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 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 Discontinued – Ron 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 Obstacle – Karol 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.
- What are your key facts and assumptions?
- What is your theory of victory?
- Can you actually accomplish each aspect of your strategy?
- Is your organization doing things that sit outside your strategy?
- 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:
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.
- The State of Quality In India
- Quality In China
- What Drives Quality Improvement In the United Arab Emirates?
- Quality In Costa Rica
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
John 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.
Managers 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………
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