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Course Catalog

- Training Programs On Demand -


Index of Available Courses
 

Communications & Interpersonal Skills
Powerful Painless Presentations
Body Language On Life's Playground

Managing Relating & Communicating Styles

Sales

Selling To Women and Couples
Body Language On Life's Playground
Personality Based Selling

Getting It On the Calendar: No More Ballpark Pricing

Personal Growth & Development
Powerful Painless Presentations
Embracing Change: Excellence In Life & Work
Managing Stress in High-Pressure Projects
Multitasking Skills and Tools Workshop
Problem Solving & Decision Making

Negotiating Skills
Applied Negotiating Skills Workshop
Negotiating Skills for Buyers
Negotiating Without Confrontation
Persuasion Power Workshop

Critical Thinking & Business Analytics
Critical Thinking Skills & Tools for Decision Making
Completed Staff Work at Work
Gleaning Facts From Figures: Analytical Skills
Excel for Right-Brain Thinkers
Failure Mode and Effects Analysis
Statistical Process Control for Non-Statisticians
Measuring & Communicating the ROI of Projects

Managing Risks in High-Stakes Projects
Applied Statistics for Business Analytics Applications

Program & Project Management
Leading Accelerated Projects
Leading High-Performance Teams in High-Pressure Projects
Managing Peopleware
(a course for technical managers)
Strategic Project Management
Leading High-Profile Projects
Managing Internal Projects

Managing and Working at a Distance
Project Management for Contractors
Project Management Workshop

Quantitative Tools for Project Managers
Managing Risks in High-Stakes Projects
Project Management With MS Project
Using MS Project Throughout The Project Lifecycle

Process Improvement
Measuring & Monitoring Organizational Performance
Process Reengineering Workshop
Process Improvement Toolkit

Root Cause Analysis in Problem Solving
SPC Workshop for End-Users
SPC Briefing for Managers

Strategy Planning & Execution for Public Organizations

Administrative Professionals
Analytical Skills for Administrative Professionals
Completed Staff Work at Work
Excel for Right-Brain Thinkers
Multitasking Skills & Tools for Admin Professionals
Negotiating & Persuasion Skills for Admin Professionals
Practical Project Mgt. for Administrative Professionals
Tact & Diplomacy Skills for Admin Professionals
Writing & Editing Skills for Admin. Professionals

Conducting Internal Surveys and Needs Analyses
Delivering Presentations to Coworkers and Managers

Customized Training
Training can be customized by selecting content from 2 or more courses. This is a benefit of working with the designer and developer of the courses. To inquire about customized training, click here.


Click here for information on Supplementary Courses

Click here if you wish to be notified when a course will be offered for open enrollment.


Courses Descriptions


 Multitasking Skills and Tools Workshop*
Practical Skills for Managing Multiple Tasks and Competing Priorities

Today's knowledge-worker deals in the realm of information and ideas . . . creative products that are affected by work habits as well as work conditions. As a knowledge-worker, you also know that your success on the job depends on your ability to manage multiple tasks, multiple bosses, and multiple priorities . . . all of which compete for your time and attention simultaneously. This workshop addresses this reality head-on. It deals with managing your tasks, circumstances, and personal work habits more effectively, allowing you to maximize your creative energy and the vitality. In this workshop you will learn practical skills, aided by special tools, for managing multiple tasks and conflicting priorities. You will also learn tactics for coordinating multiple projects and juggling competing demands on your time and attention from multiple bosses. Furthermore, with the aid of our Task Orientation Style assessment instrument, you will gain insight into your personal task management style and how to benefit from this information to enhance your performance. Here are the topics covered in this timely workshop:

Topics

Who Should Participate?
This workshop is geared for anyone who has to juggle multiple tasks and conflicting priorities under resource-constrained conditions. This may include individual contributors, project managers, program managers, and administrative support personnel.

Duration: 1-day.

* Alternately titled Dealing With Task Overload

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Selling to Women & Couples *

Learn how to avoid the behaviors that send off alarm bells to a woman's "intuition" and cost you product and service sales. Gain revealing insights into what brain scans reveal about the differences in how men and women solve problems and make decisions. Discover how the powerful, profitable women's network can work for you. Learn how to avoid conflict and confusion when working with couples and teams. Sharon will demonstrate and explain the silent signals that you and your potential clients consciously or unconsciously use that speak much louder than words. You will also develop skills to adjust your silent signals to project confidence and trust. Learn and apply the concepts covered in this seminar and you could boost your productivity and sales by at least 30%.

Critical Misconceptions About Selling To Women

5 Key Differences Between Women and Men

Communicating
5
Key communication differences
7 Effective questioning techniques to get to the real issues
10 Barriers to active listening
2 Easy steps to break the 10 barriers and become an active listener

Socializing
Tips to benefit from the powerful, profitable women's network

Shopping
5 Key elements you must provide to get the sale

Reacting
5
Key Areas that impact her reaction

Decision Making
8
Key points to the differences in the decision process

Brain Research - What We Know That Matters

What brain scans reveal
Key neurotransmitters in the brain

Trust

4 Steps to create the critical trust factor

Challenges With Couples/Teams

How to avoid conflict and confusion when selling products and services to couples and teams

Guaranteed Behaviors to Cause Confusion and Distrust

12 Behaviors that send off alarm bells to her "intuition"

Silent Signals

Gesture clusters 
Reading clues to discover the client's true frame of mind 
Adjusting your own silent signals to quickly establish rapport and engender trust

Developed and instructed by the author of . . . Selling To Women & Couples: Secrets of Selling in the New Millennium.

Duration: 1-day.

*Also titled Bridging the Gender Gap: Selling to Her, Him and Them

Women Do Not Gossip, They Advertise! ®

For a printable pdf flyer describing this program, click here.

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Personality Based Selling

Be authentically you!  Master the secrets of personality based selling and your closing rate will soar. In this advanced, skill-building seminar you will learn valuable techniques to quickly develop rapport and avoid communication “disconnects” that can kill the sale—whether selling to women, men, or couples. Learn techniques to avoid counter-productive and costly personality “misreads” that derail your message and cost you countless sales. Also, learn how to adapt your style to the client’s personality style, without appearing insincere and losing your personal identity. I live & love to inspire joy in learning together!  What possibilities!    

- Topics -

Includes: A Resource Guide and self-assessment for each participant.

Option: Five on-line peer/associate assessments on each participant.

Duration: 1-day

*Also titled Personality Based Selling to Women & Couples

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Body Language On Life's Playground

People listen to what you don't say! Just like Yogi Berra, people observe a lot just by watching -- and they quickly make judgments! They might as well be watching a silent movie.  Yikes! The intended & the unintended body language, the non-verbals you  send speak far louder than words.  Those that are misunderstood between   women & men can be particularly costly. And, with children & pets -- you dare not bungle it with these precious ones! The people and the pets know how you make them feel. Do you?   I live & love to inspire joy in learning together!  What possibilities!    

Gesture Cluster

Facial expression and eye movement
Walking gestures
Shaking hands
Posture
Personal space

Clues to Discover True Frame of Mind

Openness, cooperation
Acceptance
Expectancy
Readiness
Evaluation
Boredom, indifference
Defensiveness
Suspicion, secrecy
Rejection and doubt
Reassurance
Frustration
Anger
Self-control
Confidence
Nervousness
Embarrassment

Silent Signals and Relationships

Buyer and seller
Couples, Children & Pets
Superior and subordinate

Duration: ½ day.

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Powerful Painless Presentations

Be authentically you!  You will learn practical skills to quickly design and develop a powerful persuasive presentation. This seminar emphasizes how to get and keep an audience's attention, how to present your message with confidence, clarity, and conviction whether to one or to hundreds. You will learn specific techniques to control nervousness and fear. Also, how to deal with "difficult" audience members. Presentations will be videotaped and coaching will be provided.  I live & love to inspire joy in learning together!  What possibilities!    

Designing and Developing a Powerful, Painless Presentation

Determining your purpose
Determining your response
Determining your role
Gathering information about your audience
The Listener's Rule
Openings - getting their attention
Criteria for evaluating and selecting ideas
The middle (discussion) of the presentation
Organizing patterns
Closing the presentation
Transitions
To script or not to script
Speech prompters
Visual aids and props

Delivering a Powerful, Painless Presentation

Uniquely you
Understanding and managing nervousness
Powerful non-verbal communication
Eye-contact
Gesturing
Your powerful voice
About accents
Presenting from a lectern
Presenting with a microphone
Presenting from a seated position
Making a great impression when introduced
How to introduce a speaker
The art of asking questions of your audience
Fielding audience questions
Dealing with difficult audience members

Duration: 2-days (Includes videotaping).

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Managing Relating & Communicating Styles

Develop expertise to immediately increase your interpersonal skills with people -- in both your business and personal relationships. Learn valuable techniques to quickly develop rapport and avoid communication "disconnects" with colleagues, customers, and suppliers. Discover how to enhance your skills to overcome barriers in both written and oral communication. Develop skills to accommodate different relating and communicating styles for enhanced team performance. Also, learn techniques to avoid counter-productive and costly personality conflicts.

Characteristics of Relating and Communicating Styles

Definition of directness (assertiveness) dimension
Definition of openness (task/people) dimension 

Communication Characteristics/Behavioral Styles

Communication style of directly-assertive/task-focused individuals (Directors) 
Communication style of indirectly-assertive/task-focused individuals (Analyzers) 
Communication style of indirectly-assertive/people-focused individuals (Relaters) 
Communication style of directly-assertive/people-focused individuals (Socializers) 

Identification of Styles

Body language
Tone of voice
Verbal cues
Written communication

Relating and Communicating Flexibility

Techniques for modifying style with Directors
Techniques for modifying style with Analyzers
Techniques for modifying style with Relaters
Techniques for modifying style with Socializers

Styles Under Stress

Priority differences
Getting your way
Responding to people
Dealing with details

Conflict Resolution

Techniques for resolving conflicts with Directors
Techniques for resolving conflicts with Analyzers
Techniques for resolving conflicts with Relaters
Techniques for resolving conflicts with Socializers

Duration: 1-day. (Half-day seminar format also available.)

Workshop includes a self-assessment and five peer/associate assessments per participant

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Negotiating Without Confrontation

This workshop is designed to give you the practical skills you need to represent your interests in tough negotiating situations. Skills that will help you hold your own without being intimidated by the confrontational style of the so-called “hard-nose” negotiator or the winner-takes-all style of the competitive negotiator. This workshop also covers contemporary issues, such as team-based negotiations and negotiating via e-mail. The concepts and methods covered in the workshop are reinforced through skill practices that simulate realistic negotiating scenarios.

Topics

Duration: 1-day.

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Embracing Change: Excellence In Life and Work

The Embracing Change: Excellence in Life and Work seminar provides the tools you and your team need to achieve your goals and live a purposeful life, regardless of the circumstances and events you can't control. You will learn how to thrive in the face of change and uncertainty, how to transform personal and professional relationships, and how to sustain drive, energy and enthusiasm.  Your life will be forever changed by the skills you learn in this seminar—skills that will benefit you in your career as well as your personal life—skills that will put fear on the run by nurturing its natural enemies.

Duration: 1-day.

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Leading High-Performance Project Teams

Seventy to 80 percent of the problems that arise in the project environment stem from human, rather than technical, concerns. Nevertheless, project managers are often better equipped to deal with the technical concerns. Consequently, the so-called "soft issues" - which are really the hard issues - are expected to sort themselves out.

This workshop - Leading the High Performance Project Team - focuses on the human factors that have most bearing on the success or failure of the project. In contrast to the standard "teams course," this workshop deals specifically with the project environment and events and circumstances that give rise to human performance problems over the lifecycle of the project. The participants will learn how to involve the project team members in the project planning and management process, how to deal with conflict constructively, and how to recognize and run interference for the project team. They will also learn how to manage performance and how to deal with the energy-depleting factors that diminish the productivity of individuals as well as entire project teams.

This workshop will benefit program managers, project managers, project coordinators, and team leaders - anyone who wishes to better understand the human side of leading projects. Major topics include the following:

Becoming a World-Class Project Manager

Making the transition from individual contributor to project manager
The difference between a "strong project manager" and an autocrat
Politics, diplomacy, and a sense of decorum - the tools of an adroit project manager
The project manager's role as coach and "process consultant"
The art of getting and giving feedback
Project Manager's Comfort Differential (optional assessment)

The High-Performance Project Team

Factors to consider when selecting the project team
Involving the project team in the planning and management process
Allocating tasks, responsibilities, and workload
Team tools that are useful in solving project problems

Managing Performance in the Project Environment

Applying the principles of performance management to "knowledge workers"
Measuring productivity and performance when intangibles are involved
The critical difference between being challenged and being stressed
Recognizing and avoiding the "learned helplessness syndrome"
Enhancing the perception of self-determination and decision latitude
Shielding the project team from outside interference
Anticipating and managing conflict throughout the project lifecycle

Project Communications

Duration: Half-day seminar (discussion and concepts) or 1-day workshop (with exercises and case studies added).

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Project Management Workshop

This workshop is geared for those who wish to improve their project management skills on the job ... rather than a cram course for passing the PMP exam. The emphasis is on utilizing an adaptable framework to plan, organize, execute, and deliver projects, rather than force-fitting projects to a rigid process. PM tools and techniques are introduced throughout the course in the context of supporting this framework.

Also covered are issues related to streamlining projects, keeping projects on track, dealing with changing requirements, handling outside interference, and avoiding communications disconnects. In a nutshell, project management is positioned as a team-based approach to planning and organizing projects with the intent of fulfilling stakeholder expectations. The participants will acquire practical skills in, planning, tracking, reporting, and controlling a project by working in teams to develop a job-related project plan.

Here is a breakout of the topics covered in the course.  Please note, as described in the Options below, that the topics and emphasis can be customized to address client-specific areas of concern.

Topics

Introduction to Projects and Project Management
7 Fundamental Tenets of Project Management
Roles and Responsibilities of an Effective Project Manager
Best Practices

The Project Lifecycle
Phases of the Project Lifecycle - Seeing the Big Picture
Project Development Models
Pinpointing Schedule/Cost Overruns

Identifying and Managing Requirements and Customer Expectations
Identifying and Dealing With Requirement-Definition Problems
Conducting a Requirements Audit
Demonstrating Compliance
Setting Priorities and Objectives

Project Planning
The Project Planning, Scheduling, and Control System
Risk Assessment and Risk Management
Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) - Forms, Approaches, and Guidelines
Scheduling Strategies - CPM vs Critical Chain Method
Estimating Task Durations
Milestone and Gantt Charts
Network Diagrams
Assigning Resources to Tasks
Planning and Estimating the Cost Dimension
Managing Multiple Projects
Project Management Software - Capabilities and Limitations

Project Tracking, Reporting, and Control
Progress Tracking and Reporting Tools
Project Metrics and Early-Warning Signs
Progress and Phase Reviews
Typical Control Measures

Project Communications
Sources of Project Communication Problems
Creating a Communications Responsibility Matrix
Techniques to Gain Cooperation
Managing Irate Internal and External Customers

The Project Team
Securing Team Involvement in Planning, Estimating, and Problem Solving
Understanding and Managing Conflict in the Project Environment
Managing Energy and Vitality in High-Pressure Projects (Project Stress-Factors Assessment)
Leading the Project Team

Project Planning Exercises and Cases

Options: The customer may elect to incorporate certain enhancements and/or modifications or otherwise customize the course. For example:

Duration: 2-days. (Note: A scaled-down 1-day course is available for those who have been introduced to project management tools and techniques.)

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Managing Stress in High-Pressure Projects

This workshop is predicated on the NIOSH model of job stress combined with contemporary research on how stress is triggered, sustained, mitigated, and managed. The focus is on acquiring practical tools and insights for dealing with stress that arises in high-pressure projects—stress that's often due to interpersonal conflict, challenges in meeting tight deadlines, and unrelenting pressure to “do more with less.”  Unlike programs that focus on recovering from stress overload after-the-fact, this workshop places balanced emphasis on three stress management strategies: Stress Prevention, Stress Recovery, and Stress Tolerance. The subject matter is also complimented by the use of two personal assessment tools: the Project Stress Factors AssessmentÔ and the Task Orientation Styles AssessmentÔ.  Here is a breakout of the elements covered in the workshop.

Good Stress Versus Bad Stress

 Overview of the Stress Response Mechanism

 Sources of Stress in High-Pressure Projects

 Stress Management Strategies

 Stress Management Tactics

Utilizing the Stress Management Map™

Managing Your Workload

Task Orientation Style™

Toolkit for Reducing Project-Related Stress

Special Stress Management Considerations for Managers

Duration: 1-day, or 2-days with expanded scenarios and exercises

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Understanding & Applying Microsoft® Project
- A Hands-On Workshop -

What is Microsoft® Project?
Microsoft® Project is widely-used to assist in planning, tracking, and controlling projects. It can greatly reduce the mechanics involved in performing these tasks but it also assists in testing "what-if" scenarios. According to a nationwide study of a thousand project managers (Project Management Journal, Sept. 1998), Microsoft® Project is the number one tool used to support the management of projects. 

Training Strategy
The training program emphasizes the most commonly used features of the tool, rather than a broad overview of its many nuances and capabilities. Since the features that are important are project-specific, we work with the client in advance to ensure the class time is weighted toward those of greatest importance and relevance. Our goal is to reinforce the skills that are immediately useful to the participants and their project environment. For instance, some project teams are not responsible for budget planning. In this case, time spent on budget planning features would take away from time that would be better spent elsewhere. Class size is limited to ensure the questions and learning styles of individuals can be accommodated. These factors are critical distinctions between our training program and the typical "generic" program.

Course Description
This is an intensive, hands-on training program that follows the logical order of planning, organizing, and tracking an actual project. An end-to-end project planning scenario is used to integrate the features and capabilities of the tool. This scenario can be based on an actual, job-related project provided by the client or a realistic project scenario provided by the instructor. As stated above, the specific elements covered in the workshop, including the degree of emphasis on each element, can be adapted to the particular needs of the client and/or project team. The workshop can cover some or all of the following:

Duration: The full workshop requires 12 hours (1.5 days). When combined with the Project Management Workshop, 2-days of class time are required. A 1-day version is available to those who have had experience using a project management software tool.

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Project Management With MS Project

This workshop integrates content from two programs: the Project Management Workshop and the Understanding & Applying Microsoft Project Workshop. Participants will learn practical project management skills while concurrently gaining hands-on experience in utilizing MS Project.  The emphasis is on building a solid project management foundation using MS Project as a "tool" to leverage the project manager's time and efficiency in planning, organizing, and executing projects. This applied approach to learning MS Project is at least 50 to 75 percent more effective (in terms of retention and context-relevance) than "cram courses" that focus on memorizing every nuance of the tool.

Duration: 2-days.

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Leading Accelerated Projects

A Leader-Driven Approach to Accelerating Projects

If your organization places a premium getting products or services "out the door" on an ambitious schedule . . . you'll benefit from this workshop. More and more organizations are discovering that rapid delivery is a key factor in lowering costs and fulfilling their customers' expectations. This is especially true in today's world where technology turn-over is measured in months rather than years¾causing requirements to change mid-stream! The common practice of throwing resources at the problem or simply admonishing people to work smarter doesn't address the real issue: how to consistently plan, develop, and deliver projects on an ambitious schedule. Leading and managing projects on an accelerated schedule requires special methods, skills, an tools. In fact, many "standard practices" in traditional project management can actually hinder the development of products or services on an ambitious schedule. Accelerated projects not only require a ambitious plans, they also place greater demands the execution stage of the project¾a phase of the project that receives little attention in traditional project management training programs.

This course addresses these and other challenges head on. It builds practical skills in planning, managing, executing, and leading projects on a tight timeline. You'll learn how to track and control such projects . . . also how to make dynamic adjustments during the critical execution stage.

Topics

Critical factors that must be addressed in order to accelerate projects
Crisis-Mode Acceleration versus Systematic Acceleration
What makes for an 'unrealistic' schedule?
Facts vs. assumptions
Special risks and challenges of accelerated projects
Actions and interventions required of the project leader
Devising a "battle plan" for accelerating your projects
Selecting and using the right tools for the job
Why and where project schedules get off track
Putting the 8 high-gain acceleration opportunity levers to work
Exploiting the leadership element within each opportunity lever
Strategies for compressing the project schedule
Estimating and laying out the compressed schedule
How to manage hand-offs while work is in progress
How to deal with changing requirements and priorities
Managing the risks and minimize surprises

What's more, you'll learn how to  . . .

Build a compelling case for accelerating the project schedule
Break the cycle of finger-pointing that inhibits genuine solutions
Secure commitments and senior management support
Use schedule-compression techniques
Prepare a schedule under uncertainty
Manage a project team under pressure
Tighten the critical communications links
Evaluate trade-offs to "buy time"

. . . and more!!!

These skills are becoming increasingly important to corporations in a society where 'late' is no better than 'never'.

Duration: 1-day.

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Skills and Best Practices for Leading High-Profile Projects

Issue:
Despite the abundance of tools and methods for planning and managing projects, most of these have limited value to project leaders at a strategic level—a level where success is defined by multiple, often conflicting criteria. Consequently, project leaders have special information needs that are not supported by conventional PM tracking and reporting methods. They also have need for a small, but specially adapted toolset for dealing with risks, requirements, and communications challenges at a strategic level.

Value Proposition:
Executives and senior managers who fully engage in this 1-day seminar will acquire insights, skills, and tools for more effectively dealing with project risks, requirements, and communications challenges at a strategic level. Opportunities for improvement will be based on pre-seminar input from the participants using our proprietary MAP Critical Issues Survey™ (see below).

MAP Critical Issues Survey™:
The MAP Critical Issues Survey™ is an online tool designed to identify job-related challenges that impede on-time delivery of high-profile projects. The tool pinpoints single-factor challenges as well correlations between factors that suggest possible causal patterns. Each participant is required to complete the online survey at least 3-days prior to the seminar. The results will be aggregated but personal identities will be kept in confidence to encourage candor.

Customization:
The topics below provide a starting point for clarifying the skill development areas the client wishes to focus on. In-scope customization can be accomplished by eliminating topics or by expanding and reducing emphasis where desired.

Seminar Topics:

Intended Audience: Executives and senior project managers

Duration: 1-day.

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Project Management for Contractors

Contractors deal with projects that are unique in terms of scope, risks, working conditions, and customer expectations. Whether building and installing a commercial system or working with an architect to design a new system, timelines are tight, the margin for error is small, and the work has to be coordinated with other parties. To compound matters, the contractor may be supporting multiple projects concurrently. This workshop focuses on the special challenges of managing projects in this environment, giving contractor personnel the skills they need to effectively plan, manage, and organize their projects, while minimizing surprises and missed deadlines.

Topics

Duration: 1-day.

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Managing Internal Projects
A How-To Course for Successfully Planning & Executing Organizational Projects

Internal projects are projects that organizations undertake to support operations, sales, and marketing. Because they deal primarily with internal resources, the dynamics of managing such projects are different from managing external, or so-called acquisition projects.  Examples of such projects include upgrading an IT system, deploying a new marketing campaign, planning a new facility, or developing an internal training program. This intensive workshop focuses on the minimum skill-set necessary for planning, managing, and organizing such projects. The participants will be given the opportunity to apply the principles to a current job-related project.

Topics

Audience: This is an intensive skill-building course geared for team leaders or technical specialists who are often in a position of having to plan and execute internal projects. It is not a basic A-to-Z "prep" course for PM certification.

Duration: 1-day.

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Failure Mode & Effects Analysis Workshop

What is FMEA?
Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) is powerful, easy-to-use risk management tool for identifying and preventing problems. It is especially helpful in preventing problems that arise during the development of new products and services - often as the result of narrow views, organizational silos, and "communication disconnects" between work groups. FMEA forces problems to the surface that could otherwise go undetected until too late - the kind of problems that show up in the form of rework and delays in meeting delivery schedules. FMEA is used throughout business and industry. Product-producers as well as service-providers can benefit from using FMEA.

About the Workshop
This workshop guides the participants through the logic and methodology of FMEA
building skills in how to get the most out of the tool and spend their time efficiently. Two widely-used types of FMEA are examined in detail: the Design FMEA and the Process FMEA. Other applications for FMEA are also examined, including the use of FMEA as a proactive risk-management tool in a project setting. The participants will work in teams to apply the FMEA methodology to a risk-analysis scenariogiving them a head start in using this powerful tool on the job.. They will also be given the opportunity to discuss potential applications of FMEA on a current project. In addition, a number of related tools that support the use of FMEA will be described and demonstrated.

Topics

  • What is FMEA and Why Does It Matter To Me?

  • FMEA Critical Success Factors

  • Using the Q-Sorting Method to Identify Best-Use Opportunities

  • Three Indicators of Criticality

  • Failure Modes, Effects, and Root Causes

  • Determining the Risk Priority Number

  • Using the Cost-Effectiveness Pareto Method

  • Design FMEA Methodology

  • Process FMEA Methodology

  • Using Fault Trees and Cause-and-Effect Diagrams

  • Roles and Responsibilities of the FMEA Team

  • Follow-Through — Taking Action and Closing the Loop

  • FMEA Application Exercise

  • Case Study and Applications

Duration: 1-day.

Option: An additional half-day of consulting can be added to the training to allow time for the facilitator to guide the participants in applying the methodology to a job-related application.

Briefing for Senior Managers: A special 2-hour briefing is available for senior managers. This briefing can be helpful in establishing a culture where FMEA is valued and widely embraced from the top down. The briefing provides an overview of FMEA, including a discussion of the key management issues related to implementing and getting maximum results out of FMEA.

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Measuring and Monitoring
Organizational Performance

- Bridging the Gap Between Six-Sigma and Balanced Scorecards -

This course is geared for managers and other professionals who are responsible for measuring and monitoring the performance of the organizations in which they work.  It is based on four premises: 1) the people within the organization are the most knowledgeable of its systems; 2) there are tangible and intangible benefits from involving these individuals in measuring and monitoring the systems they support; 3) narrowly-focused solutions can sub-optimize the system; and 4) basic quantitative tools can be used for measuring and monitoring organizational performance without relying on complex statistical techniques, methods designed for defect-reduction, or a cadre of analysts to spearhead projects.

The course centers on maximizing the potential of seven performance-enhancement levers: Processes, Policies, Procedures, People, Projects, Productivity, and Priorities—collectively referred to as the 7-P Levers.  The participants will learn how to identify critical aspects associated with each of these levers, how to establish key performance indicators (KPIs), and how to monitor, track, and communicate the status of the performance-enhancement process over time.  This is a hands-on course that actively engages the participants, giving them ample opportunity to apply the principles and techniques to their own circumstances.

Topics

Take-Aways: Each participant will receive a set of course notes, worksheets, a CD with helpful files and templates, as well as a copy of Dr. Roberts’ cutting-edge book, “SPC for Right-Brain Thinkers: Process Control for Non-Statisticians.”

Duration: This is a two-day workshop that requires extensive involvement on the part of the participants.  A 2-hour briefing is also available for executives and other policy makers.

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Process Reengineering Workshop

An intensive how-to workshop on process reengineering that requires a high degree of involvement and interaction on the part of the participant. The program steps you through a reengineering framework from end-to-end. Specially adapted tools and techniques are also demonstrated and practiced. The ultimate goal is to instill the knowledge and skills necessary to increase the likelihood of success of your reengineering initiatives, while avoiding the mishaps that have destined many such projects for failure.

The workshop consists of the following:

  This course was designed and is instructed by the author of the book . . . .

Process Reengineering Fundamentals
Covers the basic components of a process reengineering initiative, including the framework, critical success factors, and a description of five process classifications.

Special Challenges and Risks
Describes two of the most common situations that are characteristic of "messy processes" and what to do about them. Also examines "red herrings" that are often put forward as objections to pursing a reengineering initiative.

Opportunity Assessment
Explores tools and techniques for identifying possibilities and alternatives for the reengineering initiative, starting with an "organizing principle" that is linked to customer satisfaction or other strategic organizational objectives.

Process Analysis
Demonstrates how to assess the as-is status of the process. Also describes why this is important to know and how this information can be used to target specific areas for improvement, rather than starting with a blank slate.

Reengineering the Process
Covers tools for reengineering the process. Also examines 24 enhancement strategies for streamlining the process while maximizing its strategic intent.

Planning and Implementing the Transition
Examines two key issues to consider when making significant infrastructure modifications, including a discussion of the "pilot test" as well as factors to consider when phasing-in changes to the process.

The Reengineering Team
Describes the composition of the reengineering team, including roles and contributions of the team members. Also describes pitfalls to avoid when communicating the status and intent of the reengineering project with others. 

Planning and Managing the Reengineering Project
Brings specially adapted elements of project management to bear on the reengineering project, ensuring that the project will be planned and executed with discipline and in a timely manner. Also discusses factors to consider in managing change from a human perspective so that the stakeholders will be supporters rather than saboteurs.

Detailed Topical Outline
 

  • ·Process Reengineering—What It Is & Isn’t
  • Successes, Failures, and Lessons Learned
  • Payoff Pentagon™—5 Change Levers
  • How Processes Get In a Mess
  • Critical Success Factors
  • The Lure of the Process Trap
  • Incremental versus Discrete Improvement
  • Process Performance Measurement System
  • The Process Reengineering Framework
  • Toolkit for Supporting the Process Reengineering Framework
  • Process Classification—5 Categories
  • Spaghetti Processes—Options & Challenges
  • Customer-Linked Processes
  • Red Herrings
  • Pre-Engineering—Precursors to Success
  • 2 Levels of Reengineering Goals
  • 3 Types of Tasks
  • Derivatives versus Drivers
  • Targeting the Processes to Reengineer
  • Defining the Process Boundaries
  • Cycle Time—Integrative Organizing Principle
  • 3 Opportunity Assessment Strategies
  • Constructing an Interview Map
  • Process Classification Flowcharts
  • 5 Characteristics of Service Processes
  • Process Analysis Considerations
  • Process Mapping Methods and Guidelines
  • Decomposing the Process
  • Means-Ends Analysis
  • Tools for Reengineering the Process
  • 24 Process Enhancement Strategies
  • 2-Key Issues to Consider When Making Infrastructure Modifications
  • Pilot Test Checksheet
  • Phase-In Decision Matrix
  • The Reengineering Team
  • Planning & Managing Reengineering Projects
  • Establishing the Scope of the Project
  • Managing Change
  • Psychology of Risk and Change Aversion
  • Building a Compelling Case for Reengineering

Duration: 2-days. A special ½ day briefing is also available for executives, reengineering team leaders, reengineering "czars" and process owners who will be impacted by reengineering initiatives.

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Statistical Process Control for End-Users

This workshop is intended for those who need a practical understanding of Statistical Process Control (SPC). These are often individuals and teams who have been charged with using SPC on the job -- in other words, "front-line" employees who have been empowered to prevent and solve problems at their source. The course provides a easy-to-understand introduction to SPC for those who wish to put the concepts into immediate practice. It purposely steers clear of abstract statistical concepts that are confusing and often intimidating to non-specialists. Practical exercises are used throughout the workshop.

Topics

  • What Is Statistical Process Control?
  • Benefits of Using SPC
  • What Users Need to Know About SPC
  • Sources and Nature of Variation
  • Two Key Process Performance Indicators
  • Identifying Critical Control Points
  • Establishing Quality Characteristics
  • Identifying the Process Center Line
  • Establishing the Process Control Limits
  • Understanding the Control Chart Format
  • Sampling, Recording, and Plotting Data
  • Interpreting Natural and Unnatural Patterns
  • Attributes versus Variables
  • Problem Solving Using SPC Techniques
  • Problem Analysis Tools Used With SPC
  • Introduction to Cp and Cpk
  • Introduction to the 6-Sigma Quality Standard
  • Team Considerations for Using SPC
  • Applications and Exercises
  This course was designed and is instructed by the author of the book . . . .

Objectives

Participants successfully completing this course, will be able to:

Duration: 2-days.

Option: Consultation and guidance is also available to managers and teams who are responsible for going the next step in setting up and maintaining an SPC system on the job. Contact us for details and options on SPC implementation support.

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Process Improvement Toolkit

This workshop builds skills for solving problems at the point where they occur¾in the trenches. It is intended for organizations who recognize that "empowerment" requires more than lip-service or wishful thinking ... true empowerment requires that frontline employees have ready-access to the tools they need in order to recognize, prevent, and solve problems.

The participants in this workshop will become skilled in using the Process Improvement Toolkit to solve problems and exploit opportunities  that impact productivity, yield, and production cycle time. They will learn . . .

. . . how to recognize which tool to use and when
. . . how the tools are used to support a systematic problem solving method
. . . how to recognize on-the-job opportunities for applying the tools
. . . how to work together as a cohesive team to solve problems and implement solutions

Topics

Workshop Materials

Every participant will receive the following:

Duration: 1-day

Optional Assessment: For companies that would like pinpoint job-related improvement opportunities based on input from participants in the course, we suggest that each participant complete our online MAP Critical Issues Survey prior to attending the course. This value-added option allows for rapid identification of need-improvement areas based on 1) the criticality of the problem and 2) the degree of consensus among the participants.

Optional Follow-On Coaching: We also recommend that the facilitator be involved in at least one team meeting following the workshop in order to monitor and coach the team members in action while they are applying the process improvement tools and techniques.

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Gleaning Facts From Figures
Analytical Reasoning Skills for Critical Thinking

In the information-rich society in which we live it is becoming increasingly difficult to make sense of the barrage of data we are constantly fed from the Media, Wall Street, advertisers, economists, product vendors, and special interest groups¾not to mention the "number-crunchers" within our own organizations. Complicating matters, many admit they have less time than ever before to questions the numbers and rationale on which decisions are made¾making them susceptible to assertions and propositions that are based on questionable data, bad math, persuasive language, or faulty analysis.

This course is intended for individuals, regardless of their background, who wish to improve their analytical thinking and reasoning skills¾including a working knowledge of a few simple but effective tools to assist them in these areas. The course builds skills in Gleaning Facts From Figures that pertain to: 1) solving problems or identifying opportunities, 2) making informed decisions, and 3) ascertaining the truth when data is used to try to "sell" a product, service, or proposition.

Drawing on examples from public sources and business publications, the participants are provided with a real-world context for understanding how and where the principles apply, rather than a litany of dry facts. This "side door" approach especially appeals to individuals who may be intimidated by math or those who learn best by relying on practical examples, rather than theory. Formulas and calculations are kept to a minimum, demonstrating instead how contemporary tools such as Excel can enhance critical thinking and also reveal hidden patterns and trends using simple charts and graphs.

Objectives:
This is an applied course to enhance real-world analytical and critical thinking skills, both on the job and in your personal life. The threefold objectives of the course are as follows:

1.  To solve problems or identify opportunities that depend on knowing:

  • If the data point to probable causes

  • If the data suggest a possible trending condition

  • If the data suggest hidden, overlooked, or untapped opportunities

2. To make informed decisions that depend on knowing:

  • If action is necessary and/or urgent

  • If and how the data can assist in making choices

3. To detect fallacious or specious assertions that depend on knowing:

  • If there is factual information hidden in or misrepresented by the data

  • If important information has been lost when the data was compressed or summarized

  • If the data and the facts support the conclusions and the recommendations

 – Topical Outline – 

  • Profile of an effective analytical thinker – skill set, mindset, and habits
  • Examples of how numbers are used and misused by vendors, the media and SIGs
  • Uses and abuses of averages and percentages – knowing what to watch for
  • Uses and abuses of statistical charts – avoiding "visual manipulation"
  • Uses and abuses of surveys – including misinterpretation of the "margin of error"
  • Logical errors – how to recognize and avoid them
  • Correlation versus causation – recognizing hidden agendas and circular logic
  • Sources of variation and uncertainty in workplace data
  • Analytical techniques used to test relationships
  • Analytical techniques used to track trends
  • Analytical techniques used to support decision-making
  • Analytical techniques used to support risk analysis
  • Analytical techniques used to assess differences
  • Analytical techniques used in market research and survey analysis
  • Complicating factors, such as multiple contributors to variance
  • Rapid calculating and order-of-magnitude "sanity-checking" techniques 
  • Putting the Pareto principle to work
  • Making sense of the symbols statisticians use
  • How to read and interpret a statistical report
  • Using the basic statistical and charting functions in Excel
  • Using the Big-3 Questions to frame and avoid Type III logical errors
  • How decision makers deal with uncertainty
  • How decision makers make decisions – implications for data providers
  • How to "package" and present quantitative information to senior managers
  • The 21st century paradigm: Marrying qualitative and quantitative methods to deal with "wicked problems" involving humans factors and human nature
  This course was designed and is instructed by the author of the book . . .

Take-Aways:
Each participant will receive a set of course notes, handouts, a variety of helpful files, and a resource guide to assist in constructing Excel graphs and charts.

Duration:
This is a 2-day skill-building course with extensive hands-on exercises.  Many of the exercises take advantage of the charting and data analysis capabilities of Excel. Each participant should have access to a computer (laptop or desktop) that has MS Excel installed (version 2003 or later) and also a basic working knowledge of Excel.

Options:
A one-day version the course is available that uses a limited number of exercises along with demonstrations presented by the instructor. Topic areas can be emphasized or deemphasized as necessary to address skill-development areas that are of particular interest to the client.  

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ASAP
Analytical Skills for Administrative Professionals
Practical Skills for Contemporary Administrative Professionals

Over the past decade, administrative professionals have had to adjust to changes in the workplace that are driven by three key factors: 1) the need to “do more with less,” 2) a rapid increase in information, and 3) the growth in complexity of the problems they encounter. As resources are stretched and attention spans have become shorter, administrative professionals often stand as the last line of defense in detecting and preventing problems that can have serious consequences.

This 2-day course—Analytical Skills for Administrative Professionals (or ASAP for short)—was developed with these realities in mind. It is specifically geared for administrative professionals who play a pivotal support role in a fast-paced, information-rich work environment. While some courses are essentially lectures about the virtues of an analytical mindset and others are tied to a particular problem-solving process, ASAP™ builds and reinforces analytical skills that are supported by a versatile "toolkit." Also, rather than spending valuable class time on defining terms and discussing theories, the course relies on practical exercises to build skills in using analytical tools and techniques that have immediate application on the job.

The participants will acquire analytical skills that are useful in:

Each participant will also receive a copy of the course notes and a CD containing helpful forms, tools, and spreadsheets that can be used on the job.

 – Topical Outline – 

  • Pre-assessment of your analytical-thinking skills
  • Survey of analytical skills that are relevant to administrative professionals
  • Understanding and adapting your personal problem-solving style
  • Uses and abuses of numerical data – knowing what to look for
  • Uses and abuses of charts and graphs – avoiding ambiguity and “visual manipulation”
  • Detecting logical errors, weak arguments, and false conclusions
  • Analytical techniques to support decision-making
  • Analytical techniques to support risk analysis
  • Rapid calculating and estimating techniques
  • Tools and techniques for identifying root causes of problems
  • How to read and interpret tables, graphs, and statistical reports
  • Getting “heard” when it is essential to get your point across
  • Eliciting information from others using tactful and insightful questioning techniques
  • Using a structured framework to assist in problem solving
  • Using a structured framework to support fact-based decisions
  • (Optional) Using MS Excel to analyze data and to create compelling charts
   

Target Audience:
Secretaries, administrative assistants, office managers, and operations support personnel who want to enhance their analytical thinking skills and acquire proficiency in using certain tools to assist in solving problems, making decisions, and assessing risks.  (Note: If the optional content on using MS Excel is desired, the participants should have at a basic understanding of how to use this tool, including how to perform simple arithmetic functions, how to navigate within a spreadsheet, and how to open and save spreadsheet files.)

Duration: 2-days. A 1-day version is also available that emphasizes a narrower skill set.

(For descriptions of other programs in The Platinum Series for administrative professionals, click here.)

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Measuring HR Processes and Initiatives

With the increasing demands that are being placed on HR departments, and the narrowing margin for error, there is an increasing need to apply scientific methods to HR processes and initiatives. Chief among these is the effective use of metrics and measurements to assist in setting goals, monitoring performance, and making "data-driven" decisions.

This course builds skills in measuring the tangibles and intangibles that are critical to the success of HR processes, projects, and initiatives. It takes a balanced approached to the use of HR metrics by ensuring that metrics are not abused, misused, or overused. Time will also be allotted in the course to allow the participants to devise job-related metrics that are relevant to their HR specialty and unit. These will be discussed in an open forum using four criteria to evaluate their efficacy. Hands-on exercises are used throughout the course to reinforce the basic concepts.

The goal is for the participants to not only learn the concepts but to come away with metrics relevant to their specialty that can be immediately applied and tested on the job.

 – Topical Outline – 

  • Introduction to the use of metrics and measurements in HR processes
  • Survey of best practices involving the use of HR metrics and measurements
  • Anatomy of an effective HR metric
  • 4 criteria for assessing the efficacy of HR metrics
  • Identifying the critical metrics in your HR processes and initiatives
  • Critical mistakes to avoid
  • Devising metrics to measure intangibles
  • Translating metrics into manageable measurements
  • Collecting and compiling HR metrical data
  • Analysis tools and techniques relevant to HR metrics and measurements
  • Reading and interpreting patterns and trends
  • Creating reports and charts to communicate HR metrical data
  • Using information to support fact-driven HR decisions
  • Individual, team, and group exercises/skill practices
   

Target Audience: HR professionals in all of the various specialties, including HR managers and department heads.

Duration: 2-days (14-hours of class time)

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Expanding Your Right-Brainwidth

In the complex world of the contemporary workplace¾a world where the vast majority of problems involve human factors cannot be solved by formulas or purely logical reasoning¾it is incumbent on left-brain analytical thinkers expand their repertoire of right-brain reasoning skills.

This cutting edge seminar draws on contemporary research in brain science and psychology. It sheds light on the neurological differences between left-brain dominant and right-brain dominant individuals and why these differences matter in a workplace that requires a blend of thinking and reasoning styles to deal with complex problems.  Skill-building focuses on the following four components:

Note: This is not a course on "emotional intelligence" by a different name. It is based on the premise that both left-brain and right-brain thinkers are quite capable of dealing with complex problems in a rational manner, but will often arrive at different conclusions based on the fact that their reasoning methods involve distinctly different neural processes.

Duration: 1-day workshop

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