Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs – October 2014

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Welcome to October 2014 edition of Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs.

Having traversed the topics of Non-Compliance and subsequent CAPA in our earlier editions, we now take a look at the next logical step in the chain – Continual Improvement.

Be it a student or a practitioner of Quality Management, the subject is certainly not new. Hence, we will endeavour to present here the articles that shed some new perspective on the subject.

What is CONTINUAL IMPROVEMENT?Improvement that occurs in spurts that reoccur

CONTINUAL IMPROVEMENT WITHIN THE QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS sets the tone for the subject.

Continual improvement

Continual improvement should focus on enablers such as leadership, communication, resources, organisation architecture, people and processes – in other words, everything in the organisation, in all functions at all levels… Departmental improvements may merely move the constraints or problem somewhere else in the process chain.

Improvement is not about using a set of tools and techniques. Improvement is not going through the motions of organising improvement teams and training people. Improvement is a result, so it can only be claimed after there has been a beneficial change in an organisation’s performance.

Why Continuous Improvement May Need To Be DiscontinuedRon Askenas

As innovation thinker Vijay Govindarajan says, “The more you hardwire a company on total quality management, [the more] it is going to hurt breakthrough innovation. The mindset that is needed, the capabilities that are needed, the metrics that are needed, the whole culture that is needed for discontinuous innovation, are fundamentally different.”

It’s time to nuance our approach in the following ways:

Customize how and where continuous improvement is applied. One size of continuous improvement doesn’t fit all parts of the organization.

Question whether processes should be improved, eliminated, or disrupted. Too many continuous improvement projects focus so much on gaining efficiencies that they don’t challenge the basic assumptions of what’s being done.

Assess the impact on company culture.

When Your Past Success Becomes An ObstacleKarol Kinsey Goman

One of the greatest challenges for a leader who wants his or her team to thrive in changing times is to identify those practices and attitudes that need to be eliminated in order to more quickly adopt new behaviors. Here are five key questions that you should ask your team members to consider:

1. What do we do best? (What skills, abilities, and attitudes are we most proud of?)

2. Which of these current skills, abilities, and attitudes will continue to make us successful in the future?

3. What do we need to unlearn? (Which skills are becoming obsolete? What practices — attitudes, behaviors, work routines, etc. — that worked for us in the past may be a detriment in the future?)

4. How does our competence stop us from doing things differently? (Where are the “comfort zones” we’re most reluctant to leave?)

5. What new skills do we need to learn to stay valuable to the organization?

You Are Either Getting Better Or You Are Getting Worse — Here’s How To Get Better – Paul B Brown

You have to keep getting better…Everyone acknowledges that–in theory.  In practice it tends to fall apart, ironically, when things are good…. Waiting until have to change is never good…. Far better is trying to improve slightly every single day.

The subject of Continual Improvement cannot be done enough justice if we address it in only one post in our Blog Carnival. So, we will continue in next two Carnival editions…..

We turn to our regular sections now:

Bill Troy, ASQ CEO opens up the debate on Charting A Strategy For Quality–And Beyond

“The purpose of strategy, after all, is to answer this question: How do you get from where you are to where you want to be?  What is your path?  How are you going to get there, what steps do you need to take, and in what order?

“I’d like to offer five key questions about strategy that you may find useful as you work on your own strategic planning.

  1. What are your key facts and assumptions?
  2. What is your theory of victory?
  3. Can you actually accomplish each aspect of your strategy?
  4. Is your organization doing things that sit outside your strategy?
  5. Have you left enough planning time to test your strategy?

“One caveat: Determine how much time you have to spend on strategy and act accordingly. We all must get things done, so we must not fall to “paralysis by analysis.” We can only admire the problem for so long. A good rule of thumb many of us learned in the military is the one-third, two-thirds rule”, i.e. leave two-thirds of the time to others for absorbing, implementing and improving upon the strategy.

Julia McIntosh, ASQ communications , in her ‘September Roundup: What’s the Best Approach to Strategy?’ presents views expressed by ASQ Bloggers on the subject.

And then move over to ASQ TV Episode s:

Quality Improves Government

Around the world, government agencies are using quality tools and implementing quality methods to make noticeable and sustainable improvements. This episode of ASQ TV looks at two positive stories, addressing the importance of quality in government. Manu Vora interview Milwaukee Public Health Lab

Related additional video:

               Manu Vora and V.K. Agnihotri advocate quality in government by discussing quality’s role in the government of India now and for the future.

Soft Skills-Leadership and Management

It’s one thing to know the ins and outs of your industry and profession. But you can’t be an effective leader and drive change in your field without soft skills. This episode of ASQ TV describes what soft skills are and how mastering them will help you get ahead in your day-to-day relationships and, ultimately, your career.

Rosemarie Christopher’s Career Corner columns

Related additional video:

According to author and speaker Simon T. Bailey, it’s important for leaders to also think big-picture to truly drive change. In this segment, hear how leaders should consider the story they’re telling, how they can sustain their leadership and what quality leaders can do to take initiative in their organizations. View Bailey’s 2014 World Conference on Quality and Improvement keynote speech, available on demand

To motivate employees and develop high-performing work relationships, leaders must understand that all people have certain needs that must be met in the workplace. In this segment, learn about the desires of each person to help you connect with people for meaningful work relationships and long-term productivity.

Our ASQ’s Influential Voice for the month is – John Priebe

clip_image001John Priebe is vice president of business quality for NBCUniversal and a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt with experience in process improvement, innovation, and quality control. He blogs at JohnPriebe.com with a headline tag as Innovation | Quality | Leadership.

A majority of the posts relate to discussions on the topics at ASQ Influential Voices, with quite few of the topics interspersed I between. Here is one such post: The Emergent Culture: Be the Change You Wish to See.. The article draws up a parallel with a natural biological phenomenon known as ‘emergent behaviour, in a flock of birds. Of course, in case of human beings, it is a long road, but the journey can well be begun by “be the change you wish to see in the world”.

We do not have a fresh insight this month in so far as Curious Cat Management Improvement Carnival category is concerned.

However , in such an event, we do pick up an interesting article posted recently. We pick up Take Advantage of the Strengths Each Person Brings to Work for our present edition.

clip_image002Managers should be setting up the organization to take maximum advantage of the strengths of the people in the organization while minimizing the impact of weaknesses.

This needs a ‘refusing to fail’ attitude so as to ‘create a system that works and builds on the skills, ability and desire to do great work that your employees bring to work.’

W. Edwards Deming: “the aim of leadership is not merely to find and record failures of men, but to remove the causes of failure: to help people to do a better job with less effort.”

I look forward to your active participation in enriching the blog carnival as we pursue our journey to continual improvement…………….

Wishing Very Happy Diwali festivities to all………

Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs – September 2014

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Welcome to September 2014 edition of Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs.

Our topic for the blog carnival edition of August 2014 was Corrective and Preventive Action [CAPA]. Among other things one very vital element in designing, planning and implementing CAPA is Root Cause Analysis.

For our present edition we will delve deeper into this subject.

We begin our search with what Wikipedia has to say:

A root cause is an initiating cause of a causal chain which leads to an outcome or effect of interest.

In plain English a “root cause” is a “cause” (harmful factor) that is “root” (deep, basic, fundamental, underlying or the like).

The term root cause has been used in professional journals as early as 1905.

Ivan Fantin (2014) describes the root cause as the result of the drill down analysis required to discover which is the process that is failing, defining it as “MIN Process” (meaning a process that is Missing, Incomplete or Not followed .

Mark Paradies looks at various elements of the Definition of a Root Cause @ Root Cause Analysis Blog

The most basic cause (or causes)
that can reasonably be identified
that management has control to fix and,
when fixed, will prevent
(or significantly reduce the likelihood of)
the problem’s recurrence.

The salient aspects that emerge from this definition are:

First, when one finds a root cause, one has found something that management can fix that will prevent the problem’s recurrence. This is a key because it keeps one looking until a fixable solution can be found.

Second, the definition targets problems that are within management’s grasp to fix.

Third, the definition helps answer the always troubling question of how much investigative effort is enough.

Fourth, the definition implies that a problem may have more than one root cause.

Moreover, a root cause has these identifying characteristics:

1. It is clearly a major cause of the problem symptoms.

2. It has no productive deeper cause. The word “productive” allows you to stop asking why at some appropriate point in root cause analysis. Otherwise you may find yourself digging to the other side of the planet.

3. It can be resolved. Sometimes it’s useful to include unchangeable root causes in your model for greater understanding. These have only the first two characteristics.

4. Its resolution will not create bigger problems. Side effects must be considered.

5. There is no better root cause. All alternatives have been considered.

Root cause analysis is an approach for identifying the underlying causes of why an incident occurred so that the most effective solutions can be identified and implemented.  It’s typically used when something goes badly, but can also be used when something goes well.  Within an organization, problem solving, incident investigation and root cause analysis are all fundamentally connected by three basic questions:  What’s the problem? Why did it happen? and What will be done to prevent it?

ASQ considers Root cause analysis as a collective term that describes a wide range of approaches, tools, and techniques used to uncover causes of problems.

ASQ Fellow Jim Rooney walks through the basics of root cause analysis:

Part 1:   A Conceptual Overview

Part 2:  Practical Application

What is Root Cause Analysis?’ covers ‘The origin of root cause analysis; Understanding root cause analysis; and The Future: Inductive, Intuitive, and Automated RCA’

“DevOps teams often spend far too much time treating recurring symptoms without penetrating to the deeper roots of software and IT issues, making the extra effort to solve problems at their source.  But as every doctor knows, plenty of time and money can actually be saved by figuring out exactly why problematic symptoms appear in the first place.  Approaching problems with an eye to unearthing such basic casual factors is called root cause analysis, and, as in the case of the smart doctor, it can greatly aid your efforts as a system administrator, developer, or QA professional to prevent a lot of unnecessary suffering.”

The site also offers Further Resources

Root Cause Analysis – Tracing a Problem to its Origins notes that “you can use many tools to support your Root Cause Analysis process. Cause and Effect Diagrams and 5 Whys are integral to the process itself, while FMEA and Kaizen help minimize the need for Root Cause Analysis in the future.”

Root Cause Analysis (RCA) investigation :

Every day a million people are treated safely and successfully in the NHS.

However, when incidents do happen, it is important that lessons are learned  to prevent the same incident occurring elsewhere. Root Cause Analysis investigation is a well recognised way of doing this.

Investigations identify how and why patient safety incidents happen. Analysis is used to identify areas for change and to develop recommendations which deliver safer care for our patients.

RCA investigation resources:

Tools to help with the investigations process:

§ Getting started

§ Gathering and mapping information

§ Identifying care and service delivery problems

§ Analysing to identify contributory factors and root causes

§ Generating solutions

§ Log, audit and learn from investigation reports

Templates to record and share investigation findings:

§ Investigation report writing templates

§ Action plan templates

§ Other useful templates

Guidance : Background information and ‘how to’ guides

eToolkit : A framework for NHS investigations

We also have

Root Cause Analysis for Beginners”

Root Cause Analysis – McCombs School of Business

Finally, Root Cause Analysis of the Failure of Root Cause Analysis is not recommending to abandon root cause analysis and Five Whys, but exhorts to realize that no technique should be automatically applied in every situation.

Before we stop for day, a satirical insight is indeed called for:

May 01, 1994

Dilbert May 01, 1994

November 02, 1994

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October 29, 2007

Dilbert October 29, 2007

 

November 04, 2008

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We turn to our regular sections now:

In “The Future of Quality: Evolutionary or Revolutionary?, ’ Bill Troy, ASQ CEO has set the stage for a lively debate in the days ahead and looks forward to reporting what he would see and hear from the quality professionals, whom he exhorts by “who hold the keys to our future in your hands”.

Julia McIntosh, ASQ communications reports in Blogger Round Up for August 2014, What’s The Future of Quality?, that the Influencing Voice blogging community is well distributed in for “Evolutionary” and for “Revolutionary, with fairly representative share of “Both / And” as well as “Other” views. The article ends up with a defining statement from Michael Noble : “…that ultimately change will not be driven just from within the professional community because the real driver of change comes from public demand on one issue or another.”

And then move over to ASQ TV Episode : Creating a Safer Food Supply explore how food safety standards and schemes ensure the safety of our food supply

· Examine the difference between ISO 9001 and ISO 22000

· Apples to Oranges?

Related videos :

  • Conversation With a Food Safety Consultant
  • A deeper look at HACCP and ISO 22000
  • The Lighter Side: A Chef’s Unique Approach to Standards

We have one more video this month: The Culture Craze :“Think your organization has a quality culture because employees faithfully use approaches and methods to improve processes? Think again. In this episode of ASQ TV, we learn the distinction between culture and compliance, and we review key culture findings from a global study by Forbes Insights and ASQ. We also look at ways to “millennialize” your workplace.

Our ASQ’s Influential Voice for the month is Nicole Radziwill

clip_image001Nicole Radziwill is an assistant professor in the Department of Integrated Science and Technology at James Madison University. She writes about research in the quality field, quality consciousness, and innovation. 100% of the proceeds from her consulting support the Burning Mind Project. She also enjoys references to quality in fiction & drama. Her blog is Quality and Innovation, exploring quality, productivity & innovation in socio-technical systems.

Here are some of the recent posts on the blog:

We do not have a fresh insight this month in so far as Curious Cat Management Improvement Carnival category is concerned.

However , in such an event, we do pick up an interesting article posted recently. We pick up Peter Drucker Discussing The Work of Juran, Deming and Himself for our present edition.

“All 3 of us knew quality doesn’t cost, and accounting was a snare and a delusion because it hides the cost of not doing… cost accounting doesn’t measure these things.”

I look forward to your active participation in enriching the blog carnival as we pursue our journey …………….

Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs – August 2014 Edition

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Welcome to August 2014 edition of Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs.

We have had a fairly good look at the world of nonconformance in the previous editions of the blog carnival. [Blog Carnival Edition of March 2014) /: Blog Carnival Edition of April 2014), Blog Carnival Edition of May 2014, Blog Carnival Edition of June 2014) and Blog Carnival Edition of July 2014].

The next logical step is to address the nonconformance. Correction, Corrective Action and Preventive Action are the most usually traversed paths for this purpose.

We dedicate the present edition of our Blog Carnival to Correction, Corrective Action and Preventive Action.

Correction versus Corrective Action

Correction is taken to rectify a known non-conformance; Corrective Action is taken to prevent recurrence of said non-conformance.

Related Articles and Dictionary Terms:

Corrective vs. Preventive Action by Russ Westcott

[ISO 9001] section 8.5.2 says corrective action eliminates the cause of nonconformities to prevent recurrence, and section 8.5.3 says preventive action determines and eliminates the causes of potential nonconformities … to prevent occurrence.

One way to dispel these is by separating situations into … a patch (a single occurrence of a nonconformity that involves little risk and needs not be recorded), a corrective action (a more serious nonconformity involving some risk that requires action to prevent recurrence and must be recorded), a preventive action (a process that can be improved to prevent occurrence of a nonconformity and is to be documented) or a developmental action (a planned change to introduce a new process or product in response to strategic objectives, documented as a preventive action).

Corrective and preventive action (CAPA, also called corrective action / preventive action, or simply corrective action) are improvements to an organization’s processes taken to eliminate causes of non-conformities or other undesirable situations. CAPA is a concept within good manufacturing practice (GMP), and numerous ISO business standards. It focuses on the systematic investigation of the root causes of identified problems or identified risks in an attempt to prevent their recurrence (for corrective action) or to prevent occurrence (for preventive action).

Corrective actions are implemented in response to customer complaints, unacceptable levels of product non-conformance, issues identified during an internal audit, or adverse or unstable trends in product and process monitoring such as would be identified by SPC. Preventive actions are implemented in response to the identification of potential sources of non-conformity.

To ensure that corrective and preventive actions are effective, the systematic investigation of the root causes of failure is pivotal.

What is a Corrective Action Plan? – Definition, Procedures & Examples – A corrective action plan is a document describing exactly how a specific situation will be changed to better meet the goals of the company.

Monitoring corrective action – The table [in the article] illustrates the various steps that are taken by Electrolux when cases of non-compliance are found in our supply chain. Findings are graded in order of severity and range from Acceptable Findings to Zero Tolerance issues.

Corrective Action Challenge - How to construct a robust problem-solving process – R. Dan Reid

Recent data for ISO Technical Specification (TS) 16949 global certification audits show that clause 8.5.2, corrective action, is the one most frequently cited for major nonconformities, and it’s eighth on the list for minor ones.

In addition to the ISO 9001 requirements, ISO/TS 16949 requirements for this clause include sub-elements for:

  • Problem solving.
  • Error proofing.
  • Corrective action impact.
  • Rejected product test and analysis.

Clause 8.5.2.1 of ISO/TS 16949 requires that organizations "have a defined process for problem solving, leading to root cause identification and elimination."

Writing an Effective Corrective Action Plan

Step 1: Clearly state the problem or weakness, including the root cause.

Step 2: List the individuals who will be accountable for the results of the corrective action

Step 3: Create simple, measurable solutions that address the root cause

Step 4: Each solution should have a person that is accountable for it.

Step 5: Set achievable deadlines

Step 6: Monitor the progress of your plan.

One post of an edition of blog carnival cannot ever do full justice to a wide gamut of methods and issues related to Correction, Corrective Action and Preventive Action. So, we will take note of a few, additional, representative articles here:

We turn to our regular sections now:

ASQ Influential Voices bloggers are sharing their thoughts on the benefits of blogging and social media use–and where to start if you’re interested in doing the same, in Learning About Social Media With ASQ Bloggers. And for a deeper dive into the hows and whys of blogging, please read the article “Blog Boom” in July Quality Progress. It’s an in-depth conversation with ASQ Influential Voices bloggers Dan Zrymiak, Jennifer Stepniowski, Mark Graban, Jimena Calfa, and John Hunter.

In Establishing a Culture of Excellence: A Conversation With Arun Hariharan, is about key lessons in establishing a culture of continuous permanent improvement.

Blogger Round Up for July 2014, What’s the Purpose of Vision? is the ASQ’s Influential Voices bloggers’ response to a prompt about the clarity of focus at Volvo and Ikea and their thoughts on how to achieve and articulate an organizational purpose.

And then move over to ASQ TV Episode : Quality in Athletics examines the connection between quality, athletics and fitness

Related Video:

ISO 9001 Helps Soccer Team Improve All-Around – Monarcas Morelia, a team in the Mexican Football Federation, was finishing in the bottom of its league and losing money. In this video, learn how it turned things around by implementing a quality management system and becoming ISO 9001 certified. Read the full story

Our ASQ’s Influential Voice for the month is – Dr. Michael Noble

Dr. Michael Noble writes the Making Medical Lab Quality Relevant blog. He is a medical microbiologist within the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. Dr. Noble is a self-declared "medical qualitologist" actively involved in national and international standards development, and is a provider of quality-oriented education and laboratory quality assessment.

Making Medical Lab Quality Relevant is a “discussion site for folks interested in improving the quality of medical laboratories. Most will be the thoughts and vents of a long time player in the medical laboratory quality from many perspectives, complex and basic laboratories, developed and developing countries, research and new knowledge.” The site has

§ About Michael Noble

§ Clinical Microbiology Proficiency Testing program

§ Program Office for Laboratory Quality Management

§ Sites for Visiting

                                                                     pages.

We do not have a fresh insight this month in so far as Curious Cat Management Improvement Carnival category is concerned.

However , in such an event, we do pick up an interesting article posted recently. We pick up Children are Amazingly Creative At Solving Problems for our present edition.

“Preschoolers are curious about almost everything. Postschoolers are curious about almost nothing.” – Russell Ackoff

Related: Taking Risks Based on EvidenceNaturally Curious ChildrenLearn by Seeking Knowledge, Don’t Only Learn from MistakesEncouraging Curiosity in KidsExtrinsic Incentives Kill Creativity

I look forward to your active participation in enriching the blog carnival as we pursue our journey …………….

Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs – July 2014

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Welcome to July 2014 edition of Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs.

We have taken up detailed look at the fundamentals of Nonconformity (Ref: Blog Carnival Edition of March 2014) / Nonconformance (Ref: Blog Carnival Edition of April 2014) and then converse of these to terms, Conformity (Ref: Blog Carnival Edition of May 2014)and Conformance (ref: Blog Carnival Edition of June 2014).

We now take a look at these words for a more specific point of view of Quality Management. First, a few definitions.

Encyclopedia of Management: Non-conformity

Non-conformity is a failure to meet the requirements (3.1.2, ISO 9000:2005). Occurrence of non-conformity is not decrease of quality. It may be related to failure to meet the requirements of the standards, documentation, quality, regulations, requirements, contract requirements or customer and other interested parties requirements. A non-conformity can be treated only by what was actually found, or supported by objective evidence.

Business Directory.com defines nonconformity – Occurrence of a condition that does not conform to the specifications of the prescribed standards, drawing a fine distinction with Defect.

1. General: Frailty or shortcoming that prevents an item from being complete, desirable, effective, safe, or of merit, or makes it to malfunction or fail in its purpose.

2. Law: Lack of legal sufficiency due to incorrect or incomplete following of a required or statutory procedure. See also perfect.

3. Manufacturing: Non-conformance of a product with the specified requirements, or non-fulfilment of user expectations (including the safety aspects).

Wikipedia: In quality management,

A nonconformity (also known as a defect) [P.S. the statement in the bracket is technically not correct.] is a deviation from a specification, a standard, or an expectation.

In software engineering, ISO/IEC 9126 distinguishes between a “defect” and a ”nonconformity”. A defect being the non-fulfilment of intended usage requirements, whereas nonconformity is the non-fulfilment of a requirement. A similar distinction is made between validation and verification.

Business Directory also elaborates on Defects as –

Defects are generally classified into four classes:

Class-1: very serious, directly causes severe injury or catastrophic loss;

Class-2: serious, directly causes significant injury or economic loss;

Class-3: major, related to significant problems with respect to intended normal or reasonable use; and

(4) Class-4: minor, related to minor problems with intended normal or reasonable use.

Two other types of defects are latent defect and patent defect.

A non-conformance is a departure from an agreed arrangement between an approval authority (or orthodox position) and an individual or group performing work. In the context of quality management an “arrangement” is commonly an agreement to conform to:

  • A work product standard
    Example: The format and content of a Software Requirements Specification does not comply with the designated SRS Document Standard
  • A predefined procedure
    Example: The requirements elicitation activities on project X did not follow the steps required by the Joint Application Design Procedure.
  • A work product specification
    Example: The System Architecture Specification does not address all the customer requirements provided in the System Requirements Specification.
  • A documented plan
    Example: The activities described in the Project Plan are not being carried out.
  • An international standard for best practice
    Example: Company XYZ does not have a documented procedure for control of quality management system documentation as required by ISO 9001 – Quality Management Systems Requirements1 clause 4.2.3 Control of documents.

The Significance of a Non-conformance

The existence of a non-conformance means that some aspects of an organisation’s standard operating procedures are not being followed.

How are Non-conformances Identified?

Non-conformance are typically identified in the context of a quality management system audit. The auditor documents the non-conformance in a Non-conformance Report which is subsequently issued to a management representative who directs corrective action.

Non-conformance Lifecycle covers the following topics:

The scope of a blog carnival does not permit us to delve deeper into this subject, however we would devote a section to Non-conformance and Corrective Action related articles in our subsequent Blog Carnival editions once we have covered Corrective in the next edition of this Blog Carnival.

We turn to our regular sections now :

Blogger Round Up for June (2014) has picked up one most debated issue – What’s the Value of Organizational Excellence Programs? ASQ’s bloggers assessed the value of excellence awards—from going through the exercise as part of continuous improvement to following through after winning (or losing). Each of the response covered in this post has thrown up one or other of the aspect that needs careful consideration by the Quality professionals and Top Management for journey that begins once the question is asked.

And then move over to ASQ TV Episode - The Power of Data : Get an overview on data management, from hot topics such as big data to using data to improve quality.

· Read the case study by Kurt M. Hill

· Four data analysis basics that can help

· Seven data collection strategies

· Read the full article by Derek Purdy

The Pros and Cons of Big Data You’ve probably heard the popular term “big data.” It refers to large and complex data sets that go beyond traditional data processing tools. With big data come big challenges. For example, how and when should you collect or analyze big data? Statistics professor Geoff Vining urges caution in relying on big data.

What’s Working: Mining Data to Reduce Costs Change doesn’t come through data collection. The goal is to analyze your data for insights on how to do something better or smarter. Nationwide Insurance did just that in deciding which homes to inspect.

Our ASQ’s Influential Voice for the month is Tim McMahon

tim-mcmahonTim McMahon is a quality manager and lean practitioner with expertise in lean manufacturing with more than 10 years of Lean manufacturing experience.  He currently leads continuous improvement efforts for a high tech manufacturer in a Quality Management role. He blogs at A Lean Journey.

A Lean Journey is dedicated to sharing lessons and experiences along the Lean Journey in the Quest for True North. The blog also serves as the source for learning and reflection which are critical elements in Lean Thinking. The blog has a well laid out lists of varied subjects covered through the regular posts on the blog. It also has a very informative blog-roll of “Lean Blogs that I Like’ as well as “Other Sites I Like”. This makes the blog as veritable source of a good deal of reading and sharing of common interests and subjects. We will just list out the posts published in July 2014, till date:

We do not have a fresh insight this month in so far as Curious Cat Management Improvement Carnival category is concerned.

However visiting the blog always leads to interesting articles posted recently. We pick up Gerald Suarez on Creating the Future for our present edition.

The webcast herebelow is the speech Gerald Suarez gave at TedX Loyola Marymount.

http://youtu.be/w2tho2_wLBE

I look forward to your active participation in enriching the blog carnival as we pursue our journey …………….

Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs – June 2014

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Welcome to June 2014 edition of Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs.

We have taken up detailed look at the fundamentals of Nonconformity (Ref: Blog Carnival Edition of March 2014) / Nonconformance (Ref: Blog Carnival Edition of April 2014) as well as Conformity (Ref: Blog Carnival Edition of May 2014). We now take a look at Conformance, before we take in these words for a more specific angle of Quality.

We take up a few dictionary meanings first:

  • Conformance – The Free Trade Dictionary: correspondence in form or appearance
  • Merriam Webster Dictionary defines Conformance as Conformity. The word is considered to have been used first in 1606. It also gives following examples:
    1. <behavior found to be not in conformance with all company policies regarding sexual harassment>
    2. <a woman with no interest in conformance to the dictates of fashion>

Synonyms

accord, accordance, agreement, conformity, congruence, congruency, congruity, consonance, harmony, tune

Antonyms

conflict, disagreement, incongruence, incongruity, incongruousness

Related Words

compatibility; assimilation, integration; oneness, solidarity, togetherness; affinity, empathy, sympathy

Near Antonyms

contrast, discrepancy, disparateness, disparity, dissimilarity, distinction, distinctiveness, distinctness, diverseness, diversity, unlikeness; deviance, divergence; discord, discordance, dissension (also dissention), dissent, dissidence, disunity, friction, strife; variability, variance; incompatibility

Compliance is an informal industry term generally accepted to mean the system provides support for some of a given standard. Vendors of compliant systems are generally expected to offer documentation describing which parts of the standard are supported, and which are not.

Conformance on the other hand is recognition of formal testing, that proves that an operating system (or product or service) provides 100% support for a given standard.

  • Cost Of Conformance is the total cost of ensuring that a product is of good *Quality*. It includes costs of *Quality Assurance* activities such as standards, training, and processes; and costs of *Quality Control* activities such as reviews, audits, inspections, and testing.

COC represents an organization’s investment in the quality of its products.

Mr. Bill Troy has taken over as CEO of ASQ from Paul Borwaski, who hung up the shoes on May 27. We can have a deeper peep at Bill Troy’s background here.

We have fresh activity @ Blogger Round UpThe Quality / Education Connection proved to be a hot topic at ASQ’s 2014 World Conference on Quality and Improvement.

And then move over to ASQ TV Episode - Teamwork : Learn what makes a team work successfully to accomplish goals and deliver results.

Here are related videos –

  • Story 2 : Coca Cola Team – Coca-Cola Co. Cold Drink Operations in Spain and Portugal used the International Team Excellence Award framework to enhance customer satisfaction and beverage safety.
  • Story 4: Extreme Team Events – Some organizations use extreme events and adventure challenges intended to motivate, inspire and boost creativity on teams.

Our ASQ’s Influential Voice for the month is –Robert Mitchell

Robert Mitchell has 30 years of quality experience in manufacturing, non-profit and civic organizations, and manages corporate quality and Lean Six Sigma operations at 3M. He is incoming chair of ASQ’s Minnesota section. He blogs at Quality Matters.

An interesting article on this blog is Sustaining Excellence, where Robert Michell dwells on his 3M experiences.

“3M leadership and management continue to rigorously apply the McKnight Principles:

“As our business grows, it becomes increasingly necessary to delegate responsibility and to encourage men and women to exercise their initiative. This requires considerable tolerance. Those men and women, to whom we delegate authority and responsibility, if they are good people, are going to want to do their jobs in their own way.

Mistakes will be made. But if a person is essentially right, the mistakes he or she makes are not as serious in the long run as the mistakes management will make if it undertakes to tell those in authority exactly how they must do their jobs.

Management that is destructively critical when mistakes are made kills initiative. And it’s essential that we have many people with initiative if we are to continue to grow.””

Tanmay Vora @ QAapire.com also had a take on this subject in the form of On Initiatives, Making Mistakes and McKnight Principles for Innovation

We do not have a fresh insight this month in so far asCurious Cat Management Improvement Carnival category is concerned.

But we have an interesting experience being shared in Practicing Mistake-Promoting Instead of Mistake-Proofing at Apple. Do read the article so as to feel the agony of a customer who was at the receiving end of a ‘poor’ (quality) of a process.

I look forward to your active participation in enriching the blog carnival as we pursue our journey …………….

Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs – May 2014

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Welcome to May 2014 edition of Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs.

We have taken up detailed look at the fundamentals of Nonconformity (Ref: Blog Carnival Edition of March 2014) / Nonconformance (Ref : Blog Carnival Edition of April 2014) as well as Conformity / Conformance, before we take in these words for a more specific angle of Quality.

In the present edition we switch our attention to Conformity, beginning with definitions:

Conformity @ Merriam-Webster Dictionary

: behavior that is the same as the behavior of most other people in a society, group, etc.

: the fact or state of agreeing with or obeying something

Synonyms

accord, accordance, agreement, conformance, congruence, congruency, congruity, consonance, harmony, tune

Antonyms

conflict, disagreement, incongruence, incongruity, incongruousness

Related Words

compatibility; assimilation, integration; oneness, solidarity, togetherness; affinity, empathy, sympathy

Near Antonyms

contrast, discrepancy, disparateness, disparity, dissimilarity, distinction, distinctiveness, distinctness, diverseness, diversity, unlikeness; deviance, divergence; discord, discordance, dissension (also dissention), dissent, dissidence, disunity, friction, strife; variability, variance; incompatibility

Conformity @ Dictionary.com

1. action in accord with prevailing social standards, attitudes, practices, etc.

2. correspondence in form, nature, or character; agreement, congruity, or accordance.

3. compliance or acquiescence; obedience.

4. ( often initial capital letter ) compliance with the usages of an established church, especially the Church of England.

5. Geology . the relationship between adjacent conformable strata.

We now turn to more fundamental aspects of conformity.

Conformity @ Wikipedia looks at the subject from a more general point of view.

Conformity is the act of matching attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors to group norms. Norms are implicit, unsaid rules, shared by a group of individuals, which guide their

Which line matches the first line, A, B, or C? In the Asch conformity experiments, people frequently followed the majority judgment, even when the majority was wrong.

Which line matches the first line, A, B, or C? In the Asch conformity experiments, people frequently followed the majority judgment, even when the majority was wrong.

interactions with others. This tendency to conform occurs in small groups and/or society as a whole, and may result from subtle unconscious influences, or direct and overt social pressure. Conformity can occur in the presence of others, or when an individual is alone.

Although peer pressure may manifest negatively, conformity can have good or bad effects depending on the situation. Driving on the correct side of the road could be seen as beneficial conformity. With the right environmental influence, conforming, in early childhood years, allows one to learn and thus, adopt the appropriate behaviours necessary to interact and develop correctly within one’s society. Conformity influences formation and maintenance of social norms, and helps societies function smoothly and predictably via the self-elimination of behaviors seen as contrary to unwritten rules. In this sense it can be perceived as a positive force that prevents acts that are perceptually disruptive or dangerous.

As conformity is a group phenomenon, factors such as group size, unanimity, cohesion, status, prior commitment, and public opinion help determine the level of conformity an individual displays.

In What Is Conformity? @ About.Com – Psychology Kendra Cherry refers to Deautsch and Gerard (1955), who have identified two key reasons why people conform: informational influence – happens when people change their behavior in order to be correct- and normative influence – from a desire to avoid punishments (such as going along with the rules in class even though you don’t agree with them) and gain rewards (such as behaving in a certain way in order to get people to like you).

Types of Conformity :
  • Normative conformity involves changing one’s behavior in order to fit in with the group.
  • Informational conformity happens when a person lacks knowledge and looks to the group for information and direction.
  • Identification occurs when people conform to what is expected of them based upon their social roles. Zimbardo’s famous Stanford Prison Experiment is a good example of people altering their behavior in order to fit into their expected roles.
  • Compliance involves changing one’s behavior while still internally disagreeing with the group.
  • Internalization occurs when we change our behavior because we want to be like another person.

In ‘ Deadly conformity is killing our creativity. Let’s mess about more’ Henry Porter @ the guardian | The Observer,

People’s lives would be more fulfilling if they were given greater freedom in the workplace……. apart from encouraging the well-appreciated conditions for creativity in the workplace, we perhaps need to understand that the structures for taking decisions and driving things forward are not the same ones we should use to find innovation and make the most of the unexploited 85% of our intelligence. Power and hierarchies are the enemy of creativity.

We now narrow down our area of study to some of the specific examples of conformity at work:

Conformity Analysis – As part of the transportation planning and programming process, The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) staff evaluates the impact of proposed transportation activities on the region’s air quality.

Conformity of Production – Conformity of Production (COP) is a means of evidencing the ability to produce a series of products that exactly match the specification, performance and marking requirements outlined in the type approval documentation.

Please follow these links to documents that explain COP in more detail:

Conformity assessment is the process used to show that a product, service or system meets specified requirements…….The main forms of conformity assessment are certification, inspection and testing. Although testing is the most widely used, certification is the best known.

ISO has many standards relating to performing conformity assessment as well as many other publication and resources which can be accessed at resources for conformity assessment.

Next, we turn our sails to our regular sections, starting with an international body actively engaged in furtherance of quality- Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council.

QCC is an Abu Dhabi government entity consisting  of a council of regulators with a mandate to ensure provision of quality infrastructure in line  with global standards, and to support regulators and government organizations through offering quality and conformity facilities, expertise and resources, promote a culture of quality towards consume.

And then move over to ASQ TV Episode- Lean with a Touch of Six Sigma – “You hear about lean and six sigma, and lean six sigma. Is there a difference? Learn how lean and six sigma work together and how NOT to mistake the tools.”

We would also leverage this opportunity to visit related videos:

Uncover the differences between Lean, Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma – “Lean Six Sigma subject matter experts and instructors Chad Smith and Chris Hayes describe the core differences between Lean and Six Sigma.”

Waste Analysis – “The simplest thing an organization can do in applying lean is to identify waste in its processes and then work to eliminate them. To get started, conduct a waste analysis. It typically looks for waste in eight categories.” [Do visit identifying waste too.]

Is Lean (and Six Sigma) the way to go – “Lean expert, David Behling, and Six Sigma expert, Maria Pamment, discuss the relevance of lean and Six Sigma, the challenges of implementing lean and how to get executive support.” [Do visit David Behling's lean insights too.]

The Lighter Side–Lucy Hates Waste – In this classic comedy clip, we see an example of overproduction (one of the eight wastes of lean). Too bad eating extra product isn’t always a delicious option.

Lean Improves Response Time and Increases Revenue for Global Lender – One global lender was losing 40% of its applications for auto loans in Latin America. The organization used Six Sigma and lean tools to improve response time AND increase revenue in the process. [Do visit Case study too.]

Our ASQ’s Influential Voice for the month is – Dr. Lotto Lai

Dr. Lotto LaiBased in Hong Kong, China, Dr. Lotto Lai specializes in scientific research, quality assurance, and management. Dr. Lotto Lai has over 15 year hands-on experience in scientific research, quality assurance and management in Commercial Laboratory, University Testing Centre, Certification Body and Consultants Firm. He is Chairman & Fellow in HKSQ, MHKIE, SrMASQ, CMQOE and IRCA QMS Lead Auditor. He blogs at Quality Alchemist. The site already depicts publication of 52 posts in the year 2014, till date. The articles present a wide panorama of events that take place at HKSQ and other topics related to the subject of Quality.

We do not have a fresh insight this month in so far as Curious Cat Management Improvement Carnival category is concerned.

So we take a have look @ Interview on PDSA, Deming, Strategy and MoreBill Fox interviewed John Hunter and has posted the interview on his web site: Predicting Results in the Planning Stage.

I look forward to your active participation in enriching the blog carnival as we pursue our journey …………….

Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs – April 2014

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Welcome to April 2014 edition of Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs.

We continue with our topic for in-depth view: Nonconformity / Non – conformance, focusing on Non – conformance in this issue.

Refusal | objection | dissent | protest | disobedience | disagreement

         and Antonyms

concurrence |acceptance |agreement |approval

for noncompliance .

A non-conformance is a departure from an agreed arrangement between an approval authority (or orthodox position) and an individual or group performing work.

In the context of quality management an “arrangement” is commonly an agreement to conform to: A Work Product Standard; A Predefined Procedure; A Work Product Specification; A Documentation Plan; An International Standard for Best Practice.

Nonconformity refers to a failure to comply with requirements, whereas Nonconformance refers to a deficiency in a characteristic, documentation, or procedure that renders the quality of an item or activity unacceptable or indeterminate; nonfulfillment of a specified requirement.

A non-compliance is the failure to adhere to an Act or its Regulations
A non-conformance is the failure to comply with a requirement, standard, or procedure.

A Google search throws up a host of additional informative article and links in so far as Non-conformance / Non-compliance is concerned. Among several such results, we take a look at selected few, from different fields.

Failure or refusal to comply. In medicine, the term noncompliance is commonly used in regard to a patient who does not take a prescribed medication or follow a prescribed course of treatment.

The process of determining noncompliance is an important aspect of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards system, as well as the only established mechanism for determining noncompliance with the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) itself. Noncompliance with an NPT safeguards agreement constitutes violation of Article III of the NPT, the obligation to accept safeguards on all nuclear material, and, depending on the circumstances, possibly a violation of Article II, the obligation not to acquire nuclear weapons.

Noncompliance: Any action or activity associated with the conduct or oversight of research involving human subjects that fails to comply with the research plan as approved by a designated IRB or federal regulations or institutional policies governing such research. Non-compliance may range from minor to serious, be unintentional or willful, and may occur once or several times.

Noncompliance with regulations by enterprises is said to be rife in developing countries. Yet there is limited systematic evidence of the magnitude of noncompliance at the enterprise level. Making innovative use of two complementary data sources, this paper quantifies noncompliance for India’s Factories Act without the question of illegality ever being raised directly with enterprises. The paper finds that more than twice as many firms are not complying as are complying. Further, the number of non-compliant firms is much larger than the number of firms adjusting out of the regulation. Thus noncompliance with the Factories Act is a key feature of the “missing middle” in India. The paper explores the main trends and patterns of noncompliance and highlights a number of key issues for further analytical and policy research.

As we search for more results, we observe that more of the articles deal with the subject from Quality (Management or Function or Profession). Hence we will take a more detailed look at these articles in our future edition when will be having a look at the subject purely in terms of Quality (Management or Function or Profession).

Next, we turn our sails to our regular sections, starting with an international body actively engaged in furtherance of quality.

The Product Development and Management Association (PDMA) is the premier global advocate for product development and management professionals. Our mission is to improve the effectiveness of individuals and organizations in product development and management. This is accomplished by providing resources for professional development, information, collaboration and promotion of new product development and management.

The development of new products and services involves an integrated set of unique activities. PDMA is the only organization that focuses on addressing this challenge by providing the following opportunities for professional development: education, experience, networking and recognition.

Updates can be obtained from PDMA News blog for association news or the PDMA Blog which features content from PDMA members.

And then move over to ASQ TV Episode- Six Sigma

Six Sigma is a well-known quality method. But like most quality techniques, its use changes and evolves as organizations do. In this episode, we discuss benefits and challenges associated with implementing Six Sigma; how to distinguish the Six Sigma belt colors; the potential return on investment of implementing Six Sigma; the basics of DMAIC; and play a fun game of “Name That Black Belt.”

Lean and Six Sigma Conference Audio

Costs and Savings

DMAIC

Our ASQ’s Influential Voice for the month is -Shon Isenhour

Shon IsenhourBased in Charleston, South Carolina, Shon Isenhour specializes in business process management, strategic planning, organizational change management, and reliability engineering. He has led improvement initiatives for industries such as pharmaceuticals, metals, petrochemical, paper, and power generation, among others. He is direction of education and work execution management at GPAllied. Shon writes about reliability on Reliability Now, with a tagline – Developing and Sustaining Improved Corporate Bottom Line Performance.

We take a detailed look at one of the posts on this blog.

Education Without Application Is Just Entertainment: 3 things that can help create a return on education.

Retention:Take the time to map out the skills you need the person to have and the learning objectives associated with those skills. Then the training can be customized to only provide the points and topics they need to be successful.

Application: Once a student has seen a new way to do something in the training environment they must apply the skills nearly immediately. This helps with the previous topic of retention but it also creates success and real world examples that can be used to continue the change process.

Culture Manipulation: With a pull from leadership and the success of quick application you can begin to manipulate the culture into the target state.

We do not have a fresh insight this month in so far as Curious Cat Management Improvement Carnival category is concerned.So we take a brief stay at Good Process Improvement Practices and related articles – Change is not ImprovementHow to ImproveWhere to Start ImprovementOperational ExcellenceHow to Manage What You Can’t MeasureMaking Better DecisionsFind the Root Cause Instead of the Person to Blame

I look forward to your active participation in enriching the blog carnival as we pursue our journey …………….

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