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In any organization, the data collected serves several significant roles thus it is important that only useful data in collected. For this to happen, several things have to be observed while collecting data. Some of the things which need to be considered include; ensuring the language used in the collection of data can be easily understood by the respondents. This can be achieved by making use of the local language. This will make it easier for the respondents to give every detail of the kind of data needed.  The other thing to do is to ensure the concepts used in collection of data are correctly understood. By having your concepts understood, the respondents will react to the correct topics thus the right data will be collected.  It is important not to make any assumption while collecting data. The policy or social context of the questions should be in away that they are appropriate. The area of collection of data should be as large as possible so that the true picture of the true situation on the ground is brought out. Only relevant data should be collected relating directly to the topic of research. The data collected should be recorded properly to avoid mix up and to be well understood. The analysis of the data recorded is also important in ensuring the recorded data can be put into useful use (Cole, 2001).

What improvement you have made lately to the way you do things?

In order to ensure continuous improvements in the way I do things, I have put several measures in place. One of the steps I took was to create my own inspiration room. The environment in which I work in determines the tone and mood of how I work. By making my working environment inspiring, I find myself motivated to work each day thus my performance keeps on improving daily. To improve more on my performance at work, I have taken up some new courses related to my line of carrier as well as workshops and seminars. Such new courses have given me new insights which I had not taken into consideration before. To have the two improvements mentioned above work effectively, I had to overcome my fears especially at my work place. I have used my fears to reflect the areas in life that I can improve and grow.

An after – action review

Sample

Event: online team meeting

Time/date: Tuesday, September 21, 2011, 2.30pm

Location of observation:  6 team members were all located in their offices at home. (Jerry in LA, Brian in New York, Cheryl in California, Jonas in Arizona, Betty in Illinois, and me in Boston)

What was planned?

Our main aim was to try and have our work meetings run using Skype in such a way that we manage to share documents as we see each others working screens. We expected to encounter some problems but we were hopeful we could have the software running to enable us learn how to have conduct meetings using this technology.

What actually occurred or happened?

The dynamics of the team were so encouraging. Every member of the group contributed positively to the discussion; there was equal contribution with no member dominating the conversation.

Considering the technological perspective of the exercise, the start was not as smooth as we expected. One of the members, Brain from New York experienced a technical problem which he did not know how to go about it. That happened at the time when the person meant to be his team member was not available. The situation left us undecided on whether to wait for him or continue. Considering it was a setup meeting we settled on waiting for him. Following the incident, we decided as a group that incase such a problem comes up in future, we will have to continue because it is so difficult to schedule 6 people to meet at a given time. The victim will be provided with detailed meeting notes.

Why did this happen?

The ice-breaker exercise we had done a week earlier helped us familiarize with each other thus we were comfortable and that helped in the teams dynamism.

We had not come up with a clear protocol on what to do when a member finds difficulties in joining a meeting.

Some of the members were not that comfortable with using Skype

What should be done to make the meeting more successful?

Jonas from Arizona uses Skype regularly thus his presence proved helpful as he guide most of us. He even offered to help each one of us to better our speed while using Skype by the time the next meeting was scheduled.

In order to accommodate cases of members who fail to join the meetings, minutes for every meeting will be taken. The assignment is to be rotated among each team members. The scheduled for taking notes will be out before the next seating and it is Cheryl’s responsibility to see to it that this is achieved. 

Case Study

Most of the organizations today make use of the continuous improvement approaches in order to enhance their organizations operations and base on the approaches to come up with plans towards sustainability and excellence. However, continuous improvement process and systems introduction does not guarantee   success in the organizations. Success in most cases is determined by the managers’ ability in establishing and maintaining the success culture in an organization. To achieve this, the managers should come up with particular success strategy and be able to stand by them no matter the challenges they face while implementing them. Such approaches will provide the managers with the skills and knowledge that will result to a continuous improvement process in their respective organizations (Cole, 2001).

The case at hand is the Di Amico Valve Company Pty Ltd, situated at south Brisbane. The company is involved in the distribution and manufacturing of a variety of specialises valves that are commonly used for components with other products from other companies and for industrial use (Quay, 2011). The company enjoys a rich history of increased sales. However, the main challenge the company is facing is increased production costs which went up by more than twenty percent in the just concluded financial year. This has raised concerns to the owner come managing director, Sandy Di Amico. On taking a look at the operations of the company, he discovered the various areas in the operation of the company that are contributing to the increased production costs. A crisis meeting held to solve this issue does not work out as Sandy could have wished. The responsible managers were full of blames instead of coming up with ways of dealing with the problem. The production manager on his part viewed the high costs to be as a result of the salespersons’ trend of changing their minds on which orders to take. He also shifts the blame to the purchasing department for not having the required material. The sales on their side took the blame to the production accusing them of poor quality products and delays indelivering products. Following the outcome of the meeting, sandy had to come up with his own interim and contingency plans.

Sandy should come up with plans that will clearly identify the performance and roles of each worker responsible for the increase in production costs and make sure that the individual roles and performances are fulfilled according to the company’s expectations. He can achieve this through establishing performance plans, recognizing and achieving team and individual achievements and offering training opportunities to his employees. On the issue of delivering schedule and inventory stock, Sandy can come up with utilize assets and delivery services platforms for service delivery. By adapting this approach, the delivery of assets will meet the service delivery required by the company. The surest way of ensuring the company’s outputs are at par with the delivery needs is for the company to reflect its products delivery ownership. Such a reflection will help Sandy develop a company chart that will help him identify the personnel responsible for the delivery services of the company. It is important for Sandy as the managing director to assume a more service delivery role by being close to the services being delivered as much as possible.

Coming up with a master production plan will be a reliable interim plan to deal with the issue of scheduling of employees to cover up for schedules that are behind as well as the increase wastage of raw material. A master production plan commonly referred to as the MPS is considered as an effective plan which when employed in a company covers most of the areas such as staffing, inventory and production. It handles issues on forecast demand, inventory costs, production costs, staffing levels, delivery services and production capacity (Quay, 2011). Considering the issues facing Di Amico Company that are leading to an increased cost of production, the MPS will serve as an appropriate solution. The problem of rescheduling of workers will be dealt with as the plan will aggregate all the production procedures ensuring that they are all effective and efficient thus meet the requirements of the company. The MPS plan is also cost driven as it is meant to meet the specific company requirements and expectations at minimum cost. Cases of reworking so as to meet the order commitment of the company will also be addressed. The issue of deliveries and supply will also be addressed thus workers won’t have to stop to wait for deliveries to be supplied to the company.

To ensure that the interim plans he puts in place ensure a continuous improvement in the Company, Sandy has to cultivate effective communication between the staffs and management as well as between the other stakeholders and the company.  Communication between staffs and different departments will address misunderstandings and blame games like the ones witnessed by the sales and production managers. Through such communication, Sandy will be in a position to trace and monitor the production process from the raw material supplied into the company until the final product is supplied to the final consumer. The communication strategies that the company can adopt include the use of procedures and policies, reports and newsletters, forums and meetings and tools that are web based for communication. 

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