Prince 2 JOB- IS Project Manager

Tasks:

As an IS Project Manager you will be responsible for following but not limited to :

•Ensure successful delivery of the IS project and closely collaborate with Business Project Manager on overall project success;
•Plan, schedule, coordinate, and deliver the IS project outcomes to time, scope, cost and agreed quality;
• Monitor and control the project management processes;
• Execute IS project communication, report IS project performance against plan and expected business outcome;
• Ensure appropriate ABB IS Project Management standards and methods are followed;
• Manage stakeholders’ expectations and relationship;
• Collaborate with Workforce Manager and Service Manager on the project delivery;
• Manage, coach, develop and lead the project team allocated to the IS project;
• Define, jointly with Business Project Manager, all project documents, including scope and financial plans, schedule and risk management plans;
• Effectively monitor and control project progress, proactively manage and mitigate project risks;
• Monitor and control project financials, oversee project invoicing status, cost, expenses and cash flow;
• Ensure that the project applies contract and claims management in accordance with contractual agreements;
• Ensures the successful close down of the project on project completion and the capture and documentation of lessons learned.

Requirements:

• General Project Management knowledge in area of IT/IS(SAP), with min. 10 years of Project Management experience, certified by PMI, PRINCE2 or CAPM is must;
• Experience in at least one of the following areas: ERP Systems, Finance Systems, Supply Chain Management, Marketing & Sales, Product Configurations, PDM & PLM Systems, Analytical & Business Performance Tools or General IS Systems;
• Experience in leading transition / transformation projects within global working environment being a strong plus;
• Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in IT, management or related fields, or related work experience;
• Experience with Project Management Methodology and tools;
• Strong English written and verbal communication skills;
• Good organization, time management, decision making and negotiation skills
• Flexibility, persistence, accompanied by quality and results orientation;
• Demonstrated customer focus with the ability to build effective working relationships with all stakeholders;
• Required business domain and business processes knowledge and experience;
• Leadership/Management competencies;
• Knowledge on application development processes including thorough knowledge of IT service management concepts (ITIL) being a plus;
• Strong negotiation, facilitation and consensus building skills;
• Communication – Effectively communicate to steering committee, reference teams and stakeholders (including project plans, announcements, metrics/KPIs, etc.).

Additional information

We offer
• An interesting job in a company promoting innovative and modern technologies;
• Opportunity for professional development in an international environment and for increasing your abilities and skills in various areas;
• Employment in a stable company with an established position in the market;

• Good working environment.

Six Sigma and Business Analytics: Shareholder Value Analytics

 

 

Sigma methodology is perfect for discovering innovative ways of improving your organization’s operations. Likewise, there’s more to the business process improvement methods than just manufacturing and production processes. If you are considering to publicly list your company or want to find ways to improve your market value, Six Sigma can help. Combining with business analysis, Six Sigma looks to calculate your shareholder value analytics (SVA). In today’s article, we will discuss what SVA is, why you should use it, and how it relates to Six Sigma.

What is ‘Shareholder Value Analytics (SVA)’?

SVA is a precise calculation of your company or organization’s value in the public market. This analytical tool assesses the returns you make to your shareholders and measures the financial pros and cons of your strategies. We use SVA as a measure of a company’s operations simply because all public corporations will try to maximize shareholder value. If you’re able to do this, chances are you have found innovative ways to efficiently increase your operations. Additionally, stock market analysts will use SVA to calculate your organization’s success and value. Business analysts will typically shy away from looking at only your revenue and profit since these figures can be manipulated and tell different stories. SVA, on the other hand, is not nearly as misleading and paints a more concrete picture of your operations.

Why Should You Use SVA?

There are a variety of questions your management team and shareholders will ask that you can answer by looking at your SVA. These include analyzing your operational strategies, calculating how much value you deliver to your shareholders, and seeing how you perform compared to your competitors. To make an accurate prediction for your shareholder value, you must look towards your economic value added. This metric will calculate your organization’s profit by measuring the return and cost on capital. Likewise, you must also effectively manage shareholders’ opinions. Much of the stock market is driven by expectations investors have on certain organizations. If you can prove your organization has effective operations and is resourceful with its capital, your SVA will increase.

SVA & Six Sigma

Your shareholders will only expect a payout if your returns on equity are higher than your costs. Saying this, an increase in your shareholder’s value will correlate with effectively running your organization. This is where Six Sigma methodologies come into play. There are multiple ways for you to increase the efficiency of your operations.

First, we look to the 5 K’s of Kaizen. These steps look to minimizing your usage of resources, carefully placing items, and increasing customer relations. When more people buy your products and believe they are of superior quality, your shareholder value will increase. Likewise, implementing the steps of DMAIC is an excellent way to find inefficiencies within your business processes. With the management of a Six Sigma Black Belt or higher, your team will use DMAIC to find innovative ways of improving any and all processes within your organization. This, in return, will decrease your capital costs and increase your market share value and thus, your SVA.

U.S. ARMY PRIORITIZES LEAN SIX SIGMA TRAINING

The American military is considered one of the most focused and efficient groups of people in the history of the planet. It’s an institution known for its tight haircuts, sharp uniform creases, concise communication and precise action.

But, apparently, it wasn’t quite Lean enough.

The U.S. Army has a program called Computer Hardware, Enterprise Software and Solutions (CHESS). It’s the Army’s primary source for commercial Information Technology. If a member of the Army needs a specific piece of computer hardware or software, the CHESS program either helps them procure the product, or puts them in touch with someone who could build the product.

The job description can be a little confusing, but at its heart, CHESS is about technology acquisition – at a discount, of course. They have to buy so much hardware and software to keep the Army technologically satiated, that they strive to make purchases at significantly reduced prices.

Increasing Army Efficiency

So what did CHESS, who buys almost exclusively with big discounts, just spend $2.8 million on?

It’s called the Minitab Enterprise License Agreement, and the deal is going to give the Army access to an absolute mountain of Lean Six Sigma software to train people with.

Why spend so much on Lean Six Sigma?

“The goal,” said Dawn Bare, a CHESS product leader, “is for Army organizations to become self-sufficient in Lean Six Sigma techniques, to leverage gains obtained thus far to reduce inefficiencies across the Army and to provide future program successes.”

Other Army Lean Six Sigma Initiatives

It’s not the first time the Army has invested heavily in Lean.

Recently, in February 2017, the Army hosted a Lean Six Sigma training event at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. That was a rehash of a similar successful event that took place in September 2016.

“We’re just building on years of success by local operations researchers and responding to positive feedback from our recent events that trained dozens of individuals across West Point with dozens more on waiting lists for training,” said Col. Doug McInvale, Math Department professor and Master Black Belt.

The Army’s affiliation with Lean Six Sigma philosophy dates back to 2006, and it has saved billions of dollars over the last decade. In 2016 alone, three departments within the U.S. Army were awarded Process Improvement Deployment Excellence Awards:

  • The Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Financial Management and Comptroller (which saved a total of $66.2 million).
  • The U.S. Army Medical Command (which saved $5.7 million).
  • The 21st Theater Sustainment Command, U.S. Army Europe (which saved nearly $3 million).

With the recent $2.8 million deal with Minitab, CHESS is hoping to further capitalize on the success it has already experienced through Lean Six Sigma and overall process improvement techniques. And if the $70+ million saved in 2016 is any indication, CHESS’s money was probably well spent.

Revisiting Magicians & Process Change

 

I’ve written this in the past but it bears repeating — Magicians annoy me. Seriously. Because I will be up until 4 a.m. trying to reverse-engineer the impossible nonsense they did right before my eyes. And when I finally do figure out what they did, the gimmick or technique is often so obvious in retrospect that I am annoyed yet again.

So what is it we who are driving process change have in common with magicians (beside we are probably annoying some people…)? What are magicians doing that amazes people and how does any of this help me with my next process change?

It’s all about focus. Hey – look over here! Magicians are a sneaky lot in general and very adept at the art of misdirection.   Everything a magician does is on purpose and nothing is done haphazardly. Half their battle is getting you to look left while they are doing their dirty work off to the right.      So what?     In process change, focus is important too.  We are trying to provide a very clear direction (vision) to the desired state. We are also fighting through the blizzard of words and images blasted every waking moment at our co-workers – trying our best to get them to focus on our change message. Thus, nothing we do to gain that focus should be haphazard or random. Our communications plan should well thought out and include multiple ways of attracting people’s attention and focus.

The mind fills in the gaps. That stand or table the magician is using is probably not as thin as you believe it to be. That’s not really his shadow behind the curtain and he didn’t really even get in that box just now. He’s relying on your mind to scroll forward to what would logically make sense as your brain fills in the gaps. Brains are really good at filling in gaps – either right or wrong.        So what?     You’re going to roll out a process change. People know it’s coming but you’ve not yet briefed them. It’s easy to forget that each person impacted by this change will have automatically made some assumptions as their minds fill in the blanks. So when you announce it, it will be better than some anticipated, worse than some others figured, and for some it will be spot on. To reduce the stress and help people architect the right picture in their minds, we should be communicating throughout the project and not just at the end.

Bullet-Proof. Some tricks involve real danger. Others look dangerous but absolutely aren’t. In many tricks where you are asked to select something, it doesn’t matter at all what you select because the magician has “outs” for all possible choices.   When a master magician is lurking around his unmarked warehouse on the outskirts of Vegas designing and rehearsing his next major illusion, he is anticipating all possible ways it may fail. He is error-proofing and working very hard to ensure he doesn’t look like an amateur when he gets up on stage.     So What?     Lots of things can go sideways on you in a change rollout. It’s best to use a tool like an FMEA (Failure Modes and Effects Analysis) in advance as part of your planning process. Every minute in planning thinking about “What might go wrong and how can I mitigate that risk?” can save you hours of reactionary frustration in the live rollout.

Trader Joe’s and Kaizen: A Marriage Made in Heaven

Before we describe the happy union of grocery chain Trader Joe’s and Kaizen, let’s introduce the definition of Kaizen. It is the Japanese word for improvement, or change for the better.

If you apply this to the workplace, it is a practice that focuses on every aspect of the processes that it takes to run each part of that business. So by improving the standardized processes, this would eliminate waste, improve productivity, cut costs, and increase morale, because everyone plays a part in that process.

So What Does Trader Joe’s Have to Do with It? 

As far back as 2007, Trader Joe’s has been using Kaizen as a way of life, from the way they treat their employees, to giving exceptional customer service. Their goal is to constantly improve and give customers the “wow” factor in the customer experience.

Trader Joe’s has treated and paid their employees well in order to inspire employee loyalty and thus high job performance, translating to great customer service. There is a difference between good customer service and customer service with the wow factor.

Good customer service is basic good manners, but you can almost see the wheels turning in their heads as to what they have to do next or how to handle a situation.

The customer service with the wow factor is the kind that the customer feels that they are talking to a good friend, who just happens to work at Trader Joe’s.

As you walk through the aisles, you see signs that inspire an ambiance that says cozy, tasty and fun — despite the fact that Trader Joe’s is really a large chain of neighborhood stores.

The secret sauce to Trader Joe’s long-time success is the Kaizen mindset — continuous small improvements every single day. This is driven and instilled from the time an employee is hired.

Managers also utilize employee and customer suggestions for continuous improvement and increasing the “wow” shopping experience.

In a time where large supermarket chains are having to cut hours and lay off employees, Trader Joe’s is thriving, thanks to great core values, which includes the Kaizen mindset!

 

Six Sigma and Business Analytics: Environmental Impact Analytics

Whether you support or are against climate change legislation, governments around the world are pushing for more environmentally-friendly operations. Now, governments expect corporations to be proactive about the business processes and attempt to minimalize the impact on their surrounding environments. Organizations that perform manufacturing and production roles can expect to see the greatest impacts from new environmentally conscious laws. However, there are ways to prepare yourself and your corporation from hefty fines and time loss. Combing with Six Sigma methodologies, environmental impact analytics is the key business tool for your organization. Today, we will discuss this business analytic tool and why you should use it.

What is Environmental Impact Analytics?

In greater detail, environmental impact analytics measures your organization’s impact on the surrounding environment. As you operate your business processes and manage your supply chain, negative impacts can occur with or without your knowledge. This can include leakages and spills of toxic waste, improper disposal of used products, or other forms of contamination. Sometimes, these occurrences are not always easy to spot. Likewise, pinpointing the location where the impact first occurs can be equally difficult. To combat this, it’s important to perform regular environmental impact analytics.

What variables you measure and how you do so depend on your industry and types of operations. However, most commonly, organizations will measure their carbon footprint, how much water these use, their waste recycling percentage, and as well as the amount of energy they consume. It’s important to note, though, that you should measure your suppliers with the same variables. This helps provide you with the most information about your supply chain, how you use products, and what impact there could be on the environment.

Six Sigma and Environmental Impact Analytics

Performing regular analysis on your environmental impact can be both time-consuming and expensive. However, with the right approach, you can cut down on unnecessary costs. When performing your initial round of data collection and analysis, you can expect this time to require the most amount of time and man power. Yet, after your initial round, you can perform the exact same steps and regular periods. Doing this helps keep your procedures constant and also prepares your organization for time and resources it will require.

There are numerous variables and KPI’s you can measure to create the complete picture of your environmental impact. However, it’s important that you pick the correct ones and stick with them. For this, we recommend appointing a Six Sigma certified project manager. Typically, this will be a Black Belt or higher. Your project manager will be in charge of collecting the right data from the correct sources. This may include a team of other Six Sigma professionals who will mine, store, and analyze the incoming data sets.

Once you have the appropriate data, it’s time to see if you must make changes to your supply chain and operations. For this, we recommend comparing your results with your competitors and the current legislation. By being proactive about your environmental impact analysis, you potentially save your corporation countless hours and vast savings from stricter environmental regulation laws.

Integrating SPC and SQC to Overcome Weaknesses in Each

Statistical quality control (SQC) and statistical process control (SPC) are two powerful tools, which have different goals and requirements for successful application. By using a methodology that combines the strengths of both approaches, it is possible to overcome the individual weaknesses of each one. The volume of calculations required by this technique prohibits manual data collection in favor of computerized analysis. The specific SPC technique to be discussed in combination with SQC is the attribute control chart.

Problems Applying SQC

SQC deals with the statistics used for acceptance sampling. Based on consumer and producer risks, lot sizes and acceptable reject levels, a specific sampling plan and acceptance numbers are determined for sampling and acceptance of a given lot. One commonly used SQC technique is MIL-STD-105D, also known as the ABC standard.

Although the statistics used in SQC guarantee that the quality of delivered goods will comply with a predictable level, there are some negative aspects of SQC worthy of discussion. SQC is always applied at the end of a process, when the problems have already occurred. SQC by itself will not improve the process nor will it signal where or when a problem has appeared. It will only inform the inspector whether the lot is good enough to be shipped. In contrast, using SPC techniques, inspection is done in-process to discover possible problems as soon as they appear. As a result, the technique of SPC is more commercially useful because it is more descriptive and pre-emptive in nature.

Problems Applying SPC

The advantage of SPC is that sampling is done frequently, which increases the chance of finding a process problem in its early stages. Frequent data collection allows production to be stopped as soon as a problem is detected, so that minimum waste is generated. Further savings are enjoyed since value is not added to defective products in subsequent processes. Attribute control charts have a few disadvantages in the way they would be applied alone:

  1. In traditional attribute charts, only one defect is considered. In practice, different defects are often combined in an attribute chart without distinction being made between major and minor errors. This can cause false signals from the control chartespecially when the number of minor errors is significantly higher than the number of major errors or when the difference between major and minor defects is extreme. One solution would be to create separate charts for minor and major defects but, that will increase the amount of administrative work and difficulty in data collection.
  2. Attribute charts most of the time have aggregated count data. The problem with this aggregated data is that this data will only follow the binomial distribution if each individual binomial variable has the same value for p. This is rarely the case. A solution to overcome this problem is to use empirical limits instead of control limits based on a theoretical model. These limits can be calculated based on the X moving range chart. This approach will produce good results as long as the number of errors in the subgroup is 1 or higher. In most attribute processes, the number of errors is lower. In cases such as this, subgroups should be combined so that an average of 1 or higher is attained.
  3. The attribute control charts will give the operator information when the process is out of statistical control, but it will not give proper information when the lot should be rejected based on chosen consumer and producers risks. In the case of an out of control indication, SQC should be applied to verify whether the lot can be shipped.

Solution

By using attribute charts with special features, you can enjoy the benefits of both systems (i.e., timely feedback and pre-emptive response of SPC and the certifiable quality levels of SQC).

First, categorize the nonconformities to be entered. During data collection, each of these categories should be able to be considered separately for statistical control using separate control limits and alarms. They also can be considered separately for acceptance criteria. Categories also can be combined to yield overall SQC analysis for the lot.

Beyond that, individual categories or the whole can be analyzed and certified for a specific quality level using SQC techniques on a real-time basis. This is accomplished by using a moving calculation similar to an x moving range chart. When an individual sampling lot (subgroup) contains insufficient samples to satisfy the requirements of sampling plan, simply combine it with previously collected subgroups until the amount of data collected from the process meets or exceeds the sampling plan size required. The number of defects found from the process is compared with the acceptance number in the sampling plan. An alarm results if the acceptance number is exceeded (i.e., if the process produced too many nonconformities). This alarm indicates the combination of lots should be quarantined and should not be shipped.

Illustration

The following graphic shows an example of an attribute chart illustrating the solution. The chart shows the total number of defects for all categories at once. The table below the chart shows the number of defects per category. If a control limit for a category is exceeded the value in the table is shown in red.

Benefits

The benefits of the described methodology are obvious.

Companies applying only SQC – The benefits of SPC over SQC are obvious. A lot has been said in recent years about these benefits: Faster feedback, problems are discovered as soon as they occur, production people making the quality also are responsible for verifying the quality, and separate inspectors are removed from the warehouse. The solution described above retains all the customer requirements related to SQC, but the task is performed much more efficiently. The voice of the process can be heard with greater clarity due to the additional differentiation offered by data collection through an SPC format.

Companies applying only SPC – The benefits for companies applying SPC are less obvious. The major benefit is the fact that attribute SPC with low defect levels does not always work properly. In practice you will see that these charts are not much more than check sheets and no action is taken when control limits are violated. Implementing the solution described will make people much more aware of the problems with traditional attributive SPC and will help them to take better decisions when action is required. The second big advantage is that the solution described will guarantee a specific quality level required by customers. SPC communicates what the process is doing without regard for what the customer is expecting from the process. The use of SQC and an associated AQL, however, sets a minimum acceptable level for key product characteristics so customer expectations can be achieved.

Companies applying both SPC and SQC – If companies apply both SPC and SQC, the amount of inspection can be decreased significantly without decreasing the consumer’s risk. The minimum frequency of the SPC checks can be derived from lot size, production speed and required sample sizes prescribed by SQC.

By working smarter rather than harder, you can overlay the SQC requirements on the SPC data collection with the result that both analyses can be performed with no additional data collection. Simply use the data already collected from SPC for SQC analysis and compliance reports. You can further use the sampling plan as a control mechanism for six sigma improvement projects. When cost reduction is the goal, AQL can be referenced to ensure quality levels do not suffer as a result of process changes.

LEAN SIX SIGMA IS HELPING TSA REDUCE YOUR WAIT TIME AT THE AIRPORT

Everything in your life is a process.

The coffee you brewed this morning. Your commute to work. The lunch you packed. The apps you launched. The conversations you had.

It’s all a series of small steps driving you toward various outcomes – tiny systems for managing your existence. And the most interesting part? Just about all of these systems can be improved or refined through Lean tactics.

Lean Six Sigma isn’t reserved only for factories or warehouses.

TSA Process Improvement

That was the mindset taken by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in its effort to improve airport wait times.

The challenge was unique. They strived to improve service for airport commuters by reducing the time it took to process a traveler through security checkpoints and screenings – but its top priority was safety. Because of the sensitive nature of 21st-century flying, the TSA could not compromise safety, even a little bit, in exchange for efficiency.

The solution was the Smiths Detection IONSCAN 500DT device – a scanner that can detect more than 40 substances in commuter luggage, in about five total seconds. It was a revelation. It totally streamlined TSA processes and cut down on the time commuters were forced to spend in security scans.

But TSA personnel weren’t done optimizing processes. The IONSCAN 500DT was improving passenger processing time, but the device was heavy. It weighed 43 pounds, and it was so cumbersome to move into position that officials at a New Hampshire airport realized it was only improving their processes by a small fraction of what it was capable. So they developed a form of mobile power to move the device into position more easily.

Lean Six Sigma Equals Efficiency

The results? A lot fewer missed flights. In 2016, 98% of commuters were screened through security in fewer than 30 minutes. About 92% passed through security screenings in under 15 minutes. The average wait time (even when factoring in the nation’s busiest airports) was under 10 minutes.

That’s improving a process that was just improved, and it’s something that airports are getting really good at. Last year, the TSA allocated $26 million to process improvement, in an effort to simultaneously boost both safety and convenience.

And so far, it’s working. In May 2016, security-based wait times at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport were as long as 104 minutes. After just three months of process improvement, that 104-minute wait was reduced by more than 95%.

Lean Six Sigma isn’t just for manufacturing. It worked for the TSA, who screens more than 2.5 million passengers each day. It worked for the City of El Paso, TX, which is setting maintenance records by using Lean process improvement. It worked for small financial groups, healthcare organizations, military institutions and many, many others, because Lean Six Sigma is industry agnostic. It’s designed to optimize processes.

10 key steps ensure that your Business Process Management system will be used

All organisations and teams investing a great deal of time and money in their Business Process Management system want to know that will be used by its intended audience.
Over many years of working with hundreds of organisations implementing a BPM system, I have identified the 10 key steps to ensure that your BPM system will be used.

1. Be clear on the purpose of your Business Process Management (BPM) system

In order to achieve your objective for your BPM system, you need to be clear on what your objective is.

This is the foundation stone for all else.

You, your team and your senior sponsors, must all be able to answer the questions:

  • “What is the purpose of our BPM system?”
  • “What objective do we want it to achieve?”
  • “What problem(s) is it going to solve?”

The answers to these questions will effect who the intended end users of your BPM system are, how they need to use the system – so how it’s structured – and how you tell them about it.

For further reading on this please click here: What problem does Business Process Management (BPM) solve?

2. Get the BPM system structure right

The structure of the system must support the agreed end objective.

One thing to think about is, will the system support just one part of your organisation? Or the whole organisation?

At Triaster we firmly believe that your BPM system should sit at the heart of your organisation and that the most benefit is derived from one common BPM system supporting your whole organisation. This gives one central, source of accurate information, accessible to everyone (in your organisation). It also, for example:

  • Promotes consistent working
  • Helps to break down siloed working
  • Supports Continuous Improvement
  • Promotes an effective Quality Strategy
  • Enables quality accreditations without disruption to the business

Sometimes, particularly with the initial implementation, it isn’t practical to support the whole organisation, but if possible this should be your ultimate objective, and your BPM system should be structured with this in mind.

With a full company BPM system, it may seem as if the obvious way to structure it is department by department. But when thinking a bit more about the end objective it may well in fact be by product or service. The more that you canstructure your BPM system to support an end-to-end process view (the customer view) the better, as this will best promote whole company thinking.

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In any event the BPM system should certainly be structured to separate common process such as HR and Finance from the departments or business units that they support.

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Most importantly the structure must support the core purpose for your BPM system and make sense to its end users.

For more on this please read: Business Process Management (BPM) system structure: Core vs business unit processes

3. Think about the target audience for your BPM system

If your BPM is going to support your whole organisation, this may seem like an easy one to answer; but that the answer “everyone” is not that helpful.

However, there will be certain things that are common to everyone working in your organisation. They will be familiar with:

  • Your corporate branding
  • Your website
  • Other core systems

This knowledge should be used to design an interface to your BPM system that will be recognisable and appealing to its end users.

Adherence to corporate branding guidelines is particularly key – not least in obtaining sign off on your BPM system designs!

4. Use an intuitive navigation

At Triaster we offer our customers two types of homepage architecture for their BPM systems: Click and Hover.

  • The Hover interface is a traditional web menu hierarchical structure, which is controlled by moving your mouse over the navigation options. Top level options can be accompanied by an image
  • The Click interface is a scene by scene based architecture. Users move through the typically 3 level hierarchy by clicking through a storyboarded customised environment.

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We find that customers in industries such as engineering, construction and defence generally adopt the Hover interface, whilst customers in education, the public sector and customer service industries tend to prefer the Click interface.

We also find that generally if users like the Hover type for example they will hate the Click interface and vice versa!

Choosing the right approach for your end users is absolutely key to their use of your BPM system.

To see other Triaster customer homepage designs please click here: www.triaster.co.uk/showcase.php

5. Get the ‘tone of voice’ correct

Whilst developing the design of your chosen homepage, be that Click or Hover, think about the key messages that you want to communicate. Although subtle, getting this correct (or not) can have a marked effect on BPM system usage.

The message to be conveyed will depend on the objective for the system. It will also depend on how heavily you want to replicate the design of another system or resource, such as your intranet. If your intranet is well designed, used and liked, replicating its approach may promote usage of your BPM system.

Triaster’s customer Interserve FM designed their system ’PRISM’ in line with their intranet, ‘IRIS’. Both now have a strong brand and image which end users like.

Click here to see the PRISM design: www.triaster.co.uk/showcase-interservefm.php

6. Agree a theme that will appeal

Sometimes agreeing a theme that will appeal is hard. Sometimes it is obvious. The place to start is with the system name and logo.

Sungard Availability Services call their Triaster system Ask PAT. PAT stands for Process Application Tool and is also the first name of the well-known Director, who has ultimate responsibility for the system. With the name in place the development of a strong logo and theme was fairly straight forward.

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A strong theme best enables development of an identity for the system.

7. Develop an identity for your BPM system

To best ensure usage of your BPM system, its identity should extend well beyond the system itself. Spread the word about it by using the name, logo and theme as widely as possible. If budget permits, promote the system with useful giveaways.

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Even with limited budget the system’s identity can be promoted by leveraging the theme with ‘opportunities to see’.

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It is also important to explain the reasons for the system’s implementation and how employees will benefit from using it.

8. Involve end users

It is natural to be suspicious of new things. All of the steps set out so far have been to make something new seem as familiar and intuitive as possible.

Alongside this, involve as many people as possible in the capture of the content for the system. When involved in its development, people will be much happier to use it.

To find out more about this please read:

5 Business Process Mapping tips for Getting your Entire Team Involved

9. Ensure the content is accurate

Of course even the best structured system, with a well-loved theme won’t be used if the information it contains is out of date or inaccurate. Ensure that all content published to your BPM system has been reviewed and signed off as accurate.

Where there are gaps in content, make it clear when it is intended that these will be filled.

10. Communication, communication, communication

Generally people won’t use a system unless they both know about it and understand how using it will benefit them.

So tell them.

Leverage your theme, the system’s identity and tell them about it. Use all your organisation’s usual communication channels to get the word out there. For example:

  • Newsletters
  • Bulletins
  • E-mails
  • Electronic notice boards
  • Meetings…

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Get your senior sponsors as involved as possible. Ask them to cascade the message, explain their objectives for the system and how these align with the corporate strategy.

Set up launch events and invite everyone.

I hope that you have found this article useful. Each step outlined is necessarily a summary of the actions needed. The focus is also on the set up steps, and whilst some things only need to be done during the set up phase – such as agreeing the structure and theme. Others, such as communication, must be ongoing.

Triaster have worked with hundreds of different customers in many different industries over the years and from this have developed a 3 ‘U’s mantra for BPM systems – which we call Process Libraries – Useful, Usable and Used.

Course Correction? Tips for Doing a Deployment Review

It is not unusual to find that a few years down the road, the results from a Lean Six Sigma deployment are not quite as good as what a company hoped or expected. What often helps in that situation is a formal deployment review, conducted in much the same way as a tollgate review on an individual project.

The basic model for a deployment review is the same as for any review. The organization’s leadership will want to document both results and methods, as depicted in the simple grid shown in the table below. This will make it clear whether progress has been hindered by a breakdown in strategy and planning (the methods), in the execution of those plans (the results) or a combination of both.

Deployment Review Grid

Did the Organization Follow Its Deployment Plan?

Yes

No

Did the Organization Get the Results It Wanted?

Yes


No

Document the successes.


The methods the organization thought would be successful were not. Determine what went wrong

Desired results obtained despite not following the planned methods. What was missing or wrong in the plans? What new knowledge allowed the organization to get good results?


Determine why the plans were not followed. Were they poorly documented? Incomplete? Were insufficient resources (time, money, personnel) allotted to the effort?

Elements of Deployment

Elements of Deployment

What exactly should be looked at in terms of results and methods? Successful deployments are the result of the interaction of three elements – strategy integration, execution and skilled infrastructure (see figure above).

As the figure shows, it is clear that the three elements of deployment drive each other in particular ways. Strategic clarity gives the focus needed for effective execution; having skilled resources is necessary to ensure that the strategy is appropriate in the first place, that its interpretation is consistent, and that the organization has the necessary level of commitment needed to sustain the effort.

Targeting the deployment review on these areas may not catch every roadblock or barrier, but should expose those are the most harmful in terms of results.

Strategy Integration Review

Translating the table grid at this level means determining whether the organization had a clearly defined strategy associated with its Lean Six Sigma deployment, and whether both the hard and soft results are documenting.

Method Questions
> What was the burning platform driving Lean Six Sigma deployment?
> Was the strategic importance of the goals clearly communicated to all involved?
> Was progress regularly reviewed against the goals?
> How does the organization ensure that project selection is driven by priority business needs?

Results Questions
> Is there reliable data on performance before and after changes were made? (Sometimes good results are obscured by poor data collection; or vice versa, bad results can look good if data is unreliable.)
> What documentation does the organization have showing progress toward or shortfalls relating to strategic goals?

Skilled Infrastructure Review

What has made Lean Six Sigma much more successful than its predecessors is having an implementation infrastructure that effectively translates the strategic agenda into actions to maximize value and provide effective management and monitoring of results.

Method Questions
> Is there a deployment Champion in each business unit? What training and experience does he or she have?
> Have project sponsors been trained in Lean Six Sigma basics and project review basics?
> How good are the mechanisms in place for connecting resources working in terms of support and communication? What is the basis for this judgment?
> What evidence does the organization have that Lean Six Sigma is becoming integrated into the daily management practices of the business?
> What is being done to ensure that deployed resources are carrying out their responsibilities? (For example, are they held accountable for both methods and sustainable results?)

Results Questions
>
 What targets for achieving a critical mass were set around the deployment methods? (Number of Black Belts trained? Number of projects launched?) How do the actual numbers compare to the target? What barriers explain any shortfalls?
> Is there a rigorous process for measurement and tracking of project financial results?
> What is the average return per Black Belt? How does that compare to expectations?

Execution Review

The first two elements of the deployment review focused on developing a fully realized strategy and the resources to implement it. In this element, an organization needs to look at where and how execution either succeeded or failed.

Method Questions
> What made the organization confident that its expectations were reasonable? Check that those factors are still valid. If it turns out the expectations were un-reasonable, what needs to change – the expectations or the methods used to fulfill them?
> What was done to engage leadership and give them a compelling reason to embrace Lean Six Sigma?
> Were Black Belts and Green Belts fully trained in integrated Lean Six Sigma DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) methodology?
> Is team leadership training a standard part of the organization’s Lean Six Sigma curriculum? (Change and improvement happen through people, not just statistical tools. Black Belts and Champions must be able to draw the best from their teams. This requires that they be trained in team leadership skills as well as technical tools. Having the right teams and team dynamics in place for learning and execution can both accelerate the application of Lean Six Sigma and multiply its financial and operational benefits throughout an organization.)
> How are Champions and Master Black Belts doing in terms of opportunity identification, project selection, and prioritization? How does the organization’s leadership know?
> Does the organization have a project management system that allows it to control numbers of projects-in-progress so staff is not overloaded?
> Have project Sponsors taken on the accountability for long-term results? What indicators are there that this is happening or not? Is there a method for financial validation of results after projects are completed?
> Is there consensus on common metrics and tracking methods? What dashboards metrics are reviewed regularly? Are they helping in the management of the deployment?

Results Questions
> What hard results were expected from the deployment (quality, cost, profit, revenue, speed, etc.)?
> What results were actually achieved?
> How well do team leaders, Black Belts, Master Black Belts, etc. rate in terms of leadership skills?

Conclusion: Who Reviews and When

Keep in mind, that although each of these elements was addressed separately, in reality there will be overlap between them. That is okay because organizations typically will compile all the lessons together at the end so they can look for patterns across elements. If progress is not being made toward strategic goals, for example, it could be that there is a problem with project selection and prioritization, the numbers of projects launched and completed, or the resources used to support the projects (such as if Black Belt time is limited).

In practice, these reviews are often done through a combination of meetings (with the leadership team, Champions, Sponsors, Master Black Belts, etc.), reviews of project documentation, and internal surveys or focus groups that ask people about barriers and successes.

Most best-in-class companies perform in-depth deployment reviews annually. The trick is to find a balance between getting enough depth so that big course corrections can be made when needed, but not spending so much time and effort that it slows down the initiative. The stakes are high, so spending time and money on doing a good review is well worth the effort.