Project Interim Report: Maximizing Driver Income Through UberIntroductionUber is a ride-sharing application that allows individuals to access a new form of transportation and for some the opportunity to as well as acquire another source of income. Drivers can create their own flexible schedules and work when they want. Although making your own schedule can be rewarding, it can also be challenging. Time management is an issue many Uber drivers face. Uber drivers are unable to find success with the inconsistent hours and pay. Full-time and part-time drivers struggle with dead miles and wasted gas. A way to improve profits would be to maximize on tips by improving the customer’s experience. Our goal and mission are to maximize a driver’s income within a typical work shift.  Methodology and ResultsImprovement Cycle #1: Understanding Your ProcessThe tools we used were the SIPOC diagram and a flow chart. We used these tools and methods to help better understand the process. The SIPOC diagram mapped the process by showing us inputs, suppliers, outputs, and customers. The flowchart breaks down the process step by step. It and assisted us in the decision-making method and gave by giving us a better overall understanding of the process. We obtained the data from personal experience, as well as online sources that show the average expenses for the driver and rider. We learned more about the process and gained a better understanding of what tools are needed to analyze the process. These tools and methods can be useful when looking for causes to a problem or trying to find a solution. In return, these tools and methods help in the pursuit to prevent waste when picking up customers. We are now more familiar with the steps involved with the Uber process. We now know where problems could possibly occur for Uber drivers and the possibility of different paths that can transpire. According to our research, for this portion of the project we have determined that there are elements that can be improved upon. If we could redo this portion of the project, we would have focused on the other components that could have possibly decreased cost during a shift. Unaware of some of the complexities we would have utilized the tools and methods a bit better. To achieve a better grasp on what steps to take next. .         Improvement Cycle #2: Measuring Current Process PerformanceFor the next step, we used a run chart to obtain a baseline measurement. It measured the average profit made per hour during an Uber driver’s shift. A run chart was a helpful tool to use; it showed us what times of day were more profitable and the average amount made per shift. This information can be helpful in deciding what measures to take in the future. The information in the run chart was gathered from a group member who works for Uber. With implementing this information in a run chart, it easily broke down the Pprofits made from (June – June 2017).   The run chart shows the average profit made per hour during a shift. The average profit made was broken down by different shift hours: 8:00am to 12:00pm, 12:00pm to 4:00pm, 4:00pm to 8:00pm and 8:00pm to 12:00am. As shown in Appendix C, the run chart illustrates the average profit made per hour during different shifts. Four days were sampled, each using a different times of day. The shift was five hours long. The data from the run chart shows that the average profit increases during the later shifts. The average profit was $15.75 per hour per shift. The standard deviation was $5.1. We learned a lot during this process, we now know that there are things that we can do to increase profits during a shift. For example, in order to increase a driver’s profits, we could focus on improving the customer’s experience so that they are encouraged to tip more. Also, we learned that the later the shift, the higher the profit. We also learned that earlier shifts are the least profitable. The run chart showed us what times of day are most and least profitable. The 8pm-12am shift told us that a lot more customers use Uber during the late evening, making this the “prime-time” for Uber drivers. There are still methods to be used to further increase profits, but utilizing the run chart gives us a good starting point.    Improvement Cycle #3: Identifying the Cause of the ProblemTo find a solution for maximizing profits, we looked for the causes or issues that drivers deal with. To identify the cause of the problem we used brainstorming sessions. The sessions involved both individual and group brainstorming. We choose this method to increase creativity and produce more ideas. The ideas gathered by the brainstorming sessions were put into an affinity chart. This tool helped organize our ideas into groups. We used the information from the affinity diagram to make an interrelationship digraph. The interrelationship digraph analyzed the links between ideas showing the cause and effects relationships. This tool helps show the greatest root cause. This method, combined with an affinity diagram can be very beneficial when identifying an issue.Each team member came into the brainstorming session with ideas, and some with personal experiences. The first brainstorming session was structured and used a round-robin approach in sharing ideas one at a time. The second brainstorming session was unstructured with a free flow of ideas. The results from the brainstorming session can be seen in Appendix D in the form of an affinity chart. Appendix E shows the cause and effect relationship in the form of an interrelationship digraph. At this point of our project, we recognized the potential causes that could negatively impact earnings during a shift. The affinity diagram helped us list the possible issues. The interrelationship diagraphs showed us the key drivers and the key outcomes. If we had an opportunity to redo this phase of the project we would have had a few more brainstorming sessions.  Improvement Cycle #4: Determining Recommended SolutionsAppendix C told us the most in regards to how we can maximize our profits. We found that the late evening is the best time for Uber drivers to start and end their shifts. A run chart allowed us to compare average profit between different shifts. A SIPOC diagram showed us the inputs and outputs of the Uber experience and what suppliers and customers are involved. The flowchart portrayed the entire process and where specifically things could go wrong resulting in a loss of profit. It is imperative for us to be familiar with the specifics of the process so we can accurately define which steps help and do not help increase income. For the run chart, we got our data from personal experience (Uchenna has experience as an Uber Driver). The Uber app breaks down how much money is made from each trip and when each trip took place. We learned that the best way for us to maximize a driver’s profits would be to drive later shifts, and capitalize on tips while also minimizing expenses. This means improving the customer’s experience so that they will decide to increase their tip. If I was we were to repeat this process again, we would test out the shifts a couple more times to ensure that it is accurate.

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