In our organization we utilize the six sigma process to establish project teams. The organizational policy is to obtain full senior management support through the development of a project charter that establishes an agreement between upper management that formally recognizes the project. Within the project charter is the expectations and operational rules, the development of the team, how the team will be lead and activities are managed. The project lead or as we call it in our organization the green belt will then begin to define the project objectives to gain an understanding of the skill matrix that is required to support the end result. Functional mangers will then be tasked to allocate appropriate resources to support the project. Once the team members have been assigned the project the green belt well hold a meeting to establish ground rule and the expected outcome from each specialist. This ...view middle of the document...
The leader is only to act as a facilitator for these meetings to gather the required information and keep the thoughts flowing. Now the team is ready to move into the norming phase which is the actual execution of the teams plan established in the storming phase.
The strengths comprise of collectively defining together to gain buy in through sense of ownership. This also helps to set a positive tone for the culture. The individuals that are actually doing the work and understand the process the best are helping to define and implement process improvements across the organization. I personally see that as a huge strength for the organization because it cultivates high level of performance and morale across the agency.
The weakness is not so much the fault of the team as it is the leadership. Once senior leadership signs off on the charter they are hands off not requiring follow up meeting for status or progress reports on the team accomplishments. Accountability is huge, if it is not tracked then why is the team even in place. This lack of senior management follow-up can deteriorate the morale and motivation of the team and ultimate failure of the project.
The organization has the correct structure in place; it is just a matter of follow-up. This is a systemic issue with many projects. Teams and Individuals alike tend to fix the problem then walk away without implementing sustainability plan.
The organization has a project life cycle that is adequate to define measure, analyze, improve but they are lacking to create a control mechanism that includes a sustainment plan. A recommendation would be to develop a standard operating procedure that requires all active projects to report month or quarterly (depending on the complexity of the project) to senior management as to the status of the project. This will achieve two positive outcomes; one senior management will see that the project is value added and two it will show the team that senior leadership is supporting there project. Secondly there needs to be a homogeneous sustainment plan as part of every project to ensure the changes that were made do not revert back to the former.