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Articles and Case Studies

Our Consultants write about our work with clients.
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Don’t Procrastinate Feedback

During a leadership development workshop for senior officers, a CEO shared that he had initiated a feedback dialogue with his staff by applying the technique taught the day before. He told us that he had postponed and avoided giving feedback for this staff for many weeks, even though he sensed that his colleague was expecting to hear from him. The staff cried during the feedback session – not because he got scolded by his boss – because he was moved by his boss’ initiative and words.

"Wilcox

Making Sense of the Wilcoxon Test

At MyInsurance, survey results have been collected in 2017, 2018 and 2019. The rating was done on a 10-point Likert ranging from 1 … very poor to 10 … outstanding. As always, the upper 3 points, i.e. 8, 9 and 10, are seen as customer is satisfied. All other ratings are undesirable. How did MyInsurance do over the years?

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Beware the Hawthorne

“We have great news for you. Our project is delivering results already.” The team is all smiles when they give this update during the project meeting. The carefully prepared graphs unveil a remarkably shorter time for the whole process, from customer request to delivery of results. “We have applied a hypothesis test and the result is significant with a p-value of flat zero!”

They sound like they know what they are doing. When asked for the change in the process, they all give different answers. When asked what the root cause to have achieved this effect was, their smiles fade. “We actually only implemented some Quick Hits. They turned out to have a greater effect than we thought. Isn’t this a nice surprise?” They asked. Or, is it just a Hawthorne?

"group

Is Group Coaching Possible?

Coaching is about believing in someone and then taking action to help that person to be his or her very best.

Some months ago, the managing director of an MNC approached me to develop a team of four operations managers with some people and management skills. Three of them were promoted recently but have not had any formal leadership training. This is not unusual as we see this happen over and over again. He also shared that he would like me to conduct a one-on-one coaching for one of his managers. He wanted me to develop her leadership skills and especially her openness to change.

"Moment

Do You Know About Your Moment of Truth?

The Moment of Truth is the short timeframe when a customer experiences the product or service that many people have often prepared over months. It is the moment when a small, often unintentional mishap has the huge potential to spoil the result of hard work by others in the organisation behind the scenes.

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Continuously Innovating Highly Effective Processes

Just some weeks ago, I filed my tax in Singapore. It took me about twelve minutes at my computer at home on a Sunday afternoon in April. It was not straight forward, I needed to make some amendments and additional inputs to what IRAS had already prepared for me. Yet, it was really easy to understand, very effortless to do and I have the strong feeling I did not make a mistake. Twelve minutes. Really.

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Making Sense of Chi-Squared Test – Finding Differences in Proportions

Every blood donor of a large blood bank has to go through five process steps. These steps are Registration, Screening, HB Test, Donation and Refreshment. At the end of the process, that often takes around an hour, feedback forms are available for the donors. In one week, 210 donors have returned these forms with their satisfaction score for each process step. This satisfaction score is measured using a six-point scale. The desired rating is either 5 (satisfied) or 6 (very satisfied).

"Test

Making Sense of Test For Equal Variances

Three teams compete in our CHL business simulation, CHL Red, CHL Green and CHL Blue. After completing Day One, it looks like the teams show a very different performance (Figure 1). Although the means look very similar, the variation is strikingly different. This is surprising, since all teams start with exactly the same prerequisites. To test this assumption of different variability among the teams, the Test for Equal Variances is deployed.

"Kano

Make Use of Your Survey Data – Kano It

Nearly all medium-size and large companies spend hundreds of thousands or even millions on customer surveys every year. Customer survey results serve to amend strategies, design new products and services and focus improvement activities. Gathering customer survey data is only the first step. The second step involves making best use of the expensive data, analysing them, drawing business relevant conclusions and making important decisions. How are we doing in this step?

"group

Manager as Coach

Coaching is a powerful style of leadership for developing people and enhancing business performance. Especially, with the rapid changes at workplaces, keeping employees’ committed and motivated during tough economic times seems like a tall task, especially after downsizing or programme cutbacks. Hence, it is evident that the very survival and success of any organisation depends on the human capital: people are highly knowledgeable, versatile, innovative and mobile. And, their skills and talents are the currency of competitiveness, and companies who hope to retain their services need to recognise that these individuals expect greater personal choice, autonomy and an active voice in the management of their workplace. A good coach knows that.

"Two

Making Sense of the Two-Proportions Test

Consider a production process that produced 10,000 widgets in January and experienced a total of 112 rejected widgets after a quality control inspection (i.e., failure rate = 1.12%). A Six Sigma project was deployed to fix this problem and by March the improvement plan was in place. In April, the process produced 8,000 widgets and experienced a total of 63 rejects (failure rate = 0.79%). Did the process indeed improve?
The appropriate hypothesis test for this question is the two-proportions test.

"Understanding

Balancing Customer Satisfaction and Productivity

Your staff members complain about having too much work. The proportion of people on short-term sick-leave is consistently above average. And, the turnover rate is disturbingly high. Do these symptoms indicate that you need to increase your staffing? However, the average number of daily transactions processed shows that your staff should be able to easily handle the volume. Comparing takt time and processing time does not lead to any obvious issue. So, what is the problem?

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