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Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs

Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs – March 2020

Welcome to March 2020 edition of Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs.

For the year 2020, we have chosen the core subject of Revisiting Basic Quality Concepts w.r.t. the sustained success of the organization We picked up

We take up Organizational Context as our first core concept –

An organization’s context involves its “operating environment.” The context must be determined both within the organization and external to the organization. It is important to understand the unique context of an organization before starting the strategic planning.[1]

The organizational context can be viewed as situational opportunities and constraints that affect the occurrence and meaning of organizational behavior as well as functional relationships between variables. Context can serve as a main effect or interact with personal variables such as disposition to affect organizational behavior.

The reasons to understand the context of the organization, essentially, are –

  • if we do not understand situations, we will not understand person situation interactions.
  • Context is also implicated in the poorly understood “missing linkages” (Goodman, 2000) that can explain how individual or team activity gets translated into larger organizational outcomes.
  • it helps us to better convey the applications of strategy at planning, implementation, review and improvement stages

The understanding of organizational context

  • Affects the observed range of organizational variables under consideration.
  • As a consequence of range restriction, context can have a profound effect on the base rates of key organizational variables across occupations or locations, or over time. In turn, such variations in base rates will have a marked impact on the imputed importance of these variables, their meaning to actors and observers, and the inferred significance of their correlates.
  • Can affect the cause and effect relationships
  • Can help understand the likely effect of the strategic directional change that may take place in response to the dynamics of the context
  • Helps in understanding the interacting and interrelated ripple effects of any trend or an isolated, black swan, event. The mechanics of context can be quite subtle, and small changes in context often matter greatly.
  • Can affect the validity of the organization’s purpose[2]

The following graphic is used to understand any and all organizations, no matter how simple or complex, large or small.  It is used to clarify the relationship between this way of understanding context and our way of understanding content – the actual collaborative action that drives the organization forward day in, day out.

The “roof” and the “foundation” can be understood as the organizational context – who we are, where we’re going, why we’re going there and how we’re going to treat each other along the way.  In the foundation, we find the organization’s “come from” – the solid purpose for being, the mission, the core values, the key standards, value propositions and roles and rules of engagement.  And in the roof, we find the “go to” – the vision pulling us toward the desired future, the goals, the objectives and priorities.

And the middle of the house represents the organizational content – the human beings who are collaborating and communicating and coordinating with each other… and are doing so in a way that’s guided by the foundation and in service to the roof.  [3]

It is vital to design processes in the context of all the dimensions of the organization (mapped out in our Eight Dimensions below).

It is useful to view organizations as webs of relationships and processes in order to understand, shape and effectively work with them. Remarkably, most organizations attempt to control, restrict, or manage information and knowledge (of such relationships). Controlling information flows may appear possible when organizations are viewed mechanistically, as linear causal chains. But when viewed as complex networks (like the Internet) the only conclusion to be reached is that information is uncontrollable and necessary for the health of the system.

When an organization shares information and knowledge about the challenges it faces, the people within the organization are able to hold meaningful dialogues about these challenges, increasing their understanding of themselves and their roles. This understanding can then become the basis of a shared culture that can effectively evolve in response to challenges.

Professor Bidhan Parmar gives business leaders useful tips for implementing change. He explains the importance of organizational context and the “ecosystem” in which these changes might take place.

Understating the organizational context is an on-going activity. The organizations who aspire sustained success embed this process establishes, maintains and continually improve this process, since the organizational context forms one of the vital inputs to its quest for sustained success.

[N.B. – Detailed note on The Organizational Context can be read / downloaded by clicking on the hyper link.]

We will now turn to our regular sections:

In the series the Organizational Culture, we have attempted to look at ‘Organizational Culture  and Organizational Leadership. We have briefly explored the subject, and in the process, laying foundation for linking it up with their relationship with the sustained success later in the series.

We now watch ASQ TV, wherein we look at a few relevant videos from the past:

    • Change Management – Change is one thing organizations can count on. Learn how to lead, implement and sustain changes successfully.
    • Effective 21st Century Quality Leadership – Mike Turner, Managing Partner, Oakland Consulting, discusses the business challenges of the 21st century, and how quality professionals should respond in order to meet them.

Jim L. Smith’s Jim’s Gems posting for February 2020 –

    • Predictability – If you want to know what’s in store for your future, consider your current thoughts…What do you consistently think about? What do your thoughts dwell on and visualize for your future? What do you expect to happen? What do you believe you can cause to happen?.. The point is that it is your present thoughts that, to a reasonable extent, determine your future…The point is that although you can’t always control what happens in the outside world, you can control your inner world – your thoughts…When you do that, you unleash significant energy which translates into a tremendous drive. All that’s required is to start thinking positively. Henry Ford’s quote, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right” still holds true.
    • Build Better Customer Relationships – A good experience is key to customer advocacy – Customers can tell you what they value about your core products and the surrounding support services. Combining external measures from your customers with internal quality metrics has the potential to improve business performance and continuously outpace your competitors…To be successful, companies must commit to turn satisfied customers into loyal customers and turn loyal customers into advocates…Even before prospects (stage 1) become customers (stage 2), you need to start addressing their expectations. Once they become customers, your goal is to deliver what you promised and ensure that they’re satisfied (stage 3). Beyond satisfaction, you must strive to ensure that you deliver consistently positive experiences and build a strong relationship that develops loyal customers (stage 4) and, ultimately, advocates (stage 5)… It means delivering a positive experience each time the customer interacts with your organizations. On the rare occasions where customer experiences don’t go as planned, your organization must do whatever it takes to quickly make it right. ..Delivering positive customer experiences involves everybody in the organization. It’s the reason your business exists.

I look forward to your views / comments / inputs to further enrich the subjects of Basics of Quality and Organizational Culture and their role in Creating and Maintaining Sustained Success.

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

[1] Organization and its context

[2] The Essential Impact Of Context On Organizational Behaviour – Gary Johns,

[3] Context vs. Content, Part 3 of 3

Categories
Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs Management System Standards

Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs – April, 2016

Welcome to April, 2016 edition of Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs.

We commenced the familiarizing ourselves with the changes in the Revision of ISO 9001 (:2015) with the December, 2015 episode of our blog carnival. Then, in the January 2016 episode, we took up Process Approach in the 2015 revision of the standard, as our first topic. In February, 2016, we had taken up first part of Risk-Based Thinking that primarily addressed the concept as has been taken up in ISO 9001: 2015, followed by Risk-Based Thinking, in the general perspective in March, 2016,

Now, in this month’s episode we will take a look at the subject that aims to align the organization’s QMS with the Context of the Organization.

Context of the Organization & ISO 9001:2015Kevin Gholston

According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary the word “context” has the following meaning:

context
noun con·text \ˈkän-ˌtekst\

The words that are used with a certain word or phrase and that help to explain its meaning; the situation in which something happens; the group of conditions that exist where and when something happens

Full Definition of CONTEXT

1:  the parts of a discourse that surround a word or passage and can throw light on its meaning
2:  the interrelated conditions in which something exists or occurs

Context-of-the-Organization-Overview

What is the Context of the Organization? – Itay Abuhav –

The context of the organization, in the ISO 9001:2015 is the set of functions, processes, inputs and outputs and limitations that creates the business environment of an organization. It is how business entities (functions or subsystems –intern or external) of an organization relate together and how the information travels through these elements.

The context of the organization is shaped through the integration of the business entities. The ISO 9001:2008 expresses it with the words” the relation and sequences between the main processes” (Chapter 4.1,b) and requires for example a diagram that describes those relations.

Context of the Organization

How to identify the context of the organization in ISO 9001:2015 – Strahinja Stojanovic

Context of the organization is a new requirement in ISO 9001, stating an organization must consider both the internal and external issues that can impact its strategic objectives and the planning of the QMS. It pretty much changes the concept and application of clause 4. Requirements regarding the context of the organization do sound a little bit vague, so what does this clause actually require?

Clause 4 of ISO 9001:2015, Context of the organization, requires the organization to evaluate itself and its context. This means that you need to define influences of various elements on the organization and how they reflect on the QMS, the company’s culture, objectives and goals, complexity of products, flow of processes and information, size of the organization, markets, customers, etc. It is also a means to detect risks and opportunities regarding the business context.

Where to start?

First, you need to determine which of the new requirements are already met in your existing documentation, because some of the requirements related to the Quality Manual in ISO 9001:2008 are now transferred into this new clause

To determine external context, you should consider issues arising from its social, technological, environmental, ethical, political, legal, and economic environment. Examples of external context may include:

  • government regulations and changes in the law
  • economic shifts in the organization’s market
  • the organization’s competition
  • events that may affect corporate image
  • changes in technology

Basically, all this information is in the heads of the CEO and other members of management, but it was never put on paper; the best way to gather it is by organizing some brainstorming. Systematization of all this information can be very valuable and demonstrate where you stand as an organization.

ISO 9001:2015 Revision Explained: ‘Context of the Organisation’ – by Alastair Atcheson

While there is no prescribed method of determining the context of the organisation in relation to the ISO 9001, a simple and pragmatic approach to understanding your organisation’s context consists of four steps:

  1. Identify the internal issues that can affect your organisation’s products, services, investments and interested parties.
  2. Identify the external issues that can affect your organisation’s products, services, investments and interested parties.
  3. Identify who are the interested parties and what are their requirements.
  4. Institute a system for regular review and monitoring of the internal issues, external issues and interested parties as identified above.

Internal issues can include the organization’s

  • regulatory requirements
  • strategies to achieve its policies and objectives
  • relationship with its staff and stakeholders, including partners and suppliers
  • resources and knowledge (e.g. capital, people, processes and technologies)
  • internal risk appetite
  • assets
  • product or service
  • Standards, guidelines and models adopted by the organisation
  • information systems

ISO 9001:2008 vs. ISO 9001:2015 – Context of the Organization By Itay Abuhav

With the ISO 9001:2008 it is necessary to evaluate whether the organization’s quality management system follows the general requirements. Wr.t. the ISO 9001:2015 and the requirements of  context of the organization – the organization shall analyze which issues (external as well as internal) that may affect its QMS or already have an effect.

Context-of-the-Organization - tongue in cheek view

Context of the Organization” and the Power of SWOT Analysis

ISO9001-2015_at__a_glance-CLAUSE4_SWOT

We will take up, “Interested Parties”, one of the vital considerations for understanding the ‘Context of the Organization’, in our May, 2016 episode.

We will now turn to our regular sections:

ASQ CEO, Bill Troy in his ASQ’s Influential Voice blog-column, has presented a roundtable discussion on the Voice of CustomerWhat exactly should voice of the customer mean to the quality professional? How important is it? What are the best ways to gather it?.  Luciana Paulise discusses some new tool to capture the voice of the customer. Pam Schodt considers the best way to gather VoC standards is through face-to-face meeting followed up by written and verified specifications. To Dr, Suresh Gettala, key is to hear from horse’s mouth and not to surmise about what the customer wants. Luigi Sille attaches equal importance to data gathering its use

We now watch the latest ASQ TV  episodes:

  • Metrics for Management – Tim Adams, Engineering Assurance Specialist, NASA, spent a few minutes with ASQ TV to talk about some of the main ideas of his 2015 ASQ World Conference on Quality and Improvement presentation. In this interview, Adams discusses some of the finer points of identifying and using metrics.
  • Benchmarking – Today, we’ll learn the basics of benchmarking, review the recommended six phases of a successful benchmarking process, and finally, we’ll get reacquainted with one vital ingredient in benchmarking: metrics.
  • The Torque Chain of Quality Large – For more information go to www.srtorque.com   Daily torque testing is becoming more common place because it makes good business sense. But is daily testing error proofing? No, and far from it. …. If your torque wrench is out of spec, using a torque wrench to prevent errors only leads to a false sense of security. What if the torque tester you are using is out of spec and you don’t know it?   This video and the subsequent series take you through every link in the chain of quality in order to help you understand all the places where the wheels can fall off. Specifically it takes a look at the places we tend to overlook or take for granted.

In Jim L. Smith’s Jim’s Gems for the month of March, 2016, we have –

Jim's Gems♦ Integrate DFSS with Existing Design Processes – Many organizations make a mistake when trying to replace their design process with Design for Six Sigma. DFSS was never intended to completely replace an organization’s existing design process.

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, and have the copyrights for the respective images.