System Development Life Cycle SDLC

System Development Life Cycle (SDLC)

Seven Step SDLC

The System Development Life Cycle (SDLC) ensures end-state solutions in accordance to the requirements provided by the user in support of business strategic goal and objectives. It represents a structured, systematic approach that aims at developing information systems. The SDLC incorporates a comprehensive checklist of rules and regulations governing IT systems. The provisions are aimed at ensuring system developers adhere to the different set guides. The seven step SDLC incorporates seven phases that need adamant consideration by the developers to ensure accurate realization of the intended goals. The phases include planning, analysis, design, development, testing, implementation, and maintenance.

Seven Step SDLC
Seven Step SDLC

First, the planning phase of the SDLC demands the developers need to determine a solid plan for developing the information system desired. In the phase, three primary activities need to be ensured for optimality. The system to be developed must be defined, identified and selected in accordance with the strategic goals of the organization (Balaji& Murugaiyan, 2012).  Secondly, the developer needs to consider the scope of the project. The scope provides the high-level system requirements. It is the basic definition of the system. Lastly, the system development team needs to define the project plan. Hoffer (2012) argues that a plan responds to the what, when and who questions in the system developing activities together with all the activities to be performed including the individuals and resources to be involved in the SDLC process.

Secondly, the analysis phase, which involves the end users and IT specialists. The two stakeholders gather, understand and document business requirements for the intended system. Primarily, the developers at the stage aim at gathering sufficient information regarding the business or end user requirements (Rosenblatt, 2013). The requirements are the knowledge workers’ requests that the system must meet to be qualified as successful. This can be undertaken using a Joint Application Development (JAD) session. A process in which knowledge workers and IT specialists engage one another to define and review business requirements.

In the third phase, the design, the developers build a technical blueprint detailing how the proposed system will work. According to Rosenblatt (2013), the point of view shifts from a business perspective to a technical one. Immediately, the development phase follows. The phase takes consideration of all detailed design documents from the design phase and transform them to an actual system. The developers during the phase build the different technical architecture by purchasing and setting it up. In addition, the necessary software programs are written in the database for ease of navigation by the end user.

Once the system is developed, there is a need to test the program. This comes in handy as the fifth step in the seven step SDLC. Here the system is verified on whether it executes all the business requirements as defined in the analysis phase. A detailed test condition is developed and performed with the expected results evaluated. Once the developers are satisfied that the system works appropriately, they proceed to the implementation phase. In this step, the system is distributed to all knowledge workers who begin using the system to perform their routine jobs. However, a user documentation must be provided, which details how the knowledge workers will use the system.

The implementation phase might take different approaches depending on the end user and the developing team (Leau, Loo, Tham & Tan, 2012). Such include the pilot, phased, plunge or the parallel implementation. Each of the implementation holds merit and demerits that the stakeholders need to consider.

The seven step SDLC considers maintenance as the last phase. In the phase, stakeholders monitor and support the new system to ensure its ability to enable the business to realize its goals. During the phase, the developers and knowledge workers can advance the system with the different changes of the business environment.

Four Step SDLC Model

Four Step SDLC
Four Step SDLC

The four-step SDLC model considers a different number of steps to be involved in the development of a system for a business entity. The different steps include identification, design, construction and evaluation and risk analysis. Under the four step SDLC, the project goes through the four phases in iterations (Boehm, 1988). The SDLC model similar to the seven-step model begins by the identification of the objectives in relation to the business that the developers and the knowledge workers desire to execute using the system.

In the initial phase, identification, business requirements are gathered and later a system appropriate for the requirements identified. In addition, subsystem requirements and unit requirements are executed at the phase to ensure consistency during the development phase. Therefore, the knowledge workers and the developer need to interact excessively to ensure a mutual content on the needs that the system should satisfy. Significantly, the different alternatives and constraints are identified by the parties who later see a way of mitigating each of the shortcoming for the benefit of developing a perfect system.

Once the identification stage is complete, the team launches the design phase. The phase involves a conceptual design and an architectural design, logical design, physical product design and the final design. The different designs serve a greater role in ensuring systematic analysis of the project at each level of design to address any likely challenges. The construction stage comes in handy after the two phases are successfully executed. In the phase, the actual system is developed and engaged for the different needs.

A Proof of Concept document needs to accompany the system during the delivery to the knowledge workers to get feedback on the system (Boehm, Lane, Koolmanojwong & Turner, 2014). The information is often used for advancing or corrective measures necessary to ensure client satisfaction. The testing of the project is also done at the stage to optimize correction of the system.

In the last phase of the four-step SDLC process, the developer and client conduct a risk analysis procedure where they identify, estimate and monitor any technical feasibility probable. The appropriate management risks are engaged to ensure optimal results. For instance, a schedule slippage and cost overrun can be conducted to optimize the process. The customer needs to evaluate the system developed to determine whether it meets the project specifications provided during the first phase. In case the client or the developer identifies any issues concerning the system, the necessary steps are undertaken to resolve the problem. Considering the short cycle of the four-step model, reviews are inevitable in each phase (Boehm, 1988). The client and developers concerned with the system development analyze the previous cycle. The review covers all products developed in the previous cycle, including the plans for the next cycle. In addition, the required resources are evaluated for executing the subsequent cycle.

Comparing and Contrasting the Seven Step and Four Step Models

The seven-step and four-step model elicit similarities and differences worth considering in the study. The two models embrace the need to conduct preliminary analysis and ensure constant communication between the client and developer for the efficiency and effectiveness of the system. In the planning and identification phases, the need to optimize on information gathered, especially the objectives to be realized by the system is highlighted. Additionally, the design phase between the two models also elicits similarities. The two models rely on analysis, although the latter does not provide a higher prominence when compared to the seven-step model, which assumes analysis as a phase in the system development process (Boehm, Lane, Koolmanojwong & Turner, 2014).

Contrastingly, the four-step model considers the elimination of risk in the system establishment as the focus in defining the success of a system. This varies with the seven-step model that considers the adoption of the client needs into the system as the focus. As such, the four-step system ensures preliminary evaluation of risks in each phase. The review process in the four-step model is engaged at each phase. This is different to the seven-step that tends to review the project during the maintenance stage. As such, maintenance is cheaper in terms of cost and time for the four-step compared to the seven-step. The review explains why the four-step model does not have any phase identified as maintenance iterations (Boehm, 1988). In addition, the high status of the review in the different phases optimizes the ability of the developer to minimize any risk that might destabilize the organization. Thus, the system is developed in accordance with the inherent risks within the organization. Therefore, easy to customize the system to suit the needs of the organization.


Balaji, S., & Murugaiyan, M. S. (2012). Waterfall vs. V-Model vs. Agile: A comparative study on SDLC. International Journal of Information Technology and Business Management, 2(1), 26-30.

Boehm, B. W. (1988). A spiral model of software development and enhancement. Computer, 21(5), 61-72.

Boehm, B., Lane, J. A., Koolmanojwong, S., & Turner, R. (2014). The incremental commitment spiral model: Principles and practices for successful systems and software. Addison-Wesley Professional.

Hoffer, J. A. (2012). Modern Systems Analysis and Design, 6/e. Pearson Education India.

Leau, Y. B., Loo, W. K., Tham, W. Y., & Tan, S. F. (2012). Software development life cycle AGILE vs traditional approaches. In International Conference on Information and Network Technology (Vol. 37, No. 1, pp. 162-167).

Rosenblatt, H. J. (2013). Systems Analysis and Design. Cengage Learning.

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MBA Management Cross Cultural Training

MBA Management Cross Cultural Training

Cross Cultural Training. This MBA paper discusses Cross Cultural Training and its objectives, Importance of intercultural training in globalization, Key intercultural skills for expatriate training, Types and benefits of intercultural training and determinants of cultural difference.


Inter cultural training is fast becoming a clearly important element in the world of global industry (Zakaria, 2000) This assignment discusses Cross cultural training and its objectives, Importance of intercultural training in globalization, Key intercultural skills for expatriate training, Types and benefits of intercultural training, Determinants of cultural differences, Differences across cultures in people and practices, Socio-Cultural aspects of expatriate adjustment and  Intercultural training issues.

Intercultural Training

Inter cultural training means “Any intervention aimed at increasing an individual’s capability to cope with and work in foreign environment” (Tung, 1981). It includes one to one discussion and imitation of the situations of other culture to understand the culture of host country.  In other way cross cultural training means “Formal methods to prepare people for more effective interpersonal relations and job success when they interact extensively with individuals from cultures other than their own” (Brislin and Yoshida, 1994). Definition of cross cultural training hence is wide to include differences in areas like linguistic skills, corporate manners, views and principles, social system, negotiating styles etc. of any culture. The benefits of inter–cultural training are (Zakaria, 2000);

  1. A distinct advantage for organizations
  2. By continuous changing home country mode to a socially adjustable and suitable culture
  3. By improving how to cope up with unpredicted events and by dealing with cultural shock in host country culture
  4. By decreasing uncertainty in expatriates while dealing with host country citizens
  5. Increasing expatriates managing skills by reducing stress and disorientation (Zakaria, 2000) So this is the instrument for increasing the corporate culture and follows constantly reviewing the activity of expatriates in the companies

Importance of Intercultural Training in Globalisation

Changing Nature of International Organisations

Because of increasing co enterprise and unions and the huge developments in minor to major businesses as significant contributions in globalisation. Due to shift in financial circumstances changed the way of organisations looking at the value efficiency of expatriates (Harris and Kumra, 2000)

Change in Host Location

Due to huge foreign direct investment in foreign countries and inter cultural improvements the demand of expatriate assignment rise between established countries with a drop in the percentage of managers moving from developed world to the Third World (Harris and Kumra, 2000)

Key Intercultural Skills for Expatriate Training

According to Hofstede (1980, p. 398) important intercultural skills are as follows:

  1. The ability to interconnect esteem
  2. The ability to be broadminded
  3. The ability to accept others ideas and views
  4. The ability to show sympathy
  5. The ability to be elastic
  6. The ability for giving chance to others in debates
  7. Patience for doubtfulness

Gudykunst and Hammer (1983) focused on types of cross cultural training approaches. According to them there are two approaches:

Experiential versus Didactic: This method is based on an observation that individuals, mainly grownups, study by performing the task. (Knowles, 1972, 1975, 1990; Tough, 1979) For effectiveness in this approach learner have to study the processes and tactics for their significance in their society; improve a positive approach to the concept which will bring positive outcomes for them and also for another (Richards, 1997). In the didactic (information giving) approach, based on the thoughts that a cognitive understanding is essential before people can interact with another culture. This can be done by information giving such as lectures, videos and group discussions.

Culture Specific versus Culture General: Culture specific training gives information and direction about culture where expatiate is moving soon for his assignment. Culture specific method includes methods like culture specific briefings, assimilation and readings, giving expatriate knowledge about the country (e.g. past and present situation, creed); important ethics, or what to do and what not to do in that particular culture. (Harris and Kumra, 2000)On the other hand, Culture general training is about providing information to the peoples which they can use in any new culture with anew  variety of know hows and developing expatiates with a set of expertise of how to deal with unknown cultures. Types of approach used in this include simulations and self-assessments (Harris and Kumra, 2000)

Types and Benefits of Intercultural Training

Pre Departure Training: This is the traditional form for intercultural training and it is conducted in the home country and organised about a month ago before departure. For better efficiency, the training should be given when the trainees are most motivated to learn (Selmer, 2009) For example, if a person is unable to concern learning about another culture may not benefit from pre-departure training. The duration of most Cross Cultural Training programmes is depends upon the cultural distance from home country to host country. For example between the West and China (Branine, 2005). This experience is called ‘‘tourist  phase’’ (Torbiorn,1982)

Post Arrival Training: Post arrival training is further beneficial when provided after expatriate coming back from host country to home country. (Gudykunst et al., 1996; Selmer et al., 1998). This takes around three to six months to start and focused on developments in the host country culture, world view, mentality, values, living patterns and social structure (Torbiorn, 1994). This training can take place at the host country, the home country or any other place. This is like ‘‘on site’’ training of expatriates. ‘‘on site’’ training supports to study innovative administrative measures, and help them adjust to the new cultural background.

Sequential Training: This training must be progressing in steps starting at pre departure and continuing to the post arrival phases which provides a complete direction for expatriate’s step by step improvement towards knowing the value and beliefs of the host culture. (Selmer, 2009) Sequential training has three pre conditions. First, expatriate’s encounters a much diverse societal atmosphere, that the expatriate has faced situations which were unknown before without any option. Then, the relocation to the overseas nation is within a short period of time. Third, expatriate Stays in the host culture for long time for situation to be restructured and the new behaviors to be taught (Selmer et al., 1998).

Content and Duration of Cross Cultural Training

Brislin (1979) has identified three different contents of Cross cultural Training as being cognitive, effective and behavioral in nature. The cognitive content matches to a distribution of information through discussions and other non-participatory resources. Cognitive content contain facts and figures important for real world measures, for example geographic knowledge, weather, accommodation, universities etc. The effective content aims at aggravating individual responses to learn how to deal with critical cultural situations.

Cross Cultural Training Dissertation
Cross Cultural Training Dissertation

The behavioral content aims at improving the communication style of participants for decent relationships with members of host culture and could enables communication with natives, shows an ability to show the interest to learn about overseas culture, supports expatriate to be well mannered (Eschback et al., 2001; Selmer, 2006). Duration of Cross Culture Training sessions are depending upon what training expatriate is getting ranging from one day or designed for few days or a month (Caligiuri et al., 2001; Gudykunst et al.). For example, language training from basic level to advance level reneging from one day to one month.

Benefits of Cross Cultural Training

Cross cultural training improves consciousness amongst people in order to promote clear lines of communication and better relationships. Cross Cultural Training should enable expatriates to determine appropriate cultural behaviours in the host country and suitable ways to perform their job tasks (Black and Mendenhall, 1990). Through Cross Cultural Training, expatriates may get familiar with unexpected happenings in the new cultural background and to reduce conflict due to unexpected actions and situations. Furthermore, it also shows that in the pre departure Cross Cultural Training, the training may help expatriates to create accurate outlooks with respect to living and working in the host country. (Black and Mendenhall, 1990; Black et al., 1991)

An Integrated Cross Cultural Training Model

This model relates the success of training to the development of acculturation. This supports expatriates to act very effectively and reduce stressful practices while facing the insecurity in overseas nations. This model defines acculturation as both a development and a state. For individual persons, family support and willingness to acculturate features added. The type of job assignment, length of assignment and type of training added in situational features. The main improvement in this model is the adding of extra critical process earlier cultural contact takes place, both of which are antecedents to the acculturation process. (Zakaria, 2000)

The new procedure is the moderating process which needs good training programs. The main purposes of this procedure are: adjust the individual and situational characteristics; decrease the culture shock like stress, disorientation, learning and skills deficits; accomplish improved acculturation results. Cross cultural training is important element. With the help of integrated cross cultural training program organisations gain benefits if training is provided in a proper way (Nixon & Dawson 2013)

Determinants of Cultural Differences

Pioneering study of cultures across modern nations done by Hofstede, Dutch social psychologist, in different cultures evaluated the outcomes and establishes forms of likeness and variance among the answers along these five dimensions. According to Hofstede (1981, in Hofstede, 2001) there are some magnitudes in to the cultural factors. These factors are as follows:

  1. Power distance index (PDI): This state to the degree of dissimilarity that exists – and is accepted – between persons with and without power. A high PD score shows that culture agrees an unequal circulation of power and people recognise “their place” in the system. A Low PD shows that power is shared and well distributed. It also means equality in the society members.
  1. Individualism (IDV): means specific point at which persons take care about them beyond family and with a very few close friends or stay incorporated into groups usually around the family.
  1. Masculinity (MAS) vs. feminism: means the circulation of emotional roles amongst the sexes. It opposes a tough masculine to tender feminine society. The assertive pole has been called ‘masculine’ and the modest and the caring pole called ‘feminine’.
  1. Uncertainty avoidance index (UAI): this deals with a culture’s open mindedness for uncertainty and ambiguity; which shows the states to man’s hunt for reality. It shows to what level a culture programs its members to feel in unstructured conditions. For example, uncomfortable or comfortable.
  1. Long term orientation (LTO):  This state that at what dimensions values and ethics age old works as opposite to short term customs and beliefs. Countries those are having a high Long term orientation score, bringing on social responsibilities and side stepping “loss of face” are count very significant.

Differences across Cultures in People and Practices

Many people behave significantly different in different situations because of their cultures differences. The motivational desires of the expatriates and executives differ from culture to culture. The driving force which causes peoples to do the job in India may not be the same for Chines peoples; international manager must understand the modifications in the people’s mode of doing work. (Neelankavil and James, 2012)

The manufacture services of organizations may be same through divisions but the mind-set of the people’s changes organizations to organizations. For example, Japanese management system like quality circles failed when they have applied into Indian organisations. Neelankavil, Mathur and Zhang (2012) study shows that in four countries for management development and motivational aspects in both different training found diverse management values, value dimensions and relative administration. India established a similar value to America than its neighbor country china though less geographic distance. For example, Drive and ambition were significant for American managers (91) for achievement which is not the instance for China (7) (Neelankavil, Mathur and Zhang, 2012)

Socio Cultural Aspects of Expatriate Adjustment

There is difference in Socio-Cultural and psychological adjustments in the concept of inter cultural adjustment (Searle and Ward, 1990; Ward and Kennedy, 1992, 1993; Ward and Searle, 1991). Socio-Cultural adjustment communicates the capability to successfully interact with the peoples of overseas country (Ward and Kennedy, 1996) which has been linked with objects that encourage and enable to learn other countries culture and acquire social skills. (Cross, 1995; Searle and Ward, 1990) The Socio-Cultural stressed on social behavior (Black and Mendenhall, 1991; Furnham, 1993; Klineberg, 1982).Psychological adjustment means person’s happiness in their new social backgrounds linked with persons emotions, cognitive views, and individual features (Ward and Kennedy, 1996). Black et al. (1991) discussed in their recommended model for international managers modification, difference in three types of modification is as follows:

  1. Modification towards expatriates work;
  2. Modification towards communicating with citizens of the host country;
  3. Modification towards social situation.


It is very important that for sending their expatriates to the host country must be aware of situations in an overseas. Managing with an overseas nation both administrative and national require well organized homework. A very well equipped cross cultural training will help the organizations to be ready for, with the fluctuations in the functioning policies, principles and ethics they are predicted towards the future. There is a degree of variance expatriate may see while moving to a host country. An organisation may face losses due to unorganized cross cultural training and that is the matter of great concern.

For preparing the expatriates for an overseas mission is equally advantageous for the companies and for international managers. In cross cultural training it is very important that which type of training program organisation using. A good organised inter cultural teaching program might help in uncertain circumstances; from this activity industry can get the best possible output from the international managers by taking care of the employee confidence and inspiration. Now from the above arguments we can say that inter cultural training is the main factor for success in international human resource management.


Black, J. and Mendenhall, M. (1990) Cross Cultural Training Effectiveness: A Review and a Theoretical Framework for Future Research. Academy of Management Review [Internet], 15(1), January, pp.113 136.

Brislin, R. and Yoshida, T. (1994) Intercultural Communication Training: An Introduction [Internet], Sage publication ltd., London.

Graf, A. (2004) Screening and training inter cultural competencies: evaluating the impact of national culture on inter cultural competencies. International Journal of Human Resource Management.

Graf A, Mertesacker, M. (2009) Intercultural training: six measures assessing training needs. Journal of European Industrial Training.

Harris, H. and Kumra, S. (2000) International manager development—Cross cultural training in highly diverse environments. Journal of Management Development.

Hofstede, G.S. (2001) Culture’s Consequences:  Comparing Values, Behaviours, Institutions and Organizations across Nations, 2nd ed.,   Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications Ltd., United Kingdom.

Interview by Powell, S. (2006) Geert Hofstede: challenges of cultural diversity, Human Resource Management International Digest.

Mathur, A, Zhang, Y, and Neelankavil, J. (2012), Critical managerial motivational factors: A cross cultural analysis of four culturally divergent countries, International Journal of Cross Cultural Management.

Neelankavil, and James P.(2012) ‘Determinants of Managerial Performance: A Cross cultural Comparison of the Perceptions of Middle level Managers in Four Countries’, Journal of International Business Studies.

Nixon, J. and Dawson, G. (2013) Reason for cross cultural communication training, Corporate Communications.

Selmer J. (1999) Culture shock in China? Adjustment pattern of western expatriate business managers. International Business Review.

Selmer, J. (2004) Psychological barriers to adjustment of Western business expatriates in China: Newcomers vs long stayers. The International Journal of Human Resource Management.

Selmer, J. (2005) Cross cultural training and expatriate adjustment in China: Western joint venture managers.

Selmer, J. (2009) Expatriate cross cultural training for China: views and experience of “China Hands”, Management Research Review.

Waxin, M. and Panaccio, A. (2005) Cross cultural training to facilitate expatriate adjustment: it works!

Zakaria, N. (2000) The effects of cross cultural training on the acculturation process of the global workforce. International Journal of Manpower.

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Project Management Constraints

Project Management Constraints

Efficient project management has become one of the most popular tools for both private and public organizations as project handlers have sought ways to improve their operations. Project managers seek to achieve success across all sectors when handling a project. Technological advancement, new product development and streamlining of business perspectives are examples of targets set by project managers. During the inception of a project, there is the careful planning, organizing and prioritizing available resources achieving the desired outcome or the projected results in the least. At the inception stage, a project seeks to achieve the set target within minimal time while using the least amount of resources. However, every project manager faces challenges during the implementation of a project. Such challenges arise from the presence of different constraints within project management.

Background of the study

Even though a project manager prefers to achieve success all through, there are instances where resources allocated become minimal. Timeframe awarded to a project may also exceed leading to the scope of a project taking a new approach. Project constraints hinder project success hence the need to address each constraint. Despite the fact that project constraints are not consistent, schedule, resources and quality seem to be popularly present hindering success. The omnipresence of these three constraints has led to the name triple constraints, and this research study will address these constraints discussing how they affect project success (Kendrick, 2009).

Making a project successful within the triple constraint proves to be a challenge for every project manager. Regardless of whether its quality, resources or time, the three elements have the notion of working in tandem manner. Significantly, the absence or scarcity of one of these elements adversely affects the triumphant completion of projects. An efficient project manager comprehends that the main key of achieving success for a project entails the balancing of the triple constraints (Dobson, 2004).

Research methodology

The research methodology involved entails a presenting approach adopted within the study. Careful analysis of the triple constraints will be presented. The analysis will involve illustrations of various ways in which such project constraints affect the successful completion of a project. The approach taken will require meeting the expectations of the constraints of project management. The approach taken requires meeting the expectations of constraints in project management. Such entails the researcher to espouse a comprehensive research methodology enabling the understanding of project constraints adverse effects.


In order to remain consistent with this research, there is the approach of extensive methodologies adopted to assist readers in achieving the required results. There were appropriate considerations of projects that have failed or succeeded. Essential to this study, it is significant for a project manager to identify basic project management aspects in order to determine the purpose of a project. Such allows the understanding of project constraints leading to identifying ways of overcoming the constraints (Russell, 2011).

Project Constraint – Quality and Scope

Functions, features, content and data all constitute the scope of work to be done for any project. In order to achieve quality for any piece of work to be done, a project manager is required to provide a precise and specific statement identifying the desired final result of the project undertaken (Dobson, 2004). Every project should have a well-defined and articulate scope of work. However, it is essential to note that the scope of a project is dependent on the output quality. The output quality is essential since it ensures that a project scope is achievable.

Notable to this research, project scope requires effective planning, use of available resources, and proficient management techniques achieving the set target. Failure to adhere to such aspects will frequently lead to project failure. Mandatory for any project manager, changing the scope halfway through the project is suicidal, and often leads to project failure. Nonetheless, every project requires minor changes that are permissible during implementation in order to ensure success (Kendrick, 2009).

The quality of work done is dependent on a project manager’s understanding of project outcomes. Prior to proceeding on with a project, the client will usually have issued instructions on the expected outcome of an assignment. Nonetheless, several prospects of divergence will ensue regarding the necessity to stabilize around the existent resources. A competent project manager has the ability, and resources to cultivate success among projects undertaken. Organizations need to realize the significance of succeeding in projects as these increases their clientele base.

The project manager should have subdivisions that enable tasks undertaken within an organization (Goodpasture, 2004). There are assorted personnel dealing with the diversified projects. For instance, the manager is responsible for overseeing that the objective of the project is realized. The manager is also responsible for directing vast and significant decisions to avoid project failure. Executing this in a resourceful manner requires the program manager to ensure discipline and order is present among supervisors and other member staff.

Project Constraint – Time and Scheduling

Being the primary consideration, time management should be analyzed to the smallest detail. A competent project manager realizes the essentiality of analyzing the required time, and component to ensure successful completion of a project (Dobson, 2004). After careful analysis, each of the components is broken down in order to assign specified amount of time for handling a particular task. A project undertaken requires such aspects since they allow the estimation of a period with which the project can be undertaken. Apart from the estimation of the project period, resources required are identified to ensure success.

Despite the three constraints having a correlation to one another, time management within a project is seen as a diverse unit. Such view is alongside the realization that proper execution of any project within the allocated time is dependent on circumstances and efficient techniques. Project failure may occur despite the project manager having allocated a specific timeframe for each task. Failure can occur should there be exact resources to handle a project (Goodpasture, 2004). Abrupt emergencies may require the use of more resources in handling scrupulous tasks, leading to limited resources. The limitations of resources will often lead to an extended time-frame for a project risking failure (Russell, 2011).

Project Management Constraints
Project Management Constraints

Most project failures have resulted from undermining time allocated to different tasks. However, this often occurs when a project manager is unfamiliar with tasks undertaken. Failure of a project will frequently arise from unexpected events, risks and uncertainties. If the project manager is deemed to be inexperienced, the rise of potential risks will prolong the previously allocated time. Present in most projects undertaken, there ought to be an effective organization, proper restructuring and estimation techniques. Such will ensure that time is managed in an effective manner reducing the risk of failure for undertaken projects.

Project constraint – Cost and Resources

A competent project manager realizes that success of a project is compliant with the readiness and available resources. Even though time has been allocated to different tasks, it is also essential to allocate needed resources to complete the tasks at hand. However, providing the needed resources requires a project manager to have the capital needed to acquire the necessities. Such aspects require wholesome efforts on all levels of accountability. Ranging from casual workers, permanent employees, middle and top level managers, successful project completion requires collaborated efforts from parties involved. Realizing that resources like manpower are the most essential in achieving success, a resourceful project manager ought to ensure that the needs and requirements of labour present is met. Resources pose as the greatest risk in project failure (Wysocki, 2011). There are variables present like rate of materials, machinery and equipment, labour expenses which determine success or failure of a project.

Depending on market prices, the rate of materials seems to be at a constant change requiring the individual assigned to be per with the new prices. The new prices of different prices lead to subsequent changes in quality. There ought to be available capital to purchase high quality materials. For instance in building constructions, it is paramount to purchase quality materials, and failure to do so has a definite chance of project failure resulting from building collapse (Goodpasture, 2004). The purchase of machinery and equipment is also determined by price ranges within the market. However, in order to ensure success, there needs to be the use of high quality machinery and equipment.

Project running is comparative to embrowning a project plan comprehensive of the scrupulous objectives and missions. In addition, there ought to be a quantification of the assets required, the accounts should be indomitable within a timeline that is set. There is the existence of a variety of gear that is essential in making projects undertaken to be successful. The responsibilities of the manger should be as minimal as possible to avoid exhaustion from too much pressure to perform. Essential to this study, it is essential to identify different project phases and measure the success. However, the project manager should ensure that the manpower available is well taken care of since they are the success of any organization.


The prioritization of the constraints within a project is the foremost task needed to be undertaken by a project manager. In addition to the development of strategies in the management of multiple constraints, it is also instrumental that a project manager effectively maintains communication with the client. This ensures that they are both on the same page and that the client’s expectations are being met. Additionally, any competent project manager must ensure that they have a thorough knowledge of project management skills. This greatly assists them in being able to effectively and efficiently cater for any unforeseen project constraints. The act of balancing a project’s responsibilities is facilitated by the project manager’s ability to chart, analyze and implement it. This is because the project manager is aware of and has experience with a project’s concurrent risks.


Dobson, M, S. (2004). The Triple Constraints in Project Management. Arizona: Management Concepts.

Goodpasture, J, C. (2004). Quantitative methods in project management. Arizona: J. Ross Publishing.

Heldman, K. (2011). PMP Project Management Professional Exam Study Guide. USA: John Wiley & Sons

Kendrick, T. (2009). Identifying and Managing Project Risk: Essential Tools for Failure-Proofing Your Project. Phoenix: AMACOM Div American Mgmt Assn.

Russell, D. (2011). Succeeding in the Project Management Jungle: How to Manage the People Side of Projects. Phoenix: AMACOM Div American Mgmt Assn.

Wysocki, R, K. (2011). Effective Project Management: Traditional, Agile, Extreme. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

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Hofstede and Trompenaars

How Do Different Cultures Affect Consumer Behaviour and Organisational Structure: An Inquiry Using Hofstede and Trompenaars Models

This study will analyse the effect of different cultural practices on consumer behaviour belonging to different cultures. Utilizing Hofstede’s cultural framework and Trompenaars dimensions of cultural framework, this study will exhibit the cultural differences create differential impacts on organizations and structural changes associated with them. Furthermore, theoretical frameworks constructed by other behaviourists as well as psycho-sociologists will be discussed in brief to determine the stimulant triggering consumers to consumer goods. How far cultural orientations are effectively managing consumer behaviour and how much these orientations are making organisations to adapt to specific set of practices in local context will be studies Moreover, this study will argue that cultural differences affect not only the behaviour of consumer but lead the managers to change their decision making style and to make strategic decisions on the basis of consumers’ choice.

Culture: What It Holds for Consumers

Culture consists of collective elements and practices which provide a conduit for perception, judgment, calculation, correspondence, and action amongst those who share a historical period, a language, and a geographic location according to Arnolds and Thompson (2005). Culture is a prevailing power in regulating human behaviour and shaping their values in the formation of their collective actions. According to the authors, the culture is comprised of a commonly-accepted set of behaviour models that are transported and well-preserved by the members of a specific society through different means. Cultural values touch almost every facet of human life according to Mourali et al., (2005). The cultural value scheme includes cultural fundamentals that the people of a particular region have in common with the group to which they belong as observed by Luna and Gupta (2001). From the start of an individual’s actuality, the personal experiences the profits and restrictions of a particular culture, and those profits and limitations may become a leading stimulus upon consumers’ purchasing choices.

Hofstede’s Model of Cultural Dimensions: Analysis of Consumer Behaviour and Organisational Ethos

Hofstede’s (1984) study entitled as ‘Culture’s Consequences’ investigates into the field of studying multinational companies and international organizations. Hofstede collected and analysed data collected from different countries to formulate concrete theoretical framework for the analysis of culture on various aspects of organisation. Through that data analysis, he concluded that “organizations are culturally-bounded” implying that structure and functions of organisation are deeply affected by the culture in which it functions. Hofstede used the analysis to create different “dimensions of culture”, the consumer behaviour and organizational styles have been discussed below.


This cultural dimension developed by Hofstede expounds that the kind of relationship an individual has with him or herself and with others in every culture. In societies where idea of individualism is of paramount importance, most of the individuals are expected to take attention and upkeep of themselves and their immediate family. In this kind of culture the consumer behaviour is self-dependent, which implies that societal values are of less significance for their consuming habits. In these cultures the management style revolves around the self-efficiency which is driven by motives of promotions and development. However, in collectivistic-oriented societies which are, by and large traditional societies, focus has been on societal good and community’s welfare as observed by Yeniurt and Townsend (2003). In these cultures, consumers’ behaviour is largely dependent on societal approval for the consumption of goods and services being offered by various companies. Moreover, the organizational styles are deep rooted into efficiency, but they also take into consideration the cultural values. In these cultures, individuals are merely regarded as the members of groups who are expected to look after them in give-and-take for allegiance to organisation. Furthermore, Yeniurt and Townsend (2003) are of the view that in collectivistic culture, there has been greater chances of innovation as these cultures are better equipped to trap organizational energies.

Uncertainty Avoidance

According to Hofstede (1991), this dimension mainly deals with the necessity to formulate rules and regulation for prescribed and proscribed behaviour of people against their sense of uncertainty. Hofstede observes that countries marked with political stability and strong sense of cultural identity score low on this dimension as they feel usually secure. However, countries like those of Latin America score high on this dimension because people (consumers) feel insecure about political climate which adversely affect their collective psyche. In these states, organisations usually rely on ad hoc practices as they could change or wind up their business owing to uncertain prevailing conditions. Consumers in these states are quite inactive as they do not indulge into buying spree out of trust problems.

Power Distance

This dimension unravels the costs of discrimination found in the authority and power relations within a specific society according to Hofstede (1991). It adversely affects the hierarchy and reliance relationships in the outline of family and organisations. For example in patriarchal societies, power within a family rests on the male. His decisions will be regarded as the most influential with regard to what is to be bought. Applying similar analogy at organisational level, in such societies the organisational structure is predicated on gender relations which value more to male workers.


Hofstede (1991) through this dimension points the in masculine cultures the dominant values are success and achievement. The implication of this dimension at organisational level incorporates that in masculine societies organisations prefer to focus on success and achievement and its structural style is male-dominated which propels the values of competition, progress and organisational efficiency. However, contrary to this finding, the feminine cultures put a great of emphasis on the concern for others. In this situation, organisation mainly focuses on social responsibility which forms the part and parcel of their organisational ethos. At consumer level, it would certainly imply that countries which have concerns for other will pay less heed to consumer values; whereas culture which puts lot of significance to success and achievements in terms of their financial strength and professional success, these states (or cultures) will put more emphasis on consumption values.

Long-Term Orientation

This dimension in Hofstede Model envisages the bringing forth attributes which are oriented towards futuristic prospects by long term awards (Hofstede, 1991). Hofstede in his later studies proposed that long-term versus short term dichotomy is more useful for his theoretical construct. The societies having long-term collective vision usually rely on deferred gratification patterns. Their main thrust is on saving for the future; therefore consumer behaviour in those societies is usually tilted towards lower levels of consumptions. According to Hofstede (1991), this pattern is usually found in emerging economies like China and India. At organisational level, there is an increasing tendency towards competition in these cultures which focus on long-termism.

Hofstede Trompenaars
Hofstede Trompenaars

Trompenaars’ Dimensions of Culture Framework

The main dimensions of culture framework defined by Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner and summarized by Trompenaars and Woolliams (2003) are predicated on four cultural typologies which are as follow:

The Incubator Culture

According to Trompenaars and Woolliams (2003), this culture resembles like a leaderless and shudderless team. It implies that prevalence of informal relations and low level of centralisation at organisational level. In this culture, the role and responsibilities are not well defined and there can be serious infringes on the overall organisation’s motivations.

The Guided Missile Culture

This cultural typology is mainly task oriented with high level of centralisation and low level of authority (Trompenaars and Woolliams, 2003). The authors are of the view that ‘… rational culture is, in its ideal type, task and project oriented. ‘Getting the job done’ with ‘the right man in the right place’ are favourite expressions. Organisational relationships are very results oriented.’ It shows that Guided Missile cultures have strict sense of responsibility. In these cultures, the managerial style is based on problem solving solutions and managers are in full charge of authority. In these types of organisational culture, the level of adaptability is very high, therefore these organisations are best suited to work in multi-cultural framework.

Family Culture

Family culture is an inverse form of the Guided Missile culture—marked by high degree of authority consolidation and low level of formalisation according to Trompenaars and Woolliams (2003). The employees of organisations marked with such kind of cultural ethos revolve around the core of authority. But like family, there are little rules and therefore there is less room for bureaucratic style. All which matters most is the will of the authority, which is a rule unto itself. In these organisations, managers have little or no say. They remain at the mercy of top slots. There remains a permanent contest amongst organisation’s members to remain as close to authority as possible.

The Eiffel Tower Culture

According to Trompennars and Woolliams (2003), the Eiffel Tower Culture is marked with strict centralisation and high level of formalisation. This culture is highly oriented towards role fulfilment which makes employees of an organisation largely adhere to the organisation’s main motives and business slogans. The whole organisation and its energies are directed towards pre-defined sets of goals and ambitions.

Consumer Behaviour: A Melting Pot for Cultural Effects

The study of the dealings and consumption involve the procedure when people choose, buy, utilize, or dispose of products, services, designs, or experiences to satisfy needs and desires is known as consumer behaviour according to Solomon et al, (2001). From the definition above, consumer behaviour can be viewed as a course that encompasses the issues that affect the consumer before, during and after a purchase. But cultural values operate at each level in imperceptible way. Culture is more than an environmental or collective influence. People were imagined within a culture. Culture is in the heads of people while consuming things which influences their behaviour. To comprehend culture’s effects on consumer behaviour, culture must be incorporated in different aspects of consumer behaviour theory. Preferably, different theories of consumer behaviour are proposed within cultures by studying people’s behaviour within each nation.

Cultural Differences and Consumer Behaviour

At psychological level, the mental approach and general mindset of a consumer which he has begotten towards a product for making rational choices is known as the consumer decision-making style. However, it is well understood by Bennet and Kassarjian (1972) long before the initialization of systematic study that consumer decision-making style hinges upon an unvarying configuration of operative and cognitive responses to their needs and societal approval of these decisions. Moreover, the culture has also been proven to have a greater impact on individual attitudes and values according to Hofstede and Hofstede (2005). Hofstede and Hofstede (2005) pioneered the study of culture and its impact on various aspects of management and business related management practice. The Hofstede Model, which has been elaborated in the following paragraphs has been regarded a mould to study the impact of culture on management practices as well on the consumer-oriented decisions regarding consumption.

Furthermore, Sproles and Kendall (1986) devised three different ways to approach consumer decision making process, which includes consumer typology approach, psychographic approach which is also known as lifestyle approach and, lastly, consumer characteristic approach. The authors elaborated the consumer typology approach categorises customers according to the retail investment and the types of consumers which usually get into particular type of consumption pattern. The consumer psychographic approach hinges upon the overall lifestyle of the consumer. For example, a consumer with middle class lifestyle will tend to emulate the life style of the elite within his or her specific income. In the same, vein consumer characteristic approach depends on the detailed study of different traits and characteristics of consumers, which involves the study what consumer is looking after. Moreover, characteristic approach also underlines the cognitive positioning of consumer towards buying the specific product through their motives as observed by Westbrook and Black (1985). The authors are of the view that pre-defined mental constructs are important stimulants of general human behaviour which, in turn, also affects consumers’ behaviour as they are of the view ‘hypothetical and unobservable psychological constructs postulated to explain both the energized and directive aspects of human behaviour.


The study shows that culture has deep effects on the consumer behaviour as well as organisations’ structure which, in turns, affect organisations’ efficiency. The prevalent mode of cultural values best describes what kind of consumer behaviour and what kind of organisational goals have been embedded into them. Moreover, the study further suggests that an organisation with flexible rules with an adaptive style of operations is best suited in today’s world of multi-cultural workplace when the role of employees especially managers is also becoming complex in the face of global assignments.


Arnould, E. J. and Thompson, C. J. (2005), Consumer Culture Theory (CCT): Twenty Years of Research, Journal of Consumer Research, 31:4, 868–882

Bennett, P. D., and Kassarjian, H. H., (1972), Consumer Behavior, Chicago: US, Prentice-Hall

Hofstede, G., and Hofstede, G.J., (2005), Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind. 2nd Edition, US, McGraw-Hill

Hofstede, G., (1984), Culture’s Consequences: International Differences in Work-Related Values, New York: US, Sage Publications

Luna, D. and Gupta, S.F., (2001), An Integrative Framework for Cross-Cultural Consumer Behaviour, International Marketing Review, 18:1, 45 – 69

Mourali, M., Laroche, M., and Pons, F., (2005), Individualistic Orientation and Consumer Susceptibility to Interpersonal Influence, Journal of Services Marketing, 19, 164-173

Solomon, M. R., Polegato, R and Zaichkowsky, J.G., (2001), Consumer Behaviour: Buying, Having, and Being, Toronto: Canada, Pearson Education Canada

Sproles, G.B. and Kendall, E.L., (1986), A Methodology for Profiling Consumers’ Decision-Making Styles, Journal of Consumer Affairs, 20:2, 267-279

Trompenaars, F. and Woolliams, P., (2003), A New Framework for Managing Change Across Cultures, Journal of Change Management, 3:4, 361–375

Westbrook, R.A. and Black, W.C., (1985), A Motivation-Based Shopper Typology, Journal of Retailing, 61, 78-103

Wong, N. Y., and Ahuvia, A. C., (1998), Personal Taste and Family Face: Luxury Consumption in Confucian and Western Societies, Psychology and Marketing, 15, 423-444

Yeniyurt, S., and Townsend, J.D., (2003), Does Culture Explain Acceptance of New Products in a Country?: An Empirical Investigation, International Marketing Review, 20:4, 377-396

Click Here To View MBA Dissertation Titles

Six Sigma MBA Project

Six Sigma

Six Sigma is a statistical methodology which involves multi-faceted business driven approach and the ability to improve processes, reduce costs and experience increase in profits. This improvement tool is extensively utilized in manufacturing, industrial and services industry. The purpose of this paper is to discover the implications and evaluate critical success factors for successful six sigma implementation in Pakistan and India. This research will assist in focusing on the critical success factors which has allowed industries in these two countries for having a successful implementation without investing on expensive consultation fee. The methodology adopted is evaluation of some real life case studies of six sigma implementation in various industries of Pakistan, India, Malaysia and Turkey.

The analysis conducted revealed that this is a strategic-level cycle, which allows development of focused projects to generate maximum business advantage. Moreover at an operational-level applying Six Sigma and lean tools provides numerous benefits to fixed and variable supply chain improvements. The benefits which are obtained from such model are also discussed and it is concluded that management should conduct a thorough analysis in practice before implementing this technique on a particular department. However it is certain that cultural changes entail time and commitment before they are strongly implemented and practiced fully into the organization.

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the success and failure rates of Six Sigma implementation in Pakistan and India in comparison with some international countries. The end result will assist in making a decision that every company whether it is small, medium or large scale organization should go for Six Sigma or Lean Six Sigma implementation in their businesses.

The six sigma technique which is a project-driven management approach aimed for improving the organization’s products, services, and processes by constantly reducing defects in the organization. It can be regarded as an improvement strategy which has the ability to deliver important business benefits in the longer run to all practitioner organizations (Guarraia, Carey, Corbett, & Neuhaus, 2008). However the debate is still underway which is in search of finding ways to have a successful model/procedure which can be applied to various fields of business. Six Sigma was originally introduced by Motorola, General Electric and Honeywell as an authoritative performance improvement tool (Pande, Neuman, & Cavanagh, 2006).The introduction of this technique has changed the face of modern industries today. It is basically a people focused management system that works by connecting all employees of a certain organization from top-to-bottom, in the form of a structured team (Thawani, 2002). It aims to persistently increase customer contentment by reducing real costs. The cost reduction is attained through attenuation in variation and focusing on the underlying reasons for poor quality or waste (Huesing, 2008).

The Six Sigma implementation requires cost and efforts in terms of training human resource and reformulation of business processes. This research is carried out for finding sustainability factors which will motivate multinational companies for investing in Six Sigma. The Six Sigma is regarded as a business management methodology which is designed for finding and eliminating the underlying causes of defects which will eventually improve the output. Six Sigma also looks for variations which are hidden in a particular process and then remove all those excessive variations (Antony, 2010).

Lean is an integrated approach which was developed by Toyota production system in Japan and their idea is to minimize waste between processes. Lean separates the value added process from the unnecessary steps which merely waste time and elongates a process from start to finish. In the year 2000 Michael George, a USA consultant proposed the idea of combining lean with six sigma as a single framework. He was of the opinion that this strategy will help in attaining better results with an integrated approach (George M. , 2002).


This paper is aimed to find out “Six Sigma Success or Failure Experiences in Pakistan and India” for which we have conducted our research through online journals, articles and various case studies of companies which had implemented Six Sigma or are planning to implement in search of professionals who can assist them in applying this tool properly.

Research Methodology

This research paper is formulated with the core idea of having a critical review of real success or failure experiences of six sigma implementation in Pakistan and India. The observations were made on the basis of extensive literature review, case studies and real life instances. This phenomenon was followed for identifying the main factors which had made lean six sigma successful for small, medium and large scale enterprises. Eventually this research will assist other researchers to plan their direction from the recommendation offered by this study.

Research Questions

Q1: What is the success and failure rate of six sigma implementation in Pakistan and India considering small, medium and large scale organizations?

Q2: What can be the core success reasons for having a successful implementation of Lean Six Sigma in Pakistan and India?

Q3: How efficiently and effectively are the other international industries especially from Malaysia are able to integrate lean six sigma in their industries?

Q4: On the basis of national and international literature review which critical success factors have been deduced for having a successful implementation of Lean Six Sigma in Pakistani and Indian industries?

Q5: Which particular sector (manufacturing, service etc.) will be able to yield maximum benefit from lean six sigma implementation?

Research Framework

The approach which is taken for collecting data was mainly through case study observations which were made after analyzing various case studies and online research gathered from journals. The objectives were achieved by studying application of Six Sigma approach to various industries both in Pakistan and India which has give an insight of success or failure experiences. The objective of this research was to study the practical implementations of Six Sigma in Pakistan’s and India’s small, medium and large scale organizations. The basic philosophy of this research project is to put forward the positive approach towards Six Sigma implementation. However we will discuss both success and failures which are faced by these two countries during Six Sigma Implementation.

Hypothesis Development

The purpose of this paper was to present cases which depicts “Six Sigma Success or Failure Experiences in Pakistan and India – a comparison with, China etc. Moreover it has also discussed the business improvement methodology in relation to Six Sigma which has successfully applied across companies in Pakistan and India.

Research Hypothesis

Following hypothesis were developed keeping in view implementation of six sigma and lean methods in Pakistan and India:

H1: Management commitment and support is essential for having a successful implementation of Six Sigma and Lean in an organization.

H2: Prioritizing projects & assessing the organization for readiness for having a change in an organization.

H3: Following reward and recognition system is significant for having an ownership and cost accountability.

H4: Monitoring and managing organization performance is essential for guiding business units in an effective manner.

H5: The assessment of Small, Medium and Large Scale organization are significant for better Lean Six Sigma results.

H6: Bridging the gap between Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma together with sustainability and well-established governance.

Literature Review

Six Sigma

Six Sigma is a well-organized process which helps in selection of a particular direction. Moreover it allows in developing set of rules and procedures for delivering results with error minimization up to zero percent(Snee & Hoerl, 2003 ). This is a statistical term which measures how a particular process deviates from standard (Tang, Goh, Yam, & Yoap, 2007). The main idea which underlies behind Six Sigma is to measure how many defects a particular process has and then systematically find out ways to eliminate them which consequently attain end-result with zero defects (Summers, 2007). In order to achieve Six Sigma level of quality, a process is required to give output not more than 3.4 defects per million opportunities. An opportunity is regarded as a prospect for non-conformance which is not able to meet the required specifications (Larson, 2003).

Six Sigma has recognized that business quality is regarded highest when the cost of providing a particular product or delivering a certain service, according to the customer requirements are at absolute lowest level. This level is defined not only for the producer but also for the consumer (Harry, Mann, Hodgins, Hulbert, & Lacke, 2011). Similarly if Six Sigma is applied in a construction sector that this tools is not only focused on removing or eliminating the errors and making it defect free, instead it is always in search of ways for designing processes and products which can be applied at Six Sigma levels of performance keeping in view the strategic importance and the associated cost (Tennant, 2001).

Six Sigma includes process which consists of five phases / steps for attaining a Breakthrough Improvement in the processes (, 2012). These include the following;

  1. Define the issue, product characteristics that affect customer satisfaction
  2. Measure the response factors and baseline metrics, referred as (outputs/Ys)
  3. Analyze the process parameters that affect response factors, referred as (inputs/Xs)
  4. Improve the process response factors by design of experiments (Understand the nature of the function, f in Y = f (X) )
  5. Manage the gains through Control, robustness of the process response factors

Six Sigma process improvement model is defined with the notion that quality of a product, service or process must be regarded as the responsibility of all. If a person is working in an enterprise then maintaining quality levels can never be regarded as the responsibility of some specific personnel like QA staff only. Quality Assurance department cannot be regarded as responsible for the failures of new products at the stage of Research & Development, secondly when some defective parts are found by any department such as Manufacturing, quality of Sales & Distribution services, the identified errors effects the budget making process (Kumara & Khandujaa, 2013). Whenever there is a company each person of a certain department is required to take the responsibility of their work.

Six Sigma versus Lean Six Sigma

Lean Six Sigma is a technique which merges process speed with quality. In order to become an efficient and effective organization both in terms of business operations and processes it is required to have Lean and Six Sigma methodologies which will allow to execute every activity in an organized manner. It is worth mentioning that having one without the other will ultimately result in the lower process performance (Laureani, 2012).

Lean Six Sigma
Lean Six Sigma

Lean is a process which primarily focuses on speed and then directs towards reducing the amount of time between activities, events and cycles. Initially if we are able to reduce the cycle then eventually the amount of time between activities, cycles or even the events can be reduced easily. The shorter the cycle time then ultimately we will be able to complete more cycles in a given amount of time. Lean has the capability to identify areas where process wastes and bottlenecks can be detected and then removed from the associated processes (Byrne, Lubowe, & Blitz, 2011). There are around eight types of wastes which can be removed from business processes for reducing costs and the time required for completing a particular process.

Lean makes business processes to work rapidly but the problem of quality still remains. It does not make sense if the data or information collected is not of good quality. If the processes are just completed rapidly without having a proper check and balance then the complete environment will be filled with an error which requires rework at the end. At this stage there is a need of having Six Sigma business process management (Furterer, 2009).

The lean practitioners are of the opinion that waste arises from the unnecessary steps which are created in the production process. Six Sigma proponents state that waste is resulted from the variation added within the processes (Guarraia, Carey, Corbett, & Neuhaus, 2008). Practically there is a truth which lies in both of these assertions hence both of these methodologies are applied jointly for improving the overall business performance (Taner, 2013). In the end it can be deduce that lean reduce wastes, improves process flow which eventually streamlines working operations to a certain level while Six Sigma reduces process variations which consequently optimizes current business operations.

Six Sigma versus ISO 9000

Six Sigma and ISO 9000 are two methods which are established for companies for increasing the quality of their final product. Six Sigma is regarded as a management philosophy which is directed towards solving defects which are causes for improving quality, while ISO 9000 is a set of international standards which are applied in a quality management system (James R. Persse, 2006 ). Six Sigma is implemented, authorized and controlled internally whereas an ISO 9000 is an organized set of requirements and guidelines, the certification of which may be obtained from external auditing firms (Adams, Gupta, & Wilson, 2003).

ISO 9000 standards were developed in Europe which meant initially only for manufacturing processes but now this standard is being followed by various companies and industries. There are certain requirements which are essential for a company to fulfill in order to become an ISO certified company. These requirements include: monitoring individual processes, proper record keeping, scrutiny of all process outputs for the defects, corrective actions taken for removing defects and organizational commitment towards continual improvement of the quality system (Dirgo, 2005).

Six Sigma is a quality management strategy which focuses on process improvement by removing the defects to less than .00034 percent, meaning for every million production attempts. Hence Six Sigma is directed on process improvement through output variation reduction; removing the causes for defects and variation in the final product which in turn increases process efficiency and generates profit. ISO 9000 is appropriate for companies which are in search of obtaining competitive advantage through the implementation of a quality management system (Knapp, 2009). An ISO 9000 certification is a proof that a particular company has been audited and helps in improving public perception of the company’s quality standards. However ISO 9000 certification does not guarantee that the company is capable enough to sell high-quality products, it only approves that correct and formal business processes are being followed by the company for the development of a product or service (Hoyle, 2009).

Lean Six Sigma in Pakistan

China Mobile

China mobile is a Chinese owned telecommunication company which took a revolutionary step in 2011 for implementing Lean Six Sigma in their business operations. It is a big organization covering around 1500 employees and is the world’s largest phone operator having 650 million subscribers by January 2012. China Mobile implemented Lean Six Sigma in their Procurement, HR and Marketing divisions in which they devoted ten to thirteen employees completely with implementation of this new technique.

According to one of our hypothesis management commitment and support is essential for having a successful implementation of Six Sigma and Lean in an organization. Hence this organization is able to achieve Six Sigma with the help of commitment, management and leadership. At this point, role of line managers is comprehensible who have been able to successfully implement Lean Six Sigma. The management was able to bring readiness of change in the organization through prioritizing projects and was applied in small phases which was then eventually applied to all other department which were willing to implement this new tool in their operations. Moreover the company started the reward and recognition system which also gave a boost to the employees and they focused more on project completion (Zhang, Irfan, Khattak, Abbas, Zhu, & Shah, 2012).


Mobilink Pakistan is rated as the largest mobile phone service operator in Pakistan which has around 31.6 million subscribers. The company invested US$ 3.3 billion for implementing Lean Six Sigma Program in 2008 with 10 to 30 employees dedicated only for six sigma projects. Initially the company focused on Customer Care as their priority for Lean Six Sigma implementation but now other areas are also being targeted. The top management completely believed on the positive impacts of lean six sigma and finally as per our first hypothesis the company was able to save US $1.5 million which was a big achievement for a large scale project. Hence management commitment and support is essential for having a successful implementation of Six Sigma and Lean in an organization The company is still in the process of expanding Lean Six Sigma program to other departments. The attribute which made all these projects successful was the proper monitoring and organizational management which is essential for guiding business units in an effective manner. This feature is fully compatible with our fourth hypothesis. (Zhang, Irfan, Khattak, Abbas, Zhu, & Shah, 2012).

Telenor Pakistan

The other Pakistani telecommunication company which made entry into Lean Six Sigma is Telenor. Initially the company’s management conducted an assessment of their organization whether it falls in medium or large scale organization. This is according to our fifth hypothesis a significant point of assessment for successful lean six sigma implementation. The company implemented Lean Six Sigma in 2006 and their core areas were HR, Customer Service, Marketing, Technology and Finance. They have devoted 100 employees to work directly on Lean Six Sigma Projects. The management introduced reward and recognition system which is an essential aspect according to our fourth hypothesis, for attaining lean six sigma perfection. On the basis of this revolutionary technique the company was able to eliminate 30% waste which consequently reduced 30% of their cost. Moreover the company was able to gain 10% in quality and 15% in process improvements (Zhang, Irfan, Khattak, Abbas, Zhu, & Shah, 2012).

Pakistan International Airlines

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) observed that they were experiencing problems and their engines have started declining. Hence they took an initiative to introduce Lean Six Sigma in their processes. Their objective was to reduce the cycle time from 25 days to average 15 days and bring the curtail value lower to 80%. The implemented model allowed the company to stay efficient which further reduced their day to day activities. Although the company was following six sigma in their business operation but still there was something which was missing from their system. Hence the management decided to implement Lean Six Sigma in their processes which will not only reduce errors present in the system but it will also remove the wastage or redundant steps occurring in the system. This is in accordance with our sixth hypothesis and the company was able to experience a change. According to the CEO of PIA they were able to comprehend the advantages of Six Sigma which further reduced the material wastage and improved their supply chain activities which lead to overall cost reduction (AlSagheer & Mohammed, 2011).

Pakistan State Oil

Pakistan State Oil (PSO) was also thinking on same lines of reducing errors and increasing company profits. Hence the management of PSO also decided to introduce Six Sigma in their business operations. As per our first hypothesis, the top management was fully committed with their decision and they gave their full support for successful implementation of Lean Six Sigma. As per COO of Pakistan State Oil they were able to reduce their our effective time to market which further increased their interest in this model implementation to other areas of the business. The company first applied this technique in parts for assessing its validity and results which is totally in line with our second hypothesis prioritizing projects and conducting organization assessment for experience a readiness of change (AlSagheer & Mohammed, 2011).

Lean Six Sigma in India

Tata Chemicals Limited

Tate Chemicals is a subsidiary of Tata Pvt Ltd. which is now turned into a global business entity. The company is focused towards manufacturing and delivery of chemicals, fertilizers, agricultural services and other food additives. Tata Chemicals is rated as India’s top food brand for more than five years. The management of this group decided to implement Lean Six Sigma as a common business language which will allow them to obtain high performance. Full support and commitment was shown by the top management which is a core point according to our first hypothesis. Moreover the introduction of this technique will also allow them to improve their internal processes and build their decision making. Reward and recognition system was introduced which created directions for employees to work in an efficient manner. More significantly it laid the foundation for developing future leaders across the organization. This is in accordance with our third hypothesis which was also combined with monitoring and managing organizational performance with the tools applied during Lean Six Sigma implementation (Grichnik, Winkler, & Rothfeder, 2008 ).


Another renowned brand Whirlpool also investigated Six Sigma and decided to start with this initiate in 1997 which involves a blend of methodologies. Soon the management of the company decided to use a blend of two technologies, Six Sigma and Lean for removing the inefficiencies, redundancy and other associated errors. The introduction of Whirlpool allowed the company to save $175 million in the first year and also achieved operational excellence by reducing the cycle times. All this when combined produced increased quality and high productivity (Evans & Lindsay, 2011).


Maytag from India also initiated the step of implementing Lean Six Sigma in their business operations. The introduction of Lean Six Sigma improved the business efficiency which resulted in cost reduction. First the assessment of the complete organization was done which is essential for achieving best lean six sigma results. This is in accordance with our fifth hypothesis and then the gap was bridged between six sigma and lean together with sustainability and well-established governance. Lean Six Sigma reorganized the workflow and the production cost was also cut down by 55% which eventually allowed the company to save $25 million. This was all achieved through prioritizing projects and after conducting a proper assessment as per our second hypothesis (Martin, 2007).

Lean Six Sigma in Turkey

According to (Taner, 2012) the Critical Success Factors (CSFs) are explored which lead towards the successful introduction of Six Sigma in Small and Medium Sized Turkish Textile Enterprises. A survey is carried out for identifying and understanding the current quality practices of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs). Turkish SMEs are in the initial stages of implementing Six Sigma. The participation and commitment of top management, linking quality initiatives to workers and information technology and innovation are found to be important factors for having a successful Lean Six Sigma. The guidance and commitment of top management, strategic vision, and data collection and measurement, are found to be the most winning methods for having Lean Six Sigma, whereas the lack of association with the system to start the initiative and the attendance of ISO-certification in the company are originated to hinder its completion. The company first made an assessment, worked by prioritizing projects in sub-modules which was all achieved through commitment and top management involvement. All these


The facts which have been presented by (Mehdi, Ahmed, & Rasheed, 2007) represents the successful implementation of Six Sigma and DMAIC projects which increases productivity, and profit margins, and above all reduces errors. These results can definitely be regarded as key indicators for any industry to follow Six Sigma Implementation.

According to (Sambhe & Dalu, 2011) thee is very little research available about automotive sector and the study also reveals that 25.64% of medium scale automobile sector has successfully implemented Six Sigma. Other automobile industries are also spending time and effort on the integration of quality management strategies in their business. Further it has been found that Six Sigma can be linked with rewarding employees or giving them recognition will encourage them in improving self satisfaction and their motivation level will also increase. In this way expensive consultation charges will also be saved through motivated and trained employees who will be willing to join in-house training sessions.

As per (Mehdi, Ahmed, & Rasheed, 2007) the application of six-sigma in SSI assisted them in improve Z-bench Sigma level from 2.21 sigma to5.64 sigma and cost saving of 0.01929 million/annum. The systematic integration of Six Sigma tools and procedures is regarded as a challenge but this technique is proven definite which has reduced expenses, cost of poor quality and the concerning labor expenses.

According to the findings of (Knowles, Whicker, Femat, & Canales, 2005) six sigma provides a thinking pattern for redefining the present approaches towards supply chain improvement. In such scenarios Six Sigma cannot be applied directly but it can be adjusted with variations for eliminating the waste and non-valued added activities. Six Sigma can be combined with some other tools which will link error reduction to storage strategy which will provide results of waste and variation reduction.

The findings obtained from (Taner, 2013) concluded that the majority (97.18%) of the large-scale Turkish construction companies have successfully implemented ISO. However, it is still difficult for them to integrate Six Sigma properly in their operational activities. Undoubtedly, Six Sigma can help Turkish large-scale construction companies to maintain the highest quality of quality. First it is required to integrate the existing management procedures with Six Sigma by controlling variation with the help of its tools such as DOE (Design of Experiments), regression, correlation and hypothesis testing.


H1: Management Commitment and Support

On the basis of cases discussed above, it is evident that management commitment and support is extremely essential for having a successful implementation of Lean Six Sigma in an enterprise. The organizations which are in search of continuous improvement programs always welcome transformations and good governance. First the management should check the temperature of the organization before bringing any major change. Secondly a clear distinction must be made between leaders and managers and upgrade their communication plan with employees working at various levels. Once the proper emotional tone is generated then it’s only a few steps away to have Lean Six Sigma.

H2: Prioritizing projects

Companies both at local and international level, which has been successful in implementing Six Sigma in their organizations, know the importance of prioritizing projects. They know how to assess the organization for readiness which will direct the path of change in an organization. The goal is to recognize when the selection of a particular lever will make biggest impact business priorities. The best technique for making this selection is performing a benefit/effort analysis and then defining and setting the scope of the project.

H3: Reward and Recognition

The management must line up their behaviors, protocols and rewards across the business units. The morale of employees must be boosted by offering rewards and following a proper recognition system which will be significant for having an ownership and cost accountability. The ideas coming from all levels must be comprehended and given due importance.

H4: Performance Management

All those organizations which have been successful in true implementation of Lean Six Sigma are successful due to proper monitoring and direction provided to them. Leaders who run an organization are able to yield maximum benefits which allow senior leadership for understanding the programs running in an organization. Hence monitoring and managing organization performance is essential for guiding business units in an effective manner.

H5: Assessment of SSO, MSO, LSO

For establishing a system which takes ownership at macro-level view assesses internal and distributed processes. The boundaries must be clearly defined, identified, and responsibility must be assigned for each segment, and interpret the specific responsibilities for those roles. Hence the assessment of Small Scale Organization (SSO), Medium Scale Organization (MSO) and Large Scale organization (LSO) are significant for better Lean Six Sigma results.

H6: Bridging the Gap

Managers and Leaders are responsible for bridging the gap between Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma together with sustainability and well-established governance. If a certain company is not able to truly recognize the distinction and clarity between these two then the transformation would be a failure.

Barriers and Enablers in implementation a successful Lean Six Sigma

Barriers Enablers
Top Management Apathy Management Involvement
Employees averse to accept change Employees are willing to learn and be trained
Inability to change Accept Change and Willingness to Learn New
Bad Governance and Planning Proper guidance, planning, leadership & management
Lack of Training Regular Training and Workshops
Close ended environment Open to discuss and talk at all levels
Insulation across business units Culture of cross business communication
Lack of attention for customers Focus of customer satisfaction
Management lack ability to lead with tools Quality leaders know how to direct employees
Employees hesitate to be tracked in numbers No issues with tracking and reviewing at all levels
Less interaction and involvement of suppliers Suppliers are supported and introduced new technologies
Customer satisfaction is at nominal level Customer satisfaction is higher and tracked properly
Model is not effective for certain units Lean Six Sigma model easily applied to all business units

Research Limitations

Due to limited time constraints and the number of available real life cases of India and Pakistan the research was confined at some points. However it is ascertained to discuss two to three different industries who have implemented Six Sigma successfully in their organizations. It was not possible to conduct on-site analysis of the processes which are being followed in industries. Again this study can be extended to include various other industries and compare the results with other international companies who are working with Six Sigma and other prominent tools.

Six Sigma Dissertations
Six Sigma Dissertations

Figure 1: Conceptual Framework for Lean Six Sigma Research Model


This research and extensive analysis based on the implementation of six sigma in Indian and Pakistani companies have provided a framework. On the basis of this direction other similar companies can also participate in this race and experiment a new tools and techniques in business. Six Sigma has already come forward as one of the most effectual business strategies in the large organizations, internationally. From the time of its conception at Motorola and GE, many success stories were registered by a number of multinationals. India is one of the leading developing country who has recognized the importance and significance of Six Sigma. It has provided a breakthrough for Pakistani industries also, as they can also follow the same model and make some significant changes according to their environment. This can assist other industries, who have yet not experimented with Six Sigma, to have a clear focus regarding their expectations from this improvement drive. All in all it is a great tool which will reduce the scrap rate, improve sales and also the image of the company.

Six Sigma is primarily used as a tool and whenever any business integrates it into their processes it is bound to gain benefit. After combining this technique with lean methodology it is regarded as one of the key initiates for improving the management process than jut being remembered. Lean Six Sigma does not just pinpoint and count defects and errors, it presents real solutions and practices to existing management for yielding results. Various approaches are being applied by every industry for improving overall business performance and integration of Lean Six Sigma is regarded as a priority. Hence it is managements responsibility to ensure the long term sustainability of six sigma and lean for their organizations. This can only be obtained after analyzing and accepting the strength and weaknesses of both methods individually and in a combined form and then proceed towards proper utilization of six sigma principles, concepts and tools.


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