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Focusing Methods

Theory of Constraints and 80:20 principle: When managers need a focusing method, they should collect data and use it effectively. Two focusing methods which are commonly used are The 80-20 principle and the Theory of Constraints.

1. The 80-20 principle – states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.

If we are able to find those vital few that contribute to most of the delays or delays or time spent, we can try to find methods to address them. This requires data collection and preparation of a Pareto chart.
► A hospital may like to know which of the complaints are most frequent at the OPD.
► A manufacturing company would like to find what contributes most of their inventory cost.
► A boutique may like to know which type of designs is most demanded.
► An ice-cream parlour may like to know which types are most sold and should be promoted, displayed or stacked better.

2. Theory of Constraints – states that, any manageable system is limited in achieving more of its goals by a very small number of constraints, and that there is always at least one constraint.

In simple words, a step is called a constraint if its inflow rate is more than its outflow rate. For example –
► If there is a queue in a billing counter but all other steps are smooth flowing, (as found in a mall on a weekend), the billing step is a constraint.
► If a machine commonly has unfinished inventory before the operation and no inventory after the operation, the machine’s step is a constraint.

The important learning from TOC are -
► If we improve processes or steps that are not constraints in the system, then we are probably wasting our resources and the business impact of change is not going to be felt.
► Once you remove a constraint from the system, another constraint appears. The constraints keep shifting but never disappear altogether.
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Points in Communications Management

Stakeholders Classification Models:
1. Power/Interest Grid (Authority/Concern) .
2. Power/Influence Grid (Authority/Involvement)
3. Influence/Impact Grid (Influence/Ability to effect Planning & Execution)
4. Salience Model - describing classes of stakeholders based on their Power, Urgency and Legitimacy.
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Points in HR Management

Matrix (RAM - Responsibility Assignment Matrix) which displays work packages in the rows and roles in the columns - Popular Type is RACI chart - R-Responsible; A-Accountable; C-Consult; I-Inform. It is important when team consists of Internal and External Resources.
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Points in Quality Management

Quality is "the degree to which a set of inherent characteristics fulfill requirements."

Decisions made about quality can have a significant impact on other decisions such as scope, time, cost, and risk. Most Project Management Practitioners view SCOPE and QUALITY as NSEPARABLE. If Quality Policy doesn't exist, the Project Team should write one for this project. "Determine WHAT the quality standards for the project will be and document and HOW the project will be measured for compliance".
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Points in Cost Management

Cost of Quality: Cost that is incurred to achieve required quality.
Stranded/Sunk Costs: costs uncured that cannot be reversed irrespective to future events.
Value Engineering/ Analysis: Doing the same work for less. E.g. outsourcing
Marginal analysis: Spend time on improvement if it improves revenues or productivity.
Determine Budget (Cost Performance Baseline): The process of aggregating the estimated costs of individual activities or work packages to establish an authorized cost baseline.

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Points in Risk Management

Risk Management Plan defines WHAT LEVEL of risk will be considered tolerable for the project, HOW risk will be managed, WHO will be responsible for risk activities, the AMOUNTS OF TIME and COST that will be allotted to risk activities, and HOW risk findings will be COMMUNICATED.
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Points in Time Management

Rolling wave planning: Lets you plan as you go.
Planning Package (placeholder put between control accounts and work packages).
The 3 types of predecessors:• Mandatory Predecessors(Hard logic)• Discretionary Predecessors(Preferred logic, Soft logic)• External Predecessors.
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Points in Scope Management

Its a presentation of logical processes to understand requirements, define, break- down, and control the scope of the project, and verify that the project was completed correctly. The Project Manager should always be in control of scope through rigid management of the requirements, details, and processes, and scope changes should be handled in a structured, procedural, and controlled manner.
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Develop Project Charter

The process of developing a document that formally authorize a project or a phase and documenting initial requirements that satisfy the stakeholder's needs and expectations. The initiator's (sponsor) signature on the Charter authorizes the project. The approved Project Charter formally initiates the project.
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1. It helps to establish and maintain expectations between team members, stakeholders and customers. This should help to reduce the volume of the “Are we there yet?” requests from those outside of the project team.
2. It helps functional managers achieve some measure of predictability around resource allocation. In organizations where staff work concurrently on projects and operations, it can be very challenging for functional managers to plan for the peaks and troughs of day-to-day activities. Improved visibility into the demand from projects can at least remove one variable from this complex equation. It can also help functional managers keep project managers honest by confirming when team members are expected to be released from projects.
3. It should help the customer and project sponsor sleep better at night! If the customer or sponsor are relying on the project manager telling them everything is on track without a method of objectively assessing that, they are likely in for an unpleasant surprise.
4. It can provide protection to the project team if the sponsor or customer requests a change that cannot be accommodated without unnatural behaviors.
5. It helps to pull everyone’s (that includes the project manager!) head up from getting too focused on the most immediate critical milestone, and helps to remind them that the current battle is just one campaign of a much bigger war.
Project schedules are detailed directions for traveling to a faraway land. In their absence, if the extent of one’s geographic knowledge is limited to what you can see or the places one has visited (and remembers!), it can become challenging to visit new destinations in a predictable fashion.
Running a project of even moderate complexity without a schedule is similar to navigating with those maps of old that indicated “Here be dragons”!
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Evolve & Transform Client Services

Client Services
More and more service providers are beginning to understand the need for support & services to evolve with the needs of their clients & businesses. By re-conceptualizing the client experience, many are actually strengthening client relationships through faster issue resolution. 
More often than not, the solution may be as simple as adding web-based video and chat or publishing known issue resolutions for instant access by clients and partners. Transform the client services experience by:
✎ Evolving most easy-to-use online resources, tools, and knowledge bases.
✎ Learning about reduced time to resolution and seamless support experience.
✎ Supporting complex communications and mission-critical networks.
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CMMI Vs. ITIL

CMMI Vs. ITIL

CMMI and ITIL are two distinctly different maturity models. The fundamental difference between CMMI vs ITIL is that while CMMI focuses on software process maturity, ITIL is broader in scope and focus on all areas of infrastructure, including software and hardware.

Origins

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU)’s Software Engineering Institute developed the first Capability Maturity Model (CMM) in 1990, and followed it up with the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) that integrated multiple CMMs.

The United Kingdom’s Office of Government Commerce (OGC) developed the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) in 1986 to provide guidance for service management. These set of guidelines has since then emerged as the international de facto standard framework of best practices for IT service management and infrastructure. ITIL originated as a collection of books, each covering a specific practice within the IT service management.
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CMMI - Development

Maturity Levels: CMMI for Development
There are five maturity levels. However, maturity level ratings are awarded for levels 2 through 5. The process areas below and their maturity levels are listed for the CMMI for Development model:

Maturity Level 2 - Managed
✔ CM - Configuration Management
✔ MA - Measurement and Analysis
✔ PMC - Project Monitoring and Control
✔ PP - Project Planning
✔ PPQA - Process and Product Quality Assurance
✔ REQM - Requirements Management
✔ SAM - Supplier Agreement Management

Maturity Level 3 - Defined
✔ DAR - Decision Analysis and Resolution
✔ IPM - Integrated Project Management
✔ OPD - Organizational Process Definition
✔ OPF - Organizational Process Focus
✔ OT - Organizational Training
✔ PI - Product Integration
✔ RD - Requirements Development
✔ RSKM - Risk Management
✔ TS - Technical Solution
✔ VAL - Validation
✔ VER - Verification

Maturity Level 4 - Quantitatively Managed
✔ OPP - Organizational Process Performance
✔ QPM - Quantitative Project Management

Maturity Level 5 - Optimizing
✔ CAR - Causal Analysis and Resolution
✔ OPM - Organizational Performance Management
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CMMI - Services

Maturity Levels: CMMI for Services

The process areas below and their maturity levels are listed for the CMMI for Services model:

Maturity Level 2 - Managed
✔ CM - Configuration Management
✔ MA - Measurement and Analysis
✔ PPQA - Process and Product Quality Assurance
✔ REQM - Requirements Management
✔ SAM - Supplier Agreement Management
✔ SD - Service Delivery
✔ WMC - Work Monitoring and Control
✔ WP - Work Planning

Maturity Level 3 - Defined
✔ CAM - Capacity and Availability Management
✔ DAR - Decision Analysis and Resolution
✔ IRP - Incident Resolution and Prevention
✔ IWM - Integrated Work Management
✔ OPD - Organizational Process Definition
✔ OPF - Organizational Process Focus
✔ OT - Organizational Training
✔ RSKM - Risk Management
✔ SCON - Service Continuity
✔ SSD - Service System Development
✔ SST - Service System Transition
✔ STSM - Strategic Service Management

Maturity Level 4 - Quantitatively Managed
✔ OPP - Organizational Process Performance
✔ QPM - Quantitative Project Management

Maturity Level 5 - Optimizing
✔ CAR - Causal Analysis and Resolution
✔ OPM - Organizational Performance Management
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Managers & Leaders

In Leading Change, the Leaders as Chief Transformation Officer, Warren Bennis said, “Management is getting people to do what needs to be done. Leadership is getting people to want to do what needs to be done. Managers push. Leaders pull. Managers command. Leaders communication.”
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Control Techniques

The choice of control technique may be project specific.
As a guideline, the following techniques may be useful in Transactional environments.

1. Control Charts - To monitor process performance over time and diagnose/correct if process go out of control or shows alarm signals. For transactional environments, c and u charts or p and np charts may be useful to track attribute (count) (eg., invoicing defects, non-compliant insurance claims, etc.,). If you are monitoring a "variable" characteristic (like cycle time, cost etc) the Xbar-R, X-MR, XBar-S may be handy.

2. If human generated errors are a large component, a choice of poka-yoke (Mistake proofing) tools can be utilized. Simple methods like templates, checklists, work sequencing, introducing validation in software programs, input control (making tick / check box forms instead of narrative fields) can help minimize data errors. Along with with visual alerts/controls and ongoingtraining, these techniques can be very valuable to reduce defect rates. If there is scope to redesign/optimize the process during /before transition phase, one can incorporate mistake proofing techniques by "design" as part of the process itself. A credible incentive / penalty system may be be a complementing enabler to enhance process performance.

3. Standardization in the form of SOPs, Process Flow diagrams, Training, Audits and effective communication through various means (electronic, softboard posters, visual displays) can help to ensure the standards are well understood and practised. Concurrent interaction with client representatives will give the opportunity to pick up any new issues that may come up that may also require standardization.
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Six Sigma

Six Sigma implies that organizations deliver defect free products and services to their customers.

"Defect" is an occurrence where the product or services fail to meet "Customer Specifications" or "Business Specifications". For e.g., if you board a flight and it is expected to reach the destination airport at 8.00 pm. but reaches late, then a defect may be considered to have occurred.

Lower defect rates in the delivery of a product or service implies (better) higher Sigma levels. A 6 (Six) Sigma level signifies very low defect rate (i.e., just 3 times reaching late out of a million trips run - as in our example above).

A key tenet of Six Sigma is "defects" are caused due to "variation" in the process. The key focus of Six Sigma initiatives hence is to reduce "variation" and thereby reduce defects and achieve superior Sigma levels in the product or service delivery processes.

Organizations have successfully utilized Six Sigma philosophy and methods to understand their current level of performance, follow the "DMAIC" roadmap to improve the process (i.e, reduce process variation), cut defect rates and thereby enhance customer satisfaction and business results performance.

DMAIC stands for Define - Measure - Analyze - Improve - Control.
A structured understanding of Six Sigma performance improvement philosophy and methodology can be acquired via formal training and certification programs so that professionals get equipped to improve business and organizational processes, reduce defects and deliver enhanced customer satisfaction and business results.
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