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Root Cause Analysis (RCA)-5 Whys

“The measure of success is not whether you have a tough problem to deal with, but whether it is the same problem you had last year.”— John Foster Dulles Former Secretary of State

5 Whys is an iterative interrogative technique used to explore the cause-and-effect relationships underlying a particular problem.[1] The primary goal of the technique is to determine the root cause of a defect or problem by repeating the question “Why?” Each answer forms the basis of the next question. The “5” in the name derives from an anecdotal observation on the number of iterations needed to resolve the problem.

Not all problems have a single root cause. If one wishes to uncover multiple root causes, the method must be repeated asking a different sequence of questions each time.

The method provides no hard and fast rules about what lines of questions to explore, or how long to continue the search for additional root causes. Thus, even when the method is closely followed, the outcome still depends upon the knowledge and persistence of the people involved. Due to this nature  the 5 Whys methodology is a very power tool for the root cause analysis because it forces people to really think about what went wrong.

Example:

The vehicle will not start. (the problem)

  1. Why? – The battery is dead. (First why)
  2. Why? – The alternator is not functioning. (Second why)
  3. Why? – The alternator belt has broken. (Third why)
  4. Why? – The alternator belt was well beyond its useful service life and not replaced. (Fourth why)
  5. Why? – The vehicle was not maintained according to the recommended service schedule. (Fifth why, a root cause)[1]

The questioning for this example could be taken further to a sixth, seventh, or higher level, but five iterations of asking why is generally sufficient to get to a root cause.[The key is to encourage the trouble-shooter to avoid assumptions and logic traps and instead trace the chain of causality in direct increments from the effect through any layers of abstraction to a root cause that still has some connection to the original problem. Note that, in this example, the fifth why suggests a broken process or an alterable behaviour, which is indicative of reaching the root-cause level.

The last answer points to a process. This is one of the most important aspects in the 5 Why approach – the real root cause should point toward a process that is not working well or does not exist.[2] Untrained facilitators will often observe that answers seem to point towards classical answers such as not enough time, not enough investments, or not enough manpower. These answers may be true, but they are out of our control. Therefore, instead of asking the question why?, ask why did the process fail?

A key phrase to keep in mind in any 5 Why exercise is “people do not fail, processes do”.

Boundaries

When it comes to 5 Whys there are not so many boundaries. The strong characteristic about 5 Whys is that it allows you to find a root cause within  the issue. This broad and inter process root cause analysis can very effective because of characteristic.

However, with the 5 Whys it is very easy to reach a level where it is easy to just blame a person or department. It is important to leave the personal aspects out of the equation and focus on the processes and organisation. Blaming somebody doesn’t help, always try to look at the organisation. So when a particular person is making the same mistake multiple times maybe we should give him or her training to improve his way of working. Or maybe the recruitment process is not how it should be. Just try to prevent blaming people “The concept behind 5 why’s is that you keep on asking the question why did it happen until you reached to the underlying cause.”[3]

REFERENCES:

  1.  Spears, Stephen. The High Velocity Edge.
  2. Jump up^ Ivan Fantin (2014). Applied Problem Solving. Method, Applications, Root Causes, Countermeasures, Poka-Yoke and A3. How to make things happen to solve problems. Milan, Italy: Createspace, an Amazon company. ISBN 978-1499122282
  3. https://blog.qooling.com/root-cause-analysis-5-whys/

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article “Metasyntactic_variable”, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.


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Why do we need to Strategize?

Why organization need to strategize?

    • Simply because Strategies Provide Direction, It provides:
      • What needs to be done to move from idea to reality?
      • Who will do it?
      • When to do it?
      • What resources are needed?

Now, we have the key issues and milestones for either each one or the overall Vision. The next step is to develop an action plan or strategies. Once goals, objectives, mission & vision and their current situation were developed and identified, the next step is to determine the best strategy to achieve them. Growing the business might involve a strategy of reaching out to new market segments. Or it might involve the development of new products and services—or a change in pricing.

Words to ponder:

Businesses/Organization must select the most appropriate strategies given their goals, objectives, mission & vision and their current situation.

“When we made a list of strategies and review that list of things that need to be done it strengthens our strategic determinations as to what it was and where we need to be in order to get tasks done, who else needs to be involved, when it needs to be done by, and why is it even on that list. It might sound odd, but it will absolutely help the organization to stay focus.”


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BUSINESS AND ACTION PLAN: ACTION STEPS Business Plan Sample

BUSINESS AND ACTION PLAN of  ATCF:ACTION STEPS

 

a.)  Pre-operational Stage                    ( 1-30 days )

At this stage, preparation of documents and other requirements will be prepared like incorporator’s Ctc, bank deposits, and necessary requirements for filing the registration of the company.

 

a.)  Registration of the Company        (15-30 DAYS)

On-line registration form can be obtained, and filled-up, signed, then notarized, then filed to SEC.

 

b.)  Set-up and Preparation of Equipment and materials        ( 15- 30 days )

Network and connectivity set-up should have been take place as well as brochures, modules should be finalized and prepared

 

c.) Initial operations                            ( 31-60 days)

After approximately one month, when all documents (DTI, Mayors permit, BIR, SEC, ) is on  hand,  initial operations can commence .

 

d.)  Marketing plan                             ( 31-60 days )

A plan to market the ATCF services should be implemented and set into place

 

e.)  Planning Stage                             ( 60-90 days )

After registering the management team can now meet to plan the next move and what to be done further to improve business operations.

 

f.) Tie-up with a different company   (60-120 days )

 


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BUSINESS AND ACTION PLAN: Mission Business plan sample

BUSINESS AND ACTION PLAN of ATCF  – Mission-Business plan sample

Our mission is to consistently exceed the expectations of our clients by providing flexible, high quality Information Technology solutions on time, every time. Our ability to meet this challenge is based upon our excellence in building strong teams of dedicated software professionals, all of whom are focused on the individual needs of our clients! Advanced Tech Consulting Firm’s will provide the client with the finest computer consulting services available. ATCF exists to attract and maintain customers. With a strict adherence to this maxim, success will be ensured. Our services will exceed the expectations of our clients.

 


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BUSINESS AND ACTION PLAN – Objectives of Business Plan Sample

BUSINESS AND ACTION PLAN of ATCF  – Objectives Sample

 

The following are the objectives of this business plan :

  1. To register a company which will offer web design, application development, software integration and offshore outsourcing services. The business approach combines the most strategic aspects of both onshore and offshore models providing our clients with the highest quality projects at significantly reduced costs.
  2. To enter into a tie-up with Cisco, Microsoft,

2.1.   Marketing Objectives

The marketing objectives are as follows:

  1. Increase sales every month for the first two years.
  2. Increase repeat customers
  3. Develop a brand image that is synonymous with quality
  4. To create a market plan which will stimulate clientele for the company;

2.2.   Financial Objectives

The financial objectives include the following goals:

  1. Increase the profit margin
  2. Hold spending at a steady level as a percentage of sales.
  3. Generate sufficient sales to eventually require the need to hire an additional employee.

 


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BUSINESS AND ACTION PLAN – The Management Team Sample

BUSINESS AND ACTION PLAN of ATCF  – Management team

The ATCF are organized  into three functional areas: product sourcing, sales, and marketing; production and shipping; and finance and administration.

The President is in charge of finance and administration.

The Vice president is in charge of product sourcing, sales, and marketing

The General Manager is in charge of production and shipping.

*The management team of the Company, are tried and tested management professionals and experts in their fields.


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BUSINESS AND ACTION PLAN – Trend & Competition Sample

BUSINESS AND ACTION PLAN of ATCF  –Trend & Competition

Consulting services (management, scientific and technical) generated about $160.3 billion in revenues in the U.S. during 2007, according to Plunkett Research estimates. This is an increase of about 3% over 2006 estimates. (Accounting services generated an additional $110 billion in 2007, up about 5% over 2006 according to Plunkett Research estimates.) Kennedy Information, www.kennedyinfo.com, places the global consulting market (including management, human resources and information technology consulting) at about $310 billion in 2007.

One of the fastest-growing segments of consulting has been information technology (IT). This segment includes consultants focused on e-commerce; telecommunications; intranet and Internet strategies and functionality; hardware systems design and implementation; software design, acquisition and implementation; and web site design and operation.

During the tech boom of the 90s, IT consultancies like the now defunct marchFIRST appeared out of nowhere and quickly attained annual revenues in the hundreds of millions of dollars. The 90s, through the widespread commercialization of the Internet and fiber optics, as well as the rapid spread of networked computing, brought a dizzying tidal wave of technology opportunities to light. Managers everywhere wanted to quickly ramp up new systems, from web sites to private data networks to advanced e-commerce systems. They turned to consultants, and the IT consulting companies boomed. These consultancies created marketing partnerships with leading hardware and software manufacturers so that they could quickly recommend, purchase and install technology system packages-at high profits to both the consultancies and the system manufacturers However, consultancies posted significant growth in the 2005 through 2007 period. Major consulting firms are hiring again-stalking the ivy-covered halls of America’s best business school campuses in search of the best and brightest new MBAs. The fact that new graduates will have trouble getting jobs in the financial and banking industry in 2008 will be a boost to recruiters at consulting companies. However, a question looms about consulting firms’ ability to grow and hire in 2008 in light of the latest economic slowdown and shrinking corporate budgets. Government budgets are under pressure as well, particularly at the state level where large deficits loom. Big corporations and governmental agencies are prime clients for consultancies.

At the top of these the fact that Philippines have a large pool of English-speaking  that is very much US-oriented. Indonesia might have a large pool but they are not English Speaking, Malaysia maybe English speaking but it does not have a large pool. So there is a unique set of advantages that Filipino has to offer plus other advantages in terms of telecommunications we have a world-class fiber optics networks which is relatively inexpensive and in fact cheaper than India .

Despite these hindrances we know that IT consulting businesses grow from word of mouth. So as your business grows and one customer after another likes your work, your business will grow.
Competition is going to be fierce from best buy type consultants to local independent consultants.  But all businesses need an IT consultant – it’s a matter of who they choose.

Reference: THE REPORT :The Philippine 2008 by OXFORD BUSINESS GROUP

 

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