All entries for Tuesday 10 March 2009

March 10, 2009

Six sigma–initial

Since i am doing the fifth question about six sigma and lean, it is possible to say that i have decided to consider following:

overview of six sigma...overview of lean...

similarities and differences between the two and whether the one concept can contribute to the other by filling in any gaps...

is six sigma and lean in harmony... 

examine how effective integrating six sigma and lean has been (with examples where possible)...

As far as six sigma is concerned after considering various sources, it has become clear to me that it is always connected to Motorola because they implemented it to improve their manufacturing line and develop defect-free products. After Motorola implemented six sigma other mega corporations in the US adopted it such as GE, Xerox and Kodak.

Gradually as the concept of six sigma evolved it moved away from being simply a quality management tool towards becoming an entire philosophy which drives business strategy. As discussed in class I also constantly read that six sigma is  an improvement process which uses statistical tools and aims to reduce by ultimately  developing a product or service which will satisfy customers.

Apart from customer satisfaction perhaps the most beneficial element of six sigma from a business's point of view  and the aspect which has probably ensured its success, is the fact that is reduces waste and cost...meaning that it saves a business a lot of money.

As mentioned before six sigma is a improvement, process meaning that it involves the element of change, as discussed in class mainly due to the mini project on management of change and a six sigma project, there are important people implications that needs to be taken into account during the application of six sigma. Interestingly enough, in all the sources about six sigma application special mention is made towards the importance of creating the right project team, having top management commitment and involvement, providing training for the employees,  and above all establishing an environment of effective communication.


Stress and Knowledge/Performance

Considering what we discussed in class on Monday about stress and how it links to innovation/creativity and generaly speaking knowledge I did some research on stress and stress management (some valuable information can be found on the website of the American Institute of Stress, there is a separate part especially for job stress, if interested u can check it at http://www.stress.org/)

Anyway I found this figure which connects stress with human performance...I apologise for the quality of it, I am afraid I couldn't find a better one...By looking at this figure hopefully it becomes clear that the "amount" of stress experienced by an individual has a tremendous affect on the way this person is going to perform...

According to the figure total absence of stress is useless because it keeps someone in apathy and indifference...While as the stress level increases performance improves...I think we all are aware that a specific amount of stress can be useful or even advantageous  not only in terms of performance but also in aspects of everyday life, like for example a dance competition. It is the kind of stress that keeps us interested and mobilised, for example when we go to a job interview we feel very tensed but thanks to this feeling we become eager to do our best, prove that we are the best for the job and  the end all this will give a good impression. That is the good and healthy stress...

However, an overdose of stress can be catastrofic..for both performance and personal wellbeing. As shown in the figure when the amount of stress goes beyond the desired level then the result is disastrous...Anxiety and Panic take over and as a result performance goes down the drain...Unfortunately, I think that most of us have experienced this feeling and seen our performance decrease as our mental health disappears...

kissing.jpg

As far as linking the figure above and what i have mentioned until now, to knowledge I think we can simply replace the word performance on the left side with knowledge...

Just think of this, when in a year's time we are sitting in our office and feeling bored to death and in total relaxation i don't think there is any chance of approaching knowledge or making any significant contributions to the knowledge capital of he organisation.

On the other hand, with the right amount of stress I personally think that can function as a form of motivation to explore new possibilities, experiment, be creative and innovate. Provided of course, stress dosent go of the limits because then in a state of panic..agony..or even stomach aches knowledge is unreachable.

Probably a depressing example of how an overdose of stress paralyses knowledge could be a bad time managed PMA, because if I start dealing with a PMA 3 or 4 days before the deadline, my stress levels will be so high it will be impossible to actually learn something out of the whole task....


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