Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs – September, 2015

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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 ………….

Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs – April 2015


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Managing for Quality

Problem Solving in 4 Steps – 2

Problem Solving in 4 Steps

Who Pays for Bad Quality? Is there a Solution?

Supplier Solutions. MADE IN INDIA

We turn to our regular sections now:

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

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

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

Linked videos:

Forensic Technique Reveal Conclusive Evidence

The How and Why of Auditing

o Corrective Action Request

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

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

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

§ Presentation on the Designated Hitter and Root Cause Analysis

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

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

§ LinkedIn Post: Business Strategy and Clothes Dryers

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

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

Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs – December 2014

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

We are presently exploring Continual Improvement. October 2014 edition delved into basics of Continual Improvement, and November 2014 had had a look at Continual Improvement vs. Continuous Improvement.

For the present edition, we have randomly picked up a few articles to get a flair of the concept in actual practice:

  • Continuous Improvement at Two Companies (PDF, 362 KB) Todd Schneider shares lessons learned from helping to integrate continuous improvement into the operations of two companies. Examples of improvement projects at his current employer, Serigraph, show how teams used Six Sigma to improve yield by more than 20 percent, saving $40,000 in 10 months, and improve vendor material management, saving $192,000 per year. June 2011
  • Electric Utility Deploys Powerful Approach for Continuous Improvement (PDF, 313 KB) The Information Technology and Business Integration (IT&BI) Business Unit at Southern California Edison launched a three-year plan to increase visibility, awareness, and focus on continuous improvement efforts to better meet client needs. August 2010.
  • The Challenge of Overcoming Success (PDF, 428 KB) A combination of theory of constraints, Six Sigma, and lean helped a DNA testing laboratory take a holistic approach to process improvement. Redesigning the workflow and laboratory layout and introducing new operating rules increased capacity without increasing costs. March 2010
  • Can a Fishbone Diagram Stop a Bully? (PDF, 373 KB) In Community Consolidated School District 15, elementary students use quality tools to set goals, track academic progress, and even address behavioral issues such as playground bullying. September 2009.
  • PDSA: A Road Map to Improved Writing Skills (PDF, 340 KB) Using the plan, do, study, act cycle, Winston Campus Elementary in Palatine, Illinois, boosted sixth grade student writing test scores by 36 percent. September 2009.
  • Former Baldrige Recipient Rekindles Its Quality Fire (PDF, 256 KB) Since Community Consolidated School District 15 in suburban Chicago received the Baldrige award in 2003, front-line staff members have continued the improvement effort by relying on quality tools such as the plan, do, study, act model. August 2009.
  • Quality Club Teaches Today’s Learners to Become Tomorrow’s Leaders (PDF, 186 KB) Students who participate in a quality club at Hunting Ridge School in Palatine, Illinois, learn continuous improvement methods and then conduct training sessions for their peers. August 2009.
  • Quality Engrained in Culture at Iowa Hospital (PDF, 250 KB) The plan-do-study-act (PDSA) cycle, data-based decision making, and lean methodologies are part of the quality culture at Guttenberg Municipal Hospital. In 2008, the hospital received a Silver Award in the Iowa Recognition for Performance Excellence program. June 2009.
  • Rural Hospital Thrives With Continuous Improvement and Innovation (PDF, 210 KB) High patient satisfaction resulted from a culture change at Wright Medical Center. They shifted to a more open communication model and a pillar system that focuses on six areas of performance improvement. The hospital is now a destination of choice for healthcare in north central Iowa, with some of the highest patient satisfaction scores in the nation. April 2009.
  • Medical Device Manufacturer’s Continuous Improvement Approach Reduces Errors in Records (PDF, 236 KB) Using a three-tiered approach that included technology-, process-, and people-related solutions, MEDRAD reduced errors in product history records by 26 percent. February 2009.
  • Match the Change Vehicle and Method To the Job (PDF, 260 KB) Process improvement teams must understand the definitions of the methodology, tools and change vehicles available to them, because mismatches can be fatal to a quality improvement program.
  • From Continuous Improvement to Continuous Innovation (PDF, 95 KB) A close-up look at the concepts of continuous improvement, continuous innovation, discontinuous innovation, incrementalism, exploitation and exploration.
  • Continuous Improvement: Methods and Madness (PDF, 28 KB) Employee involvement, daily and evolutionary improvement, and focusing on product features are all characteristics of continuous improvement.

We turn to our regular sections now:

Bill Troy, ASQ CEO had opened up a very timely debate on ‘Is Every Quality Professional a Leader?’ that can well shape the future of the profession. “Some have made the case recently that quality professionals lack the business skills needed to connect with the C-suite. Others note that quality professionals sometimes lack the “soft skills” needed to make the case for quality outside the quality department. Leadership encompasses all of the above. Business savvy, people skills, and decisive action all are required to get results in the world.”

Julia McIntosh, ASQ communications , in her ‘November Roundup: What Does Leadership Mean to Quality?. ASQ bloggers had interestingly diverse opinions on this topic. Some called for more quality training. Others said that being leader isn’t everyone.

And then move over to ASQ TV Episodes:

Quality Goes to School. In this episode we take a look at the role of quality in the classroom, see how origami can be used to teach “lean,” and learn about the brainstorming tool, the lotus flower diagram.

Improving Healthcare With Quality : Learn about the challenges of incorporating quality tools into healthcare, look at how one hospital implemented Six Sigma to improve patient discharge times, and explore design of experiments, a quality… tool that helped the hospital with its task. Read the full case study

Our ASQ’s Influential Voice for the month is – Rajan Thiyagarajan

clip_image002Based in Chennai, India, Rajan Thiyagarajan is delivery head at Tata Consultancy Services and a senior member of ASQ. He blogs @ Quality Matters, where he shares his own thoughts and opinions, on topics focused by ASQ. For example, an article last year – Remembering the Great Leaders of Quality – as a brief snapshot, presents key contributions of 10 greatest leaders of quality.

We do not have a fresh insight this month in so far as Curious Cat Management Improvement Carnival category is concerned.

However, in such an event, we do pick up an interesting article posted recently. We take a deeper view and look at India tab to select Frugal Innovation this month. The article takes a concise look at First break all the rules. The article goes on to talk about several methods for how to profit from reducing costs which seem misguided. Frugal innovation is about thinking about meeting the needs of huge numbers of customers that can’t afford conventional solutions.

There is a great quote from Jeff Bezos that captures one reason why organizations so often fail to address frugal innovation: “There are two kinds of companies, those that work to try to charge more and those that work to charge less.”

I look forward to your active participation in enriching the blog carnival as we pursue our journey to Continual Improvement in the New Year…………….with very Best Wishes

Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs – May 2014


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

We have taken up detailed look at the fundamentals of Nonconformity (Ref: Blog Carnival Edition of March 2014) / Nonconformance (Ref : Blog Carnival Edition of April 2014) as well as Conformity / Conformance, before we take in these words for a more specific angle of Quality.

In the present edition we switch our attention to Conformity, beginning with definitions:

Conformity @ Merriam-Webster Dictionary

: behavior that is the same as the behavior of most other people in a society, group, etc.

: the fact or state of agreeing with or obeying something


accord, accordance, agreement, conformance, congruence, congruency, congruity, consonance, harmony, tune


conflict, disagreement, incongruence, incongruity, incongruousness

Related Words

compatibility; assimilation, integration; oneness, solidarity, togetherness; affinity, empathy, sympathy

Near Antonyms

contrast, discrepancy, disparateness, disparity, dissimilarity, distinction, distinctiveness, distinctness, diverseness, diversity, unlikeness; deviance, divergence; discord, discordance, dissension (also dissention), dissent, dissidence, disunity, friction, strife; variability, variance; incompatibility

Conformity @

1. action in accord with prevailing social standards, attitudes, practices, etc.

2. correspondence in form, nature, or character; agreement, congruity, or accordance.

3. compliance or acquiescence; obedience.

4. ( often initial capital letter ) compliance with the usages of an established church, especially the Church of England.

5. Geology . the relationship between adjacent conformable strata.

We now turn to more fundamental aspects of conformity.

Conformity @ Wikipedia looks at the subject from a more general point of view.

Conformity is the act of matching attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors to group norms. Norms are implicit, unsaid rules, shared by a group of individuals, which guide their

Which line matches the first line, A, B, or C? In the Asch conformity experiments, people frequently followed the majority judgment, even when the majority was wrong.

Which line matches the first line, A, B, or C? In the Asch conformity experiments, people frequently followed the majority judgment, even when the majority was wrong.

interactions with others. This tendency to conform occurs in small groups and/or society as a whole, and may result from subtle unconscious influences, or direct and overt social pressure. Conformity can occur in the presence of others, or when an individual is alone.

Although peer pressure may manifest negatively, conformity can have good or bad effects depending on the situation. Driving on the correct side of the road could be seen as beneficial conformity. With the right environmental influence, conforming, in early childhood years, allows one to learn and thus, adopt the appropriate behaviours necessary to interact and develop correctly within one’s society. Conformity influences formation and maintenance of social norms, and helps societies function smoothly and predictably via the self-elimination of behaviors seen as contrary to unwritten rules. In this sense it can be perceived as a positive force that prevents acts that are perceptually disruptive or dangerous.

As conformity is a group phenomenon, factors such as group size, unanimity, cohesion, status, prior commitment, and public opinion help determine the level of conformity an individual displays.

In What Is Conformity? @ About.Com – Psychology Kendra Cherry refers to Deautsch and Gerard (1955), who have identified two key reasons why people conform: informational influence – happens when people change their behavior in order to be correct- and normative influence – from a desire to avoid punishments (such as going along with the rules in class even though you don’t agree with them) and gain rewards (such as behaving in a certain way in order to get people to like you).

Types of Conformity :
  • Normative conformity involves changing one’s behavior in order to fit in with the group.
  • Informational conformity happens when a person lacks knowledge and looks to the group for information and direction.
  • Identification occurs when people conform to what is expected of them based upon their social roles. Zimbardo’s famous Stanford Prison Experiment is a good example of people altering their behavior in order to fit into their expected roles.
  • Compliance involves changing one’s behavior while still internally disagreeing with the group.
  • Internalization occurs when we change our behavior because we want to be like another person.

In ‘ Deadly conformity is killing our creativity. Let’s mess about more’ Henry Porter @ the guardian | The Observer,

People’s lives would be more fulfilling if they were given greater freedom in the workplace……. apart from encouraging the well-appreciated conditions for creativity in the workplace, we perhaps need to understand that the structures for taking decisions and driving things forward are not the same ones we should use to find innovation and make the most of the unexploited 85% of our intelligence. Power and hierarchies are the enemy of creativity.

We now narrow down our area of study to some of the specific examples of conformity at work:

Conformity Analysis – As part of the transportation planning and programming process, The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) staff evaluates the impact of proposed transportation activities on the region’s air quality.

Conformity of Production – Conformity of Production (COP) is a means of evidencing the ability to produce a series of products that exactly match the specification, performance and marking requirements outlined in the type approval documentation.

Please follow these links to documents that explain COP in more detail:

Conformity assessment is the process used to show that a product, service or system meets specified requirements…….The main forms of conformity assessment are certification, inspection and testing. Although testing is the most widely used, certification is the best known.

ISO has many standards relating to performing conformity assessment as well as many other publication and resources which can be accessed at resources for conformity assessment.

Next, we turn our sails to our regular sections, starting with an international body actively engaged in furtherance of quality- Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council.

QCC is an Abu Dhabi government entity consisting  of a council of regulators with a mandate to ensure provision of quality infrastructure in line  with global standards, and to support regulators and government organizations through offering quality and conformity facilities, expertise and resources, promote a culture of quality towards consume.

And then move over to ASQ TV Episode- Lean with a Touch of Six Sigma – “You hear about lean and six sigma, and lean six sigma. Is there a difference? Learn how lean and six sigma work together and how NOT to mistake the tools.”

We would also leverage this opportunity to visit related videos:

Uncover the differences between Lean, Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma – “Lean Six Sigma subject matter experts and instructors Chad Smith and Chris Hayes describe the core differences between Lean and Six Sigma.”

Waste Analysis – “The simplest thing an organization can do in applying lean is to identify waste in its processes and then work to eliminate them. To get started, conduct a waste analysis. It typically looks for waste in eight categories.” [Do visit identifying waste too.]

Is Lean (and Six Sigma) the way to go – “Lean expert, David Behling, and Six Sigma expert, Maria Pamment, discuss the relevance of lean and Six Sigma, the challenges of implementing lean and how to get executive support.” [Do visit David Behling’s lean insights too.]

The Lighter Side–Lucy Hates Waste – In this classic comedy clip, we see an example of overproduction (one of the eight wastes of lean). Too bad eating extra product isn’t always a delicious option.

Lean Improves Response Time and Increases Revenue for Global Lender – One global lender was losing 40% of its applications for auto loans in Latin America. The organization used Six Sigma and lean tools to improve response time AND increase revenue in the process. [Do visit Case study too.]

Our ASQ’s Influential Voice for the month is – Dr. Lotto Lai

Dr. Lotto LaiBased in Hong Kong, China, Dr. Lotto Lai specializes in scientific research, quality assurance, and management. Dr. Lotto Lai has over 15 year hands-on experience in scientific research, quality assurance and management in Commercial Laboratory, University Testing Centre, Certification Body and Consultants Firm. He is Chairman & Fellow in HKSQ, MHKIE, SrMASQ, CMQOE and IRCA QMS Lead Auditor. He blogs at Quality Alchemist. The site already depicts publication of 52 posts in the year 2014, till date. The articles present a wide panorama of events that take place at HKSQ and other topics related to the subject of Quality.

We do not have a fresh insight this month in so far as Curious Cat Management Improvement Carnival category is concerned.

So we take a have look @ Interview on PDSA, Deming, Strategy and MoreBill Fox interviewed John Hunter and has posted the interview on his web site: Predicting Results in the Planning Stage.

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

Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs – April 2014


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

We continue with our topic for in-depth view: Nonconformity / Non – conformance, focusing on Non – conformance in this issue.

Refusal | objection | dissent | protest | disobedience | disagreement

         and Antonyms

concurrence |acceptance |agreement |approval

for noncompliance .

A non-conformance is a departure from an agreed arrangement between an approval authority (or orthodox position) and an individual or group performing work.

In the context of quality management an “arrangement” is commonly an agreement to conform to: A Work Product Standard; A Predefined Procedure; A Work Product Specification; A Documentation Plan; An International Standard for Best Practice.

Nonconformity refers to a failure to comply with requirements, whereas Nonconformance refers to a deficiency in a characteristic, documentation, or procedure that renders the quality of an item or activity unacceptable or indeterminate; nonfulfillment of a specified requirement.

A non-compliance is the failure to adhere to an Act or its Regulations
A non-conformance is the failure to comply with a requirement, standard, or procedure.

A Google search throws up a host of additional informative article and links in so far as Non-conformance / Non-compliance is concerned. Among several such results, we take a look at selected few, from different fields.

Failure or refusal to comply. In medicine, the term noncompliance is commonly used in regard to a patient who does not take a prescribed medication or follow a prescribed course of treatment.

The process of determining noncompliance is an important aspect of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards system, as well as the only established mechanism for determining noncompliance with the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) itself. Noncompliance with an NPT safeguards agreement constitutes violation of Article III of the NPT, the obligation to accept safeguards on all nuclear material, and, depending on the circumstances, possibly a violation of Article II, the obligation not to acquire nuclear weapons.

Noncompliance: Any action or activity associated with the conduct or oversight of research involving human subjects that fails to comply with the research plan as approved by a designated IRB or federal regulations or institutional policies governing such research. Non-compliance may range from minor to serious, be unintentional or willful, and may occur once or several times.

Noncompliance with regulations by enterprises is said to be rife in developing countries. Yet there is limited systematic evidence of the magnitude of noncompliance at the enterprise level. Making innovative use of two complementary data sources, this paper quantifies noncompliance for India’s Factories Act without the question of illegality ever being raised directly with enterprises. The paper finds that more than twice as many firms are not complying as are complying. Further, the number of non-compliant firms is much larger than the number of firms adjusting out of the regulation. Thus noncompliance with the Factories Act is a key feature of the “missing middle” in India. The paper explores the main trends and patterns of noncompliance and highlights a number of key issues for further analytical and policy research.

As we search for more results, we observe that more of the articles deal with the subject from Quality (Management or Function or Profession). Hence we will take a more detailed look at these articles in our future edition when will be having a look at the subject purely in terms of Quality (Management or Function or Profession).

Next, we turn our sails to our regular sections, starting with an international body actively engaged in furtherance of quality.

The Product Development and Management Association (PDMA) is the premier global advocate for product development and management professionals. Our mission is to improve the effectiveness of individuals and organizations in product development and management. This is accomplished by providing resources for professional development, information, collaboration and promotion of new product development and management.

The development of new products and services involves an integrated set of unique activities. PDMA is the only organization that focuses on addressing this challenge by providing the following opportunities for professional development: education, experience, networking and recognition.

Updates can be obtained from PDMA News blog for association news or the PDMA Blog which features content from PDMA members.

And then move over to ASQ TV Episode- Six Sigma

Six Sigma is a well-known quality method. But like most quality techniques, its use changes and evolves as organizations do. In this episode, we discuss benefits and challenges associated with implementing Six Sigma; how to distinguish the Six Sigma belt colors; the potential return on investment of implementing Six Sigma; the basics of DMAIC; and play a fun game of “Name That Black Belt.”

Lean and Six Sigma Conference Audio

Costs and Savings


Our ASQ’s Influential Voice for the month is -Shon Isenhour

Shon IsenhourBased in Charleston, South Carolina, Shon Isenhour specializes in business process management, strategic planning, organizational change management, and reliability engineering. He has led improvement initiatives for industries such as pharmaceuticals, metals, petrochemical, paper, and power generation, among others. He is direction of education and work execution management at GPAllied. Shon writes about reliability on Reliability Now, with a tagline – Developing and Sustaining Improved Corporate Bottom Line Performance.

We take a detailed look at one of the posts on this blog.

Education Without Application Is Just Entertainment: 3 things that can help create a return on education.

Retention:Take the time to map out the skills you need the person to have and the learning objectives associated with those skills. Then the training can be customized to only provide the points and topics they need to be successful.

Application: Once a student has seen a new way to do something in the training environment they must apply the skills nearly immediately. This helps with the previous topic of retention but it also creates success and real world examples that can be used to continue the change process.

Culture Manipulation: With a pull from leadership and the success of quick application you can begin to manipulate the culture into the target state.

We do not have a fresh insight this month in so far as Curious Cat Management Improvement Carnival category is concerned.So we take a brief stay at Good Process Improvement Practices and related articles – Change is not ImprovementHow to ImproveWhere to Start ImprovementOperational ExcellenceHow to Manage What You Can’t MeasureMaking Better DecisionsFind the Root Cause Instead of the Person to Blame

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

Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs – March 2014


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

Our topic for in-depth view is: Nonconformity / Non – conformance.

The Quality profession would tend to take these two words in the same stride. However, a closer look is likely to throw up some subtle difference – if not so much in the   colloquial or practical meaning(s), certainly in terms of spirit of the content of the approach.

Hence, I have decided to take up Nonconformity, Non-conformance and their literal antonyms Conformity and Conformance for a separate detailed study each month, before we take up the discussions of these terms from the perspective of Quality Management – as a profession and as a function.

So, first, we take up Nonconformity in the present edition.

Apparently Nonconformity has far reaching different shades of meaning and intent in different fields, such as Gender Diversity, Religion, Psychology, Sociology, History and the similar other fields.  Therefore, we would confine our discussions to the articles which remain GENERAL in nature.

  • Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines Nonconformity as ‘failure or refusal to behave the way most people behave: failure or refusal to conform’.

If a fireman came to work in a police outfit or clown suit, that would be a clear case of nonconformity. Where there’s nonconformity, there’s difference.

Nonconformity means that someone is doing things differently from the norm.

Too much nonconformity can create chaos, but without a little nonconformity, life would be pretty boring.

  • defines Nonconformity  as  ‘belief, behaviour different from most’.

Synonyms for Nonconformity

denial  | disaffection | disagreement | disapprobation | disapproval | discordance |  disobedience | dissent s| eccentricity s| exception | heresyta| | | heterodoxytar | iconoclasmta |insubordination| lawlessnessar| | negationta| | nonacceptance s| | noncompliance | | objection |opposition | originality | recalcitrance| | recusancy | rejectionar | strangeness |r| unconventionality | uniqueness | unorthodoxy | unruliness | vetor | violation | contumaciousness | |mutinousness | nonagreementar | nonconsent |

Antonyms for nonconformity

acceptance | agreement | allowance | approval |concurrence | endorsement | harmony |normality | obedience |observance | orthodoxy | peace | permission |ratification | sanction | usualness

In the battle against conventional beliefs, we focus on three Unconventional Strategies for Life, Work and Travel. I define non-conformity as “a lack of orthodoxy in thoughts or beliefs” or “the refusal to accept established customs, attitudes, or ideas.”

Under the category Non-conformity  on this blog, we have two articles that our draw our attention –

“The past always seems better when you look back on it than it did at the time. And the present never looks as good as it will in the future.” -Peter Benchley

  • In Limbo – Being between things is tough. There’s a bright future ahead! You can picture it, just out of reach in the near distance.

You could accept less than you dreamed of, in other words. But why would you do that?

Chances are, there’s only one real option: keep working away. Tick-tock. Check off the tasks one at a time.

Two steps forward, one step back.

There is a fine line that separates conformity from nonconformity, and both of them from intelligent decision making.  Although the distinction may seem clear, I believe the difference is far more complex than most people are aware of.  Why?  Because an accurate measure of conformity or nonconformity is based exclusively on an individual’s true understanding of a subject.


Traditional religions have generally prohibited tattoos on the grounds they encourage superficial thinking (what’s on the surface is not what matters).

The human mind is easily programmed, and human behavior is largely autonomous once the sub-conscious has a suggestion of what to do. By default, people seem inclined to conform to the ideas, environment and behaviors around them, at least as a means of survival and of fitting in. Unless an individual takes charge of their own mind and their own behavior, most people are content to follow along with what other people are doing, even if that means doing something self-destructive.

In no particular order, here are the top five ways to practice non-conformity in the world that we have created for ourselves – the matrix of self-destruction.

Monetary Non-conformity – The human race is enslaved to a corrupt and inflationary monetary system. To act as a balance to this, any opportunity to conduct life without using the dollar and the credit system is a stunning act of non-conformity.

Shun the Materialistic and the Entertainment Driven Lifestyle – To be realistic about one’s true needs and to consume less “stuff” makes one stand out as a non-conformist in today’s culture.

Health Rebel – Taking control of diet, finding some enjoyable type of exercise, and being courageous enough to try out alternative, non-pharmaceutical modalities of healing when possible, are, oddly enough, all one has to do in order to stand out as a health non-conformist.

Re-Education – The quality of the future can be seen in the quality of our youth, and the current models of building quality people seem to be falling short. Trying out new modalities of education for our children is an inspiring way to work towards a better vision for the future.

Experience-Based Spirituality – The non-conformist of today explores practices and ideas that work best to induce direct experience, following intuition to develop a connection to the sacred part of humanity, which is so routinely trampled in our hectic world. Finding inner peace through whichever religion or philosophy you choose is critical to creating a world free from toxic effects of collective fear.

These are certainly not the first words written on the subject, and are definitely the last! I am sure; there would be many more enlightening materials that would provide a far-more encompassing view of the subject. The more we know what we do-not-know of Nonconformity, we can turn the knowledge for creative use of nonconformity for sustained improvements.

Next, we turn our sails to our regular sections, starting with an international body actively engaged in furtherance of quality.

  • National Institute of Science and Technology of  US Department of Commerce is one of the USA’s oldest physical science laboratories. US Congress established the agency to remove a major handicap to U.S. industrial competitiveness at the time—a second-rate measurement infrastructure that lagged behind the capabilities of England, Germany, and other economic rivals. Today, NIST measurements support the smallest of technologies—nanoscale devices so tiny that tens of thousands can fit on the end of a single human hair—to the largest and most complex of human-made creations, from earthquake-resistant skyscrapers to wide-body jetliners to global communication networks. A-Z subject index — alphabetical listing of research topics, activities, programs, products, and services would help to explore NIST’s web site to learn about its current projects.

And then move over to ASQ TV Episode Culture of Quality:

Culture is the driving force of quality. Creating and sustaining a quality culture are much-discussed topics in the quality community. In this episode, we explore the ways that quality culture contributes to organizational performance. We’ll also learn what quality leaders can do to take organizational culture into their own hands. We’ll also recognize quality engineers and their superhero status.
The Related Video – Driving Culture of Quality –  adds further value.
A culture of quality can mean different things to different organizations. Determining what culture of quality means is the first step in the improvement journey.

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

No doubt, we are familiar with the Management Improvement Carnival which has been the regular feature at The Carnival of john-hunterQuality Management Articles and Blogs.

John Hunter has a background in online quality information management. He has developed quality improvement methods and software at the quality management office of the Secretary of Defense and the White House Military Office. He blogs at Curious Cat Management Blog .

John Hunter writes primarily about management improvement on this blog – which makes sense given the title – through the range of topics like Deming, lean thinking, innovation, customer focus, continual improvement, six sigma… In the very early days he had more on investing, economic data, science, engineering and travel. Then he created three new blogs (Curious Cat Investment and Economics Blog, Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog, Curious Cat Travel Photos blog)

In this month’s edition we will take a look at his post Poor Results Should be Addressed by Improving the System Not Blaming Individuals.

“I should estimate that in my experience most troubles and most possibilities for improvement add up to the proportions something like this: 94% belongs to the system (responsibility of management), 6% special.” – Page 315 of Out of the Crisis by W. Edwards Deming

I look forward to your active “non-conformant” participation in enriching the blog carnival as we pursue our journey …………….

Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs – January 2014


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

Last year each of our carnival-post simply presented as much as wide choice of articles/ blogs/ sites on the core subject as well as articles that had indirect, but quite strong direction to of Quality. Moreover, we had settled on regular features of, a look at a National / International Body engaged in the field of promoting Quality,  ASQ Video, ASQ Influential Voice and John Hunter’s Management Improvement Carnivals.

For 2014, we would add one more flavor – articles/ blogs/ sites related to a specific Topic.

For the present edition, we would enlist some such links to Cost of Quality.

  • Cost of Quality – The countless, unseen details are often the only difference between Mediocre and Magnificent.

Cost of Quality Basics (CoQ) – The figure below shows the 4 major categories for Quality Costs and examples within each area.

Cost of Quality          The four major categories are:

Prevention Costs

Appraisal Costs

Internal Failure Costs

External Failure Costs

At the highest level, there are two different terms in the Cost of Quality equation: the Cost of Good Quality (CoGQ) and the Cost of Poor Quality (CoPQ). This can be understood in the below formula:

                               CoQ = CoGQ + CoPQ

Quality costs are the total of the cost incurred by:

– Investing in the prevention of nonconformance to requirements.
– Appraising a product or service for conformance to requirements.
– Failing to meet requirements.

Cost of Quality Overview – An excerpt from the Handbook for Quality Management (2000, QA Publishing, LLC) by Thomas Pyzdek contains links to following other articles:

Goal of Quality Cost System

Strategy for Reducing Quality Costs

Management of Quality Costs

Cost of Quality Examples

Use of Quality Costs

Benefits of Quality Cost Reduction

  • The Tip of the Iceberg  – A Six Sigma initiative focused on reducing the costs of poor quality enables management to reap increased customer satisfaction and bottom-line results.
  • Total Cost of Quality for the Total Picture The CoQ model, also known as The Economic Conformance Model, shows us the rising costs associated with proactive management of quality as compared to the decreasing costs associated with improving quality.
  • The Tip of Iceberg – When Accounting for Quality, don’t Forget the Often Hidden Costs of Poor Quality – By Joseph A. DeFoe

Slideshare shows 50,394 results for “Cost of Quality”

We now move on to take a look at the other articles/ blogs/ sites:

Does Management By Objectives Stifle Excellence? By John Dyer, President, JD&A — Process Innovation Company

Setting arbitrary goals can hamper the ability to improve dramatically – or drive the wrong improvement behaviors entirely.

When Systems Rule…And When They Don’t By Mathew E, May @ EditInnovation

I’ve been thinking about how bad they are, and how a good person up against a bad system stands little chance……on an anything BUT a level playing field. With another system outside the one you’re up against, one that allows you to get to the genesis of the system you want to defeat–the people who created it and tell it what to do in the first place.

You CANNOT do it from within the system! (This is why most systemic change happens only when leadership changes hands.)

Should it be this hard to change a system? Should the normal situation be that when you put a good person in a bad system, the system automatically wins?

I don’t think so. A good system must be more dynamic, more user-focused. … Change needn’t always come from an outsider.

Systems should have learning and improving built in. They should engender trust through transparency.

So why don’t they, by and large?

Systems–and systems thinking–have great relevance to what everyone in business is striving for these days: a strong culture of innovation. The focus in popular business press is on the visible part, the culture. I think it’s a red herring.

I think that if you want to create a strong culture, you have to focus on the thing on which culture rests: the system.

Making Better Decisions over Time by Phil Rosenzweig @ Strategy+Business

The technique of deliberate practice can dramatically improve performance, but knowing its limits is as important as understanding its value.

Next, we turn our sails to a National Body, furthering the cause of Quality.  In the present edition we visit, wherein Indian Merchant Chamber  Ramkrishna Bajaj National Quality Award process recipients of various recognition levels are required to share information on their successful performance and quality strategies with other Indian organizations. The IMC Juran Quality Medal was instituted by the IMC RBNQA Trust to recognize individual excellence on criteria articulated by Dr. J M Juran, the renowned Quality Guru.

And then move over to ASQ TV Episode –  Risk Management and Quality

Organizations perceive risk management in three general ways. Carol Fox, Director, Strategic and Enterprise Risk Practice, RIMS, describes the way organizations think about risk management, how risk management is evolving and why the quality community is essential to the company’s risk management function.

Our ASQ’s Influential Voice for the month is – : Cesar Diaz Guevara

Cesar Diaz Guevara is ASQ’s Country Councilor in Ecuador, where he lives and blogs. He has a background in project analysis, quality systems, and quality management. He writes in English and Spanish @ Calidad y Actitud.

Cesar Diaz Guevara’s quality ethos is summed up in one sentence: A Quality time is a time when we enjoy what we do, and in turn we provide Quality service to other human beings.

And we finally round up our present edition with Management Improvement Carnival – 2013 Edition – Tanmay Vora @ has been hosting the annual management improvement carnival (organized by John Hunter) for last 3 years. This year,  Tanmay Vora has reviewed  three blogs, featuring their best 3 posts that he enjoyed reading.

The blogs and respective posts are:

Jesse Lyn Stoner’s Blog

Why Good Teams Make Bad Decisions

The 12 Skills of Brilliant Team Members

The Six Benchmarks of High Performance Teams

James Lawther’s SquawkPoint Blog

The Simple Reason People Won’t do as You Ask

Is Your Boss Really That Stupid?

How to Sink a Ship

Jamie Flinchbaugh

Executives can’t do it alone, and must be masters of developing people

The difference between tension and stress

Integrity…don’t leave home without it

And a bonus of Related Posts, as well:

  1. People Focus – 2010 Management Improvement Carnival
  2. Annual Management Improvement Carnival: Edition 1 (2011)
  3. Annual Management Improvement Carnival: Edition 2 (2011)
  4. Management Improvement Carnival: 2012 Edition

I look forward to your active participation in enriching the blog carnival  as we pursue our journey through 2014…………….

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