Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs – August 2013

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

It indeed makes a good sense, to keep re-visiting some of the fundamental topics periodically and re-fresh, re-test and re-validate the foundation of our thinking. We begin our journey for the current edition with one of the founding block of Quality – ISO 9001, and the fundamental subject of need and importance of work instruction.

Difference Between Process, Procedures and Work Instructions is that of breadth and depth. A process defines the big picture and highlights the main elements of your business–breadth.  A procedure captures those elements and adds more information for functional responsibilities, objectives, and methods–depth.  Your work instructions fill in more detail for your procedures with detailed specifics–more depth. And since, A work instruction is simply what the name implies, instructions to do work, ISO 9001 clause 7.5.1 work instructions meticulously examines why the clause 7.5.1 of ISO 9001 does not refer to ‘work instruction’.

We have a similar, fundamental, ever-interesting, and extensive discussed and debated topic of Training.

Global State of Quality: Professional Training, on the basis of  ASQ’s Global State of Quality research has some interesting facts on this matter:
# “Organizations that govern quality with a centralized group are roughly 30 percent more likely to provide quality training to staff than organizations where a senior executive governs the quality process”.


# The research also shows that “the majority of organizations have a fairly narrow training scope by providing quality-related training to staff directly involved in the quality process. Only a handful of organizations provide quality training to all staff”

Is it because the training is perceived more as and end that meets ISO 9001 Training Requirements, and is not being very creatively as tool that can, at the minimum,  go long way in retaining the interest of an employee in the work, and at a higher level can be a great tool for the employee engagement.?

A happy (retained) employee and their voluntary engagement would work volumes in so far as all round aspects Quality – of goods & services, service to customers, care of other stakeholder’s interests and the work environment  are concerned.

The two quotes mentioned in Tim McMahon’s  The Worst Waste of All: Lack of Employee Involvement  aptly sum the message of the article – Thinking you can’t is the worst form of waste because it thwarts your tackling the other, more-familiar forms of waste – : Henry Ford probably said it best when he noted, “You can think you can achieve something or you can think you can’t and you will be right.”. AND “Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checked by failure…than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a grey twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt.

In this regards, Nicole Radziwill in her blog Quality and Innovation , aiming to explore “quality and productivity & innovation in socio-technical systems, presents “unique quality orientation” at Max’s in Making Quality Standards a Collaborative Game the service staff and the customer!

That also reminded me to search for some concise material on “Mumbai’s Dabbawala”’s  as an example of the all-round qualitative benefits of the engagement of the people in their work.  Among several excellent presentations available on Slide Share, we take  a look at one representative presentation – The Wonder of Mumbai Dabbawalas.- by Targetseo’s Paavan Solanki.

If the Quality professional think why have been talking of such a fundamental people issue on A Carnival of Quality Management articles, a visit to Tanmay Vora’s SHRM Top 20 Indian HR Influencers Active on Social Media 2013, wherein he talks about the challenge for those who wish to make a difference is to generate influence and reaffirms his belief: Excellence is a product of leading people well and every manager, in that sense, is an HR Manager. Building a culture of excellence is not just a departmental job of HR, it is everybody’s job. And to further buttress the point, we have his recognition as #3 in “Top 20 Indian HR Influencers Active on Social Media 2013”’

Indeed, an occasion to celebrate for all Quality professionals, and to heartily felicitate Mr. Tanmay Vora for practicing his deep-rooted fundamental beliefs as a true Quality Professional  and commitments to the basic values of Quality profession.

Dan Rockwell, in How to Get What You Want presents us one more fundamental aspect that also is  well applicable to the practices of Quality Thinking, when he states that to get(ing) what you want, do give what you want.

We will continue drawing inspirations for our ‘fellow’ disciplines.

Seth Godin – Marketing driven or Market driven?  – succinctly underlines the issue that “there are organizations driven by Sales, by Shareholder Relations and by Operations and Tech too. Even a few, those seem to be run by the Employee-happiness Department. Not many, though. Even in these organizations, the option remains: you can be market driven instead. The first step is to choose your market…”.

No thorough-bred Quality Professional would deny the importance of sustained competitive advantage that can accrue from the customer-orientation in its true form!

Rajesh Setty’s ‘The most MEANINGFUL competitive advantage’ emphatically underscores “the ability to scale   your [and, the quality professional’s as well] ability to care, because so many people out there pretend to care.

That (ability to care) is also emphasized by Vineet Nayar [HCL Technologies] in his article Three Differences Between Managers and Leaders, wherein he has provided three simple tests to find out when [the {quality} professional] has “crossed over from being a manager to a leader:

  •   Counting Value vs. Creating Value
  •   Circles of Power vs. Circles of Influence
  •   Managing Work vs. Leading People

Mark Netzel, Quality Director at J.B. Stamping Inc., Cleveland/Akro recommends us link to Report of the PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION on the Space Shuttle Challenger Accident , which “is a Good article on root cause investigation of the space shuttle explosion years ago.”  The detailed report of the exhaustive hearings is followed by “Actions to Implement the Recommendations of the Presidential Commission on the Space Shuttle  Challenger Accident” and “IMPLEMENTATION OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS  of the Presidential Commission on the Space Shuttle Challenger Accident”.
Now we turn on to our ‘regular’ sections.

In ASQ TV Episode 6: Certifications,  we catch up with ASQ past chair Jim Rooney as he discusses the value of achieving professional certifications, how they’re different from a certificate and how to choose the right certification for you. Hear from ASQ certification-holders about how certifications have helped them in their careers, and learn some study strategies to help you prepare for an exam.

This month we visit ASQ CEO Paul Borawski @ ASQ’s Influential Voices who generates discussion on quality topics and trends on his blog, A View from the Q. Paul looks to the global quality community to add to the sharing insight and comments about how quality is transforming the world.

As CEO of ASQ, Paul Borawski’s influence and progressive managerial concepts are what drive the world’s leading community of people passionate about quality.

Paul BorawskiAs part of his role, Paul guides and oversees ASQ’s global development, including growth strategies for its offices in Mexico, China and India. ASQ’s family of resources also includes RABQSA International, and the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation board.

The European Organization for Quality awarded him the Georges Borel medal in 2006 for his contributions to the European Community. He was also named “one of the most influential people in the field of quality” by Quality Digest magazine in 2005.

Paul’s passion for quality goes beyond the plaques that hang on his office walls.  He derives his enthusiasm and energy from people who seek the next new idea, a unique new approach, and the drive to incorporate quality into every aspect of life. He revels in environments where knowledge is grown and people collaborate to create the future they want.

Let us peep in at the fare that his blog presents:

Roundup: How and Why Quality Professionals Use Social Media
We don’t always think of quality professionals using social media for professional networking. Yet according to ASQ’s Influential Voices bloggers, many do just that—and most use social platforms beyond blogging.

And we finally round up our present edition with –
Management Improvement Carnival #198

We did look at this month’s Carnival from a somewhat different angle.

I eagerly look forward to your views on the alternative approaches that we have shared all these months….so as to enable me to keep searching for more and more material that we would like to see at these Carnivals…..

Seth’s Blog: Gift wrapped

Seth’s Blog: Gift wrapped.

“Too often, we overlook the value of imagination and dreams and the _____. fill in the blank and we can prove we did a good job.” is gauntlet the author has thrown to all of us.

If you choose attitude, as is indicated by Shri Tanmay Vora, in his blog-post “the  Attitude of Quality”, then ‘people [and their attitude] are at the core of excellence.’

I would put my bet on Commitment [or Determination] of Action. A dream not supported by a determined action, arising from a dogged commitment remains a dream only, and not the reality of success.

Seth’s Blog: After you’ve done your best

Seth’s Blog: After you’ve done your best.

One certainly can learn from the failures only, only if you know – why,how and what.
That is why failing the right way would remain an art.   

Seth’s Blog: There’s nothing wrong with having a plan

Seth’s Blog: There’s nothing wrong with having a plan.

The plans can fail because

  • either the design was not adequate and complete, missing some vital elements that would affect input or process or output, OR
  • it was not implemented the way it was designed, OR
  • some of the external environmental factors did not behave as expected in the plan design, OR
  • perhaps the target was too high vis-a-vis planned or available resources.
But the mission is what the plan aims to achieve. The mission can undergo change, as it should, ordinarily.
One may give up the mission. but, that still is not mission’s [intrinsic ] failure. It is the failure of that individual who had dreamed that mission.

Seth’s Blog: Are you doing math or arithmetic?

Seth’s Blog: Are you doing math or arithmetic?.

How so well said!

The joy of living the life of a ‘mathematician’ is equivalent to ‘taking untroddden path’ , as prophesied by Robert Frost.

Rabindranath Tagore also seems to be of the same opinion when he says, carry on alone, if not one joins on hearing your call.

Ayn Rand’s philosophy also pitches for individualism, in a different context.

Seth’s Blog: Questions for a new entrepreneur

Seth’s Blog: Questions for a new entrepreneur.

Really a smart piece, more for its brevity.

The last line is The Punch Line [of course, in my view], reproduced here – “why? Why are you doing this at all?”

Even as answering this question is universally important for any phase of anybody’s personal and professional lives [ so also, for the organizations], the truth full rely, including the genesis of the reasons – has profound bearing on initial and sustenance phases of  Entrepreneurship.

Seth’s Blog: When is it okay to start worrying?

Seth’s Blog: When is it okay to start worrying?.

We repeat the last paragraph of the post here:

“Worrying is not a useful output. Worrying doesn’t change outcomes. Worrying ruins your day. Worrying distracts you from the work at hand. You may have fooled yourself into thinking that it’s useful or unavoidable, but it’s not. Now you’ve got one more thing to worry about.”

For most of us, commencing to worry over why we are not worrying would be natural!!!

My own approach is: Think over the matter, if there seems to a some possibility for overcoming the block, do continue to think with a view to formulate the strategy. However, if there appears no way out, better sleep over the matter –  i.e. keep the matter farthest when you go to sleep. Next day, review once more. If still no solution within the horizon, then be best prepared to handle the matter ‘as and when comes ‘…………………….

Seth’s Blog: Cities don’t die (but corporations do)

Seth’s Blog: Cities don’t die (but corporations do).

During my stay of almost 8 years in Kutch – a sparsely populated,largely lagging in industrial or commercial activities till last few years area in the western part of India – we did come across many villages,almost if not completely, dead, simply because all those young and capable citizens had left for greener pastures, leaving very old and otherwise not very enterprising people in the villages. Villages wore countenance of a highly frail old person. Not dead, but almost at the brink of death.

I really wonder whether this can be brought under ‘ failure at the fringes’ and (gross) deviant behavior!

Seth’s Blog: The power of visualization

Seth’s Blog: The power of visualization.

The real test of any written document or a presentation , or for that matter any ‘creation’ is its ability to hold the initial attention and then direct the visitor to the goal of the creation.

If the visitor can, then, get actively involved in the creation , may or may not agree or like, then, the creator has won half the battle.

If the visitor can fully comprehend the creation, the purpose of the creator – which resulted in the creation – is well achieved.

Seth’s Blog: Skinnier

Seth’s Blog: Skinnier.

Yes, indeed.

If one does not continue to feel skinnier for everything new happening around, the person has either reached the state of Total Knowledge  [કેવળ જ્ઞાન] in that case the person is ready for Freedom [મોક્ષ] from the worldly charms [માયા] or the person is [if not physically , then for all practical purposes] Dead.

The secret art of the game is to keep the cup empty enough to keep on receiving and digesting the continuous streams pouring in with each of the new events happening around.