Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs – December 2014

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

We are presently exploring Continual Improvement. October 2014 edition delved into basics of Continual Improvement, and November 2014 had had a look at Continual Improvement vs. Continuous Improvement.

For the present edition, we have randomly picked up a few articles to get a flair of the concept in actual practice:

  • Continuous Improvement at Two Companies (PDF, 362 KB) Todd Schneider shares lessons learned from helping to integrate continuous improvement into the operations of two companies. Examples of improvement projects at his current employer, Serigraph, show how teams used Six Sigma to improve yield by more than 20 percent, saving $40,000 in 10 months, and improve vendor material management, saving $192,000 per year. June 2011
  • Electric Utility Deploys Powerful Approach for Continuous Improvement (PDF, 313 KB) The Information Technology and Business Integration (IT&BI) Business Unit at Southern California Edison launched a three-year plan to increase visibility, awareness, and focus on continuous improvement efforts to better meet client needs. August 2010.
  • The Challenge of Overcoming Success (PDF, 428 KB) A combination of theory of constraints, Six Sigma, and lean helped a DNA testing laboratory take a holistic approach to process improvement. Redesigning the workflow and laboratory layout and introducing new operating rules increased capacity without increasing costs. March 2010
  • Can a Fishbone Diagram Stop a Bully? (PDF, 373 KB) In Community Consolidated School District 15, elementary students use quality tools to set goals, track academic progress, and even address behavioral issues such as playground bullying. September 2009.
  • PDSA: A Road Map to Improved Writing Skills (PDF, 340 KB) Using the plan, do, study, act cycle, Winston Campus Elementary in Palatine, Illinois, boosted sixth grade student writing test scores by 36 percent. September 2009.
  • Former Baldrige Recipient Rekindles Its Quality Fire (PDF, 256 KB) Since Community Consolidated School District 15 in suburban Chicago received the Baldrige award in 2003, front-line staff members have continued the improvement effort by relying on quality tools such as the plan, do, study, act model. August 2009.
  • Quality Club Teaches Today’s Learners to Become Tomorrow’s Leaders (PDF, 186 KB) Students who participate in a quality club at Hunting Ridge School in Palatine, Illinois, learn continuous improvement methods and then conduct training sessions for their peers. August 2009.
  • Quality Engrained in Culture at Iowa Hospital (PDF, 250 KB) The plan-do-study-act (PDSA) cycle, data-based decision making, and lean methodologies are part of the quality culture at Guttenberg Municipal Hospital. In 2008, the hospital received a Silver Award in the Iowa Recognition for Performance Excellence program. June 2009.
  • Rural Hospital Thrives With Continuous Improvement and Innovation (PDF, 210 KB) High patient satisfaction resulted from a culture change at Wright Medical Center. They shifted to a more open communication model and a pillar system that focuses on six areas of performance improvement. The hospital is now a destination of choice for healthcare in north central Iowa, with some of the highest patient satisfaction scores in the nation. April 2009.
  • Medical Device Manufacturer’s Continuous Improvement Approach Reduces Errors in Records (PDF, 236 KB) Using a three-tiered approach that included technology-, process-, and people-related solutions, MEDRAD reduced errors in product history records by 26 percent. February 2009.
  • Match the Change Vehicle and Method To the Job (PDF, 260 KB) Process improvement teams must understand the definitions of the methodology, tools and change vehicles available to them, because mismatches can be fatal to a quality improvement program.
  • From Continuous Improvement to Continuous Innovation (PDF, 95 KB) A close-up look at the concepts of continuous improvement, continuous innovation, discontinuous innovation, incrementalism, exploitation and exploration.
  • Continuous Improvement: Methods and Madness (PDF, 28 KB) Employee involvement, daily and evolutionary improvement, and focusing on product features are all characteristics of continuous improvement.

We turn to our regular sections now:

Bill Troy, ASQ CEO had opened up a very timely debate on ‘Is Every Quality Professional a Leader?’ that can well shape the future of the profession. “Some have made the case recently that quality professionals lack the business skills needed to connect with the C-suite. Others note that quality professionals sometimes lack the “soft skills” needed to make the case for quality outside the quality department. Leadership encompasses all of the above. Business savvy, people skills, and decisive action all are required to get results in the world.”

Julia McIntosh, ASQ communications , in her ‘November Roundup: What Does Leadership Mean to Quality?. ASQ bloggers had interestingly diverse opinions on this topic. Some called for more quality training. Others said that being leader isn’t everyone.

And then move over to ASQ TV Episodes:

Quality Goes to School. In this episode we take a look at the role of quality in the classroom, see how origami can be used to teach “lean,” and learn about the brainstorming tool, the lotus flower diagram.

Improving Healthcare With Quality : Learn about the challenges of incorporating quality tools into healthcare, look at how one hospital implemented Six Sigma to improve patient discharge times, and explore design of experiments, a quality… tool that helped the hospital with its task. Read the full case study

Our ASQ’s Influential Voice for the month is – Rajan Thiyagarajan

clip_image002Based in Chennai, India, Rajan Thiyagarajan is delivery head at Tata Consultancy Services and a senior member of ASQ. He blogs @ Quality Matters, where he shares his own thoughts and opinions, on topics focused by ASQ. For example, an article last year – Remembering the Great Leaders of Quality – as a brief snapshot, presents key contributions of 10 greatest leaders of quality.

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 take a deeper view and look at India tab to select Frugal Innovation this month. The article takes a concise look at First break all the rules. The article goes on to talk about several methods for how to profit from reducing costs which seem misguided. Frugal innovation is about thinking about meeting the needs of huge numbers of customers that can’t afford conventional solutions.

There is a great quote from Jeff Bezos that captures one reason why organizations so often fail to address frugal innovation: “There are two kinds of companies, those that work to try to charge more and those that work to charge less.”

I look forward to your active participation in enriching the blog carnival as we pursue our journey to Continual Improvement in the New Year…………….with very Best Wishes

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Author: ASHOK M VAISHNAV

In July 2011, I opted to retire from my active career as a practicing management professional. In the 38 years that I pursued this career, I had opportunity to work in diverse capacities, in small-to-medium-to-large engineering companies. Whether I was setting up Greenfield projects or Brownfield projects, nurturing the new start-ups or accelerating the stabilized unit to a next phase growth, I had many more occasions to take the paths uncharted. The life then was so challenging! One of the biggest casualty in that phase was my disregards towards my hobbies - Be with The Family, Enjoy Music form Films of 1940s to mid-1970s period, write on whatever I liked to read, pursue amateur photography and indulge in solving the chess problems. So I commenced my Second Innings to focus on this area of my life as the primary occupation. At the end of four years, I am now quite a regular blogger. I have been able to build a few very strong pen-relationships. I maintain contact with 38-years of my First Innings as freelance trainer and process facilitator. And yet, The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.

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