What is a QI project…Dec 27th, 2011 | By steven_spear | Category: Featured Article, High Velocity Organizations
A question came in: How do we define a QI project for those new to the experience?
I strongly encourage you all to look at continuous improvement and the achievement of exceptional performance as the result of a holistic approach to managing complex operating systems and not something achieved by QI projects or particular production control tools alone.
It is the difference between a healthy body, homeostatically self regulating and, on the one hand, and a sick one, subject to episodes of treatment and therapy, on the other.
The project/tool approach is relatively immature/unhealthy. The continuous adaptation is more mature–in terms of management competency–and more robust and reliable in terms of performance.
The overwhelming evidence is that exceptional performance comes in organizations capable of exceptional rates of improvement and innovation through constant learning and discovery.
The core capabilities to achieve this exceptionalism are to:
1: Design work with sufficient specificity to capture best known approaches and to operate work systems to reveal problems where and where they occur.
2: To swarm problems when seen both to contain their spread and to investigate their root causes and develop treatments/countermeasures while the problem is still ‘hot.’
3: To share and incorporate systemically what is learned locally.
4: To lead so as to develop the seeing problems, solving problems, sharing learnings behaviors.
For examples of QI done well, please see chapter 6 of The High Velocity Edge. In particular focus on the cases about building capability in Quality Circles for local improvement by lower level employees and the simultaneous system overhaul by senior leaders. (pages 196-216). You may also appreciate the case that immediately follows on 216 and the “Bob Dallis” case that opens Chapter 9.
- Standardization the prerequisite for any meaningful improvement…
- Cultivating an experimental mindset: Critical leadership skill and responsibility
- Does ‘Lean’ Become Self Perpetuating?
- Assessing Risk in Complex Systems
- Debate amongst quality movements obscures fundamental truths for achieving exceptional results…