About Case Study
Lean Six Sigma Method
Change Request Analysis
Change Details in the Project Management Processes
Monitoring & Controlling Stage
Integrated Change Control
Justifications to the Required Changes Occurred
Recommendations for Successful Implementation of Change in the Project of ASQ
Possible Risks Associated With the Change Implementation
Risk Mitigation Strategies
Undoubtedly, it is true to say that project management is one of the fast-evolving fields globally. The reasons behind its emerging nature are substantial advancements, in technology, business models, and global value chains. Project management refers to the formal document that defines how a project is started, reviewed, and controlled. It usually entails a range of norms and policies that further consist of scope, schedule, cost, improvement plan, change management plan, and more. In an extremely competitive environment, none of the projects of an organization can be successful without bringing changes to it using innovative ideas (Badewi, 2016). Integrated project management (IPM) refers to the collection of procedures that certify numerous components of projects that are suitably synchronized. The major purpose of IPM is to develop and manage the project and the participation of pertinent stakeholders as per defined procedures that are personalized from the company’s set of regular processes. Every project has to go through certain stages namely initiation, planning, execution, monitoring & control, and closure. These stages are all covered under the project life cycle in the project management (Vanhoucke, Coelho & Batselier, 2016).
Change management indeed has an influence on project management and these two areas are interrelated with each other. It can also be said that project managers are the ones who are the mediators of change. However, there may also be changes in each stage of the project life cycle and the project processes. This report outlines the analysis of changes that occurred in the case study of the ASQ education division. Furthermore, it entails the change request analysis, and all the changes that are required in the project life cycle and project management processes. Moreover, it discusses the integrated change control and the justifications to the necessary changes that occurred.
The case study relates to a project that was conducted for the ASQ education division and the project aims to enhance the entire quality of education in al learning environments and help its members to comprehend how to apply the concepts of quality management to educational processes. This division has1300 members and possesses three market segments namely k-12, higher education, and workforce development. Furthermore, it also showcases how the lean six sigma and project management processes combine to aid clarify the strategic direction of division and support the processes. It generally reflects how the concepts like strategic management, project management, and lean management together are applied to refine the components of educational division’s segments. The study is about the issue facing the leaders in respect of scarcity of resources. Therefore, there must be a change in the entire process of projects to resolve this issue.
There has been a discussion of lean concepts in project management to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the performance of the business. There is an approach named DMAIC that drives lean six sigma and helps in eliminating the defects in the process of business improvements via five vital stages namely define, measure, analyze, improve, and control (Ridwansyah, 2015).
Define: It is the initial phase of the lean six sigma improvement process in which a project charter is drafted, and the needs of customers are clarified and identified.
Measure: This phase includes the collection of data and measures the processes. It can be done by conducting surveys and interviews to know the desires of entire stakeholders concerning services and products offered to members and customers.
Analyze: It is the most essential element of Lean Six Sigma as, without proper analysis of gathered data, there can be wastage of time and resources in resolving the issue. Furthermore, the findings of the data collected are organized in identical categories to reach a suitable strategy.
Improve: In this, the project team refines their innovative ideas; pilots process changes, employ solutions and review again. It ultimately leads to integrate innovative ideas to solve the issue and there will be more satisfied customers.
Control: After improvement, it is time to maintain the best practices done with the processes of the organization. A monitoring plan is developed in this phase to track the success of the updates process (Srinivasan et al., 2016).
Change request in project management refers to a proposal to change a system or product, brought up by any team member or clients. The project change management plan included information regarding how change requests are analyzed. The change has been requested by the leaders who want to implement change in the processes so that they can wisely invest in the division’s limited resources. This request must be taken into consideration as this will help in balancing change with the ultimate goals and benefits of the project (Hornstein, 2015). In this respect, the project manager must consider certain aspects in mind like funding requirements, business goals, project end dates, stakeholders' concerns, and identical things.
The case study identifies numerous changes in respect of strategic planning, program, portfolio of products continuous improvement, and more. Change requests occurred after the survey conducted with all the stakeholders involved in the provision of services and products of division and its leadership team. The respondents came up with the changes request in terms of accurate focus and resources utilization to attain a balance between them. Further, it has been analyzed that the organizational design of division needs improvement for higher performance. Moreover, the publications’ portfolio is not well-balanced in respect of market segments. Further, there must be the identification of low-cost alternatives to offer products to members and clients. The analysis of these change requests is to be done by first initially assessing change, then change approval is required from the project manager, planning of implementing change, implement it, and then monitoring of change.
Every project indeed has to go through certain phases to bring it to completion. Project management processes usually consist of five stages namely initiation, planning, execution, monitoring & controlling, and closing phase (Mir & Pinnington, 2014).
This stage entails the determination of the viability of the project by defining the project goal, project scope, identification of project manager and vital stakeholders, risk recognition along with suitable budget and timeframe (Mossalam & Arafa, 2016). The change in this stage requires aligning it with the lean six sigma problem-solving process named as DMAIC process. The stakeholders selected for this project were all stakeholders involved in the provision of products and services of division. The changes in this stage were identified by the key stakeholders using a survey in the form of requests like to identify low-cost alternatives, changes in portfolio, organizational design, and more. In this stage, strategic planning is the best innovative solution to plan for the above-stated changes. It is a powerful approach that is adopted by companies to accept the unaccepted changed and attain the intended business outcomes (Serra & Kunc, 2015). Furthermore, the ASQ education division must have to plan strategically to help clarify its strategic direction and overcome the above challenges facing the leadership team.
This stage particularly involves a project plan to address the necessities of the project like timelines, budgets, and scope. It is a blueprint that showcases the course of action to attain the project goals. The changes in this stage include improvement in two of the most valued products of ASQ education division named as QAHE (quality approaches in higher education), and QECW (quality education conference and workshops). These two are the publications of the division and initially selected for improvement.
In this stage, the key opportunities are found in respect of target customers, competitors, stakeholders, processes for setting resource utilization priorities, documentation, and more (Salameh, 2014). Changes are required in the allocation of target members to a suitable market segment of the division to avoid any glitch in the decision-making of division and resource utilization. Moreover, there is an urgent to revise the processes for setting resource utilization as they are not present uniformly in the division. In this, a need to shift to a sole publication QAE (quality approaches in education) by combining the two has been identified. The innovative solution in this regard can be lean six sigma practices for enhancing the value of the journal to the customers and members, for enhancing the satisfaction of clients and members, to reduce waste and increase efficiency (Tenera & Pinto, 2014). The Lean Six Sigma is the methodology that values defect avoidance over defect exposure. This technique is very helpful in customer satisfaction and the bottom-line outcomes by prioritizing on reducing waste, and cycle time, while endorsing the usage of work setting, and creating a competitive advantage (Sunder M, 2016).
This stage requires the effective management of the team members on the ground. Every member is assigned with certain responsibilities by a project manager that has to be completed within a stipulated timeframe (Ali, Boks & Bey, 2016). The changes are found regarding the guiding framework document for the publication. Further, a future state process map QAE was generated. Furthermore, the numerous changes were implemented such as recruitment of extra editors and reviewers for the three market segments of division. Additionally, there created a novel model to integrate their segments into one publication. The production processes were also streamlined to minimize the rework cycles. There was updating in the supporting documentation to show the novel requirements and name of a publication. The innovative solution in this regard can be methods of continuous improvement to improve the production processes of all market segments as a single one. By using this technique, there can be better decision-making due to the presence of key information available in real-time (Savolainen et al., 2015). Further, there will be increased collaboration between the segments of division and hence high cost-efficiency and time-effectiveness.
In this, the project manager measures the progress of the concerned project to certify it is being implemented properly. This stage helps to judge how well the project has been done. Furthermore, it ends with the identification of corrective actions to be taken to improve on the project (Vanhoucke, 2014). In the given case study, the indicators to measure the performance of new single segment QAE were taken to be several articles submitted for concern; the number of articles established for the journal; the number of articles not acknowledged for publication; and several references for available articles.
This is the last stage of the project life cycle that will lead to close the project and hand over it to the sponsor. Further, it is utilized to summarize the project outcomes and authenticates the attainment of project goals (Sokhanvar, Matthews & Yarlagadda, 2014). In the case study, the project is closed by the project manager and presented to the entire team at the University of Houston. Furthermore, a summary of the entire project was set for the division’s documentation, and this article was established.
The integrated change control refers to the procedure of assessing all change requests, approving changes, and handling changes to deliverables, structural procedure assets, project documents, and project management plans. The main aim of this control is to review all requests for modifications to project baselines and approve or reject the same (Hickman, M. (2017).
Quality has indeed become progressively essential and a vital factor in higher education institutes mainly universities. As far as changes to education division are concerned, they are necessary to solve the issue of limited resources, streamlining of production processes, improving the existing products/ services of division, bringing low-cost alternatives, and overall improving the quality of educational services and products. All these changes are required due to the presence of such intense competition in the market. Every establishment is targeting its clients by providing them with differentiated and more advanced products and services (Manatos, Sarrico & Rosa, 2017).
Likewise, it is equally important for the ASQ education division to make it competent enough to offer value to its clients and members within limited resources, firmly volunteer effort, and a small timeframe. In the educational division, nowadays changes are must with the advancement of technology reorganization of segments, recruitment of new leaders, financial budgets, and change in curriculum in education (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2016). Therefore, the changes that occurred in the project management life cycle are mandatory and division decided to integrate the project management and lean six sigma methodologies to evaluate strategic guidelines and readjust processes to better aid its market segments.
There must be the use of FMEA (failure and effects analysis) that assists the project manager to locate probable issues with the product and services and enables them to take corrective actions. This tool is associated with the six sigma methods that can aid in the identification and elimination of concern promptly in the development of a process. Moreover, it helps to increase the client’s safety and satisfaction by limiting the costs and risks associated (Roghanian & Mojibian, 2015).
Partnering with other divisions and sections for workshops and training to develop the workforce more effectively. It is recommended that it must include partnerships by division with the local ASQ sections to generate connections with the K-12 segment to develop a more thoughtful impact on the applications of quality tools. Moreover, the division must partner with not-for-profit establishments that are linked with higher education. It helps the division to cut on its costs as it will include the intrinsic knowledge and abilities of members of the division and the partner’s product placement options.
Furthermore, it is recommended that there must be a merger of individual products linked with a particular market segment. It helps the division to optimize the resource without affecting the quality of the processes. It is suggested that there must be a merger between workforce development brief, K-12 articles, and the QAHE articles to streamline the processes of three individual market segments as one.
It is recommended that the ability of division in terms of improvement and quality must be extended significantly so that all members can be benefitted from the combined knowledge and experience of one another.
The division must adopt an effective approach to continuous improvement in the processes (Lewallen et al., 2015).
There must be a high level of strategic planning to implement changes in improving the quality of division processes.
In every project, there exists uncertainty in the form of risks that could adversely impact the project goals like quality, cost, scope, and more. Certain risks occurred while implementing the changes to the project management processes Martinsuo, Korhonen & Laine, 2014). Resistance is one risk that may arise while implementing changes to the organization. Since members are reluctant to adapt to the changes that are required at the organization frequently. Therefore, this result in high attrition rate in the organization as members does not want to learn the novel ideas and roles. Furthermore, the integration of Lean Six Sigma with project management may be time-consuming as the business has to review the processes minute by minute that leads to the production of heavy empirical data (Antony, Setijono & Dahlgaard, 2016).
To avoid these risks, there can some strategies in the form of an action plan to develop options to improve opportunities. Increasing responsiveness is one such strategy that could help the ASQ education division to avoid risk in the production processes. Further, sustainable practices can help to evade risks associated with the shortage of resources and future development of business. Training must be provided to a staff member to improve the quality of processes and make use of advanced technology to foster innovation in the processes. Moreover, in project management, there is a technique of risk transfer that can be used for mitigating the risks. It means that division can hand over the task of risk management to parties who can better manage the risks. Additionally, there can be an effective communication plan to discuss the associated issues or risks at the initial stage of the project so that there left no chance of risk at the end stages (Verner et al., 2014).
From the above report on the integrated project management practices in the ASQ education division, it can be concluded that the project aimed to improve the quality of educational processes at all levels of business. The ASQ education division is divided into three educational segments K12, Higher education, and workforce development. The changing requirement in the ASQ Education division is to implement a Lean Six-Sigma methodology to improve resource utilization. As mentioned in the case study, the resources were scarce and the company wanted to deliver more value to the clients. Furthermore, it can be inferred the success factors of integrated project management are Short Time frame, save the cost, increased Benefits, and improved Division Performance. It is recommended that partnerships with similar organizations like not-for-profit organizations that are associated with higher education can allow having more impact on the overall change management process at ASQ Education division. Moreover, the innovative solutions for the change implementation are found to be effective strategic planning, continuous improvement approaches, and lean six sigma methodology driven by the DMAIC model of problem-solving. It can be concluded that the integration of project management and Lean Six Sigma was proved to be successful in bringing quality to the processes.
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