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  1. 2 points
    In my opinion second school of thought is more relevant in today's fast changing Digital world. If we have asked customers about what they want as innovation in cab booking they would have asked for incremental improvements but see how Uber and Ola has implemented innovation in this and reimagined complete process. Earlier we used to struggle to book a cab and now you can have it in few minutes. In today's scenrio even customers are not aware that how much innovation can be done through new digital tools and technologies. Take example of block chain which is innovating many industries which no body has imagined. Crypto currency is example of successful implementation of block chain. Who has thought of transferring cumoney using crypto currency in micro seconds.if we would have asked customers then they only have suggested to reduce TAT of money transfer. There are many more innovations happening where customers are offered products and services they have never thought of like PAYTM, Zoom video calls, chat bots to replace human involvement in call centers, driverless cars. So second school of thought is more apt, now even leaders don't hesitate to try innovation and fail early in place of not trying new things. New methodologies like Design Thinking along with Lean Six Sigma, Agile, Digital technologies are enabling organizations to think out of box. Now there is no box, you can think in any direction and disruptive ideas are acknowledged and appreciated more by clients. Everybody is looking for big improvements in products and services. In many scenrio s even customers are not aware about potential problems like information security, impact of automations on security, personal data leakage through social media so lot of innovation scope is there to identify potential problems and design solution for these. We are living in a world where people are not aware about potential problems from new technologies and solutions of these issues. So for innovation we can not depend on customers now, we have to reimagined customer problems and solutions through new tools and methodologies otherwise we will be left behind in innovation race and like Darwin said "it's not strongest of species will survive, only those will survive who can adapt to changes continuously" so if we will not change our approach for inovations we will not survive in this fast changing world.......Regards Vijay Sardana
  2. 1 point
    During a recent interview (for BPI Manager's position) that I attended, I was asked if I knew the formulas for different stat calculations. I replied that I did not. You can guess the outcome of the interview. Honestly, I don't think we need to know/remember these formulas; we have calculators/software for that. As excellence/transformation agents, we should be good with the concepts and methodologies. At lease, that is what I believe. I believe knowing formulas is desirable but not mandatory. I would like to know the thoughts/opinions of the other members on this. Please share.
  3. 1 point
    The Balanced ScoreCard (BSC) is a performance management framework for appraising an Organisation of its capabilities based on four sections/quadrants. Those 4 sections or quadrants are Financial,Customer,Internal Business Processes , Learning and Growth, Having a Strategy is the key for the success of an Organisation. Say for instance, for Customer Satisfaction, we need to understand the pain points of the customer and address their concerns in the best possible manner. Let us see which of the quadrants of BSC , we need to address first. We will have a hypothetical case, which is though is fast becoming the order of the day in IT world. As we are in this fast-paced world, Customers need to take their products to the market at the shortest possible time. So from an IT perspective , they would like to have frequent releases of their software applications featuring their products and therefore frequent deliveries of the software, with high quality & error-free ones , would be required. Then the Customers would be really happy and satisfied. For this to happen, an organisation has to move away from some of the traditional project management methodologies(such as waterfall) and adopt methodologies like Agile, Kanban... which quite naturally provides a setting(a way) for reducing the marketing time of a product(Time to Market), in their own way. Agile methodologies, coupled with some good engineering practices such as 'DevOps', 'Continuous Integration(CI)' and 'Continuous Delivery and Continuous Deployment(CD)' and with the advent of Cloud Computing, exponentially make a product(S/w application - could also be web-based application) to the market(read Production), in no time. Seamlessly changes made in your development can goto production without any glitch, in no time, thanks to DevOps and CICD approaches. Now the questions that an organisation should ask itself is that how is it going to transform itself from traditional project methodologies(like waterfall) to Agile methodologies and how its employees are going to have the cultural mindset to transfer themselves from working in silos to DevOps approach (Where multiple teams would get involved). What should be done to bridge the gaps? What kind of learning do the teams require ? Then how can the team improve upon, once the basics knowledge are obtained. This is where BSC quadrants would come into picture. Learning and growth is the important quadrant to start with since you want the employees to be aware of the Agile Process and the engineering practices. Once that is done, you want to see if any business processes can be improved so that you can leverage your learning with that. If those two are done, then the next quadrant, the customer - half the battle won as you would have a sound board to launch that quadrant which can provide customers as what they want (Say Customer needs/demands met and they are satisfied) and for the final Quadrant, if the organisation is using Clouding Computing, then say, there is chance for infrastructure cost to get reduced. So, in nutshell, its very important that we shape the Learning and Growth and Internal Business Processes quadrants. Let us create the lag and lead indicators for this case for all the quadrants. Learning and Growth Quadrant: Lag Indicators : 1. The number of projects(which produces service/product-s/w application) that were 100% Agile Compliant last year (in 2017), across the Organisation Lead Indicators : Setting up awareness sessions to say that Organisation is gearing towards Agile and become Agile oriented and then ensuring the employees/staff of the organisation getting their knowlegde/skills upgraded with proper training levels. The lead indicators would be 1. The number of employees who were Scrum Master Certified. 2. The number of employees who are Agile Aware (novice). 3. The number of employees who are Agile Exposed(Beginner). 4. The number of employees who are Agile Experienced(Advanced). 5. The number of employees who are Agile Experts(Coaches who can do Agile transformation in customer environment) . Internal Business Processes Quadrant: Lag Indicators: 1. The number of projects that were automated last year(in 2017) - in terms of technology 2. The number of processes that were automated last year(in 2017) - in terms of business process using BPM (specific mentioning - with usage of any open source tools , for cost effectiveness) Lead Indicators: 1. No.of projects that will implement Unit Testing automation for Java, J2EE and . Net applications(scope for unit testing identified for those projects). 2. No. of projects that will implement Functional testing using Selenium tool . 3. No. of projects that will implement the DevOps, CICD engineering practices/approaches. Customer Quadrant: Lag Indicators: 1. Customer Satisfaction Index. a). On Time Delivery. b). Faster Time to Market. c). Defect-Free Delivery. Lead Indicators: 1. No. of On time deliveries made across portfolio with 100% compliance. 2. Minimal No.(how much) of processes(read transition state) to undergo from Development to Production. 3. No.of defect free deliveries meeting the SLA compliance of 98% defect-free s/w product. Finance Quadrant: Lag Indicator: 1. Revenue. 2. Year on Year Growth. 3. Profit. Lead Indicators: 1. Demonstrate the no. of Success Stories(Projects) done with the customers. Highlight the customer top brass, with the achievements of the Organisation. - for getting new and more businesses - for developing the Brand image - for invoking customer confidence on the organisation's capability/speciality on a related business. 2. Providing a road map on the future on the customer'line of business, thereby getting an opportunity for making continuous business with the customer. 3. Providing an end-to-end solution map (Architectural view at Enterprise level) for any prospective new business so that the Organisation can provide the IT service for all aspects of the solution . Thereby it can also have the maintenance of that IT service for that business as well. Conclusion: Thus we have seen how important the strategy of an organisation, plays an important role in shaping up its Balanced Scorecard. Remember we discussed here an hypothetical case and we took some sample lead and lag indicators. But the lag and lead indicators entirely depend on the strategy used by an Organisation, based on its Objectives and Vision. Lagging Indicators can give pointers to lead indicators as how they can be better shaped. Therefore the aforementioned lagging and leading indicators are put as samples to the given case. Whichever best suits an organisation, the indicators would vary accordingly.
  4. 1 point
    Flash Question - To be answered in One Hour by 6 PM on 11th October 2018. Use Calculator at https://www.benchmarksixsigma.com/calculators/sample-size-calculator-for-1-proportion-test/
  5. 1 point
    At the outset, the question looks quite easy and simple to answer. However, when one starts thinking more about it, one would find it quite complex. This is something that is often debated: DO WE CREATE A PRODUCT TO SATISFY THE NEED(S) OF THE CUSTOMER OR DO WE CREATE A NEED FOR THE PRODUCT? Essentially, any product should be developed/created to meet the needs of the customer; the point to be noted here is the existence of the need. As cited in the question above, do customers always know what they want? The answer would be quite simple: No. While most products in the market are usually made to meet the customers' existing needs, there are also several products that the customers do not they need at all. Adequate research, innovative thinking and proper marketing, along with timing, play a key roll in the success of a product. I mention timing because there have been several products that were way ahead of their time and quite obviously were rejected by the people. To cite an example, I would like to talk about Western Electric Picturephone. Video calling is very popular these days. There are umpteen number of applications that people use for this purpose. But did you know that the concept of video calling goes back to the 60's? Western Electric introduced Picturephone in the market in 1970; people just didn't buy it. The product was a flop just because of bad(?) timing. Batter-powered car, and talking dolls are few more examples of the products that were innovative but failed to attract buyers. Technological advancements have given scope to innovative products being made and introduced in the market these days. And, people, though there is no real need, are going for those products. On the other hand, products that customers really need, like food, clothing, etc., have always been in existence and will continue to be so forever. To answer the question, I would go with a blend/hybrid of both the schools of thought. My needs should be met; on the other hand, I don't mind having some innovative product even if I don't need it. Imagine this: You are very hungry and food is being prepared; it is going to take a while before it is ready. What you need in this situation is food, which will satisfy your hunger, but wouldn't it be okay if you have a TV to watch or a mobile to play a game while you wait? A TV or a mobile that you actually don't need in that situation will help you take your mind of your problem - hunger.
  6. 1 point
    In Every industry, a product/service produced/rendered by an Organisation/Service Provider is shaped either by the market trend or by the specific needs of the customer. However when it comes to the innovation in a product(or the design of a product)/service ,a question may arise as whether the innovation should necessarily come as an offshoot of the customer needs/demands or the vendor/organisation (which produces/renders the product/service) will provide its customer, an innovative way of improving the product/service. More or less, the innovation is going to be a short in the arm for the customer, irrespective of whatever way it is being done and might give the customer an edge in that relevant industry, atleast most of the times. Let us see now with some examples as how innovation happens due to customer needs & demands and how as a vendor/service provider, an organisation is providing the innovation, from its side, to its product/service and thereby help the customer achieve its objectives . Case 1a : Innovation Done as needed by customer needs and demands. Let us see some interesting examples. Let us take few sports which are being watched globally by many people - Cricket, Tennis , Football. Being a sports loving nation, i assume the readers to have quite some idea on these games- though i assure everyone that am not going to take a deep dive on these games. Now we will see how innovations on these games were done because the need was felt by the playing nations/individuals (who are the key stakeholders). Cricket: In the 1990s (during the advent of Satellite Television era), Cricket got televised a lot. As a result more spectators came to the cricket stadiums in many countries (where Cricket was played) and the TV viewership became high. Cricket became highly competitive and there was more stake for the playing nations. This is where many innovative changes, as necessitated by the needs of the cricket playing nations, were put in place. One of the very first change was the introduction of 'Third umpire'(a person who has technology support to see the match from various close angles to make the right decision) to make/pronounce hairline(too close to be decided by seeing from the naked eye) run-out decisions. This usage of technology innovation, gave the right verdict almost all the times except for the rarest of rare cases. This innovation was further taken for addressing some other aspects of the game as well. The second major innovation that happened was the ball-tracking mechanism. This was needed to decide whether a batsman/batswoman could be given out as "LBW" (a way of getting a batsman out). There is an associated innovation , called snickometer- which decided whether a batsman/batswoman had nicked the ball(assuming that the ball was caught legitimately (as per the cricketing rules) by an opponent fielder. The third innovation that the game has seen now was developed in this decade.There became an increasing scenario where the innovation made from the usage of Third Umpire technology was insuffice. Even with multiple cameras with Zoom-in features, different angles, there were very tight hairline calls to be made in case of run-outs, stumpings. Replays shown through the use of these cameras produced inconclusive evidence. This is where LED displays were fitted into the Stumps.Now this had a telling effect. With the cameras and their angles, the LEDs emitted a colour (RED), whenever the bails got dislodged from the Cricket Stumps.This ensured that the third Umpire gave the right verdict , by seeing whether the batsman was in the crease or not, at the time of the light emission. This way the third empire helped the on field umpire to provide the right decision. Ultimately Cricket becomes the winner as correct decisions are made because of these technological innovations. Now who brought this innovation and why ? The Governing body of Cricket, the International Cricket Council(ICC), did this because the players of the cricket playing nations, the cricket boards of those nations wanted these changes to be done, as they had seen/felt the pain of getting wrong results, thereby even loosing Cricket matches at times.Hence these technological innovations were done, for the benefit of those, who play the game. Therefore those people were the initiators or responsible for these innovations to happen, in the game of Cricket. Tennis: Hawk-Eye is one technology innovation which is there in the sport of Tennis for quite some time. When a person serves or when there is a rally(back and forth playing by the players standing across the tennis net) going on between two players and if the ball is declared OUt(ball going out of the established lines for playing) by the Umpire, then the player who lost the point, challenges that decision. The Hawk-eye tracks the ball, with a simulation of where the ball would have landed and if it shows inside the established lines(say baseline,tramlines-ignore these jargons!!) then the Chair Umpire, reverses his/her original decision and thereby the loser(of that point-in the first instance) gets either that point or that is replayed(depending on some other factors - which is irrelevant at this point). Now, how does this innovation has come. The Players of the game have been feeling the pinch, especially in Major tournaments(called the Grand Slams), where even single point lost in this fashion, can make a difference between victory and defeat. The players' body, and top-ranked players saw the need for an improvement and as a result of which the administrators of the game went ahead with this innovation and the result ensured an error-free(induced by human's limitation of sight-seeing of a high- speed object) tennis match. Football: Video Assistant Referral(VAR) is an innovation made in Football. It got debuted in this year's(2018) FIFA world cup. With that, referees were able to accurately decide whether the ball crossed the goal-line before a keeper or any other player could pull it back. This ensured that right scoreline was there for a given match and ensured the outcome of a match was a fair play in terms of goals-scored. No controversial goal was allowed, even inadvertently. Obviously, all the current and past players across various football playing nations have seen/felt the impact of these issues and have been longing/hoping for a better state , on thisapsect. The FIFA brought this innovation to the game , keeping in mind the impact this can have for the outcome of a game, considering the huge fan following that this game has. This has paid dividends now and the game is the winner. Thus we have seen how important and essential it is for the users/stakeholders (in this case) to portray their needs/demands so that the innovation made is done as per the needs of the users. Case 1a : Innovation Done as needed by customer needs and demands - Here am going to give a conventional example. Let us take the example of an imaginary retail customer. The customer wanted to improve her shop's reach(of selling products) to the outside world, by all means. The Service Provider(Vendor) created an enterprise web application and made it ready for use. End-Users of the web application were allowed to register their names and could buy their products of choice available. Once the products were added to their shopping cart, they made an online payment which was integrated with the shopping system. This was the first step that was in line with the customer's need of making his/her business spread across the globe. Next step of innovation was to design the application such that it catered to smart devices. The look and feel of the application remained the same irrespective of the application being accessed in a browser, smart phone devices or any hand-held devices . Now the vendor was to innovate further by introducing a custom app which could be downloaded using a mobile/smart phone. devices . From this app, an end-user saw what products have been newly launched, what were the fast-moving products (to give a feel of frequently selling products to the end-users/ buyers) and so on.. The vendor was successfully able to innovate based on the customer needs/demands, in this case. Case 2: Innovation done by the Service Provider or the Vendor Organisation, based on its Own understanding/assessment of Customer needs/demands. Do you really think , that a service provider or a vendor will be able to provide solution(s) to the needs of the customer based on its own analysis/assessment ? Yes , it could happen. I have seen, one of the media research company - doing data analytics for Media based folks-Advertising Agents, Television Serial directors, Producers, and retail shops - who are it's customers and for whom, it provides relevant data which helps it's customers getting an edge over their competitors. Another example is that Cloud Computing. Many IT customers do not know how to minimise the delivery related cost, infrastructure cost. The IT vendors provide various benefits implicitly knowing the needs of their customer by providing different cloud services to address their customer concerns, though there are aware Customers who explicitly also ask the Vendors for specific services (which is altogether another issue). Taking some more intriguing examples, the DRDO (defence organisation of INDIA) provides the necessary innovation or right kind of ammunition to it's customers, the Indian Army, the Union Government, based on its understanding of the needs of it's customers. Conclusion: In general, innovation can be effective if a vendor or service provider knows the needs/demands of it's customer. The question is without knowing the pain point of the customer, how would your innovation be useful or powerful ? If it were not that much important, why a data driven and process oriented approach like Six Sigma should talk about the voice of the customer , getting the customer needs from various techniques liked focussed workshops, Questionnaire, Face-to-Face ,... and emphasis focus on techniques like Kano Model[Prioritization of needs (of the customer)]. The Whole approach is thought to be from a customer-centric perspective. So how can we do innovation without explicitly knowing customer demands/expectations/needs ? The answer is that it can depend on the industry that we work or the amount of knowledge that the Vendor/Service provider has, in any industry sector or in a specific unit in a given industry. Imagine an organisation working on Robotics. Assuming Commercial Robots are allowed (means that Robots can be used by public - may be with some sort of regulation/compliance). Now that organisation would have innovated based on its own understanding of the needs of its potential buyers(the public). The probable buyers of that Robots would be enquiring what the Robots are capable of, before they buy the Robots. This is a case of the vendor having more knowledge about the product, than the customer(consumer). Similarly, in retail, data analytics can be made and the vendor can provide a software as which items move quickly on which day of the week , for which the vendor can have that knowledge and the vendor provides that innovation as a value add to it's customer. Therefore , in reality, you may see that in many cases, the customer has to provide his/her needs/ demands for an effective innovation by the Vendor/Service Provider. But in some cases, there could be also that the Vendor or Service Provider can provide the right innovation to multiply the business of it's customer.
  7. 1 point
    The question of what should i sell, that what the customer wants, or that which shall create customers, This is what according to me lies at the heart of this question.The key thing is innovations by itself are not bad, but it is the success that drives it further . The World has witnessed it in every field manufacturing to Service Industry, the innovation story how it changed the world and the company. It had been boon and bane to companies when they take the path of Innovation Examples: The Below are few example where the innovation has swayed : Apple: Apple when it started has not created what the customers wanted, they had taken what the customers needed,desired/expected made it the basic and finally designed something beyond these, it created it's customers. The US market was willing to own apple, it helped build the momentum and drive it. They had built a product that is now across the globe the gold standard. DELL: Build your own Computer, this innovative way of making customers build their own computer is in itself a service Innovation, The core is what the consumer wants/demands but it is the Service of offering to build what he desires by Dell is what caught the imagination of the customers, something that was unthinkable. While there are success stories, there are stories where innovation gone wrong and costed the companies, The examples of such tragedies are: Ex: Segway Inc, It has the self driven Balance Scooters as a product, the company failed miserably and lost a big deal, the product was innovative but the market was unwilling to spend that much for something that seemed not worthy. DIVX, the concept was you could rent a CD for movies, see it for few days , you could either dispose the CD, else pay more and get access to few days see the CD By the History of Innovation and industry , we could always sense that innovation is driven by many principles, Few coming from the "Kano Model" itself, seeing what delights the consumers and going beyond Few from either adopting problem solving solution applied else where or solutions that totally change the face of the product Few are breakthrough innovations, by the R&D of the company or funded by the company It is always a gamble to let innovation take precedence before the needs and desires of the Clients, however both are not necessary contrary to each other. The end line is we feel we have figured what the consumers want/desire and feel but eventually the conventional wisdom has proven this to wrong in many cases, and also to imagine that the consumers have the essence of what is better to them is not right , because it is not constant and changes from consumer to consumer and with the same consumer it changes with the time. But the biggest and most successful and fast assented companies where driven by Innovations in their early life and progressed to a stage where they balance between innovation and meet the current likes/dislike of the consumers So i side with the innovation
  8. 1 point
    For creating a beautiful product which to be very successful in the market with scalability and high performance, all aspects like business sense, technology and users are important. Now one can start the debate about -- which is the pivotal point between business, technology & people. But the reality is all the three. Now let us consider users gives requirements which are next to fantasy, then technology might come in the way. Even if we can able to implement them then the next big question would be about business viability to create & maintain the product. Overall my argument is: user desires mapped to requirements should drive the product design complimented with thorough analysis of technology and creating a safe business plan. With all three coming together one can create a long lasting product in the market. Now let us take few real world examples. During early 90's Motorola started a very ambitious project to have satellite phones by launching a total of 66 satellites. The technology was cutting edge at that time and it worked as per specification. But this whole project venture failed due to per phone call usage cost. This is a classic example of great product with niche technology without biz viability. Another great example is Microsoft's Lumia (Windows) phone, in which there was very good investment on UI & UX of the product with multiple surveys for user-centric design. Quite robust Windows technology reused. But at if failed in the market because it did not able to reach profitable stage. Some of the reasons are product BOM cost was quite high so that they could not able to generate a good margin. The third example is about AoL (America Online) which failed due to technology to some extent in which other two parts (biz & consumer requirements) were taken care. In-fact AOL was arguably the mother all messaging app in current scenario. It had all right ingredients like Email, Buddy list, & all. But ultimately it failed when competitors started using high speed internet services. AOL couldn't able to recognise this fact fast & failed by not employing right faster internet back-end infra for its service. So one can find many such real world examples, which proves that one can not just leave complete product innovation to consumer needs/wants. Its a fine balance between all the three pillars -- consumer needs/wants, business sense & technology. Of course there are other salient factors like quality, competition, etc. will also play roles in shaping the innovation.
  9. 1 point
    Six Sigma has a hierarchical structure similar to Martial arts. There are white belts, green belts, black belts, and master black belts. The white belts go through a very high level overview training about Six Sigma (typically 4 hours) so they understand some basic terminology about Six Sigma. All employees in the company are usually trained as white belts. White belts may help Green Belts or Black Belts with some data collection etc. The next level is the Green Belts who go through the Six Sigma training at the next level of details. Green Belts may go through few days to up to two weeks worth of Six Sigma training. Green Belts are expected to work on projects within their own functional areas. Green Belts are usually not exposed to advanced Six Sigma concepts, so they are not equipped to solve really tough problems. The third level is Black Belts who go through a more detailed version of the Six Sigma training. The typical duration of training varies from a week to four weeks worth of training. Black Belts are expected to work on more complex cross-functional projects that are strategically important for the company. Finally, the last level is the Master Black Belts. The Master Black Belts are responsible for coaching and training Green Belts and Black Belts. They may also work on large company wide projects. Sometimes people ask us if there is any minimum financial benefits that Green Belt and Black Belt projects need to deliver. There is no hard and fast rule about minimum savings that these projects need to deliver. The amount of benefits will also depend on the size of the company turnover, number of employees, opportunities for improvements etc. Some companies may have a target for Green Belt and Black Belt savings - but these are usually applied as an average across several projects rather than for individual projects.
  10. 1 point
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