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Microsoft Accelerator for Six Sigma

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  • #34604

    EdG
    Participant

    Two questions for anyone that has had the opportunity to test or utilize Microsoft’s Accelerator for Six Sigma:
    1)  How good or poor would you rate this product?  Greatest thing since MiniTab…  Not very useful…
    2)  How are the templates contained within the product?  – Can anyone provide a copy of the templates saved in Office/Project 2000 format for evaluation?  Would really like to see the Project Charter, the Cause and Effects Matrix, the QFD template and DMAIC tollgate reviews before I attempt to convince the IT department that this is a “must have”. 

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    #95602

    Ang
    Participant

    I believe that this is a free download from Microsoft.
    However, to use this product Microsoft states that you need to have a number of server products installed and recommends a Microsoft Partner be employed to install and configure!
    Not having seen it I can’t tell you how good (or bad) it is.
    Peter

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    #95639

    EdG
    Participant

    Yes, I noticed it was free (a really good thing) but I was asking for feedback on what others think becasue:
    1) The templates are for 2003 products, which we don’t have.  – I can’t simply “take a look”.
    2) Not being an IT type, it sounded like it would take sometime to set-up and I didn’t want to ask our IT  Dept to do this just to see something that is not worthwhile or won’t be used.
    So, I was hoping to learn from others experiences.

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    #95756

    Jro
    Participant

    This is a rather decent system for aggregating results across an enterprise.  It’s worth the effort if you have a lot of SS activities.
    It’s also IT-intensive.  The server products (note: plural!) it is based on require administrative oversight.  Having a Partner of MS install this isn’t just a recommendation; unless your IT dept. has ample time on their hands, deploying this system is a project unto itself.

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    #95758

    DJ
    Participant

    The accelerator is free, but you need to have loads of other MS stuff to be able to use it (MS Project professional, MS Project server, Windows 2000 Server, SQL Server etc, Sharepoint etc).  If you have these already it may make sense – but when I looked it became very expensive and the implementation a nightmare.  This may affect the views of your IT dept!
    There was a co at the Miami summit with a web-based application that seemed more pertinent to SS including templates etc if you wnated them.  They were called i-solutions and seemed to be very busy.

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    #95779

    Joe Sener
    Participant

    Check out the Instantis product. We found it very usable and extremely competent. The enterprise wide deployment costs were very reasonable.

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    #95781

    P. When
    Participant

    Please don’t take offense, but can we stay focused on the topic? I am very interested in following this thread for my corporation, but we don’t need promotions for other products. There is plenty of information on iSS about the other products, but there is little about the benefits and pitfalls of MS Accelerator. I am interested in learning about Accelerator. Please no offense intended.
    P. When

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    #95783

    Savage
    Participant

    Sorry P. When,
    This is a public forum with free exchange of ideas.  You’re going to see all viewpoints and experience different opinions.
    You’re just going to have to sort through what you don’t like.

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    #95791

    webegeek
    Member

    I saw the introduction of this product at an MPUG meeting last year. The others pointed out something very important – this is really IT intensive and a major undertaking. You must dedicate a server, load up three or four other products in a very specific order, then you can load up the Accelerator. Then, if you are using MS Project Server, they recommend you use another server with all the different products running. Lots of hardware and software can be involved. But you are not done because the Accelerator is designed to be programmed to do what you want it to do. In other words, you don’t just install the CD like Word or Excel or Minitab and away you go. Think more like a Visual Basic to Basic comparison. It is an ‘accelerator’ because it does some of the behind the scenes programming for you but you still need to ‘create’ what your company needs. There is a whole cottage industry building specializing in programming accelerator. That is why they recommend hiring a partner who specializes in it. Best bet is to contact 3 or 4 partners, then go out and see current installations of theirs and talk to those companies about what was involved, then bring your decision makers and IT people to see it. And, in most cases, it would be wise not to let the IT people decide they could do it internally.All that aside, it does provide a wonderful tie in with MS Project and gives a wonderful dashboard including red/yellow/green lights and dollars so the C Levels can get a one screen look at how things are moving.

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    #95792

    Clarke
    Participant

    Webegeek,
    That’s great feedback on the product. We were discussing this in our latest quality coucil since we have some of the software already. Your advice to contact some of their partners and see (for ourselves) an installed instance is excellent.
    Charlotte

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    #95796

    webegeek
    Member

    thank you. it was a pleasure to contribute something back after all the great advice I’ve received.

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    #95799

    Dario Acosta
    Participant

    MS Accelerator is a great tool integrator, I’ve implemented it in two of my customer’s sites and after that the six sigma initiative has become clear and easy to all , executives, black belts, team members and me.
    The wisdom is: first ensure MS-Project is running ok, then incorporate SharePoint Team Services, and test they can colaborate. After that, implement SMASS.
    The top secret is: the DOTNET Framework has a “hidden” system user responsible of the internal colaboration between applications. This user should has permissions for all applications.
    Please let me know if you have any specific doubt…. or If you don´t want to enter in a complicated technical process and start getting the benefits of the accelerator, we can provide this kind of service in this specific solution as a MS certified partner. my e-mail is: [email protected]
    best regards
     

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    #95808

    Isabel
    Participant

    Can anybody tell me where can I download from a demo of Microsoft Accelerator for Six Sigma.
    Thanks.
    Isabel

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    #95811

    Rafael
    Participant
    #95826

    Rosario
    Participant

    I thought you weren’t supposed to promote services on these discussion groups?
    If we’ve established that the accelerator may be free, surely the implementation costs of these ‘integrators’ and all the associated set up must more than make up for this?
    You don’t get anything for free in this world!!

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    #95827

    Ang
    Participant

    This is not a demo but a copy of the product, but it does list all the requirements:
    Server requirements:

    Windows® 2000 Server
    SQL™ Server 2000
    Microsoft Project Server 2002
    SharePoint Team Services
    Client requirements:Office XP Professional
    Microsoft Project Professional 2002
    Microsoft Project Web Access
    Correct me if I’m wrong but everybody in the deployment needs all this? If I’ve got 100 belts, I need 100 copies??

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    #95829

    EdG
    Participant

    My interpretation, right or wrong, was that however many servers you have need that many copies of the server software and however many clients (BBs, GBs, etc) you have need that many copies of the Office, Project, Windows.
    Because of this, I simply cannot download MASS at home with my lone laptop and “see” how things work and if the templates offered are worth the effort of convincing my IT Department that this is a “must have”.  Also, I read that the templates work with Office/Project 2003 – and I only have 2000.
    Because of this, I was hoping that there were people out in cyberspace that have seen this and could offer up some advice.  And if I get really lucky, they could possibly post a few of the templates in 2000 version so that I could see what they look like and how user friendly they are.
    Hopefully some more input will occur over the next few days with more suggestions, recommendations, and feedback.

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    #95863

    boettler
    Member

    I have implemented this at a number of clients with great success.  Its value is not in the tools – they are pretty vanilla – I typically rip these out and put in whatever my client is already using.  The real value is in the process guidance, ready access to the tool library, team collaboration, and exec dashboards.  This application differs from others out on the market in that there is value to the BB/GB and the project team, not just to the execs.
    You are right about the downloads – these are for the software which must be installed on an enterprise platform to work.  There are a couple options for you to “kick the tires”:
    – download the flash demo from the Microsoft site:  about 30 minutes of content complete with voice overlay and screen shots
    – get a Virtual PC demo image on a DVD:  this is basically the entire enterprise platform running in a self contained application that emulates the servers,etc.  It’s very slow, but fully functional.  Also, you need special software on your PC to run it (Microsoft Virtual PC).
    – get a one-on-one web demo from Microsoft
    You will definitely need to get IT and/or an implementation partner involved to deploy this.
    The Six Sigma Accelerator is “free”, but does require a number of other Microsoft products.  Typically companies already own most of the software from what I have seen …again, you’ll need to check with IT to see what you already own.
    Rob

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    #95951

    MWillsUK
    Participant

    We seriously looked at implementing Accelerator for SS towards the end of last year but had insufficient budget to go ahead with it. We did however learn a lot about the product and its capabilities – which have already been touched on.
    The route we adopted to learn more about the tool was to start with an in-house demo from MS which was extremely informative for both pro’s and con’s, and then collaborated with a MS Partner to determine an appropriate implementation path (including costs) as we already had Project Server implemented.
    I would like to provide the following insights:

    you do need MS Project Server (Project Professional, Project Server, Project Web Access, SharePoint, etc.) to be installed and implemented – not an easy task, I assure you!
    Accelerator is a variant of the standard Project Server product in that it has specific customizations already pre-installed that provides SS specific features
    If you have Project Server installed already, an installation of Accelerator will overwrite that installation – it will probably blow away your own customizations, especially if you have used the same custom fields.
    Accelerator (like Project Server) relies on updated information being fed from Project Professional [and Project Web Access] for all projects/work being undertaken
    Schedule managers (BB’s & GB’s) require individual Project Professional licenses, other users (team members, champions, etc.) require individual Client Access Licenses
    Schedule managers need to be competent in using MS Project and there needs to be organizational standards in place to provide consistency in the data fed to Project Server. This may lead to a high learning curve at the beginning of the implementation.
    Organizations need to provide adequate commitment and support to ensure a successful implementation. There is an ongoing need for administration, customization, training, etc. (especially as senior management discover the full capabilities of a tool such as this)
    For most organizations, successful implementation requires a change in culture, and we all know how difficult that can be to accomplish!
    Accelerator can be, and has been, successfully implemented but requires adequate planning, support and commitment. Without these being in place, it could turn into a costly failure.

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