Case study: Continuous Improvement
Latino Engineering is a midsize company with about 300 employees located in New South Wales, Australia. It provides design, development and manufacturing of specialist engineering equipment for various industries (oil & gas, utilities, construction and infrastructure). It was founded by Dominic Latino, a mechanical engineer passionate about designing and developing engineering equipment. Dominic has many patents for the engineering equipment that he has designed over the years. The company has been operating for almost 30 years and has good clientele. Most of the clients have a very high regard for Dominic’s professionalism and quality of work.
Due to its reputation, Latino Engineering became a much sought after company. Many contracts were awarded and overall, profitability was soaring. This attracted many investors who either wanted a stake in the company or to buy it entirely. Dominic had many offers to evaluate either to sell in part or as whole. He knew that if he allowed other shareholders into his business, he would lose full authority in major decision making and strategy development for his company. Furthermore, he is not used to taking instruction from others as for the last 30 years, he has been the sole decision maker for the company. Considering this, Dominic decided that he will only sell the company outright and then retire.
An investment group took the opportunity and purchased Latino Engineering for a sizeable amount. The investors decided to maintain the name of the company so as to ensure continuity and avoid disruption to its clientele. Dominic, after spending 30 years in his company, has decided to call it quits at the age of 65. The company retained most of its workforce, but some senior engineering folks decided to seek other opportunities.
The crack is appearing
12 months after the take cover, Latino Engineering began to receive many complaints from its clients. The complaints were:
i. Defective engineering equipment
ii. Poor design and development follow up with clients
iii. Too long turnaround time for issue resolution
iv. Non responsive customer service team
v. In some cases, wrong engineering equipment was packaged and delivered to clients Management response
Senior management was surprised at the decline of quality in the company. While they had retained most of the workforce to ensure minimal disruption to work processes, customers are still not happy. To arrest the situation, Latino Engineering senior management has engaged you, a project management consultant to provide a continuous improvement plan to overcome the issues and complaints highlighted above. The senior management has committed that they will provide all necessary support that you need to turnaround the situation. They want a plan to address all the issue in the next 3 months.
As a project management consultant, you have only three (3) months to correct the situation. You would need to:
i. Explain how you would go about identifying the root cause (s) by proposing the use of appropriate tools and techniques.
ii. You will propose a plan to eliminate or reduce the root cause (s) taking into considerations the resources that are required.
iii. Develop a continuous improvement plan to ensure the problems and issues are not repeated.
You may refer to the knowledge area Quality Management from PMBOK, Prince2 or from any other quality management systems such as ISO9000 series, TQM (Total Quality Management), Six Sigma / Lean Six Sigma etc to devise your continuous improvement plan.
Your submission should be made using Microsoft Office documents and the essay submitted as a separate 2,500 – 3,000 words Microsoft WORD document (excluding references list).
You should describe all of the required parts of your continuous improvement plan. A range of sample continuous improvement plans will be identified for you to study during the unit.You must not include pictures or diagrams in the body of the essay. You must provide an ILLUSTRATION OR DRAWING OF YOUR CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT PLAN in the appendix of your essay.
Your essay should be a properly constructed academic essay. It should contain an introduction, body and conclusion. The introduction should introduce the essay and include your recommendations. The body should present the evidence you have collected to support your argument, provide your assumptions, summarise the evidence and the conclusion should restate your recommendations. The essay should contain a coherent, but necessarily restricted review of the academic literature on the project management topics in question. The literature review should be integrated into the essay, not a separate section. Do not include an executive summary or an abstract. A reference list formatted in the prescribed Harvard style is compulsory. Do not include a bibliography.
This assessment item involves researching your assigned topic to enhance your understanding of project management concepts and utilisation of academic literature. Whilst you use the recommended textbooks and unit resourcesyou may also refer to relevant, academic journal articles and cite, at least twenty (20) times.
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