Archive for Joseph A. De Feo
In the current economic downturn, a lot of organizations are doing more with less. Fewer people. Less money. Same ambitious goals. Businesses have been slow to hire because of the higher productivity of the people they’ve retained.
If you’ve seen your organization’s strategic plan, you have a good idea what its goals are and some ideas about how you can help achieve them. At the same time, you’re probably busy enough not to be looking for more work. So how do you make your job more interesting and your role in the organization more valuable without burning yourself out with the effort?
The answer is to work more efficiently, and the way to do that is through process thinking. A smart question you can ask is, ‘What’s the process?’ The question gets people thinking about flaws in the process rather than blaming people for errors. Inevitably, focusing on the process triggers questions about what can be done to fix it.
If your organization has formal approaches to process management and improvement, you should learn what they are and how you can use them. If your organization doesn’t have formal approaches, or if it has them but reserves them for sanctioned process management/improvement teams, you will benefit from learning and applying some basics of process thinking.
The first is to understand what a process entails, which is captured in this SIPOC …Joseph A. De Feo | 0 comments | Continued
Section 4.2 of the Baldrige criteria ask applicants how their organization manages and grows its knowledge assets and learns. The processes behind the assurance of quality and availability of data, information, software, and hardware needed by the workforce, suppliers, partners, collaborators, and, of course, customers, are outlined. Applicants are expected to describe how they acquire their data, how they know it’s good data, and how they use it. In Dr. Joseph M. Juran’s 2004 book, Architect of Quality, he describes the birth of Statistical Quality Control at AT&T’s Hawthorne plant and puts a new perspective on the ripple effect that innovative thinking can have.
In late 1925, AT&T’s Bell Telephone Laboratories (Bell Labs) set in motion an initiative that would change inspection practices profoundly, first in Hawthorne and later in industry generally. The end result came to be known as Statistical Quality Control (SQC).
AT&T and Use of Probability Theory
The roots of Bell Labs’ initiative go back to AT&T’s use of probability theory, starting early in the twentieth century. A seminal event was M. C. Rorty’s memorandum, “Application of the Theory of Probability to Traffic Problems,” dated October 22, 1903.
When any subscriber took the telephone receiver off its hook, he or she needed to be connected to an idle trunk line and given a signal (dial tone) to go ahead and dial. The question then …Joseph A. De Feo | 0 comments | Continued
Spreading the word about Baldrige is one of the biggest challenges faced by the Baldrige community. The principles of the Criteria are simple, logical, and brilliantly successful when implemented correctly, yet sometimes it seems as though only a small segment of organizational leaders seem to know about them. Those that are in the loop are fanatics, but I think many of us struggle to understand why the rest of the world hasn’t caught on yet. At the Quest Conference earlier this month, a new session was added to the lineup that this author thinks was on the cusp of something great, which actually reminds me very much of what the EFQM Excellence Model is doing over in Europe. Let’s discuss.
At Quest this year, a session entitled Category Best Practices Panel was held. Three organizations were represented; Maury Regional Medical Center, Northwest Vista College, and PricewaterhouseCoopers Public Sector Practice. Each group shared best practices from two categories of the Criteria, and one of the common threads throughout the session was the subject of benchmarking, both within and outside of their industries. They told about the specifics within their strategic plans, and why they did things the way they did. For example, Maury Regional Medical Center made a point of observing the Baldrige examiner teams interviewing their employees, so that they could get a feel for the culture of their organization …Joseph A. De Feo | 0 comments | Continued
A recent FastCompany article entitled “How the Most Successful Brands Take a Peek into the Future” wound itself around a handful of facets that a successful futures-insights company should embrace. The author, Mark McNeilly, wrote about organizations having the ability to take advantage of the future by listening to their customers, competitors, and comparables. Perhaps inadvertently, he has summarized a number of Baldrige criteria questions, and in doing so gave yet another example of how Baldrige can be applied in any organization, regardless of size or industry.
Real-time marketing requires a team of coordinated, aware, and proactive individuals. With the mindset of out-performing competitors, most companies have turned to social media to try and get a better grasp of their who their customers are, and engage in “culture conversations.” McNeilly writes about Oreo’s use of Twitter during the Super Bowl blackout: “Within the hour the tweet had been RT’d over 10,000 times. Oreo was successful at executing their marketing virtually instantaneously because its social media trackers, agency creatives, and marketing execs were all co-located.” In Baldrige lingo, what Oreo did answered the questions in section 3.1 (VOTC) referring to using social media to listen to, interact with, and observe customers, as well as section 3.2 (Customer Engagement) on leveraging social media to enhance customer engagement and relationships with the organization. They were very aware of what their …Joseph A. De Feo | 0 comments | Continued
Many organizations use the criteria from national quality awards for the benefit of getting a thorough organizational assessment, often with no intent of even applying for award recognition. There are various methods that can be used to complete an assessment, based upon many factors, including the size and geography of the organization, the number of facilities, and the availability of internal expertise to conduct an assessment.
Without completing a formal application, organizations can use a question-and-answer approach to respond to the criteria question from an awards program. There could be multiple responses for each question if more than one input is desired for the response. Some more advanced formats for written responses could seek more probing information for each question. For example, a Baldrige-based written response questionnaire may be formatted to seek a specific response for approach, deployment, learning, and integration for each process-related question. This provides richer information for the purposes of scoring the application using the awards process scoring guidelines.
This approach can be used to gather assessment input from a large number of people. Questions are designed to gather the collective input of the performance of the organization as it relates to the awards criteria. The Baldrige National Quality program provides a free survey for this purpose called Are We Making Progress? This is a 40-question survey which can be completed in about 10 …Joseph A. De Feo | 0 comments | Continued
It’s not every year that a city wins the Mac Baldrige Award; in fact, Irving is only the second to have ever done it. Part of the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Irving contains Las Colinas, one of the first master-planned developments in the United States. The Dallas-Fort Worth Airport also falls within its 68 square miles. The city is over a hundred years old, but didn’t see much growth until the manufacturing, transportation, and finance industries moved in during the 1930s, opening the doors for huge organizations like Citigroup, Verizon, Nokia, Allstate, Microsoft, Neiman Marcus, ExxonMobil, and Kimberly-Clark. In 2011, Irving was awarded the Texas Award for Performance Excellence, qualifying it for the big B.
So, how did they do it? Mayor Beth Van Duyne reached out for some extra help. Freese and Nichols, Inc. is a multi-discipline consulting firm that offers services in engineering, architecture, environmental science, planning, construction services, and program management. It doesn’t hurt that they are 2010 Baldrige Award recipients, and based out of Fort Worth, Texas. Freese and Nichols worked with Irving through their initial processes, helped review Irving’s application, practice for site visits, and did mock interviews with innumerable staff members in an effort to help make everyone on the city payroll to become more comfortable with the Baldrige Criteria. In addition, they shared best practices, and considering that F&N received the National and Tarrant …Joseph A. De Feo | 0 comments | Continued
Intelligent Risks – Opportunities for which the potential gain outweighs the potential harm or loss to your organization’s sustainability if you do not explore them. Taking intelligent risks requires a tolerance for failure and an expectation that innovation is not achieved by initiating only successful endeavors.
Strategic Opportunities – Prospects that arise from outside-the-box thinking, brainstorming, capitalizing on serendipity, research and innovation processes, nonlinear extrapolation of current conditions, and other approaches to imagining a different future. Choosing which strategic opportunities to pursue involves consideration of relative risk, financial and otherwise, and then making intelligent choices (intelligent risks).
This year, NIST added the two terms above to their glossary. These two new terms summarize the changes made to the criteria in a more succinct way than I ever could, but I’ll lay out the differences further below. The purpose of revising the Criteria is “that the Criteria always reflect the leading edge of validated management practice,” inevitably leading to sustainability and success when orchestrated with an organization management program. Some of the more significant changes and their rationale are outlined below
1. The information and decision process for work systems has been incorporated into the strategic planning category.
- Why? Decisions about what should be made or supplied outside the company, core competencies, and how to engage customers are made by senior leaders, and need to be integrated into the strategic planning