Welcome to November, 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’, “Deploying the Improvement Process” and “Implementing the Improvement Process”. While we were @ Measuring the Improvement Process, we had observed references to several techniques of measurements. Among these we had a detailed look at one of the most discussed one: The Balanced Scorecard.

In this last part of our journey of Continuous Improvement, we will take a look at some of the representative articles on “Sustaining Continuous Improvement’.

Sustainability of lean process System

How to Create and Sustain Successful Continuous Improvement Teams – Renee Bassett – Porter at Irving Oil: “Keep it fresh, keep improving the system.  Do not let it stagnate.  Your competition is making improvements every day; evolving change is now a way of life.” Click here to read how understanding human motivations can go a long way toward ensuring a successful continuous improvement program.

Sustaining Continuous Improvement Initiatives – Simon Bodie – Continuous Improvement Initiatives are often launched with a flurry of excitement .This can soon wane as executives fail to see value and question the rationale for continuing. Achieving longevity requires careful management of the program. Just completing ‘good work’ is not enough, benefits need to be understood calculated and extracted. Progress needs to be communicated effectively.

Sustaining a Continuous Improvement Culture in a World of Flux – It is not so much that we are afraid of change, or so in love with the old ways, but it is the place in between we fear….. like being in between trapezes……there is nothing to hold on to. CI should not merely be an institutional priority, but should be integrated into the strategic plan. A well-defined structure for implementing CI programs, transparent flow of information, listening to views of each stakeholder, showing the benefits to the individuals and maintaining the consistency of approach (towards CI) help build the culture that creates environment for sustaining the CI.

Visual Management Helps You Sustain Continuous Improvement – You can’t make your operations more efficient if your employees don’t know what is going on!  Communicating information throughout all departments and levels of your company is critical. Visual management is a fundamental element of process control that helps you sustain continuous improvement.

Creating and sustaining value: Building a culture of continuous improvementSaleem Chattergoon, Shelley Darling, Rob Devitt, Wolf Klassen have narrated a phased approach adopted at Toronto East General Hospital . These are: Phase 1 – Setting the stage ; Phase 2 – Team-driven performance management and Phase 3 – The daily management system and cross-appointment model. The three phased approach takes the movement beyond individual projects to the cultural transformation.

Continuous Improvement through a Productive Culture

Actions that Build a Productive Work Culture

  1. Practice good leadership at all levels
  • Create trust and respect
  • Be committed and persistence
  • Be patient and understanding
  • Be consistent
  • Allocate resources fairly & where needed
  • Explain the goals and reasons
  1. Lead by example, by “walking your talk”
  • Role model desired behaviours
  • Coach, mentor and teach
  1. Determine appropriate criteria for rewards, praise, and status
  2. Select good people and supporters – Put individuals in the right roles
  3. Practice open 2-way communication
  4. Manage by walking around
  5. Develop and communicate values, behavioural expectations and norms – Deliver common and consistent messages and behaviours at all levels
  6. Focus on the quality of relationships – respect people
  7. Ensure the physical and emotional safety and well-being of employees – Listen to ideas and concerns and take appropriate action
  8. Let employees enjoy the rewards of their hard work
  9. Help people to understand all the ways the change will be good for the organisation and also for them
  10. Promote collaboration and cross-functional problem solving
  11. Provide stability and consistency
  12. Promote creativity, innovation & learning – Within boundaries remove obstacles and encourage rule breaking
  13. Create personal responsibility for results
  14. Provide employees with feedback
  15. Create a sense of identity, ownership and pride of work
  16. Provide development opportunities, new skills and fresh knowledge
  17. Provide career opportunities
  18. Provide challenges and challenging opportunities
  19. Impose real-time consequences that matter
  20. Be connected to your community

Continuously improve your chances for project success: Whitepaper 3 || kpmg.com/nz ||

Effective management of major projects relies on three key concepts:

  1. early planning and organization
  2. stakeholder communication and project controls integration, and
  • Continuous improvement.

This third instalment of a three-part series, outlines the third key component in managing a major project, continuous improvement……A collaborative culture – where information is exchanged informally and through multiple channels – is preferable for inspiring continuous improvement.

From lean to lasting: Making operational improvements stick

The broader challenge underlying such problems is integrating the better-known “hard” operational tools and approaches—such as just-in-time production—with the “soft” side, including the development of leaders who can help teams to continuously identify and make efficiency improvements, link and align the boardroom with the shop floor, and build the technical and interpersonal skills that make efficiency benefits real.

Why do continuous improvement initiatives fail to sustain? By Thomas Liesener – The four most commonly occurring hot spots are: lack of will, support, commitment and leadership from (senior) management; not right metrics selected, monitored and reviewed (for CI and change); lack in professional human development / trainings and career pathing; not right and enough resources allocated or available for implementation and projects.

Sustaining the continual improvement will find as many variants as required by the as differing needs of differing circumstances, varying by the degree in which the people involved vary with as many differing backgrounds. Obviously, we cannot cover all such variants in a single episode of our blog carnival. The ultimate message is that continuous improvement sustains in thrives in the culture of people who feel involved, who keep evolving and openly share their views and feelings.

The journey of the continuous improvement never ends.

We will now turn to our regular sections:

Bill Troy, ASQ CEO presents four guest posts:

A Day With the Future of QualityEdwin Garro presents a very intimate documentation of his visit to a junior high school class at the San Rafael de Poás Technical High School, Alajuela, Costa Rica. The Quality and Productivity Technical program was conceived as long term answer to shortage of skilled quality technicians. The visits talks about aspirations of the students of the program.

Big Data and Quality Professionals – by Ponmurugarajan Thiyagarajan Big data is in play when data size is huge (Volume), moves in high speeds (Velocity), comes in variety of forms (Variety) and in varied quality (Veracity) which conventional database systems cannot efficiently process.

Analytics built over big data enable organizations to process structured and unstructured data to derive useful intelligence and provide actionable insights for end-users.

This has interesting implications for quality professionals who may become involved with big data efforts. Assurance of quality is key in such projects: data clean-up must happen in an automated fashion and reconciliation reports to be produced in real-time to track quality parameters. Thus, relevant tools need to be built for quality assurance. It will be interesting to see how quality tools such as Plan-Do-Check-Act, the 7 quality tools (Fishbone diagram, Check sheets, Control charts, Histogram, Pareto Charts, Scatter Diagrams, Flow Charts) etc., can be customized for a big data project.

Facing Cultural Barriers by Leaders to Strengthen a Culture of Quality by Luciana Paulise company culture is modeled upon top management behavior. So, in effect, leaders need to change their behavior first if they want to change the entire company culture—and they have to do it through a systemic model considering four types of intelligence, viz. spiritual, intellectual, physical and emotional.

Talking To the C-Suite About Qualityby Dr. Suresh Gettalaemphasizes the following five rudimentsTalking to C-suite about quality culture that are indispensable when talking about quality to the top management:

  1. The long term – short term continuum
  2. The Language of Metrics
  3. Economic case for Quality
  4. Success Anecdotes
  5. Big Q” Approach

The current month episode of ASQ TV is: Quality in Pop Culture . Celebrate World Quality Month by watching examples of quality appearing in pop culture. Quality touches nearly all aspects of society. And it’s not surprising to see it in mainstream entertainment—whether it’s being satirized for its seemingly complicated tools and methods, or indirectly referenced for how it improves our lives.

For the present month, our ASQ’s Influential Voice is Bill Troy, the CEO of ASQ.

Bill TroyWe have been regular visitor to his View From the Q.

We had taken our first look at View from Q in September 2013, when it was under the guidance of the then ASQ CEO, Paul Borawski.

Presently, we seem to have reached the end of the present list of ASQ Influential Voices. We will take a different approach to visiting the views of ASQ Influential Voices, beginning January 2016.

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