Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs – May 2015

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

In our last episode of April 2015, while casting our net to search for articles for “Improving measures of measurement of process”, we came up with a mixed bag of results. That required us to take a more detailed look at different aspects measurement of measurement processes. For the present month, we would look at the first building block -‘performance measures and metrics – of the process of measurement.

Performance Metrics and Measures There is overlap between measures and metrics. Both can be qualitative or quantitative, but what distinguishes them is important. Measures are concrete, usually measure one thing, and are quantitative in nature (e.g. I have five apples). Metrics describe a quality and require a measurement baseline (I have five more apples than I did yesterday)… measures are useful for demonstrating workloads and activity, and metrics are useful for evaluating compliance, processes effectiveness, and measuring success against established objectives…. measures are useful for demonstrating workloads and activity, and metrics are useful for evaluating compliance, processes effectiveness, and measuring success against established objectives.

Measuring Process Performance presents Process Capability and Maturity Model, using metrics to improve performance.

Performance metric measures an organization’s activities and performance. A criticism of performance metrics is that when the value of information is computed using mathematical methods, it shows that even performance metrics professionals choose measures that have little value. This is referred to as the “measurement inversion“. For example, metrics seem to emphasize what organizations find immediately measurable — even if those are low value — and tend to ignore high value measurements simply because they seem harder to measure (whether they are or not).

Measurement InversionKey Performance Indicator (KPI) and Performance Measure Development – Performance Measures are developed for each of the Strategic Objectives. Leading and lagging measures are identified, expected targets and thresholds are established, and baseline and benchmarking data is developed.

Developing Performance Metrics – Performance metrics should be constructed to encourage performance improvement, effectiveness, efficiency, and appropriate levels of internal controls. They should incorporate “best practices” related to the performance being measured and cost/risk/benefit analysis, where appropriate.

Selecting Performance Measures/Metrics

Generally speaking, one of the biggest problems associated with continuous improvement and problem solving is the selection of the most appropriate performance measures or performance metrics….The dependent variables numerically describe the level of success or failure of an organization for a specific period of time, for example, one quarter of a fiscal year. …But how organizations achieve these levels of success or failure is of greater importance… The independent variables are direct measures of the processes that constitute the enterprise systems creating products and services that generate organizational income…Independent variables such as customer satisfaction indices, defect rates, and supplier capability indices provide this information. When these factors reflect well on an organization, their dependent variables are much more likely to reflect overall enterprise success… The most difficult question for most people is what performance measures or performance metrics to use for their system, their process, or their particular step or operation within a process.

Using Metrics to Improve Team Performance – Nathan Heins – Metrics enable clear communication of process goals and current status to all stakeholders… as a new process is implemented metrics confirm that change is working.. metrics provide leadership with insights into where attention and resources are required.

Measuring Success: Making the Most of Performance Metrics – Good metrics involve buy-in at all levels of the organization—not just from management but also from those whose activities are being measured. “Performance metrics are a way to keep your strategic planning activities honest,” says Justin LaChance, Senior Vice President, Financial Planning & Analysis.

Lies, damn lies and metrics: Why metrics should be used sparingly to improve performanceMitchell Osak

CEOs looking to improve corporate performance without damaging employee engagement should heed the following lessons. They include: Metrics mask problems; Metrics create conflict; Managers become overly focused on metrics and not performance; Metrics lack credibility; Metrics can lead to unintended consequences; Know thyself; Less is more; Manage people not numbers

How to Use Metrics to Improve Performance describes a five-fold approach. Creating marketing metrics can help you deploy “big company” tactics in your small company…More importantly; it can help you make better decisions.

We will continue with present subject in some more definitive aspects in the next few episodes.

In the meanwhile, in the second part, we have Paulo Sampaio’s Blog, The Research Group on Quality and Organizational Excellence, from among the Influential Voices Blogroll Alumni. The Research Group on Quality and Organizational Excellence is a research group that develops work in the field of quality engineering and management and business excellence, inviting us to contribute to a ‘better world with Quality’.

We turn to our regular sections now:

Bill Troy, ASQ CEO has presented the three part blog series ‘A Leader’s Roadmap to a Culture of Quality: Building on Forbes Insights-ASQ Leadership Research’. Roy Lawton – author of the book Creating a Customer-Centered Culture: Leadership in Quality, Innovation and Speedproposes to provide the missing and necessary specifics for successful action. In the Part One last month, he spelt out how to successfully address point #1 – All employees must apply the four key elements of any strategy for building a quality culture.  (Page 8: Boeing’s Ken Shead). In Part Two , he spells out how to successfully address point #2 – CLOSELY UNDERSTAND CUSTOMER EXPECTATIONS, on the road to cultural transformation and proposes to provide the missing and necessary specifics for successful action. (page 16: Intel’s Stan Miller and Rudy Hacker). Presently, in Part 3, Roy Lawton goes on to spell how to address #3, viz., Develop a formal quality policy, common language and leader behaviors as deployment mechanisms. (Pages 18-19, HP’s Rodney Donaville.)

Julia McIntosh, ASQ communications in her guest article, The Pros and Cons of Conferences, sets the stage to reflect on the value of conferences, networking, and professional meetings of all types. In her follow through April Roundup: The Case For Conferences, many of the ASQ Influential Voices bloggers shared their criteria for attending conferences, some wrote about memorable experiences at conferences they have attending, while others reflected on the concept of the conference itself.

We then move over to ASQ TV Episodes: You Deliver a Service– Whether you work in manufacturing, government, education, healthcare, or (of course) the service sector, you are called upon to deliver a service. This episode of ASQ TV explores ways to deliver excellence service. We also take a walk into surprising service quality, on the Lighter Side. Here an instance is investigated when exceptional service is offered, but the customer has no idea what is going on, which is known as The Carbonaro Effect. Here are 1 to 25 episodes of the show’s First Season.

Our ASQ’s Influential Voice for the month is – Guy Wallace

clip_image001Guy Wallace is known for his consulting work, writings and presentations on performance analysis and curriculum architecture in large organizations. He blogs about performance improvement, curriculum design, and development at Eppic Inc. (Enterprise Process Performance Improvement Consultancy, Inc.). We will take up just one post to gauge the content on the blog:

Learning to Live With Process Performance Gaps – “Sometimes it’s best to live with a Problem or to miss an Opportunity. Sometimes there are bigger fish to fry – elsewhere. Or – there aren’t enough resources to tackle that Issue – Problem/Opportunity – right now. Or ever.. But…Ya gotta do the math. Ya gotta map the process. Ya gotta frame the problem and/or opportunity…And ya gotta do those 3 things in the reverse order.”

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

Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs – April 2015

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

For the month, we cast our net to search for articles for “Improving measures of measurement of process”, so as to look at the process improvement in the deep nooks and corners. The result seems to be a mixed bag. However, we will take what is available and continue with a more defined journey in next few episodes as we. So, here are some exploratory articles on Improving measures of measurement of process.

Following a measurement journey– …It can be helpful to think of the measurement activities in an improvement project as a journey:

Measurement JourneySource: Lloyd, R. Quality Health Care: a guide to developing and using indicators. Jones & Bartlett Publishers 2004

Measures – Measurement is a critical part of testing and implementing changes; measures tell a team whether the changes they are making actually lead to improvement. In improvement work, the team should use a balanced set of measures. Plot data for these measures over time using a run chart, a simple and effective way to determine whether the changes you are making are leading to improvement. For more information: See How to Improve: Establishing Measures

Types of Measures Structure: Physical equipment and facilities Outcome Measures – The final product, results, Process Measures – How the system works, Balancing Measures– looking at a system from different directions/dimensions.

Measuring Healthcare Quality: An Overview of Quality Measures briefly looks at what are the types of quality measures , how quality measure are developed, where do data on …quality come from, how are the quality measures used, what’s next in quality measurement.

Using benchmarking measurement to improve performance over time – Participation in external benchmarking activities is not….. the ultimate goal. It is the use of data derived from benchmarking to initiate and sustain performance improvement over time.

This paper has placed very relevant quotes as the sidebar, which subtly but equally definitively enhances the message of the article. We have placed them here below:

Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of intelligent effort.” – John Ruskin

The goal is to transform data into information and information into insight.” – Carly Fiorina

It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” – Mark Twain

Data do not speak for themselves – they need context, and they need skeptical evaluation.” -– Allen Wilcox

It is the mark of a truly intelligent person to be moved by statistics.” – George Bernard Shaw

If you think that statistics has nothing to say about what you do or how you could do it better, then you are either wrong or in need of a more interesting job.” – Stephen Senn

In the middle of a difficulty lies opportunity.” – Albert Einstein

We will continue with present subject in its more definitive aspects in the next few episodes.

In the meanwhile, in the second part, we have Suresh Lulla’s Blog, from among the Influential Voices Blogroll Alumni. Here are the previous posts on this blog:

Managing for Quality

Problem Solving in 4 Steps – 2

Problem Solving in 4 Steps

Who Pays for Bad Quality? Is there a Solution?

Supplier Solutions. MADE IN INDIA

We turn to our regular sections now:

Bill Troy, ASQ CEO has presented the first of the three part blog series ‘A Leader’s Roadmap to a Culture of Quality: Building on Forbes Insights-ASQ Leadership Research: Part 2 of 3’. Roy Lawton – author of the book Creating a Customer-Centered Culture: Leadership in Quality, Innovation and Speedproposes to provide the missing and necessary specifics for successful action. In the Part One last month, he spelt out how to successfully address point #1 – All employees must apply the four key elements of any strategy for building a quality culture.  (Page 8: Boeing’s Ken Shead). In Part Two here, he spells out how to successfully address point #2 – CLOSELY UNDERSTAND CUSTOMER EXPECTATIONS, on the road to cultural transformation.

Bill Troy also critically discussed how to Encourage The Next Generation of STEM Professionals. Julia McIntosh, ASQ communications , in her follow through ‘March Roundup: What To Do About STEM Education?’ has summed up a wide ranging views of the fellow ASQ Influential Voices bloggers.

We then move over to ASQ TV Episodes: Quality and Forensics – In this episode, we will see how quality plays an important role in forensic community and how forensic techniques were used to resolve a construction dispute. We will (also) learn how to create a Correction Action Request and we talk to one of the stars of the hit television show, CSI.

Linked videos:

Forensic Technique Reveal Conclusive Evidence

The How and Why of Auditing

o Corrective Action Request

Our ASQ’s Influential Voice for the month is – Chad Walters

chad waltersChad Walters is a lean consultant with Lean Blitz Consulting out of Augusta, Georgia, and blogs about Lean applications in sports organizations at the Lean Blitz Consulting blog. He has been practicing lean and continuous improvement for more than eight years. He is a Six Sigma Black Belt certified by ASQ and received his MBA from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business and B.S. in chemical engineering from Tri-State University in Angola, Indiana.

Over and above his views as ASQ Influential Voice, here are some other posts on Chad Walter’s blog:

§ Presentation on the Designated Hitter and Root Cause Analysis

§ Should the Buffalo Bills Play Sunday Despite The Driving Ban?

§ Did Eric Hosmer’s First Base Slide Cost The Royals?

§ LinkedIn Post: Business Strategy and Clothes Dryers

He certainly loves to dig more into how sports can better utilize quality.

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

Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs–March 2015 edition

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

For the month, I chose to search articles for “Improving the manufacturing performance”. As can be expected, the available choice was so simply far too much to handle in one episode of our blog carnival. So, I have selected some of the representative articles:

5 Ways to Boost Your Line’s Performance — Right Now … John Mills

1. Reward trainers. First, model the behaviour you want. Then, train your floor managers to implement best practices quickly.

2. Reward small failures. Productivity is a process so treat it like one. Allow staff to team up and try small experiments for boosting output, setting aside rewards for both victories and failures knowing that anything that moves the floor closer to achieving permanent gains is a win.

3. Reward efficiency. Don’t obsess over output at the expense of everything else. Structure rewards that allow employees to “bank” and use time saved via productivity enhancements as vacation or sick time.

4. Reward partnerships. More isn’t always better when it comes to developing and refining a manufacturing process, but there will always be appropriate moments to bring in outside experts.

5. Reward outcomes. Finally, remember the endgame. Identify tangible, measurable goals before embarking on any productivity-boosting campaign. Assign leaders to implement the plan and then get prepared to reward achievements.

Keys to Improving Manufacturing Efficiency

In this paper, Apriso shows how to achieve enterprise-wide supply chain visibility, manufacturing synchronization, and control over efficiency through an integrated solution that directly addresses manufacturing competence.

A Diagnostic Tree for Improving Production Line Performance – Wallace J. Hopp • Seyed M. R. Iravani • Biying Shou

Improving performance of production systems is a critical but often unstructured activity. To help managers convert ad hoc or trial & error improvement efforts into efficient and systematic reviews, we develop a diagnostic tree which decomposes a performance improvement objective into successively more concrete sub-objectives and finally into potential improvement strategies. Based on principles from the Operations Management literature, this tree is structured to enable a non-specialist to better understand the links between corrective actions and performance. It also provides an important foundation for a principles-based knowledge management system that couples the decision tree with a search engine for locating relevant documents within an intranet.

Proven Principles for Improving Manufacturing Performance – Paul Dennis, Tom Knight

Plant managers can obtain major improvements in manufacturing performance by rising above the jargon and implementing two proven guiding principles that have stood the test of time : benchmarking and elimination of waste, particularly redusction in inventory and long cycle-times. The performance improvements should maintain profit margin and provide competitive advantage. Managers should also make a diagnosis first, before prescribing the appropriate improvement technique.

How big data can improve manufacturing by Eric Auschitzky, Markus Hammer, and Agesan Rajagopaul

(Wherever a huge amount of data is being generated[ even when not on all of them on digital media]) Manufacturers (by) taking advantage of advanced analytics can reduce process flaws, saving time and money

Jeff Dorman: Improving Performance

Jeff Dorman examines the roles of leaders, managers and employees, as well as team functionality as crucial elements for organizational success..

Designing performance measures – a structured approach – Andy Neely, Huw Richards, John Mills, Ken Platts and Mike Bourne

(A well-researched article. If one starts hitting the Tables, then you get a very good feel of what can be more relevant to one’s given situation.)

Improving Analysis of Key Performance Measures at Four Middle-Sized Manufacturing Companies – Moving Focus from What Has Happened to What to Do – Marcus Danielsson & Johan Holgard

The purpose of this thesis can be formulated in three research questions: How did the companies change their attitudes and behaviour as a result of understanding variation? How should a method to understand variation be implemented?, What aspects are important to consider when undertaking an implementation process?

28 Manufacturing Metrics that Actually Matter (The Ones We Rely On) Mark Davidson

The MESA (Manufacturing Enterprise Solutions Association) organization has sponsored research over the past years to help the manufacturing marketplace identify the most important metrics, and help decision makers understand metrics improvements and their relationships to metrics programs and the use of software solutions. As part of the most recent metrics survey, 28 manufacturing metrics were identified as being the most utilized by discrete, process, and hybrid/batch manufacturers.

PERFORMANCE MEASUREMENT

Measurement is the first step in improvement. But while measuring is the process of quantification, its effect is to stimulate positive action……Performance measures can be grouped into two basic types: those that relate to results (outputs or outcomes such as competitiveness or financial performance) and those that focus on the determinants of the results (inputs such as quality, flexibility, resource utilization, and innovation). This suggests that performance measurement frameworks can be built around the concepts of results and determinants.

Performance Factory – a new approach of performance assessment for the Factory of the Future

A new measurement and assessment framework, called Performance Factory (PerFact) and its current implementation state, is presented in this work. In addition, the Virtual Factory Framework Project (VFF) is presented. VFF is in line with the concept of the Factory of the Future and envisions the development of a Virtual Factory in order to support and improve the real factory. This in turn allows and promotes the application of PerFact by selectively assessing the real performance or the performance of planning scenarios.

In the second part, we have Innovate on Purpose from among the Influential Voices Blogroll Alumni. Here are the previous posts on this blog:

We turn to our regular sections now:

Bill Troy, ASQ CEO has presented the first of the three part blog series ‘A Leader’s Roadmap to a Culture of Quality: Building on Forbes Insights-ASQ Leadership Research’. Roy Lawton – author of the book Creating a Customer-Centered Culture: Leadership in Quality, Innovation and Speedproposes to provide the missing and necessary specifics for successful action. Part One in this blog series spells out how to successfully address point #1 – All employees must apply the four key elements of any strategy for building a quality culture.  (Page 8: Boeing’s Ken Shead).

Julia McIntosh, ASQ communications , in her ‘February Roundup: Is Quality “Global”?’ notes what ASQ’s bloggers had to say – “quality going global”—should it and does it?  If so, how is quality knowledge best shared worldwide?

And then move over to ASQ TV Episodes: A New Look at Risk Management – Learn about the role of risk in the ISO 9001: 2015 revision, assess the root causes of risk via a fishbone diagram, discover a risk management formula, and learn how the toy company LEGO successfully manages risk.

Our ASQ’s Influential Voice for the month is – Anshuman Tiwari

anshuma-tiwariAnshuman Tiwari is a quality expert with experience as an industrial engineer, quality consultant, and program manager in industries ranging from textiles to financial services. Based in Bengaluru, India, he blogs at Quality—The Unfair Advantage, wherein he includes reviews, articles, views, news, jobs, etc. on quality.

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

Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs – February 2015 edition

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

We have chosen to visit Institute for Healthcare Improvement, envisioning “Improving Health and Healthcare Worldwide”. We would especially focus on Resources thereat, which offers tools, change ideas, measures to guide improvement, IHI white papers, audio and video, improvement stories, and more.

clip_image002IHI uses the Model for Improvement as the framework to guide improvement work. The Model for Improvement,* developed by Associates in Process Improvement, is a simple, yet powerful tool for accelerating improvement. This model is not meant to replace change models that organizations may already be using, but rather to accelerate improvement.

We also get to learn about the fundamentals of the Model for Improvement and testing changes on a small scale using Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycles.

We will also have a look at some of the videos here:

Dr. Mike Evans Video: An Illustrated Look at Quality Improvement in Health Care

In the video, Evans starts with a simple question: Why should you care about quality improvement? He presents a brief history of QI (including a “Mount Rushmore” of improvers), then touches on system design, the Model for Improvement, and the familiar challenge, “What can you do by next Tuesday?” — all in less than nine minutes!

Deming’s System of Profound Knowledge (Part 1) and (Part 2)

Robert Lloyd, the Director of Performance Improvement at IHI, uses his trusty whiteboard to dissect the science of improvement. In short videos, he breaks down everything from Deming’s System of Profound Knowledge, to the PDSA cycle, to run charts.

The Model for Improvement (Part 1) and (Part 2)

The Model for Improvement was developed by Associates in Process Improvement.

In the second part, we have NDCBlogger from among the Influential Voices Blogroll Alumni.

This is the blog of Deborah Mackin, the author of The Team-Building Tool Kit series and founder of New Directions Consulting. She has a background in quality manufacturing and production, as well as organizational excellence

We have selected two of the articles from the blog so as to open a peep-in window to the blog:

A Manufacturing Floor Operator’s Experience with High Performance Teams and What It’s Meant To HimMatthew Harrington

While looking for this video on YT, we happily land upon:

Why Change When Things Have Been Successful in the Past?

“We are not making a change to a Team concept because we are doing something wrong. In fact, our success is due to the great work we have done to this point. We are a leader in the field. We want to maintain that leadership and to do so we need to move forward with how we do business.”

We turn to our regular sections now:

Bill Troy, ASQ CEO picks up the thread for the round of discussion, “Why Should Quality “Go Global”?, from the visits paid to the HQ by ASQ’s representatives from global offices in India, Mexico, and China, and partner organization in Brazil, Quali.

Paul O’Neill, a quality thought leader, 2013 Juran Medalist, and  former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, chairman and CEO of Alcoa from 1987 to 1999, where he retired as chairman at the end of 2000, is now immersed in taking the principles of quality and using them to fix the enormous problems the U.S. faces in healthcare.  As an acknowledged expert in healthcare economics, he uses the same quality principles he espoused and enforced at Alcoa to help healthcare executives and providers cut waste and increase effectiveness and safety.

The key take-aways from the discussions have been presented @ Finding Inspiration form Quality Leaders.

First, when he went to Alcoa, he surprised everyone by what he made his top priority.  It was not increasing shareholder value, capturing market share, or increasing profits.  It was worker safety.  Because, as Secretary O’Neill explains, your people are the most precious asset you have.  When they are injured, you don’t have just an interruption in the work, you have real human suffering.  No profit is worth that.

The second take away that resonates, as much as the first, is simply to treat everyone with dignity and respect.

The third point sounds simple, but its implications are unforgiving and pervasive.  It is that your aim must be to be the best in the world at everything you do.  This is a radical departure from what most of us think of as improvement. It does not say be better than last year or be better than the guy down the street.  It says you must drive to be the best in the world and he meant exactly that.   This, in more details , means to figure out theoretical perfection, measure yourself against that standard, and then figure out how to get there.  You then start systematically eliminating everything that is keeping you from attaining that theoretical level of perfection, keep measuring, and don’t stop until you get there.  (My) guess is that’s where even a leader as good as Paul O’Neill will lose a lot of potential followers. If you really mean it, this part is very, very tough.  But, as Secretary O’Neill told me, it is also a lot of fun! ……….. We indeed intend to find out.

Julia McIntosh, ASQ communications , in her January Roundup: Quality Inspirations notes that – A quality role model could be anyone from a guru to a mentor to a person who is not “in quality” at all, but still embodies quality principles- Family, Professional Mentors or Icons and Beyond. The round up sums feedback from a cross-section of ASQ Influential Voices bloggers.

And then move over to ASQ TV Episodes: New To Quality – discover seven quality tools and Quality Body of Knowledge ®

Our ASQ’s Influential Voice for the month is – Manu Vora

clip_image002[129]ASQ Fellow Manu Vora is chairman and president of Business Excellence, Inc. He is an expert in organizational excellence and the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program. He blogs at Thoughts on Quality, wherein he puts across his views, thoughts and experiences in relation to the monthly topic for discussion @ASQ Influential Voice forum..

We have picked up one article – A Clear Vision – to illustrate the content on the blog.

The Oxford Dictionaries defines vision as “The ability to think about or plan the future with imagination or wisdom”. Why do organizations need vision? The vision provides a purpose, direction, and focus to take an organization to a next height. It is essentially a dream of the future. …the vision statement should be memorable, short, and uplifting (not several paragraphs put together by outside consultants which become ‘Words on the Wall (WOW)’). ‘ … The article supplements this with few excellent examples of Vision statements from the US Baldrige Performance Excellence Award winners in various domains.

Here is a bonus read from ASQ: Top 8 Books Every Quality Professional Should Read

  1. The Quality Toolbox, Second Edition, by Nancy R. Tague
  2. Juran’s Quality Handbook, Sixth Edition, by Joseph M. Juran and Joseph A. De Feo
  3. Root Cause Analysis: The Core of Problem Solving and Corrective Action by Duke Okes
  4. Making Change Work by Brien Palmer
  5. The Essential Deming, edited by Joyce Nilsson Orsini PhD
  6. Organizational Culture and Leadership by Edgar H. Schein
  7. Economic Control of Quality of Manufactured Product by Walter A. Shewhart
  8. Practical Engineering, Process, and Reliability Statistics by Mark Allen Durivage

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

Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs – January 2015

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

For the year 2015, we would strive to follow a different pattern than that for the last year.

In the first part, we will put up articles related to Improvement – in its any shade of grey. The second part will take up the blog of any one of the Influential Voices Blogroll Alumni members and will explore that blog in some more depth. The third part will be our regular columns of Article from the blog of Bill Troy, ASQ CEO and the related monthly round up, a look up at an ASQ TV Episode and the continuing series on ASQ’s Influential Voice .

We begin our present episode with articles related to Improvement. Since we have taken up to follow this subject for the whole year, we will take up 3 to 5 articles that come up in the first cut of the search every month. This may certainly mean that what we take up each month, may not the last word, nor it may the exhaustive treatise.

Let’s be honest. How many times have you achieved all of your yearly goals?

The problem is not with goals. Goals provide focus, create momentum and help us stay on track.

The problem is with the goal setting process itself – choosing the right goals and setting up the right support for them.

1. Start with your current goals. Keep your previous goals in mind to create a sense of flow.

2. Connect your goals to a larger purpose that shows why they are important, and helps answer the question “What’s next” once they are achieved.

3. Goal setting is not always a logical process. Sometimes it can make a difference to just hold the intention of something you really want to do, even if you don’t have any idea of how you will achieve it.

4. Write your goals down and put them somewhere visible.

5. Don’t keep your goals a secret.

6. Set up processes and practices that support your goals.

The 90-day Performance Improvement Cycle

In contrast to the annual cycle, the 90-day performance improvement cycle is simply about focusing on and elevating just one performance priority over a 3-month period…. 90 days is a much more tangible timeframe than a year; we can feel its length almost viscerally and can see its end in our mind’s timeline…. It matters far less that we reach our targets each 90 days than we make steady and learned progress…. It’s through action that the world changes, not through thinking and planning.

The Hardest Part of Lean is to See the Waste William A. Levinson, principal, Levinson Productivity Systems – like poor quality, waste effort is built into the job where it is then taken for granted…

The Performance Improvement Blog is about Increasing learning and effectiveness of leaders and managers in organizations. As a way of review of the year 2014, the blog owner, Stephen J Gill has selected five blog posts that seem to have had the most interest for readers. Here are the links of these posts:

Eight Leader Habits of a Learning Culture

The World is Fast…And Learning Must Be Faster

Cultural Barriers to Organizational Learning

Why Your Organization Needs a Learning Culture

Learning to Learn Collectively

International Society for Performance Improvement ® – ISPI – and its members use evidence-based performance improvement research and practices to effect sustainable, measurable results, and add value to stakeholders in the private, public, and social sectors. Founded in 1962, ISPI is the leading international association dedicated to improving productivity and competence in the workplace. ISPI represents performance improvement professionals throughout the United States, Canada, and 44 other countries.

In the second part, we have Complexified’s Blog from among the Influential Voices Blogroll Alumni. The blog has a good deal of refreshing contents. We have selected two of the articles from the blog so as to open a peep-in window to the blog:

“Works better; costs less.”  A catchy phrase, a good slogan. When it comes to the work of government, regardless of political orientation, everyone agrees they want government to work as well as possible.

No matter what method is used, in or out of government, the successful improvement organizations have some things in common:

1)Focus on the Process, not the People.  Deming and others taught that 80-90% of the problems with the output or outcomes of a process of work, are the result of a lousy process, NOT the fault of the people.

2) Everyone has to acquire deep knowledge of the current process in order to make meaningful change.

3) Decisions need to made based on data and facts, not people’s opinions.

4) Differences of opinion need to be fully considered in open, and resolved through respectful dialogue.

5) Failure is an opportunity to learn.  All results provide information to help drive future improvements.

6) It’s not enough to just make it “better, faster, cheaper.”  Aim also at creating “more smiling faces” among your employees, customers, and suppliers.  You’ll be glad you did.

That’s the main part of it.  One more item is needed, in the private sector, but especially in government.

7) Maintain the commitment to continuous process improvement.  Leaders must support the work, making time and resources available to meet, act, and learn.

If these points, or a similar list, were drawn up as a Charter to Improve Government, would you support it?  Would you encourage your government organizations to sign the charter, and commit to continuous improvement?

We turn to our regular sections now:

Bill Troy, ASQ CEO is trying something a little different for the monthly topic for discussion – ‘Is Quality Ambitious Enough?’. The article presents Brooks Carder’s poser – whether ASQ’s mission: To increase the use and impact of quality in response to the diverse needs of the world, is ambitious enough, particularly when quality is responsible for many of the things that make life better.

Julia McIntosh, ASQ communications , in her ‘’December Roundup: What Does Ambition Look Like in Quality?’ notes that – “Not surprisingly, this became a somewhat contentious topic among the group.

And then move over to ASQ TV Episodes: The Lighter Side of Quality–Stop Saying That, Please

This is an ASQ TV dramatization, wherein Quality professionals tell us through social media what they wish their co-workers would stop saying

Our ASQ’s Influential Voice for the month is – Jennifer Stepniowski

clip_image002Jennifer Stepniowski is the person that’s passionate about what they do. She is the nerd that shows up to the quality conference wearing a “Got Quality?” shirt. She is Communications Director at Pro QC International and an adjunct instructor at Hillsborough Community College. For Pro QC, her primary responsibilities included supplier development, process design and implementation, and training of on-site resources.  In her current position as Communications Director, she develops and executes the organization’s marketing strategy.  She enjoys market research, promotion, representation at trade events. She blogs @ Quality Time.

We have picked up the article, My Family Is SMART! New Year’s Resolution Success, from the blog. Incidentally, it fits with the theme of the present edition.

“Despite using the SMART template for success…we just failed on follow-through.  we failed before we even got started…we needed something visual to represent what we wanted to accomplish…I thought about linking the success of a potted plant with our goals…As time passes, the plant (and the habits we hope to change) will simply flourish as long as we are aware of them, appreciate them and give them the attention they need to thrive….Is it SMART? I like to think so, but time will tell.”

Articles Written:

Quality Progress (ASQ Print Publication) § Blog Boom (7/14) § Quality in the 1st Person – Be the Change (12/13)

Pro QC Newsletter (Editor and Content Developer)

§ A Systematic Issue Management Process – Manufacturing Quality Application § Classifying Quality Defects: Is it Major, Minor or Critical § Determining the Costs of Quality § ISO 26000: Introducing the New Social Responsibility Guideline § Marketing Quality: The Big Picture § Quality Tools for Successful New Year’s Resolutions § Understanding the Inspection Process

MasterControl

§ Four Common Quality Misconceptions § Grid Analysis for Simplified Supplier Selection § Quality Inspiration

Pro QC Blog (Editor and Content Development)

§ http://blog.proqc.com

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

Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs – December 2014

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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

Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs – November 2014

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Welcome to November 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.

We continue our journey of Continual Improvements and look at Continual Improvement vs. Continuous Improvement in the present edition.

Continual vs. continuous

Continual : Duration that continues over a long period of time ,but can be interrupted, chiefly restricted to what recurs regularly or frequently in a prolonged and closely spaced series Examples: Reckless driving is a continual threat to our community.

Continuous : Continuing in time or space without interruption Examples : There is a continuous humming of bees outside my window.

“Continuous” versus “continual”

In English-language linguistic prescription there is a common piece of usage advice that the word “continuous” should be used for things that are continuous in a way literally or figuratively equal to the mathematical sense of the word, whereas the word “continual” should be used for things that continue in discrete jumps (that is, quantum-wise). When this distinction is enforced, it is more accurate to speak of “continual improvement” and “continual improvement processes” than of “continuous improvement” or “continuous improvement processes”.

Meanwhile, for several decades it has been common usage in the linguistic corpus of business management to use the one set term, “continuous improvement”, to cover both graph shapes in an umbrella fashion. It is merely the way the word has been conventionally used in this context, in a common understanding that existed regardless of prescriptive preferences. However, ISO has chosen the more careful usage for its standards including ISO 9000 and ISO 14000; so it may be reasonable to expect that usage among business managers will evolve in coming decades to conform to the preferred usage (and in some cases, already has).

Continuous improvement Vs Continual improvement

There is a difference. Let us start by analyzing the semantics of these words.

Continuous indicates duration without interruption.

Continual indicates duration that continues over a long period of time, but with intervals of interruption.

Continuous improvement means that organizations are in a constant state of driving process improvements. This involves a focus on linear and incremental improvement within existing processes.

Continual improvements means that organizations go through process improvements in stages and these stages are separated by a period of time. This period of time might be necessary to understand if the improvements did actually help the bottom line! In some cases, the results might take a while to come to fruition.

Continuous Improvement vs. Continual Improvement

In practical terms you can think of an alarm clock ringing and ringing without interruption as continuously ringing. Hitting the snooze button of a ringing alarm clock only to have it start ringing again later that morning and then hitting the snooze button again, would be an example of a continually ringing alarm clock. If the alarm clock did not go off at all and we could sleep in that may be ideal, just as it may be good to take a break from kaizen on some days so that ideas and energies can be refreshed. Neither continuous improvement nor continual improvement implies that we spend every waking (no sleeping) moment doing kaizen.

The Continual Improvement vs. Continuous Improvement Dilemma…

We see a substantial difference between continual and continuous.

Please bear in mind however that in the “eyes” of ISO 9000 there is no difference between continual and continuous. The concept of “continual” improvement is the term that Deming always used in reference to the general processes of improvement.

Deming’s understanding of improvement was much broader then many people seem to understand. He included people, as well as systems in his views and philosophy. Deming’s application of SPC (Statistical Process Control) was focused primarily on continuous improvement of existing (and almost exclusively manufacturing) processes. His philosophical discussions, however, included considerations much further “upstream” as applied to other less repetitive management arenas.

The concept of “continual improvement” is understood here to be the general strategy that typically consists of both “continuous process improvements,” like SPC, and “discontinuous function or systemic improvements” like organizational “reengineering” or throwing out dysfunctional methods of management and starting over instead of trying to continually improve ineffective business strategies. Also included are Deming’s 14 Points of Management.

Continual improvement is broader in scope than continuous improvement. Continuous improvement is a subset of continual improvement. Continual improvement also includes room for *discontinuous* improvements (improvements that are not like in kind to what came before – another term for this might be innovative or radical improvements such as are sought after in most reengineering efforts, or in the lean manufacturing movement). Continuous improvements are linear, incremental improvements to an existing process (Kaizen). Continual improvement includes this, as well as discontinuous/innovative improvement. In other words, continual improvement speaks to the PROCESS of improvement (always and forever (continually) ongoing, in all of its forms and in all areas) rather than the NATURE of the improvements (continuous vs discontinuous).

Thinking of continual improvement vs. continuous improvement serves to highlight the importance of developing learning disciplines on a much deeper level than most organizations seem interested in considering. If continual improvement is to be attained, the organization will be, by definition a learning organization.

Difference Between Continuous Improvement and Continual Improvement

Continuous improvement is a technique used for improving the efficiency of the process by eliminating waste and non-value adding activities. This was practiced through various Japanese concepts like Lean, Kaizen, 5S, etc. Continuous improvement is an ongoing effort used in developing products, services or processes.

Continual improvement is about identifying and making changes that would result in better outcomes which is a central concept to quality management theories.

Innovation vs. Continuous Improvement

Continuous improvement is a linear process pointed at creating stable processes. Innovation is a nonlinear process involving non-stable processes;

An innovation is when you change the game; you bring a different twist to what is currently established, and perceived. Continuous improvement is by tweaks of things in the old fashion way to bring efficiency. But, even a very small improvement leveraging a new way of doing thing, bringing an outside method, or view, shifting the paradigm, is innovation.

Continuous improvement takes specialty; while innovation is trans-disciplinary. Continuous improvement = technical specialists making the product/service more efficient, up-to-date to the consumer needs. Innovation happens when a non-specialist questions the rules of the game, inventing knowledge transfers and goes outside the industry to invent a radical new way to respond to the ‘job to be done’.

The broader the scope, scale and impact of the change, the more one leans towards calling such change an innovation

Innovation is “a change that adds stakeholder value”. Now if your stakeholders are internal process owners and your output stakeholders are the same, the type of innovation you have is Continuous Innovation.

Continuous Improvement or Continual Improvement: The Same Thing or Different?

..continual improvement is about making changes to make things better, but not in a continuous way. Continual improvement may involve creating a new process to address a problem. Continuous improvement is a more linear thing, where the same problem would likely be addressed incrementally through improvements to existing processes.

Continual Improvement or Continuous Improvement?

Continual Improvement is more about planning and implementing strategic programmes to change the company’s products, services, people and processes for the better.  Whilst Continuous Improvement is related to the constant, daily work practices and staff activities that are relentlessly devoted to removing wasted effort and eliminating defective products, services and processes.

Continuous Improvement through intermittent interruptions for consolidations

Continuous Improvement through intermittent interruptions for consolidations

Continuous Improvement vs. stage wise Continual Improvement

Continuous Improvement vs. stage wise Continual Improvement

Continuous Improvement vs Continuous Change

Continuous Improvement vs. Contnuous Change

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 Carnival edition as well…..

We turn to our regular sections now:

Bill Troy, ASQ CEO opens up the debate on Recruiting Members and Volunteers Amid a Changing Landscape.

A quick look at some tips developed by ASQ’s Community Development team:

  • Asking people to attend an association event is an authentic, effective, and simple way to engage potential members.
  • Current association members can refer members and colleagues.
  • Encourage committed members to step up and become association leaders—such as volunteers or chapter officers– explain what’s in it for them.

Julia McIntosh, ASQ communications , in her ‘November Roundup: Engaging Members and Volunteers presents views expressed by ASQ Bloggers on the subject, in terms of – Why join, Lessons learned and Tips for associations.

And then move over to ASQ TV Episode s: Your World, Your Quality, Your Month

November is World Quality Month. In this episode, we take a look at a cost-saving success story from Genpact, a tool to help you prepare for World Quality Month, reacquaint ourselves with the quality gurus, and two contests!

clip_image002[4]Our ASQ’s Influential Voice for the month is – Scott Rutherford

Scott Rutherford works in quality assurance at a nuclear shipyard, and specializes in performance improvement. He blogs at Square Peg Musings.

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 Remembering Peter Scholtes for this month. The article contains Peter Scholte’s keynote address @ 2008 annual Deming Institute fall conference in Madison, Wisconsin, two of his seminal books – The Team Handbook and The Leader’s Handbook– and six competencies for leaders.

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

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