Individual Final Project
The final case is an individual project. You will identify a problem by the end of week three (and post this in the designated area of the discussion board) that requires a TQM/CI change initiative through an organization with which you are/were associated. I always direct students to choose a topic that is either good for your organization or good for your career. This is not busy work. Instead, this is meant to be a substantive piece that can be developed for work and can be used to help you enhance your opportunities for success. You will develop the case by clearly explaining the problem and by building a TQM change program that you can put to use immediately; in this way we use what you already learned in MSM 6635. However, we cannot use all of it because we simply don’t have enough time to include everything from that course and everything from this course. Instead, we will use a few selected elements of MSM 6635 and include those with our continuous improvement focus. A list of required components can be found in the project rubric that will be used to grade this case.
The initial topic for this project must be posted by the end of week two to the discussion board that is designated for this purpose. Your final, REVISED proposal is due Sunday, week 3. Use the feedback and proposal instructions on the last page of this document to assist you. You may change your topic later (should an opportunity present itself) but please check with me first.
You will use your textbook, the diagnostic models, and the readings on systems theory as noted below:
• MBNQA – Criteria 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, & 7
• 6 Box and 7 S diagnostic models (pick ONE)
o Since these two models generally represent systems theory, there is no need to include a separate discussion on systems theory, the butterfly effect, chaos theory and so on. Instead, incorporate any comments you wish to make about a systems approach into your discussion of your diagnostic model.
• Kotter’s implementation model (8 steps)
• SWOT analysis
• Measurement instruments (existing surveys and other measures can be used, or you can suggest some from other sources – just provide an example)
You will develop a paper that is a minimum of 10 pages long, but no longer than 20 pages plus an executive summary (instructions for this are in the BB course), appendices, table of contents, references page(s) and a title page) in length following APA requirements (title page, double-spaced, APA citations and references, etc.). When you are writing your own case, you first want to have the story clear in your mind; if this means you need to write it down, do so. Then review your case keeping the Criteria in mind looking to see where they fit. (Keep in mind that a textbook is not ordinarily used for references because it is, in and of itself, a huge list of references. However, in this course I will allow you to use your textbook as a reference with a maximum of four citations. )
You will need a minimum of 12 references, at least 8 of which must be academic articles, one of the remaining minimum must the MBNQA Criteria; you may use any articles in this course or you may find in the Troy Global Campus Library (as you know, there is a live link to the library on the homepage of Blackboard/eTroy. Under no conditions is anyone allowed to use URLs to replace academic articles. In addition, articles taken from anything similar to or resembling Wikipedia, the Huffington Post, or any opinion a website will not be counted and the paper will be returned to you without a grade. Once you understand systems theory which is introduced early in the class, you will see that when you use somebody else’s opinion instead of academic articles, you are not really supporting anything with facts. TQM requires management by fact, not opinion and not hearsay. If this is not clear, please ask me about this under Ask the Instructor in the course and I will be glad to explain,
Follow the same paper outline described in Project 1 (title page, executive summary, introduction, background, current situation, implications, and conclusions) but remember to include a table of contents and the other items noted above.
Be sure to include answers to these questions in your case analysis – your outline should be based on the following items, not necessarily in this order:
• What is the background information of your story (and the need for improvement)? The SWOT Analysis is appropriate here to support your call for improvement.
• What components of the 6 Box or 7 S diagnostic models (pick one model, don’t use both) do you see in this case? Apply the model. Identify and provide an analysis of the areas for improvement using your chosen model and explain what needs to be improved and why. Keep in mind this is also your discussion on how systems theory applies, and that your analysis and diagnosis will most certainly impact other parts of the organization.
• How does the SWOT analysis relate to and support the information in your diagnostic model? Have you correctly identified internal and external forces?
• How would you apply benchmarking and baselining in this case? How do both inform your efforts?
• Explain what quality tools were used and what information they provided.
• How would each of the Criteria listed above apply in this case? Provide examples for each Criterion and explain how these contributed to the improvement.
• How will the implementation model be applied? Explain how each step will be addressed.
• What process improvements were identified and implemented and what difference did they make?
• How will you measure/ assess your success? Include a sample survey or assessment method for at least two areas – effectiveness of the change proposal and efforts and a measure of goal attainment for the specific goal. HOW will you use your data to make improvements? We just spent weeks talking about the need to measure, this is an important element of your final paper (don’t forget it, and don’t explain this by saying you’re going to do a survey – provide more detail).
• Implications – so what difference does all this make?
o What was learned from this TQM effort?
o What are the benefits realized, and what are future challenges?
o What would you recommend to others and why?
• What lessons were learned that you could share with the company, and what lessons would you share with the public/stakeholders?
• Conclusions
Note: Include appendices in your paper so some items such as the diagnostic model and Kotter’s implementation model don’t have to be written into the text. In addition the SWOT can be an appendix, and you can simply refer to ‘Appendix whatever’ instead of writing out all of the information. Let me know if you have any questions on this.
The instructor strongly recommends that as you progress through the course, you should be developing 1-2 pages on your topic area for each one of the criteria. In this way you will not have an entire paper to develop in the last 2 to 3 weeks. The old saying about “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time” applies here.

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