Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs – December 2013

Welcome to December 2013 edition of Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs.

For the current edition, we have captured more than the usually presented quantum of information from the selected articles.

We have also experimented with the presentation format. Each of the article title appears with its hyperlink to the original article as a bullet point, followed by key idea of the article. My interventions are in italics in verdana fonts.

Firstly, let us look at ISO’s definition of quality and risk.

– Quality is the degree to which a set of inherent characteristics fulfils requirements (ISO 9001).

– Risk is effect of uncertainty on objectives (ISO 31000).

We even could define an objective as a requirement for a specific characteristic, so as to integrate quality and risk management.
(For more information and study, do visit) Reference

– ICH (2005). Harmonised tripartite guideline quality risk management. Current step 4, 9 November 2005. Website:

– Popescu, Maria; Dascslu, Adina (2011). Considerations on Integrating Risk and Quality Management. Annals of “Dunarea de Jos” University of Galati. Years XVII-no 1/2011. Website:

– Van Nederpelt, Peter (2012). Object-oriented quality and riks management. New York/Alphen aan den Rijn: Lulu Press/Microdata. Website:

One of the marks of great leaders is that they ask great questions.  How did they learn those great questions and where could you learn some to ask?
Five great questionsMike Rother, at University of Michigan, has pulled together a set of five very useful questions that prove remarkably effective at helping organizations improve.  They are:

  1. What is the target condition?
  2. What is the current condition?
  3. What are the obstacles, and which ONE are we working on now?
  4. What is the next step / experiment we can do to deal with that obstacle and what do we expect? And
  5. How soon can we go and see what we have learned from that step?

Transparency is a key factor in sustaining trust in high-performing organizations. And that, in turn, helps drive innovation.

In a recent study at a manufacturing company, for example, my lab found that organizational trust had a positive association with closeness among employees. And we found that those in the top quartile of colleague closeness were 22% better at solving a difficult problem with others. They also enjoyed working on this problem 10% more than those in the lowest quartile of closeness.

The lesson: People innovate better as a group, and when they trust those in the group, creativity emerges. As Peter Drucker wrote, “Teams are based on mutual trust and mutual understanding.”

Fostering such a culture is a great way to help any organization fly high.

For many, quality suggests the superiority of design, materials, or workmanship in a product or service. You may think of high-end brands like Mercedes, Gucci, or even Apple. However, “quality” is vital to every business, even if the target customer is at the low-end or mass market.
Seven principles that provide a foundation for improving the quality:

  1. You can and must manage quality
  2. Processes, not the people, are usually the problem
  3. Find and fix the root cause of the problem.
  4. Quality must be measured
  5. Strive for continuous quality improvement
  6. Every person is responsible for quality
  7. Quality is a long term investment

Have you ever noticed how asking for feedback sometimes invites frivolous, nonsensical, and insignificant information?
A request for feedback is not an envelope that must be filled with something/anything just  to get it off your desk. A request for feedback is:

  • An invitation to engage in an important dialogue… one that you can decline if you’re not available or have nothing to offer.
  • A sacred trust… an opening from someone who values your opinion and is making him/herself vulnerable in the process.
  • A moment in time when you can make a significant difference – to a person, process, or project.

The opportunity to offer feedback in support of others is serious business. So to make sure that your feedback is focused rather than frivolous, ask yourself the following questions.
How hard am I having to work to come up with an answer?
How important is it?
How much am I willing to invest in helping the person address it?
Feedback requests aren’t obligations that require you to go through the motions and check the boxes. They are an honor bestowed upon you by someone who believes that you have something to offer.

We had taken a brief look at World Quality Month in our November 2013 edition. In the present edition we will take a detailed look.

The purpose of World Quality Month is to promote the use of quality tools in businesses and communities. Quality tools, such as flowcharts and checklists, reduce mistakes and help produce superior products. Quality principles could reduce headline-making errors, like food safety, toy recalls, and financial disruptions. World Quality Month calls on people who use quality tools to share their knowledge by submitting their stories to illustrate the value of quality principles. Success Stories is about learning how and sharing your story about the use of quality to make the world more efficient and profitable, whether on job or on or in the community. Knowledge Resources has collected popular videos, research articles and blogs about quality from around the world, to help the spread the word about the quality. Quality Events lists events happening over the world.

The Chartered Quality Institute has presented 10 of the best World Quality Day events.

  • We now take a look at BMJ Quality Blog and recent posts on the blog to capture the opportunity, for a closer look at the way medical fraternity views the quality:
  1. Coordinated Care and a Hundred Reasons to Be Cheerful /
  2. How to run a Quality Improvement Project (whilst working full time as a junior doctor) /
  3. Quality Improvement: Making the leap /
  4. BMJ Quality Improvement Reports: This is just the beginning… /
  5. Compassionate Care – Whose Job is it Anyway?

We would now take up our regular subjects. We begin with a visit to a Quality Institution.

  • The Chartered Quality Institute  is the chartered body for quality management professionals. Established in 1919, it gained a Royal Charter in 2006 and became the CQI shortly afterwards.

The philosophy that came with the new name was simple… ‘through innovation and care we create quality’. This is something that we now base all our activity on and will continue to do so.

The article refers to retirement of Sachin Tendulkar from his last leg of active cricket career.
His greatest legacy lies in the long line of batsmen dedicated to following his example and countless others aspiring to follow in his footsteps.
Coinciding with the anniversary of World Quality Day, when busy minds have a chance to reflect on past achievements and future trends in quality, what better time to reflect on our quality legacy? By “our” I mean not just that of our organisations, but our personal legacy.

We agree(d) that, in the spirit of World Quality Day this year, we would each undertake to make time for the people around us – customers, colleagues, suppliers – and yes, even our families, to better understand problems and perhaps identify some opportunities for innovation and change.

  • Whilst on the subject of expanding the ambit of Quality to every other sphere of our activities, October (2013) Roundup @ A View from the Q, presents a wide spectrum of views by ASQ’s Influential Voices bloggers.

Quality can and should be used outside the traditional manufacturing sector. That’s not news to anyone who works in quality and has seen how the field has expanded beyond its industrial quality control roots. Yet the expansion of quality is not without its challenges or some disagreement as to how quality techniques can be incorporated “outside quality”.

Learn why ISO 9001:2008, one of the world’s best known standards, is being revised. Then hear about the how and why of auditing standards. Plus, tips for auditors to help them prepare. For the full interview with Auditing expert and ASQ fellow Dennis Arter, visit The How and Why of Auditing for the tips and advice for auditors and auditees.

Edwin GarroEdwin Garro is an industrial engineer and entrepreneur from Costa Rica. He is the CEO of PXS Performance Excellence Solutions, the training and consulting firm focused on organizational excellence. He is also involved in several startups. He blogs about all aspects of excellence in Spanish on PXS Global.  Visit Edwin’s Blog ›› PXS Solutions Performance Excellence.


To all the readers of Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs, I wish a great ending of 2013 and a very happy, momentous, “quality” 2014………

Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs – October 2013

Welcome to October 2013 edition of Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs.

This month, we have a broader canvas of articles that looks at Quality from different perspectives.

Evan Mathews Sanders, in his “journey to becoming a better man every day and the lessons I learn along the way” @ The Better Man Project presents

The Finest Moment

Our finest moment

Is when we reach

For something past our present

Like a fumbling hand into the future

But with a vision

That hand becomes still

One that grips with purpose

And moves away from temptation

And , on somewhat different note, we have Jessica Gross @ TED Talks’s SCIENCE section presenting the views of biologist Stuart Firesten on “In praise of ignorance” in today’s TED talk. Stuart Firestein, while proposing that science is really about ignorance, states that “Science, we generally are told, is a very well-ordered mechanism for understanding the world, for gaining facts, for gaining data.”   He explains: “I mean a kind of ignorance that’s less pejorative, a kind of ignorance that comes from a communal gap in our knowledge, something that’s just not there to be known or isn’t known well enough yet or we can’t make predictions from.” the more we know, the more we realize there is yet to be discovered.

The Quality and HSE professionals may draw lessons from Jeremy Anderberg’s Survival Lessons from World War Z @ The Art of Manliness. We have a “unique telling of the popular genre. What really sets it apart from those other cheap zombie thrills is that it focuses largely on how individuals, communities, and governments would react to such a scenario. It’s almost more of a fictional sociology textbook rather than a novel.

Whether in the actual apocalypse, or just a localized natural disaster (like what we experienced a couple weeks ago here in Colorado), these are lessons that anyone and everyone can start applying.

It took freak flooding in the city I live in to teach me the lesson that being prepared for disasters isn’t just for folks who are hard-core, it’s for people who are smart and want to come out the other end with their families and communities intact.

  • It’s Not If, But When – “Most people don’t believe something can happen until it already has. That’s not stupidity, that’s just human nature.” –World War Z by Max Brooks
  • Zombies Don’t Care About Your PowerPoint Skills – Ours was a post-industrial or service-based economy, so complex and highly specialized that each individual could only function within the confines of its narrow, compartmentalized structure. …We needed to get a lot of white collars dirty.”
  • Practice Self-Reliance Before You Need It – Not only will having DIY skills help you rebuild your community, they also greatly increase your self-reliance.
  • Basic Physical Fitness is Paramount – “Make no mistake, bipedal locomotion was how most people traveled in the beginning.” Traffics jams of stalled cars that are miles long will be the norm in every big city.
  • Relationships Matter, Even in the Apocalypse – Our jobs tend to have pretty defined hierarchies. This should go without saying, but treat everyone (secretaries, janitors, security guards, doormen) in your office and building just as you would a peer. Beyond being a kind gentleman, those people may very well save your life someday.
  • The Latest and Greatest Technology Isn’t Always the Greatest  – Technological advances are a fantastic thing. They provide entertainment, enjoyment, efficiency, convenience…and the list goes on. There is also a downside, however, particularly when it comes to survival scenarios. If we become too dependent on new technologies, it can hamper our survival efforts. Remember it was old Ham radio that came to communication rescue in the matter of Colardo” (or Uttaarakhand, India) flash floods.

On a similar note, Bill Wilder  @ Learning is Change, in the article – The Master’s Lessons on Learning – presents what “Leonardo da Vinci once said that “learning never exhausts the mind.”  Although we’ll never know for sure exactly what he meant, it sounds like he was saying something like this: Real learning happens when people do stimulating things that don’t wear them out.”

We now move on to some hard-core Quality issues. Incidentally, these articles come from some of the ASQ’s Influential Voices.

Nicole @ Quality And Innovation opens with a statement “Achieving quality (re: ISO 9000 para 3.1.5) is all about meeting stated and implied needs” in Expressing Your Needs and then goes on to link Steve Pavlina’s broader discussion that there is probably a vast audience of potential partners and co-creators who, at any time, are ready and willing (and happy!) to meet your needs. It’s just that you haven’t broadcast those needs and so the people who would be happy to help you meet them are still in the dark. “But our society has conditioned us not to freely express our needs to friends, family, and others; after all, if we need something, the marketing should have worked already, and we should know where we can go to willingly exchange currency for the means to satisfy that need.”  The author sums up the article with – “first step is for me to start getting comfortable with expressing my needs – and being open to the people who will show up to help meet them.”

Anshuman Tiwari @ Qualty the Unfair Advantage has passionately thrown the gauntlet for the quality professionals in Quality must make money and not just be the right thing to do.  “In a recent post on his bog, Paul Borwaski, CEO of ASQ, shared a fantastic turnaround story about Corning Glass. As usual Paul choses his subjects wisely and presents his thought crisply. See the case study here.

Here are some key insights from Corning’s revival and dominance through Quality that I could summarize for you.

  • Winning the Baldrige is not enough – New challenges emerge requiring new responses. Corning Glass’s case clearly demonstrates how quickly we can slip if we drop the ball.
  • Quality is a Board subject – With Corning Glass’s case it is reiterated that once Quality slips lower in the organizational hierarchy, poor quality results follow quickly.
  • BigQ and Performance Excellence – Small Q is a reference to product quality and Big Q refers to an all-encompassing view – quality of business processes. With dimensions such business processes and customer experience the quality field has evolved into Performance Excellence. Corning realized this and included all functions in their quality program. Rich dividends followed.
  • Don’t ignore Quality training – All change starts with knowledge. Without adequate knowledge of what to do we risk changing processes only to create more havoc. Corning realized the value of training before embarking on change and invested in Six Sigma and Lean training for over 1000 staff.
  • Choose methods and tools wisely – Corning did not just pick every method available. They studied all and developed a framework and stuck to it. The Corning Performance Excellence model addresses collaboration, innovation, and improvement.
  • Quality must make money – Finally a Quality program must help make money. Quality is free but not charity.

Dr. Lotto Lai @ Quality Alchemist, has chosen the ‘The ANQ 2013’ in the article Asiaization is the Future of Quality  – which was slated to be held from 14th to 18th October 2013 – Bangkok, THAILAND , meet  to launch a relatively new lexicon in the realm of Quality – “Asiaization (亞洲化) [which]  is an action, process, or result of doing or making Asia-like; implying Asia culture and habit will be more and more important in the world.” In his detailed and methodologically narrative he emphatically states that “Asiaization (亞洲化) will be a key force of the “Future of Quality””.

Jamie Flinchbaugh, in the article Lessons From the Road: Get the Most from Your Assessments has presented the value of Assessment, as different from Audit He states that Assessment is the part of continuous improvement that people generally don’t enjoy, and don’t get nearly the value from that they should. As the saying goes, “Anything worth doing is worth doing well.” The article has also spelt out the steps for realizing the value of the assessment.

Dr. Lotto Lai also leads us to this month’s visit to an organization  engagaged in the pursuits of Quality Movement. Asian Network for Quality (ANQ), established since 2002, will take a significant role to contributing to the world economic development through improving quality.

The theme of ANQ 2013 is “Quality for the Strength of Asia”.

The keynote address @ ANQ 2012 – The First Ten Year Journey of ANQ  Presented by Dr. Noriaki Kano provides the detailed journey of growth of ANQ since 2002.

The emerging importance of the Quality Fraternity of Asia, in “45 year history of the Academy this is the first time a person – Mr Janak Mehta , Founder President ISQ and presently Chair International Relation Committee of ISQ  –  from region other than USA, Europe and Japan has been elected to this position.

We now take a look at current Roundup, which now presents a range of views by the ASQ Influential voices, in The Challenges of Sustaining Excellence wherein Scott Rutherford wraps up the bloggers’ comments nicely when he says: “Each organization has a unique culture with periods of great success as well as turbulent times. Ultimately, it is the alignment of culture, strategy, and execution that defines organizational sustainment during change of organizational leadership.”

In our regular winding up session from ASQ™ TV: Creating a Global View of Quality, we have ASQ TV Episode 9: Process Improvement.  This episode is about elements of process improvement. A Mexican automotive parts manufacturer shares its improvement story. An expert in transformational thinking gets us to look beyond standardization and problem solving. A rock band treats us to its interpretation of process improvement.

This month we visit Jimena Calfa  @ ASQ’s Influential Voices

Jimena CalfaAn Argentina native Jimena Calfa is a systems engineer specializing in quality software. She also writes about using quality tools in everyday life at Let’s Talk About Quality. She regards quality as “key of success of every organization and every person, in every aspect of life.

She understands Quality from the perspective of what Aristotle has said: “Quality is an art won by training and habituation. We are what we repeatedly do. Quality, then, is not an act but a habit”.

She has passionately put across the rationale for writing blog by quoting the Cuban writer, José Martí : “Everyone to be complete has to plant a tree, have a child and write a book”. “In this technological age, we could replace the last part of the phrase and say “… and write a Blog.”

Her blog – Let’s Talk About Quality has sections like General Concepts [where we find articles on quality, in general]  XX vs. YY [which has articles like Customer vs. ClientActuality – ASQ [documenting her association @ ASQ] Q & A OFI (Opportunities for Improvement) My Bookshelf [listing the books she would recommend].

And we finally round up our present edition with –
Management Improvement Carnival # 200

We end current edition of the festival with James Clear’s article @  Lifehacker –  A Scientific Guide to Effectively Saying No. “In fact, not being able to say no is one of the most biggest downfalls that successful entrepreneurs claim as their own key mistakes.

“I can’t” and “I don’t” are words that seem similar and we often interchange them for one another, but psychologically they can provide very different feedback and, ultimately, result in very different actions.

The ability to overcome temptation and effectively say no is critical not only to your physical health, but also for your daily productivity and mental health. To put it simply: you can either be the victim of your words or the architect of them. Which one would you prefer?
But I do continue to wait to know your reasons for saying NO to my statement at the end of every edition, seeking your constructive inputs and suggestions…. to improve content and the style of this Blog Festival… And of course your YES – to put forward your views, candidly, is what I really look forward to…………………..