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Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs

Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs – November, 2020

Welcome to November 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 As of now we have visited

We take up Improvements for Sustained Success: A canvas of the improvement process to individual and collective mindsets as our next core concept this month–

Continuous Improvement requires a systemic dissatisfaction with the status quo, no matter how good the organization is perceived to be. Real change management is tangible, quantifiable, and critical to driving a sustainable adoption.

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better” – Maya Angelou.

There are six main reasons why organizations fail to sustain performance improvements[1]:

  • Winning. can distract an organization from the need to continuously improve.
  • Change in Leadership.
  • Impatience. The organization tires of its improvement effort and moves on before it can yield optimal results.
  • Reduction in Improvement Methods. Infrastructure isn’t maintained.
  • M&A Activity. forces an initiative’s postponement or derailment.
  • Global Macroeconomic Events. that it did not foresee or grossly underestimated.

“Creating constancy of purpose towards improving work, product and service levels is the basis of continual improvement.

“It is common to for leaders to speak of change in the same sentence with changing culture. But our own experience with culture change these past 5 years in the Henry Ford Production System across all laboratories of nearly 800 workers in Henry Ford Health System has taught us repeatedly that culture is a desirable but secondary outcome to changing structure and process that enables and expects employees to work differently.”[2]

As we scan through the vast variety of literature on sustained improvements, we see many common threads, like, involvement of people, integration of improvement initiatives into the overall change process, building the culture of improvement to measures of the improvement process over a longer time frame cycles of the changes in the context of the organization. There is also consensus that the improvement initiatives over the long terms should help build sustainable competitive advantage(s) for the business.

Here is very short list of some of the readings that I liked:

The detailed note on Improvements for Sustained Success can be accessed by clicking on the hyperlink.

We will now turn to our regular sections:

In the series the Organizational Culture, we have taken up Improving the organizational culture – The means and speed of the value creation will bring massive disruption. Therefore, the only question that any organizational culture improvement initiative should address is whether your company is going to cause it or fall victim to it.[3].

We now watch ASQ TV, wherein we refresh our viewpoints about:

  • PDCA for Improvement – The plan-do-check-act cycle, or PDCA, is a very popular tool that is used in many different sectors, in a wide variety of situations. Learn how to use-and better explain this powerful tool.

Before we take up Jim L. Smith’s Jim’s Gems this month we have picked up one article, which is relevant to our subject, when viewed in the context of improvements for the sustained success –

“Good to Go” – The three most dangerous words in quality by Ian R Lazarus – As quality managers, it is not only important to understand the difference between “good enough” and great levels of quality, these must be quantified. Fortunately, we have many tools available to quantify the quality of our processes. Probably the most robust of these approaches is to establish the capability of the process. The meaning of the term “capability” is likely intuitive, but in Six Sigma vernacular it refers to a quantitative measure reflecting the probability that a process will meet customer specifications, expressed as a Sigma level. In fact, management has no right to complain about process performance without understanding capability on some level because after all, what is more important than meeting the customer’s expectations?

      • The Voice of the Process,” in other words, the range of process performance today
      • “The Voice of the Customer,” in other words, the upper and lower specification limits that define acceptable levels of performance in the eye of the customer.
Voice Of The Process (VOP)

Once the concept of capability is understood, interventions such as error-proofing can be applied.[4]

And now we take up Jim Smith’s article that also links up the subject –

Recognition Power: Recognizing Efforts Supports Excellence : It is well accepted that when people feel appreciated and get recognized, they are more engaged, motivated, and productive.. However, more often not, it is also observed that too few organizations take advantage of this opportunity. Some organizations believe that adequate annual performs reviews and competitive compensation packages should be sufficient to enable the employee engagement. Some other organizations may see employee recognition as too difficult to manage and oversee, too hard to keep from becoming an entitlement or simply too costly. Organizations need to think of employee recognition as a strategic advantage. The five important principles that need be considered for the development of strategy for employee engagement are:

  • Choose a common strategy and deploy it uniformly across the organization.
  • Secure top management sponsorship that is fully understood and embraced by the top management in spirit.
  • Link organization’s values and strategic objectives with employee engagement strategy.
  • Create a culture which encourages participation across all levels, in a fair, transparent and proactive manner.
  • Allow for flexibility, for the form, content, and style, for natural differences for those giving and receiving recognition.

It is always vital to recognize that sustainable competitive advantage is delivered, and sustained, by the people who work for the organization.

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] Six Paths to Sustained Results—Part I – Joseph A. DeFeo

[2] Creating, Structuring and Sustaining a Culture of Continuous Improvement in Healthcare

[3] Value creation in the future

[4] Voice of Process vs. Voice of Customer

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Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs

Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs – November 2015

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 …………

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Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs

Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs – September, 2015

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

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

We now take a look at Measuring the Improvement Process.

How to Improve Manufacturing Productivityby Tara Duggan, Demand Media

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Measuring improvement

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

How Do You Measure Process Improvement?

Maturity Levels in the Staged Representation
Maturity Levels in the Staged Representation

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

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

#1 Measure based on Financial results

# 2 Measure based on an assessment tool

# 3 Measure based on view of the stakeholder

How to Measure Continuous ImprovementBy Emile Heskey

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We turn to our regular sections now:

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

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

We then move over to ASQ TV Episodes:

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

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

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

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

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Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs

Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs – August 2015

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

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

Presently, we will explore different ideas and approaches in “Implementing the Improvement Process”.

Steps in the Continuous Improvement Process’ recommends the classic PDCA approach

6 Tips for Implementing Continuous Process Improvement : Continuous process improvement stops you from getting comfortable with the status quo and accepting sub-par results. Six tips that it enlists for successful implementation of continuous improvement process are:

1. Solicit feedback

2. Share More, Not less.

3. Document stuff

4. Don’t automatically blame the tool.

5. Identify changing requirements

6. Think Lean

How to implement Change Successfully has ‘change’ as the keyword in the title. We have used the article here simply because any change has to lead to improvement and every improvement, at the minimum, results in change. The article revolves around three basics: –

– Break down the changes into manageable task and achievable targets

– Keep informing and getting feedback

– Pilot the change under ‘controlled’ conditions and test the potential weak spot before going for full-scale implementation.

6 Steps for Implementing Successful Performance Improvement Initiatives in Healthcare is a good presentation that deals with implementing the continuous improvement initiatives

Step 1: Integrate Performance Improvement into Your Strategic Objectives

Step 2: Use Analytics to Unlock Data and Identify Areas of Opportunity

Step 3: Prioritize programs using a combination of analytics and a deployment system

Step 4: Define the Performance Improvement Program’s Permanent Teams

Step 5: Use a content system to define program outcomes and define interventions

Step 6: Estimate the ROI

Why Do Most Continuous Improvement Programs Fail? by Hammad M. Hammad deals with misunderstanding of the role of such programs, lack of focus in the deployment of CI resources, and misalignment of the goals and rewards of performance improvement. …[In fact] effective CI programs are not limited to deploying problem-solving and process-improvement techniques. They require a major cultural shift that takes time, resources and direct involvement from all levels of the organization. Management needs to display clear commitment to continuous improvement, follow up on the progress in implementing the program, and hold people accountable for their performance.

The follow-up article, Why Successful Continuous Improvement Programs Succeed essentially emphasizes that:

• Long-term commitment from management

• Operational performance (measurements) drives continuous improvement

• Alignment of rewards based on the impacts of performance improvement

                                                                                 are the key drivers of success.

The next post deals with the steps needed to transform the organization to a continuous improvement culture.

Guide to Implementing Quality Improvement Principles is a manual, wherein the following steps have been identified –

A. What are the principles that we are trying to achieve?

B. Assessing your nursing home’s [or for that matter that of your organization or department or team] readiness to achieve these principles

C. Next Steps

D. Tools

Top 10 Imperatives for Leading a Successful IT Improvement Program presents solutions and best practices for mitigating challenges and success­fully deploying such initiatives.

As we search for more literature on the subject, we observe a wide range of universe of from basic common sense approach to highly developed, technology-enabled processes using several tools. As a result, we are led to conclude that successful implementation of the CI process calls for continuous learning from each of the experiences and build the learnings into the future stages of the implementation.

We would continue our journey of the process of improvement for three more months.

In the meanwhile, in the second part, we have, from among the Influential Voices Blogroll Alumni, Mark Graban’s Lean Blog. Mark Graban’s passion is creating a better, safer, more cost effective healthcare system for patients and better workplaces for all. Mark Graban’s blog is indeed a treasure of information on Lean in the manufacturing world, focusing more on healthcare. Some of the most popular posts from the past months would provide us the insight to Mark Graban’s approach to Lean:

See How a British Psychiatrist is Using LEGO Videos to Explain Lean Healthcare

Using Lean to Organize Hospital Closets… NPR Commenters Are Not Impressed

Why This Sushi Company Policy Letter Should be Copied by Hospitals – As Long as They All Actually Live by It

Moving from “Visuals” to “Visual Management” and to Broader Lean Thinking

Fear, Lies, Failure, and Success (and Laughs) on the Show “Silicon Valley”

Flashback Friday: Lean Won’t Work Here, We’re Different

We have now exhausted out the present listing of the Influential Voices Blogroll Alumni.

We turn to our regular sections now:

Bill Troy, ASQ CEO has presented guest post of James Lawther – Creating a Performance Culture: What Not To Do. The author has picked up “the ideas, customs, and social behavior of a particular people or society’ to define the term ‘Culture’.  And then, in the process of answering the question ‘Is it possible to manage behaviors and influence performance?’ he lists following “Not To Do” actions:

  1. Jumping up and down on poor performance.
  2. Challenging management information
  3. Changing the calculations
  4. Blaming and shaming
  5. Always create more metrics until something positive can be identified for emphasis
  6. Minimizing the negative

He goes on to conclude that “performance management” doesn’t create a culture of high performance. It creates one of low performance and fear. (Therefore), The way to create a high performance culture is to seek out poor performance, embrace it and fix it, not punish it.

Julia McIntosh, ASQ communications in July Roundup: Using New Technology in Quality and Beyond sums up how the ASQ bloggers have reflected on the way technology helps them as quality professionals—both at work and beyond..

We then move over to ASQ TV Episodes: Cost of Quality, wherein ASQ TV defines and explains cost of quality (CoQ), identifies its link with pricing and shows “unquality” at its finest.  For more information, do visit ASQ … Knowledge Center: Cost of Quality “How Better Quality Affects Pricing”.

We had carried a full post on Cost of Quality in January 2014, and would certainly like to revisit th subject some in future too.

Our ASQ’s Influential Voice for the month is – Pam Schodt.

Pam Schodt Pam Schodt is an ASQ Certified Quality Engineer and a member of the Raleigh, North Carolina section of ASQ, where she volunteers on the Communication Committee. Her blog, Quality Improvements in Work and Life, includes posts about certification testing, book reviews, and lifestyle issues. She also blogs about technology issues @ Web Technology and gardening @ Garden Lady. Currently, she is active as an iStock photo contributor and social media advisor.

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

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Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs

Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs – November 2014

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…………….

Categories
Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs

Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs – October 2014

Welcome to October 2014 edition of Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs.

Having traversed the topics of Non-Compliance and subsequent CAPA in our earlier editions, we now take a look at the next logical step in the chain – Continual Improvement.

Be it a student or a practitioner of Quality Management, the subject is certainly not new. Hence, we will endeavour to present here the articles that shed some new perspective on the subject.

What is CONTINUAL IMPROVEMENT?Improvement that occurs in spurts that reoccur

CONTINUAL IMPROVEMENT WITHIN THE QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS sets the tone for the subject.

Continual improvement

Continual improvement should focus on enablers such as leadership, communication, resources, organisation architecture, people and processes – in other words, everything in the organisation, in all functions at all levels… Departmental improvements may merely move the constraints or problem somewhere else in the process chain.

Improvement is not about using a set of tools and techniques. Improvement is not going through the motions of organising improvement teams and training people. Improvement is a result, so it can only be claimed after there has been a beneficial change in an organisation’s performance.

Why Continuous Improvement May Need To Be DiscontinuedRon Askenas

As innovation thinker Vijay Govindarajan says, “The more you hardwire a company on total quality management, [the more] it is going to hurt breakthrough innovation. The mindset that is needed, the capabilities that are needed, the metrics that are needed, the whole culture that is needed for discontinuous innovation, are fundamentally different.”

It’s time to nuance our approach in the following ways:

Customize how and where continuous improvement is applied. One size of continuous improvement doesn’t fit all parts of the organization.

Question whether processes should be improved, eliminated, or disrupted. Too many continuous improvement projects focus so much on gaining efficiencies that they don’t challenge the basic assumptions of what’s being done.

Assess the impact on company culture.

When Your Past Success Becomes An ObstacleKarol Kinsey Goman

One of the greatest challenges for a leader who wants his or her team to thrive in changing times is to identify those practices and attitudes that need to be eliminated in order to more quickly adopt new behaviors. Here are five key questions that you should ask your team members to consider:

1. What do we do best? (What skills, abilities, and attitudes are we most proud of?)

2. Which of these current skills, abilities, and attitudes will continue to make us successful in the future?

3. What do we need to unlearn? (Which skills are becoming obsolete? What practices — attitudes, behaviors, work routines, etc. — that worked for us in the past may be a detriment in the future?)

4. How does our competence stop us from doing things differently? (Where are the “comfort zones” we’re most reluctant to leave?)

5. What new skills do we need to learn to stay valuable to the organization?

You Are Either Getting Better Or You Are Getting Worse — Here’s How To Get Better – Paul B Brown

You have to keep getting better…Everyone acknowledges that–in theory.  In practice it tends to fall apart, ironically, when things are good…. Waiting until have to change is never good…. Far better is trying to improve slightly every single day.

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 two Carnival editions…..

We turn to our regular sections now:

Bill Troy, ASQ CEO opens up the debate on Charting A Strategy For Quality–And Beyond

“The purpose of strategy, after all, is to answer this question: How do you get from where you are to where you want to be?  What is your path?  How are you going to get there, what steps do you need to take, and in what order?

“I’d like to offer five key questions about strategy that you may find useful as you work on your own strategic planning.

  1. What are your key facts and assumptions?
  2. What is your theory of victory?
  3. Can you actually accomplish each aspect of your strategy?
  4. Is your organization doing things that sit outside your strategy?
  5. Have you left enough planning time to test your strategy?

“One caveat: Determine how much time you have to spend on strategy and act accordingly. We all must get things done, so we must not fall to “paralysis by analysis.” We can only admire the problem for so long. A good rule of thumb many of us learned in the military is the one-third, two-thirds rule”, i.e. leave two-thirds of the time to others for absorbing, implementing and improving upon the strategy.

Julia McIntosh, ASQ communications , in her ‘September Roundup: What’s the Best Approach to Strategy?’ presents views expressed by ASQ Bloggers on the subject.

And then move over to ASQ TV Episode s:

Quality Improves Government

Around the world, government agencies are using quality tools and implementing quality methods to make noticeable and sustainable improvements. This episode of ASQ TV looks at two positive stories, addressing the importance of quality in government. Manu Vora interview Milwaukee Public Health Lab

Related additional video:

               Manu Vora and V.K. Agnihotri advocate quality in government by discussing quality’s role in the government of India now and for the future.

Soft Skills-Leadership and Management

It’s one thing to know the ins and outs of your industry and profession. But you can’t be an effective leader and drive change in your field without soft skills. This episode of ASQ TV describes what soft skills are and how mastering them will help you get ahead in your day-to-day relationships and, ultimately, your career.

Rosemarie Christopher’s Career Corner columns

Related additional video:

According to author and speaker Simon T. Bailey, it’s important for leaders to also think big-picture to truly drive change. In this segment, hear how leaders should consider the story they’re telling, how they can sustain their leadership and what quality leaders can do to take initiative in their organizations. View Bailey’s 2014 World Conference on Quality and Improvement keynote speech, available on demand

To motivate employees and develop high-performing work relationships, leaders must understand that all people have certain needs that must be met in the workplace. In this segment, learn about the desires of each person to help you connect with people for meaningful work relationships and long-term productivity.

Our ASQ’s Influential Voice for the month is – John Priebe

clip_image001John Priebe is vice president of business quality for NBCUniversal and a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt with experience in process improvement, innovation, and quality control. He blogs at JohnPriebe.com with a headline tag as Innovation | Quality | Leadership.

A majority of the posts relate to discussions on the topics at ASQ Influential Voices, with quite few of the topics interspersed I between. Here is one such post: The Emergent Culture: Be the Change You Wish to See.. The article draws up a parallel with a natural biological phenomenon known as ‘emergent behaviour, in a flock of birds. Of course, in case of human beings, it is a long road, but the journey can well be begun by “be the change you wish to see in the world”.

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 Take Advantage of the Strengths Each Person Brings to Work for our present edition.

clip_image002Managers should be setting up the organization to take maximum advantage of the strengths of the people in the organization while minimizing the impact of weaknesses.

This needs a ‘refusing to fail’ attitude so as to ‘create a system that works and builds on the skills, ability and desire to do great work that your employees bring to work.’

W. Edwards Deming: “the aim of leadership is not merely to find and record failures of men, but to remove the causes of failure: to help people to do a better job with less effort.”

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

Wishing Very Happy Diwali festivities to all………