Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs – May 2017

Welcome to May, 2017 edition of Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs.

We will commence our episode with a very different perspective of Quality.

Zen and the Art of Quality – By Brad Stulberg – On 24th April, 2017, Robert M. Pirsig, author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and Lila died at his home in South Berwick, Maine. He was 88. Though he wrote only those two books, each will be remembered as classics of modern philosophy. For the uninitiated, the main thread underlying both books is something called Quality, a word Pirsig capitalized to indicate that it represents a unique type of event. It’s when a subject and object (or actor and act) become so intertwined that they are hard to separate; they become one. Out of that relationship, wrote Pirsig, emerges a special kind of Quality….. “To live for some future goal is shallow,” he writes in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. “It’s the sides of the mountain that sustain life, not the top … The only Zen you find on the top of the mountains is the Zen you bring up there.”

Robert Pirsig : Photo – William Morrow-HarperCollins

As can be expected, different obituaries have some or other additional input on Robert Pirsig. We have picked up two from these:

Robert Pirsig has looked at Quality not from the traditional view of the word Quality. The following discussions will open us the world of his interpretation of Quality.

Metaphysics of Quality (MoQ) is a theory of reality introduced in Robert Pirsig’s philosophical novel, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (1974) and expanded in Lila: An Inquiry into Morals (1991). The MOQ incorporates facets of East Asian philosophy, pragmatism, the work of F. S. C. Northrop, and indigenous American philosophy. Pirsig argues that the MOQ is a better lens through which to view reality than the traditional Dvaita/dualistic subjective/objective mindset found in the West and originated in the East. The book talks about the Indian concept of Tat Tvam Asi as opposed to Dvaita.

Robert Pirsig’s Metaphysics of Quality has a rich repertoire of resources on this subject. MOQ.org exists to provide a forum for discussion and study of the Metaphysics of Quality as proposed by Robert M Pirsig in his books.

An overview of the Metaphysics of Quality provides good basic information on the Here are some video clips on the subject.

What is the Metaphysics of Quality?

Robert M Pirsig NPR Interview July 12, 1974 is an excellent interview

YT has several more interesting video clips on the subject.

We will now turn to our regular sections:

For the present episode we have picked up the article Abandonment, Concentration & Pareto’s Law: A Tested Way to Achieve Quantum Leaps in Individual and Organizational Productivity from Drucker Perspective column @ Management Matters Network.

“Concentration is the key to economic results… Economic results require managers concentrate their efforts on the smallest number of products, product lines, services, customers, markets, distributive channels, end-uses, and so on, that will produce the largest amount of revenue.” — Peter F. Drucker

Drucker, Zipf, and Juran observed that aggregate data misinform, misdirect, mislead…Every manager, to be effective, must assume an imbalance exists with respect to resource allocation—and must work hard to incrementally change the ratio…The relationship between efforts and results are generally in a state of imbalance. The imbalance may be 65/35, 70/30, 75/25, 80/20 or 99/1, or any set of numbers in between. ..The key is to alter the ratio between effort and results.

From Ask The Experts, I have picked up a question – Defining Qualification, Verification, and Validation – which many of quality professional would be interested in revisiting. The answer has laid out the classic definitions from ISO 9000 and explained the terms from different angles as well.

There is no update in our ASQ CEO, Bill Troy column this time. So I went to the beginning of the A View from the Q and find a post:  The Century of Quality – That in other word would mean: “What would it take for the 21st Century to be the Century of Quality?” This is a challenge for the quality community. We need to reach executives and convince them to provide visible leadership on the topic of quality. What language do we use (to communicate with others in this regards)? Jennifer Stepniowski provides great advice— keep it simple and relevant….Let’s pay special attention to executives who get it and work to make sure their voices are heard!

We now watch two of the latest ASQ TV  episode:

  • Ralph de la Vega, Vice Chairman at AT&T, announces today as the Golden Age of Quality; a time when companies need to build quality into the product and service and detect problems before they occur.
  • SR and Quality: A Perfect FitWilly Vandenbrande, founder and president, QS Consult, tells quality professionals they are in a perfect position to take on their organizations’ SR initiatives and that SR fits well into the future of quality.
  • Lean, Change, and Invaluable People – Scott McAllister, Vice President of Growth, Prosci, describes research detailing the direct correlation between change management effectiveness and business results improvement. The research also shows sponsorship to be the most important factor. McAllister shares a method to get the most out of sponsors.
  • Root Cause Analysis – Learn about a new approach to Five Whys and Root Cause Analysis and get a refresher on the “Is/Is Not” analysis — plus, the case for asking “Why not?”

“Square in the Crosshairs”, Matthew Barsalou, QP, 2017

  • Asking “Why Not?” – The five whys method is a way of drilling down to the root of a problem. Consider adding the question “why not?”

“Five Whys and a Why Not”, Alan Fogle and Edward Kandler, QP, 2017

  • Is/Is Not Comparative Analysis Tool – An “is/is not” comparative analysis can be a good tool for figuring out the root cause-or, what the problem is or is not about. This tool is useful when you need to: Understand plausible problem causes amid many possible causes Identify issues that are not related to the problem.

“Get to the Root of it”, David M. Rucker, QP, 2010

Jim L. Smith’s Jim’s Gems for the month of April, 2017:

  • Human Side of Six Sigma : The tools are nice, but they are less important than the team process – No matter how elegant a quality tool is it is impossible to implement solutions without giving consideration to the human factor. For Six Sigma, this means focusing efforts on employee involvement far beyond the color of someone’s belt.
  • You Become What You Think – The focus of your thinking becomes important when you realize the following formula RT = E + B. Your thoughts create results, which stem from your emotions, from which your behavior is created. It is actually your behavior that produces results whether it’s good or not so good…Mike Dooley, entrepreneur and best-selling author, says “Choose Them wisely: Thoughts Become Things.”

I look forward to your active participation in enriching the blog carnival as we pursue our journey in exploring the happenings across quality management blogs…………

Note: The images depicted here above are through courtesy of respective websites who have the copyrights for the respective images.

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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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