The Master’s Business Project
The Master’s Business Project (MBP) offers a disciplined approach for pursuing quality improvement of core organizational processes by identifying root causes of process problems and applying quantitative and qualitative methods and tools to measure, monitor, and improve performance.
Unlike traditional learning institutions that rely on theoretically based research efforts to conduct learning, the National Graduate School of Quality Management offers a real-life learning experience where student teams apply best business practices in an organizational setting to obtain desired process outputs and outcomes. It involves research and analysis of key business processes, accomplished through collaboration between student teams and a sponsoring organization.
Organizations that take on an MBP team do so because they see the potential of having a team of talented and resourceful students looking at an old problem with a fresh and objective perspective. MBP teams are typically asked to tackle difficult, chronic and important problems within an organization for which solutions have not been found. In so doing they can help their sponsoring organizations uncover potential problems before they occur and discover new opportunities for change and transformation.
MBP projects demonstrate a number of important benefits, ranging from cost reductions, reduced cycle times, to increased customer satisfaction, all of which can help an organization gain a strategic advantage. There are other benefits to the sponsoring organization.
- Students introduce a different perspective, a fresh point of view that can, as the MBP process evolves, lead to innovation.
- Because the MBP process requires students to research and test all recommendations using the most rigorous and objective analytical tools, sponsors are better able to make reasoned decisions prior to adopting proposed changes, thus reducing any element of risk.
- People within the organization come to appreciate the power of process and systems thinking and the power of teams, a lasting legacy.
- In many situations, the lessons and knowledge produced by the MBP can be extrapolated to other areas within the sponsoring organization.
- The team’s work along with the technical supervision it receives from faculty members and all of the supporting documentation developed by the team is performed and delivered at no cost to the sponsoring organization.
You may ask about return on investment. The Return on Investment (ROI) will vary from project to project depending on the nature, scope, and state of the sponsoring organization. We know, however, that quality and productivity are intrinsically linked, a kind of chain reaction. This “chain reaction” hypothesis states that improved process quality leads to improved productivity that, in turn, leads to lower costs due to less rework, waste, scrap, etc. If the causes of poor quality are prevented in the first place, or if the process is improved, savings should follow. Through MBP efforts, cost reductions and a substantial return of investment should occur as an outcome of process improvement.
Students who graduate from the NGS Master’s program can only do so upon successful completion of their team-based Masters Business Project. While it is the students who achieve the results, their success depends heavily on the support and guidance received from their champions and sponsors. NGS is proud of its tradition of helping students form teams and select projects with strong sponsorship leading to results that are mutually beneficial to the organizations and all who participate.
Master’s Project Lead Faculty
Master’s Project Lead Faculty help students identify, conceptualize research, evaluate and implement MBPs. Juried Review Team members serve as academic advisors, interact with Champions and members of Guiding Coalitions and preside during the President’s Conference on Performance Excellence. On occasions when students and/or teams require assistance because of the complexity or scope of their respective project Master’s Project Lead Faculty are available for consultation between courses.
Master’s Project Lead Faculty ensure compliance with the requirements of the NGS format, monitors the integration of course content into the over-all project, and guides student MBP teams in the use of project management concepts, presentation tools, methods, techniques, simulation methodologies, and the visual display of information.
On occasions when students and/or teams require assistance because of the complexity or scope of their respective projects, Master’s Project Lead Faculty members are available for consultation between courses.