WCM 610 CONTROL Supplementary Document

WCM 610 CONTROL Supplementary Document
The Control phase of DMAIC is among the most critical and yet may be prone to be overlooked or moved through
rapidly. Consider what can happen when a conflict is resolved. You may find, as you attempt to move forward, that
lingering issues remain. Elements of the agreement that were felt to be clear during the Improve phase can be found to
be unworkable or confusing. When you assume that needed improvements or a resolution to a conflict are moving
forward just fine, or are naturally going to be implemented as first envisioned, you are setting yourself up for a
reignition of the conflict just resolved, or to have the parties experience a new conflict. Poor or problematic
communication habits that a person may have (e.g., interrupting) do not disappear merely because the problem is
identified. Care must be taken with each conversation, and the person who habitually interrupts must remain in the
moment and cognizant of his or her propensity to interrupt, working consciously on not interrupting. Organizational
conflict is no different.
Take great care with the Control phase, checking in with all affected stakeholders regularly. The quality of the
interpersonal relationships that you build with each individual stakeholder is critical here. A conversational safe space
must be established during the previous phases of DMAIC, when speaking with stakeholders. You need to hear what
stakeholders genuinely feel and what they have experienced in relation to the presenting organizational conflict; for the
stakeholder to minimize an identified problem, or to have the stakeholder be concerned about having one judge him or
her because of the content of what he or she has to say, will only serve to exacerbate the problem that one is
attempting to resolve.
Always define all subjective wording, such as “soon” or “better.” Be sure that all parties are clear on precisely what
these words mean. While you should check in with stakeholders regularly, you must determine exactly when those
check-ins will occur specifically for each individual conflict situation. What the check-in outreach consists of is also
critical, and must be determined with each stakeholder in advance. Whether you call the stakeholder on the phone,
meet with the person individually, bring the parties together for a small group meeting, reach out via email or Skype, or
engage in a combination of these, these are elements of the tailored resolution agreement that you can create for each
organizational conflict.

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