iSixSigma

Project Rigor Versus Project Cycle Time

For the Army deployment, this is ” the year of production.” We are in full swing of BB and GB training plus project completion for certification. The work in progress is pretty high. We have a full pipeline of newly trained belts itching to do projects. But with a constraint to complete x number by the end of the year, do we accept lower project rigor in order to finish? Then increase the rigor as we go along? Or do we ensure belts really understand how to go from “soup to nuts” on a project before releasing them into the wild?

Surely project mentoring is a huge part of the equation, but will we end up mentoring more once they are done or less? What is the right mix?

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Comments 3

  1. Mike Carnell

    This goes back to several other questions you have posted. Your people aren’t there everyday as they are in other companies. Their time to work on projects is less and now you are in a time crunch. When you posted your other Blogs you were told to decide what you were going to do differently and now the option is to "teach shortcutting."

    Whay would you believe that if you allow short cuts in the certification process that 1. you can go back and unteach it 2. that your certification has any integrity at all if you are willing to bend the criteria to meet a certification deadline.

    This goes back to the old saying "when you are digging yourself into a hole the first thing to do is stop digging."

    Your whole issue is you have place a time constraint (basically a specification without any thought behind it beyond it being traditional) on people who do not work the same times and other deployments. If you change it now (rather than when you should have changed it at the beginning) you are going to look manipulative rather than honest.

    Stop making this a "we’re different" issue. Apologize for screwing it up when you had a chance to fix it. Make the time longer and teach people to do projects correctly.

    Mentoring is critical – do it right.

    Good luck.

    PS: Tell that guy that sits 2 desks down from you to read the last few posts before he sends me another "you don’t understand" post. This is the same thing I told you two before you painted yourselves into a corner.

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  2. Laylah

    Why would you want to do a disservice to your BB by not making sure they have all the nuts and bolts before sending them out into the world? Being a BB in an organization – any organization – that has newly deployed (especially your first batch) can be similar to being sent to the wolves. Give them the *$&% tools to know how to handle and tame the wolves.

    Additionally it’s critical to success that the BBs know what they are doing, otherwise no one will trust the program – orders from superiors to do so being irrelevant. Otherwise you’re setting everyone up to look like cut rate hacks and idiots and you simply will not achieve the results you could have.

    Ditto what the previous coomentor said, by cutting corners you garner bad habits that will continue to deteriorate any potential for success as you go along.

    Mentoring should support, reinforce, and expand solid training, not try to compensate for truncated training.

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  3. Dr. James P. Ignizio

    To someone who has been (successfully) implementing what is now called Lean and Six Sigma for more than three decades, this is an interesting thread.

    It’s also similar if not identical to the questions raised on other performance improvement sites – as well as to the questions that are raised whenever I teach Lean, Lean-Plus, Six-Sigma, and OR.

    My response has always been to answer with a question of my own: "Just how long do you believe it takes to educate and train someone in performance improvement?"

    When I get answers such as a day, a week, or two weeks I know that my work is cut out for me. And whenever I find that no one in the class (or company, or organization) can explain the Scientific Basis for these concepts – as well as their Scope AND Limitations – I can determine just what topics to place the most emphasis on.

    The reason for the high failure/disappointment rate of these methods (e.g., greater than 60 percent per recent surveys) is most generally not because of problems with the methods – it is more likely with those who try to implement such methods without the all-important recognition of their limitations.

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