Defining your quality initiatives

Improving quality and efficiency in an organization can often seem like a difficult task, given the numerous approaches out there.  Some companies believe their quality improvement initiatives are strong enough to withstand any obstacle in the marketplace, whereas other companies fail to have a strong enough stance on the subject entirely.  This can be as a direct result of poor leadership and accountability, cultural resistance, and even poor planning.  

In a recent article posted on QualityDigest.com, George Maszle summaries an excellent input-process-output (IPO) chart, called Quality and Productivity Improvement Processes, focusing on 10 positive factors that can be implemented in the workforce for a more productive and value-based development.   Some of these factors include selecting the right people and projects, integrated training, and enterprise-wide knowledge training, to name a few. 

Once these elements are executed across the board, they create five desired quality outputs as a result, which are: … Read more...

Improvement: To be Continual… Or Continuous?

Any student of W. Edwards Deming or quality management in general is no stranger to the term ‘Continuous Improvement’.

Over here at Intelex, we use the term an awful lot, as we believe that, though it is most frequently cited in conversations on quality management, it is more of a meta-process that can be applied to all aspects of business management: environment, health, safety, governance…anything!

But a bit of an internal conversation was struck up recently as we noticed some people prefer ‘continuous’, while others use ‘continual’. So we thought we would do a little research and find out which term was correct, or if they represented two ways of stating the same thing.

Here’s a comparison chart outlining what we found (with an albeit highly unscientific methodology):

 

Metric Continual Continuous
Definition “Recurring regularly or frequently”

“Forming an unbroken whole; without interruption”

Google Pickup About 1.2 million results

About 9.5 million

Read more...

Cultivating curiosity: continuous improvement in training management

Many businesses make the mistake of approaching training as a one-time or ad hoc responsibility: employees are trained when they are hired and rarely, if ever, retrained or trained for new competencies.
Businesses cannot adequately embrace the much sought-after ideal of continual improvement until they incorporate continuous training into their business models.

It is essential to establish a training program that helps every employee realize their potential, and in turn helps the business realize its potential. Such programs should be constantly revisited and always altered due to employee, manager and customer feedback. It should be a continuous process.

One aspect of continuous training should be a program that regularly schedules learning sessions with employees to build, develop and diversify their skills and knowhow as they grow with the company.

No discussion of continuous improvement would be complete without reference to W. Edward Deming, the man responsible for quality control and its most critical mechanism, the Plan-Do-Check-Act Read more...