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Overcoming Challenges To Project Realization

Jun 6, 2008
Problems in realization arise for various reasons. Often, the team leader does not involve the right process owners from the beginning in the projects. At times, they also do not get the cooperation from all areas or departments.

If any department responsible for the failure of a project is not held accountable for it, that department or area sets other priorities. Above all, if there is neither a beginning to an end owner, nor a transition owner to hand over the project to, then it will be a major failure.

Additionally, resistance to change will always exist in any organization.

To overcome these challenges, the Black Belt can use some of these techniques:

Early Victory: To energize people and ensure their participation, try some quick wins. Find a simple process for change, which can be implemented immediately and shows some effect on defect, wastes and cycle time. These early victories will develop an eagerness to go with the further process.

Form Good Relationships: The Black Belt will have to develop a good relationship with key players in the company. They will have to use their interpersonal skills, and develop some common interest with key players to build up a good rapport with them.

This socializing will allow the Black Belt to find out how accessible and responsive others are, so that plans for the project can be made accordingly.

Fix Issues: There may sometimes be small issues with the key players. The Black Belt should make an effort and solve them in the early stages of the project, so that they do not crop up again in future phases.

Identify Financial Savings: If the financial savings to the company are clearly identified, most people will be open to changes.

Success: If a project is well done, the results will be seen. Black Belts should ensure that successes are given the attention they deserve. This will also bring respect for the Black Belt as a person who gets things done.

Support from the Champion: Black Belts will have to get all necessary help from the Champion when needed.

Escalate Matters When Needed: There may be some areas, departments or employees who are causing some problems. These should be sorted out by escalating the matter to higher management.

IT Solutions: Some projects may be dependent on the IT infrastructure for solutions. It is important to get these resources on time, which may also be delayed due to the cost involved. Find smaller IT solutions, so that they become acceptable and achievable.

Implementation Team readiness: If a project involves large number of actions to be taken or if they are complex, then the Black Belts should have regular meetings with key members, get agreement on the tasks, set completion dates and see to it they are achieved. This will facilitate easier flow of work during implementation.

Send Control Charts: It is imperative that a large number of people are shown the control charts regularly. If the chart shows no process shift, then they will be motivated to work harder to achieve them.

Use Scorecards to Monitor Process: Scorecards - or dashboards - should be regularly updated with the team's metrics. They indicate any defects and processes that are below targets. If all members, right from the executive level are made aware, then they would take those extra efforts to overcome them.

Any challenging project situation should be faced professionally, persistently and patiently - increasing the chances of success.
About the Author
Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution's Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for six sigma professionals including, lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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