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Discuss about the Continuous Improvement Plan.

The research paper I am writing aims to find a management solution to a firm facing challenges in managing a newly acquired enterprise. They insist that there is generally negative feedback from the clients concerning services offered as well as deterioration in the quality of the products by the company since the take-over from the previous owner.  One major aspect is finding the cause of the downfall of the firm since the management claim to have made little to no changes from the previous regime including manpower and the negative impacts are still rampant. As such, the appropriate methodology to be used will be discussed to provide an elaborate plan to our client on particulars of solving similar matters in the future. Consequently, the client will be provided with the findings and the solution to the problem as well as specific activities they should implement to reverse the problem and maintain success.

A continuous improvement plan is a tool used by businesses to ensure that they attain and retain success in their endeavors. Sokovic et al (2009 p.1) insisted that for the process to achieve the objective in which it was meant, it must be actively implemented with company management with assistance from experts to monitor progress. However, he insists that a tool to be employed for this activity must be evaluated to determine the type of impact it will have on the process since they are not all equally productive on all types of businesses one might work well for one process while might fail on another (Mercelino-Sadaba, et al 2014 p.329) .  There are seven basic tools used in the process although there can be a lot more, they all fit at least in one of the seven categories (Magar and Shinde 2014 p.364). The tools include but are not limited to flow charts, control charts as well as histograms (Sokovic 2009, p.1). their role is mainly comparing progress or seasons graphically such that the role of following up on the trends is simplified (Sokovic et al 2009, p1). As such, the basic aspects that must be considered is the type of business and most workable plan which stakeholders are comfortable to work with and in order to reach specific goals.

The tools might be used for different purposes which may include research activities like collecting data or for analyzing the collected information (Sokovic et al 2009, p.2). These might include charts, histograms and graphs and the type used is determined by the task at hand (Betsou 2013, p.4).

Methods of Solving the Problems

The company should carry out research to find out what factors have led to the failure to perform the operation (Pich, Loch and Meyer 2002 p.2). In this case, of the method of identifying the challenges was assessing the client’s complains as the primary source of information. Their feedback should be valued because they are the consumers and the drop in performance is as a result of the loss of confidence in their products. In addition, the employees are said to have been retained hence they might have an insight about what changed from the previous era to the current one in order to improve on these areas. Consequently, the engagement environment should be set in a manner that they feel that their input is valuable which will likely boost their sense of ownership thus improving their performance. In addition, they should review their records in terms of the performance over the time to come up with a conclusive report about timelines and compare to the business activities at the specific period to evaluate if there is any trend that can be identified for the sake of improvement plan.

  • There is lack of cohesion within departments in the firm
  • The company has not set up a plan to direct their activities with an aim of progress management and monitoring
  • The quality of equipment provided to the clients was poor to an extent that they would fail to operate as compared to the standards they got from the company in the previous years.
  • The design of the machinery was distasteful and they did not get any post-purchase services from the company as it is expected in the industry.
  • Complaints and other concerns raised by clients were not attended to in material time causing clients to look out for other options that prioritize their needs.
  • They also recorded delivery of wrong products from the client indicating employees were not keen.
  • Lastly, they insisted that the customer service team did not provide feedback on inquiries when required.

Implementation of the plan could be achieved through efforts to get total quality after integrating all the participants in the business (Sallis 2014, p.3). Based on the above scenario, it can be concluded that the production team has failed or neglected to pay attention to the standard quality of the commodities they produced. Additionally, it was found that the designs were sometimes not in the acceptable manner they were used to. Therefore, they should take responsibility as stipulated by the employment contract signed with the company to warn others that might be considering slandering the name of the company in a similar manner. However, the company should consider if there are activities beyond the employee within the premises that may have resulted in the vice. As such, the right intervention would include giving the worker a chance to explain and only let them pay for the mistake if it resulted from intentional neglect.

The other issue discovered was a slow response or lack of the same from the designated personnel on the matters that were raised. Right disciplinary action should be implemented as done for any individual found to have intentionally sabotaged the company name. However, the company should look at what part they have played in demotivating their workers. They should carry out a survey to understand what they fail to do for the employees that were done during the period when business performance was impeccable. In addition, they should revise work schedule while comparing it to the previous owners to find out if there are parts of the current regime that allows for the type of failures being experienced. They should carry out the exercise with an aim of putting in place workable solutions (Gardner et al 2010).

Assumptions


The first activity in the proposed Deming’s quality cycle is planning on the specific problem areas and deciding specific aspects that require being altered for the change the company is looking for (Sokovic, Pavletic, and Kern Pipan 2010, p.477). To follow up what has been laid out on the table is actualizing it by employing necessary means and involving the right people in their role to act according to what is agreed upon. Consequently, the company should actively enquire if the changes work in line with what they were implemented to accomplish (Moen and Norman 2010, p.26). As a result of the verification process, a decision can be reached by the group such that if the change brought about anticipated progress then it is allowed to work to the completion while the contrary leads to going back to the planning process until the desired result is attained (Moen and Norman 2006, p.7).

Antony, Kumar, and Madu (2005 p.863) insist that the use of six sigma techniques is an effective way of gaining and maintaining constant progress through the duration when the same is employed. The components include management involvement which indicates that it is necessary to involve players at the managerial levels in contribution to the management processes that would benefit the enterprise if there is a need for change as well their response about the effectiveness of the said interventions. Another aspect that plays important role in the process is considering the infrastructure of the organization to align it with the expected outputs (Arnheiter and Maleyeff 2005 p.206). Apparently, the technology in place within an organization can be a limiting factor hence should be considered in case the business considers making changes since they must depend on it. The third aspect touches on matters relating to training because, with the same personnel, certain changes may be impossible to put in place with their skill set especially if the intervention is a new technique in the market (Pyzdek and Keller 2014 p.25). The last of the interventions is the statistical tools to be used in the whole process (Jeyaraman and Kee Teo 2013 p.3). The component is necessary for the common determinant of whether the other three are working or not hence if not well thought out, may result in a long process that is impossible to verify. Ability to self-assess is essential since it provides the guideline for progress (Linderman et al 2003 p.1).

Evidence Collected

Harry and Schroeder (2005 p.2) insinuate that sigma six components should follow a systematic process in the actualization process guided by five activities. These include defining the changes that are intended to be harnessed followed by measuring the specific extent at which the parties are willing to invest time and resources in the program. Analysis of the process provides a guideline of the improvement and conclusion of the process is taking control to maintain equilibrium suitable for long-term business operations. At this point, businesses are aware of the specific interventions as well as their strength and weakness points and can handle challenges on their own as well as come up with convenient solutions in the time of adversity.

The company should learn how to identify the loopholes in the operation and determine the possible cause of the same. Consequently, they should understand intervention measures to terminate the problems as well as learn specific methodologies of ensuring that once the progress is made, it can be contained and the past mistakes are not to be repeated.

Conclusion

Given all the management interventions offered in the paper, the company should be able to identify the root cause of the challenges they face. In addition, the social cohesion should improve such that all stakeholders work as a unit with a common goal (Barkinshaw and Sheehan 2002 p.25). Equally, when issues arise, they should employ the specified techniques provided to reduce or terminate them. The interventions they employ should be long-term or ones they are able to manipulate to their advantage to guide the business in the intended direction.

References

Antony, J. Kumar, M. and Madu, C. N., 2005. Six sigma in small-and-medium-sized UK manufacturing enterprises: Some empirical observations. International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, 22(8), 860-874.

Arnheiter, E. D. and Maleyeff, J., 2005. The integration of lean management and six sigma. The TQM magazine, 17(1), pp. 5-18.

Birkinshaw, J. and Sheehan, T., 2002. Managing the knowledge life cycle. MIT Slogan management review, 44(1), p.75.

Betsou, F. Gunter, E. Clements, J. DeSouza, Y. Goddard, K. A. Guadagni, F. … and Chuaqui, R., 2013. Identification of evidence-based bio-specimen quality-control tools: a report of the international Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER) Biospecimen Science Working Group. The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics 15(1), 3-16.

Chadha. R., 2017. Value through continuous improvement. Faima Business & Management Journal, 5(1), 40.

Gardner, K. L. Dowden, M. Togni, S. and Bailie, R., 2010. Understanding uptake of continuous quality improvement in Indegenous primary health care :  lessons from a multi-site case study of the Audit and Best Practice for Chronic Disease project. Implementation Science, 5(1), 21.

Harry, M. and Schoroeder R. R., 2005. Six Sigma: The breakthrough management strategy revolutionizing the world’s top corporations. Broadway Business.

Jeyaraman, K., and Leam Teo. 2010. A conceptual framework for critical success factors of lean Six Sigma: Implementation on the performance of electronic manufacturing service industry. International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, 1(3), 191-215.

Kerzner, H. 2013. Project management: a systems approach to planning, scheduling, and controlling. John Willey & Sons, 2013.

Linderman, K. Schroeder, R. G. Zaheer, S. and Choo, A. S., 2003. Six sigma: a goal-theoretic perspective. Journal of Operations management, 21(2), pp. 193-203.

Magar, V. M. and Shinde, V. B., 2014. Application of 7 Quality Control (7QC) Tools for Continous Improvement of Manufacturing Processes. International Journal of Engineering Research and General Science, 2(4), 364-371.

Mercelino-Sadaba, S. Perez-Ezcurdia, A. Lazcano, A. M. E. and Villanueva., 2014. Project risk management methodology for small firms. International Journal of project Management, 32(2), 327-340.

Moen, R. D. and Norman C. L., 2010. Circling back. Quality Progress, 43(11), p.22.

 Moen, R. D. and Norman C. L., 2006. Evolution of the PDCA cycle.

Pich, M. T. Loch, C. H. and Meyer, A. D., 2002. On uncertainty, ambiguity, and complexity in project management. Management science, 48(8), 1008-1023.

Pyzdek, T. and Keller, P. A., 2014. The six sigma handbook (p25). New York: McGraw-Hill Education.

Sallis, E., 2014. Total quality management in education. Routledge.

Sokovic, M., Jovanovic, J., Krivokapic, Z. And Vujovic, A., 2009. Basic quality tools in continuous improvement process. Journal of Mechanical Engineering, 55(5), 1-9.

Sokovic, M. Pavletic, D. and Kern Pipan K., 2010. Quality improvement methodologies-PDCA cycle, RADAR matrix, DMAIC and DFSS. Journal of Achievements in Materials and Manufacturing Engineering 43(1), 476-483

Titu, M. A. Oprean, C. and Grecu. D., 2010. Applying the Kaizen method and the 5S technique in the activity of post-sale services in the knowledge-based organization. In proceedings of the International Multi-conference of Engineers and Computer Scientists (Vol. 3, No. 1, pp.1-5).

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