No-Nonsense Project Management
Thomas S. Ostasiewski, PE, PMP

Six Sigma Practitioner — or — Project Manager

So many people today are "wearing multiple hats" that the term is synonymous with "employed." Within the Six Sigma community, it is very common and even expected that the "Belt" is in charge of running the project in addition to being the expert with the tools. Naturally, some people gravitate to the tools and analysis side of the work, and other toward the management aspects. The challenges this... Read more

by: Thomas S. Ostasiewski, PE, PMP
Published: September 22, 2010
Tags: Six Sigma project management, Thomas S. Ostasiewski


Thomas S. Ostasiewski, PE, PMP

Risk Management in a Six Sigma Project

Risk management is one of those titles that usually makes people think of lawyers or contract specialists figuring out how to best document an issue or contract to protect the company. However, there is much more to risk management than CYA. A Six Sigma project is rife with opportunity for "unknown" issues to crop up. From an unforeseen stakeholder’s wishes to corporate changes, even things... Read more

by: Thomas S. Ostasiewski, PE, PMP
Published: August 24, 2010
Tags: risk management, Six Sigma projects, project risk, PMBOK, Thomas S. Ostasiewski


Thomas S. Ostasiewski, PE, PMP

Properly Planning a Six Sigma Project

Dwight D. Eisenhower said, "Plans are nothing; planning is everything." Certainly he wasn’t talking about Six Sigma projects, but this little statement applies 100 percent to our process improvement efforts. The act of properly planning a project virtually ensures success because it is a continual team effort of evaluation, organization and communication. The teams that do these things well... Read more

by: Thomas S. Ostasiewski, PE, PMP
Published: July 20, 2010
Tags: Six Sigma project, Six Sigma project management, Project Management Body of Knowledge, Thomas S. Ostasiewski, Work Breakdown Structure


Thomas S. Ostasiewski, PE, PMP

Communication Solutions for a Co-Located Six Sigma Project Team

My previous column focused on communication with a remote located Six Sigma project team. Many would assume that co-located teams are easy to work with and require less effort for a project manager to manage. They would be wrong. A co-located team, while easier to pull together for meetings, still has its challenges. Common Project Management Issues The first challenge a Six Sigma project... Read more

by: Thomas S. Ostasiewski, PE, PMP
Published: June 23, 2010
Tags: non-verbal communication, communication in the workplace, Six Sigma project, Thomas Ostasiewski


Thomas S. Ostasiewski, PE, PMP

Seven Communication Solutions for a Remote Six Sigma Project Team

Being a project manager on a large Six Sigma project typically means your team will be in numerous locations. Sometimes even smaller Six Sigma projects require remote resources. This presents unique challenges for the project manager! With the global economy spreading Six Sigma efforts world-wide, and having fewer and widely dispersed resources with which to complete your project, you have a... Read more

by: Thomas S. Ostasiewski, PE, PMP
Published: April 20, 2010
Tags: project management issues, interpersonal communication skills, remote team, Six Sigma project, Six Sigma tools, communication issues, Thomas S. Ostasiewski


Thomas S. Ostasiewski, PE, PMP

Managing Change in Your Six Sigma Project Team

We’ve all experienced change in our Six Sigma project teams. Whether it is due to downsizing, changing priorities within an area of the company, or some other reason, your team members are likely to change beyond your control. This can be extremely disruptive if not accounted for, planned and managed properly. However, done right, change can instead prove to be a benefit to the Six Sigma... Read more

by: Thomas S. Ostasiewski, PE, PMP
Published: March 23, 2010
Tags: Six Sigma project, Six Sigma, Clark Nexsen Architecture and Engineering, soft skills, employee engagement, managing change, team building, Thomas Ostasiewski


Thomas S. Ostasiewski, PE, PMP

Six Sigma Project Team Building: The Project Manager’s Role

This column builds upon the topics covered in the April 2009 article on Six Sigma Team Building. Once the scope of work for your project is reasonably defined, it is time to determine who will work on it with you. Note that you cannot complete a Six Sigma project by yourself! It takes the input of others to actually identify the root cause, determine solutions and implement them. Having the... Read more

by: Thomas S. Ostasiewski, PE, PMP
Published: February 23, 2010
Tags: Six Sigma, Six Sigma project, team building, Clark Nexsen Architecture and Engineering, Thomas S. Ostasiewski


Thomas S. Ostasiewski, PE, PMP

Six Sigma Project Scoping—The Project Manager's Biggest Mistake

Scoping a Six Sigma project can be one of the most daunting tasks a project manager can take on. It is also one of the most important. Typically, we’re given an area that needs to improve and a goal roughly indicating by how much. But where do you start? Where do you end? How do you ensure added features or issues aren’t tacked on to your Six Sigma project? How do you ensure you deliver precisely... Read more

by: Thomas S. Ostasiewski, PE, PMP
Published: January 21, 2010
Tags: Six Sigma, project management, Six Sigma project, project scope, Project Management Body of Knowledge, PMBOK, Thomas S. Ostasiewski


Thomas S. Ostasiewski, PE, PMP

Is Your Six Sigma Project a Top Priority for Your Company?

The economic news may be getting a little better, but these are still fairly turbulent times. Joblessness is at its highest point since the early 1980s, companies large and small continue to scale back in nearly every way imaginable, and Six Sigma projects remain under extremely tight scrutiny. In this situation—perhaps all situations—how do you select the best Six Sigma projects to start or... Read more

by: Thomas S. Ostasiewski, PE, PMP
Published: December 23, 2009
Tags: project management, Six Sigma, Six Sigma project, Clark Nexsen Architecture and Engineering, Thomas S. Ostasiewski