Welcome to September, 2015 edition of Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs.

The search for “Improving measures of measurement of process” took us to the first building block -‘performance measures and metrics’, followed by the search for resources relating to the ‘structuring for the process of improvement’. Then we took one more step forward, so as to look at some basics for “Deploying the Improvement Process”. We then went over to explore different ideas and approaches in “Implementing the Improvement Process”.

We now take a look at Measuring the Improvement Process.

How to Improve Manufacturing Productivityby Tara Duggan, Demand Media

Improving manufacturing productivity involves collecting and analyzing data and making effective decisions. Ensuring the success of these operational excellence initiatives often depends on divisions working together to share data and interpret it appropriately

Step 1 – Identify the work flow associated with manufacturing your product. This includes the people, processes and technology required for production as well as the resources, communication and procedures needed throughout the company.

Step 2 – Track reports to analyze financial and customer satisfaction data. Share the same comprehensive data with all project managers so they can develop manufacturing process improvement plans, assign resources to complete the tasks, manage the budgets and determine if the projects met their goals. Establish criteria for standardizing project processes to ensure that all project managers systematically evaluate performance consistently and interpret changes appropriately.

Step 3 – Create a balanced scorecard based on data from a secure repository. Identify financial measures for the scorecard such as monthly sales, customer measures such as the number of product support calls, process measures such as number of products manufactured each month and employee measures such as staff retention. As you implement process improvement changes, note any changes in these operational measures to validate that your interventions were successful.

Step 4 – Monitor information generated from process improvement projects to implement improvements throughout all of your manufacturing operations. Analyze costs and benefits.

LEAN SIX SIGMA METRICS: HOW TO MEASURE IMPROVEMENTS WITHIN A PROCESS – Different Time, Cost, Process Complexity, Organizational Perspective metrics frequently used in Lean Six Sigma projects to measure the outcomes of a process, identify opportunities for improvement and monitor changes over time.

Using ROI to Measure the Results of BPI Initiatives Process improvement initiatives are becoming a focal point for organizations – regardless of their size or industry – and Executives want to see the positive monetary impact from these initiatives. Here is where Business Impact and ROI analysis comes into play to measure the effectiveness of an organization’s process improvement initiatives.

Measuring improvement

  • If you do not gather strong baseline data, you will never know exactly how much you have achieved.
  • For the..project, your measures should focus on the critical stakeholder experience and staff experience, as this is the focus of the overall programme. Ultimately, these factors will show whether you have met your aim.
  • Data
  • Measure little and often: measurement for improvement does not require large datasets. It is better to start with one measure, and add more, than to be ambitious about the number of measures to be collected and feel defeated by the scale of it.
  • for improvement is different from data for research. It is messier and less accurate, but highly relevant to the daily work of clinicians. Sampling is often appropriate – for example, asking 10 patients per month, as opposed to all patients. In measuring for improvement, it is rapid, small-scale feedback (through PDSA cycles) that will help you assess the impact of your changes.
  • Monitor your progress through a dashboard. This must include the main types of measure (process, outcomes and balancing measures). It should also make clear what the goal is (how much to achieve and by when), how progress will be calculated, and where the data will come from. All these are essential questions to answer when developing your measures. (See PFCC sample measurement dashboard).
  • Make sure your measures relate directly to the factors that you are changing.
  • Driver diagrams play a useful role in this activity as these help pin down what is important.. and measures that relate to these drivers.
  • Make sure you are clear about what you plan to accomplish, how you will know that this change will improve patients’ experience or outcomes, and precisely what activities you will put in place to effect this change.
  • Use the expertise in quality improvement within your organization to support you. Techniques such as ‘run charts’ (see PFCC further reading), which can track progress over time can be very useful in providing a persuasive picture of your progress. Above all, remember that the purpose of measurement for improvement is to support you to achieve your aims. The data must therefore be of value to you – not for reporting elsewhere.

How Do You Measure Process Improvement?

Maturity Levels in the Staged Representation

Maturity Levels in the Staged Representation

Measurement of Process Improvement is a paper of Practical Software and Systems Measurement (PSM) community. The paper includes areas of measurement of process improvement, measuring the value of process, improvement, measuring readiness for process improvement, measuring the process improvement progress.

Three Ways For Measuring Continuous Improvement Success – Mark Ruby emphasizes the critical role of measurement in the success of Continual Improvement in terms of three dimensional measurement perspectives:

#1 Measure based on Financial results

# 2 Measure based on an assessment tool

# 3 Measure based on view of the stakeholder

How to Measure Continuous ImprovementBy Emile Heskey

  1. Find ways to quantify progress
  2. Review the data in terms of initial goals
  3. Develop a series of criteria midway through the project which can be used for measuring the improvements.
  4. Accept Setbacks.

Cultural Transformation: Measuring and improving the culture to achieve significant business results – Charles Aubrey – Culture was defined over These values: Manage with Information and Metrics, Empower Employees, Teamwork, Respect and Ethical Behavior, Improve and Innovate, Coach/Mentor and Make a Difference, and Surpass Customer Expectations.

The measurement of the improvement was built into a detailed survey.

Measuring continuous improvement: sustainability at Sibelco Benelux presents the measurement of continuous improvement of the sustainability.

Measuring Asset Performance for Continuous Improvement – In this 7-minute, 9-second video, Mike Poland of Life Cycle Engineering explains the measure phase of a simple implementation model for a risk-based asset management system. Learn the importance of metrics, process parameters and key performance indicators (KPIs), as well as how to correctly interpret data and take the appropriate corrective actions.

Measuring Continuous Improvement In Engineering Education Programs: A Graphical Approach – The methodology, the Pitt-SW Analysis, is an adaptation of the competitive strategy principle of SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunities and threats). It consists of four steps – data collection, data summarization, display of proportions, and construction of a Strengths and Weakness (SW) table by the application of rules that reflect the desired sensitivity of the methodology. The results of the SW table can be displayed graphically using basic symbols to highlight and track changes in students’ perceptions.

These are at best a few samples on the subject. Measurement of the continual improvement will find as many variants as required by the as differing needs of differing circumstances, performed by the people with as many differing backgrounds. Obviously, we cannot cover all such variants in a single episode of our blog carnival. So, we would continue our onward journey of the process of improvement for two more months.

We turn to our regular sections now:

Bill Troy, ASQ CEO has presented three guest articles. Each one makes a very interesting and thought-provoking material. So we will only document the titles of these articles here:

Julia McIntosh, ASQ communications in the ‘August Roundup: Creating a Performance Culture: What Not To Do’ has collected the round of views of ASQ Bloggers on ways to change company culture in a positive direction. The original referenced article of James Lawther is Creating a Performance Culture: What Not To Do.

We then move over to ASQ TV Episodes:

  • Five Whys for the Birds – Reversing the deteriorating of the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C., with the five whys technique. The story may be a bit of a myth in some quality circles, but it still contains a good example of … the ‘five whys’ technique for root cause analysis.
  • Taking a deeper dive into root cause analysis – Root cause analysis can be used to find the crux of any problem in virtually any setting. Let’s take a look at some nuances of root cause analysis and how to apply it successfully. In this episode, we’ll… cover: • Knowing how far to take one root cause analysis method • An example of the 5 WHYs technique QP article • Finding the root cause of a deteriorating building “Flip the Switch” • Incorporating the scientific method approach in root cause analysis. Watch a full interview with Matthew Barsalou.
  • Taking the Scientific Method Approach to Root Cause Analysis – You probably take it for granted that root cause analysis should be empirical-that is, verifiable by observation or experience rather than just theory. In “real life,” organizational approaches to finding… a root cause don’t always pan out this way because people are anxious for answers. However, author and expert Matthew Barsalou suggests that the scientific method may be a good approach to root cause analysis
  • Standards and Auditing – Learn how to identify, categorize and take action on risks – vital skills for organizations transitioning to ISO 9001:2015. Also learn how audits can be conducted virtually. To watch the webinar, click … here.
  • Auditing, Risk, and ATM – Dennis Arter offers tips and techniques about assessing and managing risk with the help of risk catalogues and the ATM method (Accept-Transfer-Mitigate).

Our ASQ’s Influential Voice for the month is – Prem Ranganath.

Prem RanganathPrem Ranganath is a senior director and global head of IT delivery excellence and risk assurance at Quintiles Inc. He is a senior member of ASQ and enjoys working with teams to enable quality as a necessary and valuable behavior. He is very passionate about introducing a quality mindset and practices in K-12 so that quality is ingrained into interactions and decisions early on. Prem teaches at a graduate level course on software quality and product management at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis. He blogs at – The Art of Quality.  The blog tagline is: Ideas and experiences to inspire professionals and students to pursue the art

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