John Smithers Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Lack of Interest from the Management

Smithers was supposed to start training of the Six Sigma Quality Program in Sigtek but the management seemed to have no interest in the program. He found the response of the management very disturbing as they silently participated in the program presented by the team of Telwork. There were no questions, nor any sort of discussions in this training program. That seemed to be a milestone for Smithers as the senior and middle managers acted as they didn’t care about the program and what it had to offer.

Changes in Systems

Smithers and his fellow instructor Murphy, took initiatives for presenting the program in their organization. The program emphasized on changing the current operations, goals and values of Sigtek. Thus, this could bring different changes in the managerial activities and their decision making and also how they coordinate with the sub management. So the program needed all the managers to cooperate and take part in order to cope up with the demands of the program and implement it in their respective positions.

By playing their effective roles, management would be able to design their strategies and set their goals and values according to the Six Sigma program in their respective departments. So this will eventually result in the completion of the goals required by Six Sigma in the whole organization.

The program got initiated by Smithers keeping in mind the aim that all the employees that are taking part in the training program would provide them with the new work environment and new system of management. Smithers somehow achieved a great response from the line workers who attended the training program. One thing that kept Smithers hopes alive was that line workers were taking more interest in the program and they were coming up with different ideas and solutions as well.

Management Irresponsive Behavior

Smithers soon realized that his optimistic behavior towards bringing organization soon faded away as the basic purpose of the program was to create awareness in the employees of the organization, in which Smithers succeeded to some extent, but that also gave birth to a new problem that the employees who attended his training session had high expectations and their knowledge increased as well. But when they wanted to bring change in their behavior and work they were not appreciated to do so,neither had they got any help from the management or their bosses.

This caused negativity among the line workers that whatever Smithers trained was a lie. Smithers himself doubted that whatever he was training was all lie as the employees were not achieving what they were supposed to achieve after implementing what they learnt. Few problemsaroseduring the workshop of Six Sigma, the workers complained about that, but the management or the supervisors did not bother to even look into the problem. Thus, all these incidents resulted in damaging the credibility of Smithers.

Total Quality Program

Smithers and Murphy though continued the training, but their passion and enthusiasm vanished. The “Quality Team”, which was responsible for organizing and assistingSix Sigma efforts at the facility, was so quiet that most of the people doubted its existence. The team didn’t participate at all, in a way that they did not keep their word. They made the commitment of interaction with people throughout the company, but never fulfilled it. Rather than getting involved in the process of implementation of the program, the team involved in taking meaningless decisions.

Due to inappropriate behavior of senior management and their subordinates, Smithers started to take pressure and his confidence level decreased as it didn’t work out like he planned neither was able to manage the program. He shared his confessions and doubts regarding the program and blamed Patricof’s management techniques and styles for the failure of implementing of the program in the organization.

Only one month into the training program of Six Sigma, Total Quality program, Smithers wanted to hold the process and demanded for a break. Though the training program was not completely fruitless, but Smithers needed a pause so that he could think again and redefine his purpose and strategy. Somehow, Smithers was a bit successful in conveying the main idea of the Total Quality program, but he needed a big win to build the commitment and encourage the enthusiasm necessary to mobilize the workforce.

Sites morale started declining and the company started facing losses. Once again, Smithers and Murphy requested for temporary break in the classes, but that was not granted to them as a company was running on its schedule and they were sticking to what was said.

Smithers continued teaching, but his disappointment grew. The program seemed to him icing on top of the cake, but later he realized that implementing the Six Sigma Quality program in Sigtek was a tough task. It was far more than the needs of Sigtek as well. The task given to Smithers was way too much for his team and this sort of corporate change required years to be implemented in an organization like Sigtek. The allotted time for the program was way beyond the reach of Smithers and Murphy...................................

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