July 8, 2010 | Barb Carr

The Building Blocks of a Good Quality Program… is it in the Name?

TQM, TQC, TOC, PDCA, Six Sigma, Lean, Lean Sigma, MBO, 8D… just to mention a few Quality Programs many in the world of Quality have been exposed to…. but is it the name of or the effectiveness of the process that make a good Quality Improvement Program? Seems like a silly question until you have lived in the world of change.

…..”Six Sigma is not the same as TQM”

…. “Lean Six Sigma is definitely better than Six Sigma”

…. “Is it a Lean Project or a Six Sigma Project?”

Each new buzz was normally preceded by a period of frustration, low morale and a loss money followed by blame or a feeling of hopelessness. Often employee’s were also taught the term of “empowerment” which led to suggestions with no follow up by management. Each time a new process with a new name was introduced, we would “throw the baby out with the bath water.” So a new name was also perceived by many as reinventing the wheel in the name of rebuilding an Effective Quality Program.

So why reinvent the wheel? Why not forgot the name, identify the strengths and weaknesses of your current quality program processes and improve what really needs to be improved. This is the proper way to spend your money and time for the best return on investment and acceptance of your employees.

So the burning platform, pain and frustration felt by many in charge of ensuring quality processes sustain, is still a current issue addressed by many professionals that I met at ASQ World Conference this year. They were not arguing on whether it was 8D or Lean Six Sigma. The good thing is that many are realizing that numerous tools and processes previously divided into opposing teams can be combined without a large new program investment.

With that said one area of common interest by many at the ASQ Conference was Root Cause Analysis. The interest was not in how to calculate significance or sigma level because most there could calculate these with their eyes closed. The interest was in how to reduce bias, widen root cause perspectives and to add more qualitative substance behind the numbers. There were two Root Cause Booths at the conference….. guess whose booth had the most traffic, the TapRooT® Booth where we were able to share a portion of our process that could easily be combined with all the current processes listed above to gain more value and quality sustainability.

Every other week on this blog, I will dig a little deeper into current Quality Program frustrations. To help guide these posts to your quality needs, please chime in and post your issue of the week.

Here is the previous article in case you missed it: http://www.taproot.com/content/category/quality/

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