IT Project Management for Aviation & Tourism Industry

CityU EngD cohorts were honor to be invited by Dr. Walter Fung (Former vice-chairman, CityU EngD Society) to attend the Forum named "IT Project Management for Aviation & Tourism Industry from Managerial Perspective". The Forum was organized by Department of Computing, PolyU and PolyU-Yonyou Joint Laboratory on Smart Cloud Computing (PYSCC); and supported by School of Hotel & Tourism Management, PolyU on 27 July 2013. Most of cohorts and supervisor attended to support this Forum and I would like to share the summary below.

In the beginning of the forum, Dr. Walter Fung introduced all guest speakers to us.

Then, Dr. Hareton Leung (Director of PolyU-Yonyou Joint Laboratory on Smart Cloud Computing, COMP, PolyU) gave an opening speech.

Group photo was taken.

The first speaker was Mr. Louis Lee (General Manager, Amadeus HK) and his presentation entitled "Behind the scenes - Transforming IT for Hong Kong's Travel Industry". Mr. Lee introduced Amadeus transaction-based business model. Amadeus technology was covered the entrie Journey included Trip planning & pricing → Booking & ticketing → Change ticketing → Check-in & boarding → On the move → Post-trip.

Then Mr. Lee mentioned their 5 core concepts. There were "Community-based platform", "Single data source", "Customer centric", "Automated and flexible" and "Modular designed for change". They aimed to provide a Common Platform for Airlines and Travel Agents as so to shared data such as booking, fulfilment & servicing. Finally, Mr. Lee briefed their consultative and Collaborative approach for continuous improvement.

The second speaker was Mr. Richard Reed (General Manager, HAECO ITM) and his topic named "Passenger Services Systems (PSS) Project Management". Mr. Reed said PSS is not just a system replacement programme, it is also a business transformation programme.

Mr. Reed introduced his project management through the following flow: Scale & complexity, Countdown Timeline, Readiness, Governance, Cutover & Early Life Support and Lesson study. There were five dimensions to be considered in the project scale and complexity included People, Process, Technology, Data and Products.
In the countdown plan, Mr. Reed said it needed to ensure the right progress toward meeting the go-on-go criteria for cutover. It also mentioned the triage management to monitor and facilitate speedy resolution of project issues.

Mr. Alfred Kam (Chief Operating Officer, Travel Expert) was the last speaker and his topic was "People Oriented IT Project Management". He discussed the difference strategies in between Methodology and People.

IT Project Management had four elements included Time Resource, Monitoring and Reporting. Moreover, Mr. Kam reminded that it should review all objectives before every meeting. After that he briefed the change management tips included Early Disclosure of Change, Training needs of Different Levels, Process Change & Document Change, Conference Pilot vs Pilot Test, On-site Support, Problem Resolving Mechanism, Communication Channel, Phase Change vs Big Bang Changeover, and Continuous Review & Improvement. Finally, Mr. Kam introduced his 80/20 rule. Technical issues are only 20% of the project and remaining 80% is due with people issues.

Q&A session was at the end.

CityU Engineering Doctorate Society - http://www.engd.org/
Department of Computing, PolyU - http://www.comp.polyu.edu.hk/en/home/index.php
School of Hotel & Tourism Management, PolyU - http://hotelschool.shtm.polyu.edu.hk/eng/index.jsp


ESG Seminar - Risk Management to Prevent Crises

The July topic of Executive Study Group (ESG) seminar named “Risk Management - How to Seize the Golden Opportunity to Prevent Crises” which was held by the ESG, Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) and the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corp (HKSTPC) on 26 July 2013. I would like to summarize the seminar for sharing below.

Firstly, Dr. Mark Lee introduced the content of seminar included "Introduction", "Roots of Crises", "7 Strategies to Prevent Crises" and "Group Discussion".

Dr. Mark Lee explained why we have a misinterpretation of warnings. It is because mild events are often early signs. Many "Near Misses" does not consider as lesson learnt. Then Mark raised a case of BP Gulf Oil Rig Disaster in April 2010. The two of main reason were pointed out.
I) Multiple near misses preceded were ignored or misread.
II) Cognitive biases (e.g. Normalization of Deviance) conspire to blind managers to the near misses.

Then Dr. Lee discussed the roots of crises. There are bias comment of near miss in different scenarios such as Success Outcome, Near-Miss Outcome and Failure Outcome. Management usually rated the first two outcome higher rank because of no problem happened but the last outcome was blame because of failure. This Outcome Bias come from "You can't argue with success". However, it could become a Crises if enabling condition exist. These latent errors combined with enabling conditions to produce a significant failure (See diagram below).

Dr. Lee mentioned several famous cases such as Apple iPhone 4 (poor signal because of external antenna design) and Toyota Lexus Pedal problem. For Lexus Pedal case, the percentage of customer complaints were found increase from 10% upto 30% but no in-depth investigation to be done for more than 2,000 complaints of unintended acceleration among its cars. When an enabling condition occurred, the latent error trigger a crisis. Toyota recalled more than 6 million vehicles in late 2009 and early 2010.

Then Dr. Lee introduced seven strategies to prevent crises below.
1. Pay Attention to High Pressure (注意高壓)
Because of the high pressure of performance goal (e.g. tight schedules, cost, or production targets), management could like to discount near-miss signals (e.g. BP case and Columbia Space Shuttle disaster, etc.). Normalization of Deviance would happen and decision would be more easily influenced by biases.
The key management question to prevent such situation is “If I had more time and resources, would I make the same decision?”

2. Avoid Getting Used to Deviations (習非成是)
The near-miss group was much more comfortable with that level of risk for the testing of biased decisions exercise.
The key management questions to prevent such situation are “Have we always been comfortable with this level of risk?” and “Has our policy toward this risk changed over time?”

3. Uncover Root Causes Rather Than Cure Symptoms (治療根本)
When deviations are identified, we usually correct the symptom rather than its cause.
The key management action to prevent such situation is Knowledge Sharing such as learning from near misses and encouraging to report mistakes/near misses.

4. Bear Responsibility for Near Misses (無險承責)
Eventhough people are aware of near misses, they tend to downgrade their importance.
The key management action to prevent such situation is to assign people responsibility for near misses and need to give a justification of these issues.

5. Guide to Think of Worst -Case Scenarios (最壞打算)
People tend not to think through the possible negative consequences of near misses. Therefore, the key management action is to think about worst-case scenarios. Dr. Lee use the Wal-Mart case to explain how they handle crisis case. Walmart's Business-Continuity Office had carefully evaluated previous hurricane near misses of its stores and infrastructure. Moreover, Walmart will expand the staff of its emergency command centre from the usual 6 to 10 people to more than 50 which depend on escalation of emergency level.

6. Evaluate Projects at Every Stage (每段評估)
Because near misses can look like successes, they often escape scrutiny / audit / monitoring. Therefore, "Pause and Learn" Process and Examining ON-going Projects are important to avoid Outcome Bias. Moreover, knowledge-sharing workshops involving a broader group teams are useful.

7. Reward Making a Confession (獎勵坦白)
It suggested to reward people reported for uncovering near misses even though company need to pay extra cost such as stop operation.

Finally, Dr. Lee said why learning difficulty from Near Misses below.
I) Cognitive biases make them hard to see
II) Even when they are visible, leaders tend not to grasp their significance.

At the end, Dr. Lee introduced Delphi Method. The Delphi method was developed at the beginning of the Cold War to forecast the impact of technology on warfare. General Henry H. Arnold ordered the creation of the report for the U.S. Army Air Corps on the future technological capabilities that might be used by the military in 1944 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delphi_method). Delphi Method is an iterative process to collect and distill the anonymous judgments of experts (Skulmoski, et al., 2007).

Before the group discussion, Dr. Lee used NLP method to give us an exercise to choose Two of the most difficult strategies and One of the easiest strategy.

The Centre for Logistics Technologies and Supply Chain Optimization, CUHK - http://www.logitsco.cuhk.edu.hk/
HKSTP - www.hkstp.org
Skulmoski G.J., Hartman F.T. & Krahn J. (2007) “The Delphi Method for Graduate Research”, Journal of Information Technology Education, Vol. 6, pp.1-21.


ASQ InfVoices - My Journey of Social Media

Paul Borawski (CEO, ASQ) proposed ASQ Influential Voices Topic in July through the question "Which Social Networks Do Quality Professionals Use?". I would like to share my journey of social media as one of quality professionals' social media life. My first article for blogging has posted since 11 Oct 2007. It aimed to share my first book named "Quality Alchemist – ISO scroll (品質煉金術師之ISO真經)" which is the first Martial Art Novel in Chinese to introduce Quality Concept.

After that I started to write something about quality. Then I meet a big problem that "How can I increase the number of visitors?". Content is king in Blogosphere. In 2008, my strategy of blogging changed to share some quality related activities, such as seminars, training courses and visits which I attended, to HKSQ members and other quality professionals (included ASQ and ANQ members). The average number of visitors from below 100 per month in 2007 up to ~3000 per month in 2013.

My Social Media strategy is reference to "Inbound Marketing" which involved Keywords Advertising Marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Blogger Marketing, Word-of-Mouth Marketing and Social Media Marketing. Many company used Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Social Media Optimization (SMO) to increase the visitor flow and then keep that flow using User Experience Optimization (UEO). The following diagram shows the relationship among Website, Blog and Social Media.

My blog distribution strategies involve the follows:
i) Links in HKSQ website and ASQ Influential Voice website
ii) News posted into the blog and distributed to members / quality professionals through my own email list (about two thousands email)
iii) Blog article posted in Social Media such as HKSQ Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn discussion groups. Those social media in HKSQ was established by myself since 2009 (See below links). But it is not as success as ASQ.

Internet Communication Group (HKSQ)
HKSQ LinkedIn Group (Established since 2009) - http://www.linkedin.com/groups?home=&gid=753447&trk=anet_ug_hm
No. of group member: 99 (2011) to 163 (2012) to 333 (2013)
HKSQ Facebook Group (Established since 2010) - http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=176917007551
No. of group member: 32 (2011) to 69 (2012) to 73 (2013)
HKSQ Twitter Group (Established since 2010) - http://twitter.com/#!/HKSQ1986
No. of Follower: 9 (2011) to 15 (2012) to 26 (2013)

Mr. Dragon Ric proposes Patterns in Social Media Platform in his book named "Social Marketology" and the Platform has Nine Significant Devices as follows:
1. Identity - a means of allowing individuals to identify themselves and see the identitites of others. On most platforms, these are profiles.
2. Relationships - a way for people to establish a relationship, such as friends, family, and coworkers.
3. Conversations - a means for people within the system to communicate back and forth.
4. Groups - a means for people to aggregate into affinity groups.
5. Gaming - a means for people to engage in games with each other or the system.
6. Presence - a means for people to know who is present or for people to allow their presence to be known, either online or physically.
7. Curation - the ability for people to share content.
8. Reputation - devices for the establishment of status.
9. Gifting - a means for people to give to one another, either very small tokens of status or recognition. (e.g. Retweeting, liking or G+'ing)

I try to describe Blog characteristics using Dragon's Social Media Platform (Blog has not been analyzed in his book.). It was very strong on Identity and Reputation but very weak in Gaming, Gifting, and Presence.

Finally, I try to conclude that Blogosphere is still the best platform for interconnections among bloggers (especially quality professionals) and also merging with other social networks. ASQ Influential Voices blogger scheme and ASQ online communities are a good example to support my conclusion.

1) 網路集客力: 從SEO到Facebook的行銷新方略 - 邱煜庭 (201012)
(Network focus on customer: From SEO to Facebook new marketing strategy)
2) Dragon, Ric. (2012) "Social Marketology: Improve Your Social Media Processes and Get Customers to Stay Forever", McGraw-Hill


ASQ Master Black Belt Seminar after HKSQ AGM

A seminar named "The Journey to ASQ Master Black Belt Certification" was organized by Hong Kong Society for Quality (HKSQ) after HKSQ Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 19 July 2013. I would like to share both HKSQ AGM and Seminar below.

Since Mr. Karson Chui (Chairman, HKSQ) was not in Hong Kong, Mr. Peter Fung (Vice-Chairman, HKSQ) held the meeting and briefed the Chairman report to all members. Until now, HKSQ has 364 individual members, 4 student members and 11 corporate members (by invitation only). Peter also reviewed HKSQ activities in last year.

Then Dr. Albert Tsang (Former Chairman, HKSQ) briefed the ANQ Congress 2012 in Hong Kong and there were 398 delegates from 21 countries.

Our Hon. Treasurer Mr. CP Chow presented HKSQ financial status and we had surplus in ANQ Congress 2012.

Ms. Minda Chiang is our Hon. Secretary and she supported all HKSQ meeting and ANQ Congress 2012.

After the AGM, I introduced the guest speaker Mr. Keble Chan who was Director of Quality Assurance of Multek Electronics Limited. He serviced in Multek for more than 7 years and part of his responsibilities were to identify and attain bottom-line improvement and cost saving by implementation of Lean/Six Sigma programs. He is the first ASQ Certified Master Six Sigma Black Belt in Hong Kong. (I believed he is also the first one in China.)

Mr. Keble Chan who has been certified by ASQ as Certified Six Sigma Black Belt (CSSBB) and subsequently obtained ASQ Master Black Belt (MBB). He shared his experience on this journey to us.

Firstly, he explained different levels of six sigma and its project requirement.
I) Green Belt: Assists with data collection and analysis for Black Belt projects. Leads Green Belt projects or teams.
II) Black Belt: Leads problem-solving projects. Trains and coaches project teams.
III) Master Black Belt: Trains and coaches Black Belts and Green Belts. Functions more at the Six Sigma program level by developing key metrics and the strategic direction. Acts as an organization’s Six Sigma technologist and internal consultant.

For Six Sigma Black Belt certification, the examination is a four-hour, 150 multiple-choice question. Keble had participated HKSQ Six Sigma Black Belt Workshop for preparing this exam. Moreover, ASQ issued a handbook for this exam.

After that Keble mentioned the requirement of MBB examination that a candidate must held a current ASQ CSSBB. In addition, a candidate must have either of the following experience levels.
1) At least 5 years of experience in the role of a SSBB or MBB. OR
2) Completion of 10 Six Sigma Black Belt projects.
Candidates must meet the minimum scoring requirements for each of the three key performance indicators in their portfolio.

The Master Black Belt certification is a two part examination administered over five-hours. The first portion consists of a 100 item multiple choice test and is 2.5 hours long, this portion is an open book portion. The second portion is a performance-based assessment that measures comprehension of the MBB Body of Knowledge. This portion is 2.5 hours long and is closed book. It is offered in English. The Handbook for MBB was showed.


Mr. Peter Fung represented HKSQ to present a souvenir to Mr. Keble Chan.

After the seminar, we had HKSQ AGM dinner.

HKSQ - http://www.hksq.org/
ASQ Certification - http://www.hksq.org/cert_asq.htm


Technical Visit to Nano & Advanced Materials Institute Ltd (NAMI)

The technical visit to Nano and Advance Materials Institute Ltd. (NAMI) in The Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST) was organized by Hong Kong Critical Components Manufacturers Association (HKCCMA) and supported by HKPC, HKETA and HKSQ.

Prof. Ka Ming Ng (CEO, NAMI) was the first speaker who introduced NAMI background to us. NAMI has established since 2006 and it was a not-for-profit company incorporated by ITC and hosted by HKUST. The role of NAMI is undertaken and provided funding for industry-oriented research in nanotechology and advanced materials, as well as, offer market-driven innovative solutions to local industries by transforming scientific advancements into marketable products.

Prof. Ng said NAMI worked as Technology Marketplace through the steps: What-to-make -> How-to-mark -> Material -> Process. NAMI's approach and strategy was as bridge for both investors and innovators through networking, expertise and funding. NAMI separated into five clusters included Sustainable Energy, Solid State Lighting and Display, Environmental Technologies, Construction/Building Materials, and Bio & Healthcare Products. At the end, Prof. Ng said NAMI planned to relocate their Headquarters from HKUST to Hong Kong Science Park.

The second speaker was Dr. Peter W. Lee (CTO, NAMI) and he introduced NAMI's five clusters technologies.

For PhotoVolitaic (PV) Technology , Thin Film CIGS manufacturing process development and Organic PV (OPV) materials were under development. Other technologies were briefed including Printable Conductor from Nanoparticle Ink, Printed Si NPs Thermistor Array, Printed Temperature Sensors, Printable Low Cost OLED Display, Doped Nano Lithium Titanate (LTO), LED Thermal Management, Multifunctional Environmental Friendly Paint, etc.

After the talk, we took a group photo.

Then we visited different laboratories in HKUST. The first place was Materials Characterization and Preparation Facility (MCPF).

X-ray diffraction spectrometer

Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM)

Then we visited Integrated Nano science Lab.

The clean room installed yellow lamp in which UV was removed. The area of photo was buffer area that no mask operation.

General area for R&D of wafer process

The lab representative explained the making of an Integrated Circuit from mask design and layout to wafer produced.

HKCCMA - http://www.hkccma.org/
HKPC - http://www.hkpc.org/
HKETA - http://www.hketa.org.hk/
HKSQ - http://www.hksq.org/
NAMI - https://www.nami.org.hk/


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