Posts

Evidence-based decision making

Decision making is the forming of a causal argument that a chosen alternative will result a certain future outcome. The quality of a decision is largely dependent on the accuracy and relevance of the information on which it is based – as well as being free from subjective bias in reflecting the true needs. When poor quality or biased evidence is used for decision making, the proposed alternative will risk producing an ineffective or adverse outcome. Standards, such as ISO 9001 on quality management and ISO 16355 on QFD, therefore calls for factual decision information. Continue reading “Evidence-based decision making”

People in systems

People are a particularly dynamic resource. Firstly, they are extremely flexible and adaptable, compared to a machine. Secondly, the individual person has an independent mind, which is sensitive to its environment. People’s abilities, concentrations and commitments vary continually. People need to be equipped with the skills, knowledge, support and motivation necessary to perform their functions within the system well. People also need to be aware of the organisation’s values and objectives, and understand how they themselves contribute to meeting these. Continue reading “People in systems”

Functional vs process team groupings

Fact of the matter is that customers don’t really care what goes on inside an organisation. They raise a need and simply expect to receive a corresponding product in return. But this customer perspective is rarely what is foremost being discussed day-to-day inside the organisation. Although all the different operational areas have an overall common goal, they can often have differing and possibly even conflicting day-to-day aims. Continue reading “Functional vs process team groupings”

Management system leadership

Leadership in the quality management context is about driving the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle across the system. The organisation’s objectives are met when its leaders maintain conditions that secure the right amounts of momentum, cohesion, creativity and decisions. Think of the PDCA as a wheel that needs turning, in the right direction and without stoppages. Continue reading “Management system leadership”

Influencing transformational change

Designing a new integrated management system is relatively easy. The difficulty lays in getting everyone to stop what they are doing today and adopt the new ways and standards going forward. Implementing a new integrated management system, when none existed prior, is a transformational change and demands leadership. Continue reading “Influencing transformational change”

Engineering vs Art

Product design is about applying engineering and arts in creating or improving function, usability, ergonomics or aesthetics, to make products more marketable or their production more efficient. For purpose of illustrating the engineering and art domains’ contributions to the customer perceived value, we are for a moment taking liberty in adapting Kano’s work into a value diagram containing a Maslow self-actualisation need. It serves to illustrate relativity between engineering and arts. Continue reading “Engineering vs Art”

Quality Creation vs Quality Assurance

Quality practitioners now-a-days tend to treat the term quality assurance as being too narrow for purpose. They prefer instead to talk about quality management or quality systems. History shows that over-emphasis on the term ‘assurance’ can drive a limited kind of quality, which would not necessarily guarantee satisfaction. Continue reading “Quality Creation vs Quality Assurance”

How much dissatisfaction will customers tolerate?

Ideally, quality is naturally inherent in the product, in a way that dissatisfaction is simply never an issue. In the real world, however, organisations and their operating environments are dynamically complex. Everything that interacts has variability. The provision of a product or service will rely on hundreds, if not thousands, of small interactions Continue reading “How much dissatisfaction will customers tolerate?”

How poor development happens?

When products and services do not fully meet customer, market or an organisation’s own expectations, it is typically because of some insufficiency or oversight in the designer’s thought-process. Fixing product specification problems too often become a post-launch activity, where with benefit of hindsight the designers can be heard saying: “Why didn’t we think about this earlier; it is so obvious and could so easily have been designed in from the very beginning”? Continue reading “How poor development happens?”

Gemba

Gemba is a Japanese term, which in the QFD Voice of Customer context means to visit the actual place where the product will be used. The acclaim is that the first-hand experience of customer needs and wants in the use journey, when combined with the product designer’s technical skills and knowledge, represents an opportunity for creating value beyond what could otherwise be achieved. Continue reading “Gemba”