldcat.org/oclc/1054093058

Yadav, G., & Desai, T. N. (2017). A fuzzy ahp approach to prioritize the barriers of integrated lean six sigma. International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, 34(8), 1167–1185. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJQRM-01-2016-0010

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