Structured problemsolving

Some people contend that these seven items are the principles of project management when, in fact, they are the seven principles of the total quality management program at Sprint. Project management and TQM have close similarity in leadership and team-based decision-making. According to Breyfogle,10 American managers have often conducted much of their business through an approach that is sometimes called management by results. This type of management tends to focus only on the end result, that is, process yield, gross margin, sales dollars, return on investment, and so on. Emphasis is placed on a chain of command with a hierarchy of standards, objectives, controls, and accountability. Objectives are translated into work standards or quotas that guide the performance of employees. Use of these numerical goals can cause short-term thinking, misdirected focus, fear (e.g., of a poor job performance rating), fudging the numbers, internal conflict, and blindness to customer concerns. This type of management is said to be like trying to keep a dog happy by forcibly wagging its tail.

Quality leadership is an alternative that emphasizes results by working on methods. In this type of management, every work process is studied and constantly improved so that the final product or service not only meets but exceeds customer expectations. The principles of quality leadership are customer focus, obsession with quality, effective work structure, control yet freedom (e.g., management in control of employees yet freedom given to employees), unity of purpose, process defect identification, teamwork, and education and training. These principles are more conducive to long-term thinking, correctly directed efforts, and a keen regard for the customer's interest.

Quality leadership does have a positive effect on the return on investment. In 1950, Deming described this chain reaction of getting a greater return on investment as follows: improve quality ^ decrease costs ^ improve productivity ^ decrease prices ^ increase market share in business ^ provide jobs ^ increase return on investment. Quality is not something that can be delegated to others. Management must lead the transformation process.

To give quality leadership, the historical hierarchical management structure needs to be changed to a structure that has a more unified purpose using project teams. A single per

9. Adapted from Forrest W. Breyfogle, III, Implementing Six Sigma (New York: Wiley, 1999), pp. 28-29.

10. Adapted from Forrest W. Breyfogle, III, Implementing Six Sigma (New York: Wiley, 1999), pp. 28-29.

son can make a big difference in an organization. However, one person rarely has enough knowledge or experience to understand everything within a process. Major gains in both quality and productivity can often result when a team of people pool their skills, talents, and knowledge.

Teams need to have a systematic plan to improve the process that creates mistakes/ defects, breakdowns/delays, inefficiencies, and variation. For a given work environment, management needs to create an atmosphere that supports team effort in all aspects of business. In some organizations, management may need to create a process that describes hierarchical relationships between teams, the flow of directives, how directives are transformed into action and improvements, and the degree of autonomy and responsibility of the teams. The change to quality leadership can be very difficult. It requires dedication and patience to transform an entire organization.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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