Forming Process Improvement Project Teams

I have facilitated many Process Improvement project teams and as a Facilitator it is important to know how to steer things, not only in the right direction, but in the precise direction.
How do you know where to begin as a Team Leader and/or Team Facilitator in choosing the team sitting at the table during your project’s duration? There are a couple of key factors in choosing your project team.

The first team chosen to meet is usually what’s called a preliminary team. It has been my experience that it is best to let the preliminary team members know that they are preliminary. This is because the Mission, Goal or Problem Statement has only been talked about without the necessary specifics, and therefore initially we can only make an educated guess who will be part of the team. Also, in telling the chosen group that they are only preliminary, provides an opportunity for the Team Leader to instill in the group, how important the chosen team members will be to the outcome of the process. This will encourage from the onset, by-in from certain members who may otherwise be opposed to participating in a project team.

A Team Leader, believe it or not, who works closely with their support staff, can have a bias that is difficult for that leader to see, therefore the choosing of at least some of the preliminary team, should include the facilitator of the team as well, so that the facilitator can pose the unbiased and necessary questions regarding a team members’ involvement in a team, based on their ability to deliver necessary information about the process-flow being discussed.

Upon forming the clear and precise Mission, Goal or Problem statement, it becomes very clear who your project team will include. A good facilitator understands how to take a vague statement and build upon that statement, so that it clearly directs how the team needs to move forward, through careful discussion and detailed questions with the Team Leader and possibly other management staff. If the Mission, Goal or Problem Statement is not clearly defined in the beginning of the project, there is a good chance that the team will either stall, loose energy and excitement to finish, and/or fall apart because of lack of clarity of the Mission, Goal or Problem statement.

Also, team members should be informed that they may only be needed temporarily. Due to common cause variation, which is “something that happens within a process all the time” and special cause variation, which is “something that happens rarely or at certain times for certain reasons”, i.e., a seasonal process change, a team member may only be needed for a specific timeframe, to lend their expertise for several meetings, and then be asked to exit the team. Again, this is discussed in the beginning of the process so that expectations are clearly understood and that there is by-in by the members about timely completion of a project from the most experienced and willing team mates.

It is important to be sure that a project team is not only going in the right direction, but is moving with precision and timeliness; With this in mind you must choose your Facilitator wisely. Remember the following:

  1. The preliminary team is more than likely not your final team because your Mission, Goal or Problem statement has likely not been clearly defined yet.
  2. Take the opportunity to encourage how important your members’ involvement in the team is, where ever possible.
  3. Utilize the Facilitator in helping to choose team members so that the choosing is as unbiased as possible, therefore reducing any resentment from team mates.
  4. Consider that there are common cause and special cause variations within processes that may clarify whether a team member is going to be temporary or permanent.
    Utilizing these techniques will ensure the successful formation and maintenance of your Process Improvement project team(s).
    “Cause and effect are two sides of one fact” Ralph Waldo Emerson
    Lisa Scott/Bachelor of Metaphysical Counseling, Certified Advanced Facilitator
    Life/Business Coach

Source – Process Improvement Tools

Why is Supply Chain Risk Management So Important?

Without exceptional risk management a company cannot compete with major players in the industry and reach the level of production required.

If accidents and setbacks start happening on a regular basis then a company’s reputation will be damaged beyond repair. This will drive away potential investors and people wishing to work with the company. In fact, many people working in this industry have agreed that failure to utilise appropriate risk management guidelines is the most common cause of business failure and revenue loss.

Risk management strategists should have the skills to spot ways of reducing risks and implement the most relevant practical guidelines possible. They also need to do some research into what new techniques are developing and be aware of new and more effective ways of managing risk.

In the past supply chain management was a much more simple process with a lower level of risk. This is because the equipment and production functions they used were pretty basic. Technology has developed at an alarming rate, but so has the need to manage complex systems and pieces of equipment.

Globalization has resulted in the supply chain industry making significant changes in order to achieve the lowest production costs. The rise of the internet has also brought a fair amount of changes to this industry and the most influential change is to do with the compression of time. Everything is much faster today and supply chains are expected to deliver products at a much fast speed and respond appropriately to high demand.
Supply chains can experience both major hazard and minor disruptions. It is important to be aware of the events that could lead up to a disaster. However, it must be noted that a series of small accidents or disruptions can be just as much of a negative impact on the business over time.
It is important for people working in this industry to bear in mind that no matter what safety procedures are put in place, there is always the chance of an accident. Accidents can happen without warning, and companies must learn from their mistakes and put preventative procedures in place.

What Qualities to Look for in a Breast Pump

According to milkful for many first time mothers who are also working, one of the major issues that they have to deal with is the fact that they are lactating. They cannot do anything about it because it is a natural bodily function that happens after a woman gives birth. Unfortunately, they still have to deal with the fact that their nipples are dripping milk while they are at work, at the grocery store or doing chores at home. It is not a problem if there is a baby to drink the milk, but when the baby is asleep, not hungry or not around, a woman has to use a breast pump like the Ameda Purely Yours Breast Pump or the Avent Isis IQ Duo.

These are two of the most popular pumps because they have the following features:
Easy to use – this is the most important feature to have in a breast pump. Women prefer devices that are not complicated to operate especially if they need to use the device right away. Good pumps often require you to just place it on the breasts and turn on a switch and you can effectively pump out the milk in a very efficient manner.

Very comfortable – a woman’s breast is a sensitive area. This is why it is very important that the pump that you use is very comfortable and will not hurt the woman in any way. Good breast pumps are very ergonomically designed to fit breasts of all sizes and shapes. In fact there are many excellent models wherein the user does not feel anything at all when the breast pump is used.

Easy to clean – milk can go bad very fast. This is why it is very important that no milk should be left at any significant length of time inside a breast pump. Every time you empty out the device, it should be cleaned right away. This is why it is a very good idea to only get a breast pump that is very easy to clean. Some badly designed units have parts that require you to use a special kind of brush just effectively clean it.
Portable – you need to be able to pump your breast every time you need to. It does not matter where you are. This is why it is very important that your unit is easily portable. Popular brands and makes like those of Ameda and Avent are so portable; you can easily carry them around inside a medium sized stylish bag. This enables you to pump your breasts any time you need to regardless of whether you are at work, at home, in the grocery store or at a fancy dinner.

Video Marketing Austin Strategy – The First Focus

“Start with the END in mind” – quoted by Stephen Covery
Be it a small, medium to large enterprise; many organizations are discovering one of the most accessible marketing tool – video marketing austin in social media.

However, many often made the mistake of thinking “more is better” and going into all the nitty-gritty details of how to produce a video such as what equipment to use, the format or how to export it.
In this article, we will not focus on the technical details but how to optimize what one of the most if not the most popular online channel – You Tube and also some useful tips to keep in mind.

video marketing austin
video marketing austin

First and foremost, we have to ask ourselves one simple question. What is our video marketing strategy? We have to figure out and have a video marketing strategy in place before worrying about the details of how to do it.

To help us, we need to remember two important components to making a good video:
1) We need to get traffic. Not just any, but increment in what we may already have in place.
2) We need to get conversions. By conversions, it does not simply mean people clicking on the video. We need to be target-focus.

We want a specific market/ prospects drawn to our website. From there, we want to convert them to customers; opt-in, register for free trial, send in inquiries, make purchases. That is conversion.

How do we do that? Most people would go on Google search and hey, they stumble on some interesting videos. And where are these videos usually found? You Tube. That is right. You Tube has now over 3 billion views daily and to not leverage on this channel, it would be a pity.
Successful bloggers, online reviewers as such have their slice of this amazingly useful tool. Why shouldn’t we?

But wait. We mentioned earlier about avoiding “the more the better” notion also known as viral video. Why? Why not have the more the merrier? Chances are people may stumble on our video – someday.
That is not what we aim for. Simply because it is more work. Imagine churning out videos endlessly or should I say, mindlessly. If after a few months, you do not get any views, you are trapped, lost and have no idea where to go from there. And by doing viral videos, you are succumbing to the time-sensitivity issue. One day you are “in”, the next week you are “out”. People will always hunt for what is most trendy and most watched at the moment and then your video is no longer the “IT” thing.

So, what are we aiming for?
We want our videos to pop up everywhere in Google search, in You Tube; every time our prospects go hunting for what they need online.
In order to achieve that, we must first know our market and unearth our keywords.

Take the time to do some research, speak to some of the current clients you already have, it will be easier to find out the ideal keywords that your potential customers are searching online daily.

At Google, there is the keyword research tool. It is a good place to start. Play with the words, key them in, spend some time investigating and come up with a list of ideal keywords and then you can create an optimized video around those keywords.

Then focus on creating the very first “masterpiece”. The one you will put most of your efforts, your resources and planning into.

Once this hits the hot spot, we should keep up with the pace. Do not just stop here. Start looking at the entire campaign or it may be seasonal; depending on products and services. Go through all your materials, photos, videos that sit at the library and ensure that videos are uploaded consistently and regularly. Set a timeline for this and work towards achieving the goal.

As one professional mentioned, 80% of the traffic will come from perhaps, 20% of the videos uploaded online. If we have materials up on a regular basis, we will start coming up at the top under Google search, inside You Tube and related trending videos as well.

Last but not least, remember the quote from Stephen Covery. Look at the big picture and do not get overly anxious on the smallest details when planning your video marketing strategy. We do not want to churn out just any video; we want efficient messages that gives us effective results with minimal effort at the end of the day.

Employee Engagement: Tips for Involving Workers in Company Goals

Companies long for employees who are dedicated to achieving company goals, but at some companies, such workers are the exception and not the norm. For most companies, losing a disengaged employee is ultimately less costly than continuing to pay the person, but moderate disengagement is rarely enough to justify a layoff notice. Consequently, improving employee engagement is a popular topic at executive consulting sessions, one that many companies are revisiting as they look for cost effective strategies for improving their bottom line. If your company needs a way to increase employee engagement, observing the tips below is a good place to start.

Make Everyone a Decision Maker
Executives may have the final say, but workers can still contribute their opinion on company issues. In doing so, they can feel a sense of importance that is essential to feeling involved in the business of a company.

Give Credit when it is Due
Some executives are like difficult fathers: the more you achieve, the more they expect you to achieve. If this describes the style of motivation that executives practice at your company, it is likely that many of its employees feel unmotivated. Giving credit when it is due, and criticism when it is due, is a better strategy.

Solicit Ideas for Improvement
Because they spend years thinking about their work from the perspective of their position, workers often have unique insights on a particular aspect of their company that executives and executive consultants do not. Tapping this insight can do more than yield valuable information; it can also help increase employee engagement.

Deliver Justice Swiftly
In some cases, improving employee engagement requires dismissing workers who are severely disengaged, especially when they make life difficult for other workers. Dismissing workers who consistently demonstrate poor performance also servers as a reminder of the value of staying involved.

Take Time to Listen
Managers who listen to the people they manage typically get the same treatment from the people they manage. Managers that are unapproachable on the other hand, can seem inhumane, and inspire workers to sail their own boat, as it were. For many workers, feeling a connection with their boss is an important part of feeling engaged with the work environment.

Avoid Behind the Back Criticism
Managers and executives should avoid discussing the shortcomings of a worker with the worker’s peers. Being the object of behind the back criticism is difficult enough when the criticism comes from a peer, but when it comes from a manager or executive, it can be demoralizing.

State What You Want
Because some workers are reluctant to ask what is expected of them for fear of seeming unintuitive, managers should clearly state what they want from workers in relation to specific tasks or projects. With a clear set of expectations in mind, workers have a better chance of engaging deeply in their work.

Employee engagement is a concern for many companies. When workers are distracted and disengaged, they lack the drive and dedication their employers expect from them, and can negatively affect their employer’s bottom line. Improving employee engagement can be initiated by implementing the tips above.

Beauty And The Beast Dvd

I bought my beauty and the beast dvd today from Blaze Dvds and i loved it. I love belle and gaston, gaston is so funny. The singing was great, it was such a good story.

Belle falls in love with a beast who was a prince before then turned into the beast because of his evil and greedy ways. The cast in this movie are fabulous. The beasts staff were also turned into chandeliers and even tea pots.

My favourite character out of them all is lumiere, i love him singing ‘be my guest’ what a giggle i got.

This is such a good movie and id recommend it to anyone.

Closing the Connectivity Gap With Telehealth

If you’re like me at chironhealth, you probably forget sometimes what life was like before we had high-speed internet. Though most of us have only had broadband in your homes for 5 years (10 tops), our lives have been totally transformed, allowing us to manage our social activities (Facebook), finances (online banking), watch TV (Hulu), listen to music (iTunes) and even read books (Kindle) online. But while it’s been well documented that disparities in high-speed access have widened the learning “achievement gap” between high and low income students, a similar type of connectivity gap exists with healthcare access in rural America, and calling it a crisis is no overstatement.

For urban and suburbanites, we take for granted that we almost always have a pool of high-quality doctors and specialists within a few minutes’ drive. Not the case in America’s rural areas, where primary care providers are in very short supply and certain specialists are simply unavailable. Fortunately, the government has plans to help close the gap and bring broadband to rural health care facilities for folks who live in remote areas. This remote healthcare initiative would include diagnostic telehealth services, too.

Under the proposal, the FCC will ensure $400 million to annually pay for 85 percent of infrastructure costs to extend remote healthcare by developing broadband connectivity in rural areas, and 50 percent of the recurring monthly costs for accessing the services. This initiative will help bridge the healthcare divide in so many ways, like enabling patients to email their X-ray images to top radiologists, speak face-to-face with a credentialed psychologist, and address the majority of primary care needs from the privacy of their home.

Finding The Best Discount Brokers In India That Meets Your Investment Needs

Are you searching for the best discount brokers in india? Read my article below:

If you are an experience trader and searching for a discount broker to perform you buying and selling transaction requests then you should perform an analysis and compare all the various discount brokers available in today’s market before making your decision. There are many variances in discount brokers from their fees to their support so it is essential to find one that will meet your investment decisions quickly, reliably and affordably.

Discount brokers do not provide trading advice instead they offer a service for your buying and selling transactions. They usually charge per transaction but some can have hidden fees. These are the types of things you will need to thorough research before making a decision on the discount broker you depend on for your investments.

Another comparison you will want to perform is to determine the various opening balances required by the different discount brokers. They all require a minimum deposit to begin trading but those balances vary. Some discount brokers also require a certified check or verified funds within the trading account before you can begin buying and selling. It is to your advantage to find a discount broker requiring a low opening account balance. This way you can test their process with smaller amounts before investing large sums of money.

Discount brokers compete for your business with other brokers. Each offer discount rates for transactions and some seem to be a better deal than others, but be aware that some of the costs are hidden. Examine all the costs, both transaction fees as well as other fees that could be associated with stop lose orders or maintenance fees to your accounts. Each discount broker has additional fees it is just a matter of determining which is best for your investment choices. Always be alert when they advertise free incentives and other free services. Check them out before you engage.

Source – Equity Blues

Trends in IT Consulting

IT consulting Austin services has emerged as a major vertical in this decade. The service has helped companies save cost, time and of the services include Project Management Services, IT strategy consultancy and IT services outsourcing. Customised services are also offered according to the requirements of clients. Clients prefer suppliers who adopt a flexible and bespoke goal is to help clients use IT to achieve business objectives and increase efficiency and margins.

IT consulting services increases the efficiency of IT function. The service also compliments the efforts of in-house IT team. The company will able to enjoy some of the advantages of engaging an outsourcing service provider. Since IT consulting also helps the company in operational issues, the resources of the company will be free to concentrate on activities crucial to business. Therefore a company has to assess their objectives of availing IT consulting services, before engaging a service provider. One of the primary reason to engage a supplier who provides IT consultancy services is cost-cutting. Other advantages include niche-service and specialist expertise.

IT consulting services are provided by three different parties. Several IT companies offer this service. Another category is an individual practitioner/ several practitioners with hands-on experience in the service. Some of the popular IT consulting services include IT strategy consultancy, IT services outsourcing and Project Management Services. Similarly, IT outsourcing service providers also offer this service. An outsourced service provider typically offers the combined advantages of individual practitioner and an IT firm. They also overcome the limitations of the other two categories. For instance availability might be a problem when engaging them. In the case of IT companies offering consulting, they may not always have the specialist skills or there might be practical limitations. These issues don’t arise in the case of an outsourced service provider.

It is important to choose the right mode of engagement while choosing a service provider. It will be profitable to engage them on the basis of an outsourcing model. However, traditional outsourcing models are not always advantageous. A co-sourcing mode of engagement is an ideal choice. In a co-sourcing engagement, the vendor’s resources will work at the client’s location. This ensures that business control vests with the company also gets specialist skills on demand and will achieve more advantages. IT Consulting solutions can help you optimise key business processes in order to increase output and maximise savings.

Taking Good Care of Your Tent

best tents for rain

No matter how good a tent may be, if you don’t take proper care of it then you can’t expect it to last a long time – especially if you put it through some rigorous use and always require it to be in top condition. Lucky for you, the maintenance requirements of a good tent shouldn’t be that complicated anyway – so as long as you’ve familiarized yourself with the instructions the manufacturer/seller gave you, you should be fine with your tent and you can rest assured that it will remain in a perfect condition throughout its use.

The first important thing to remember is to keep an eye on the setup instructions – those can vary quite a lot from one manufacturer to another, and they’re critically important if you want to ensure a good long-term use of your tent. Thus, take some time to read the instructions carefully, and make sure that whatever you do with the tent is outlined in those instructions. This is especially valid for the deployment of the tent, which is often a strictly defined process that involves some specific steps, and following it wrongly can end up degrading the quality of the tent little by little as time goes by.

You may need to replace some parts of your tent at some point as well – the bolts are the most common problem in this regard, and even though manufacturers generally go to great lengths nowadays to ensure that their bolts last a long time (typically by making them from stainless steel and using similar tricks to ensure that they don’t just degrade on their own), you must still keep in mind that they’re being subjected to a lot of wear and tear in their use, and this will reflect on their integrity sooner or later. It’s not that expensive to buy a new set of bolts for your tent no matter what model it is, so look into the market for those and stock up while you still can.

Replacing the actual cover itself often tends to be messy and can cost quite a lot – but thankfully, as long as you’ve taken proper care of your tent this shouldn’t have to be done often; actually, the cover should be able to last as long as you’re using the tent if you’re careful enough in folding it and putting it away properly, but you’ll want to be crystal clear with the details listed in the instructions to do that.

In the end, you’ll find that your initial investment into your tent can be a very worthwhile one if you’re looking for long-term value – a quality product of this type can certainly last a long enough time to be worth its money, but you’ll need to put in some effort on your side as well, in order to ensure that it withstands all the forces of nature like it was designed to do, and is able to serve you well for a long time to come and for all your future trips.

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