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January 11, 2010

Happy New Year

This is my first entry in 2010!!!

I handed in my second PMA yesterday.  This was the PIUSS PMA.  I think I have managed my time a bit better this time, but I still think I spent too much time on it.  I hope I can manage my time better next time.  I'll have 10 PMAs in total.  So, maybe I can treat the first two as training for beginner in time management?!  The next one is the FACS PMA.  I think this one will be better as it is mostly based on facts, based on numbers, but not concepts.  Hopefully, I won't spend too much time on it.

So far, for the last two PMA, I am so lucky that I could choose the question that I am really interested in before.  For PIUSS, I chose the one about organizational learning, which I found interesting when I did my CBE module.  I don't have much time to look into this topic because I chose to work on supplier relationship for my CBE PMA.  In fact, I really think that the aspiration of becoming a learning organization is a good practice.  When I was doing the PMA, I found one book that I really love so much.  This is my first time to like a book when I am doing the academic work.  I think the concept of organizational learning gives encouragement for me as it provides an ideal business environment.  And the book that I like really push me to work as I am practising organizational learning.  Though I still have so much to learn, I hope I can improve myself in this year and get the best from MBE.

As the new year starts, we'll start doing our project.  This would be a bigger challenge on time management.  I do not have a good time-table.  I'll only have one module for Jan, Feb and March respectively.  But I'll have 3 modules in April!!!! And the last one in May.  I really hope that I can start my project as soon as possible.


December 18, 2009

PMA

For the PIUSS PMA, I have decided to do question 6 a long time ago.  This is because I did not spend much time on organizational learning during CBE but I am really interested in this topic.

As I read more about the topic, I was getting confused what the question is actually asking for.   That's good to ask the tutor when you have questions.  Thanks Graeme.  That's good to discuss with your colleagues, too!! Thanks george, nan and hamed.

I am now creating a mindmap for my PMA.  I did this for my CBE PMA, too.   But after the lecture yesterday about mindmap, I think I can make a much better use of this skills and the software=)


November 20, 2009

PMI online learning Part 3

The PIUSS module ended today.  We learnt a lot this week but I would like to write about my final thoughts about the PMI online learning first.  This is because actually I have finished the learning on Sunday but I did not have time to write down my thinking during this busy week.  So, I must first do so or I am afraid that I'll miss some points.

During the business improvement project, we have to find out the root cause of the problem.  It requires the project team to have detailed understanding in the issue and the problem is acutally divided into very small parts.  In the example given, the late delivery problem can be improved by changing the kind of pens used to write the orders.  This is really amazing!  I didn't think of this little issue can actually affect that much.  This tells me the importance to understand our process before changing anything.  It is crucial to be clear in each step and we have to divide our problem into parts and go deep into each component.

Another important issue is the socio-emotional issue.  It is important that when we brainstorm our ideas in a group, we do not comment on others' opinion.  We should pay attention to people's feelings and encourage ideas from different point of views.  Sometimes, crazy ideas help to arouse useful solutions.

In addition, during the improvement project, the team should keep reviewing the process so that they know where they are and see if any changes they have implemented lead to improvements.

One final point is that we should learn from the business improvement process.  The skills learnt in the process help in other improvement project in the future.

To conclude, I find the business improvement process is interesting and also useful to the company.  As long as we stay on track and have a clear goal, it's not difficult to have improvement.

Cheers^^


November 14, 2009

PMI online learning Part 2

After completing part 2 of the PMI cycle, which is learning about process, I've learnt several methods or charts that is useful in the improvement process.  As it starts to have more new information and I am getting a bit disorder, I reviewed the chapters again and it's good that it didn't take long.

Studying about the process is not only to learn what is the flow of the process.  We have to link it to the customer requirements and make it useful by defining data for measurements.  After collecting the data, we should have the control chart which helps us to find out the process capability and gives us the knowledge about how the process meet the customer needs.  This is vital to help in prioritizing improvement efforts.  When we have the data in hand.  It's easy to jump to a solution.  But we must remember that this is only the learning process and shouldn't do that.

This part of the cycle helps us to have a clear guidelines on the learning process.  Whenever we face a problem, we should understand it before solving it.


November 12, 2009

Variation

Wow~ I love drawing graphs! It's more solid and tangible comparing to all those business theories and concepts, which I am not quite used to.  But of course, it's challenging to learn something new and so far I enjoy it.

We learned about variation yesterday.  The most interesting part is using the daily example, which is driving back to the campus from home, to talk about common causes and special causes.  The common cause variation is inherent in the process and has only small impact. Whilst the special cause variation has big impact but it is temporary and often avoidable.

I also learned about predictablility.  Things outside the natural limit is not predictable and the most important is we cannot know how worse can things go.  Thus, we have to improve the process so as to minimize the chance for unpredictable things happen.

How to deal with special cause variation? For example, if things become better than expected, it is good only when you know the reason why they happen and keep it and learn from it.  If something go worse than we expect, find out the reason and fix it.

So, the above knowledge is easier when we are dealing with data because we can plot graphs as the first step to learn about the issue.  I am just thinking about some daily example on how can I realize the special cause in the my life and make good use of what I've learnt to minimize variation so as to reduce risks.

Cheers!


November 10, 2009

PMI online learning Part 1

I finished the PMI online learning Part 1 about the selecting priorities last night.  I think this is an easy, convenient learning method.  I can control my time.  And the pace is good and it is very clear with the example for us to follow.  I like using this.

Alright, I am going to talk about what I have learnt in the first part of the online learning.

The PMI Improvement cycle helps improving business process.  The first stage is selecting priorities and the very fisrt step is to select a strategic issue to address.  Sometimes, when we realize there are some problems in the business process, we deal with them all together.  But it doesn't work because you aim at solving the problem without understanding.  Thus, we need to focus on one particular issue at a time to study and find out the solution through understanding.  This makes me think of the mini-projects for CBE.  When I first got the 6 mini-projects questions, I just wanted to learn all the module materials online so that I might be able to answer the question.  My problem was I did not focus on particular topic or model to learn and it's not effective as I didn't have a learning direction.  After the first meeting with my teammates, I learnt that we could deal with the questions one by one and that made things easier for me.  I think it is, in fact, a simple theory.  But human tends to forget the most fundamental knowledge.  I keep in mind this experience and I think this helps me in dealing with multiple tasks.  In last two weeks, I was busy with the project proposal, study skills assignment and PMA.  I priortize these things and so far I feel quite good to handle these one by one.  Of course, sometimes when I got bored in writing the study skills assignment, I read materials for the project.  But I think I was more focus at a time when I am doing a particular thing.  So, that's good, right?!:-)

Then, I have also learnt the project charter, SIPOC, project contract and so.

Another thing that I found interesting about is the people involved in the improvement process.  This is important to include different levels from the company.  Communication is essential.  I think this is easy for a small company like in the example.  I just doubt about how possible can we do it in a big company?  I remember what I learnt about the learning organization. Paul told us to change the company culture within our own department first and then to influence the whole company.  This is very ideal and I think it needs strong belief in this philosophy and has to insist on it.  This is challenging.

Just a quick thoughts about business process improvement.  I used to think that after realizing the problem, what next should be finding a solution.  I don't know the improvement actually takes a period of time and that can be several months.  That's interesting.  Though it's much more complex than what I thought, I think what I learnt so far do helps a lot and are very useful.^^

Reference:
Actually, I am not sure how to write the reference for the PMI online learning.  Could anyone help me?
Sorry for missing the reference at this moment.


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