Getting the right people involved in Kaizen Events

A kaizen event is a focused, short-term project that improves a process.  But like any project, regardless of the duration, you should always use good project management principles to lead your team to success.  One of the first steps is to identify who should participate on the team…

I had a recent conversation with a project sponsor of a kaizen event and they expressed their concern over the amount of action items that were being delegated to team members.  It left very little time for people to do their core job and added to everyone’s frustration level.

Further into the conversation you realized that process owners and stakeholders hadn’t been correctly identified, so there was a big disconnect between the people that should be attending the events versus who was actually attending.

People that were assigned actions, would spend time afterwards searching for the right person to give the action to. Here’s the kicker, the original person that was assigned the action was still responsible for reporting the status of that action…that meant they had to run around before every meeting to find out the status.

It’s at this point of the conversation I wanted to scream ‘stop the insanity’, because the event leader had created a non-value added role of the middleman to report status updates.  It turns out the project sponsor also didn’t know who the process owner or stakeholders were because roles and responsibilities had never been clearly defined.

Unfortunately, after  less than one year, kaizen events had become synonymous to something negative.  The lesson here is to always follow good project management practices, which includes identifying the right process owner and key stakeholders.  If none can be identified or it’s unclear, then you have your first kaizen event…defining roles and responsibilities of that process!


Quality Assurance Training Delivered Conveniently as Online Workshops!

Just wanted to make you aware of a new resource that’ll be available to you and your organization soon..
After the new year, I plan on offering Online Workshops. Right now you can add your name to a list to get notified when more information is available.
If you’re on the list, you’ll also be […]

Read the full article →

Speak Up About Your Nonconformance and Corrective Action Issues!

Quality Assurance Training/Online Workshops Coming Soon
I’m thinking about offering Quality Assurance training in the form of online workshops.  Initially, I want to focus on nonconformance and corrective action, and would like to expand the workshops to include other topics.
If I decide to move forward, I’d like to consider some of the issues that you’re currently […]

Read the full article →

Oops You Did it Again – Revising Standard Operating Procedures

I’m sure you’ve had this happen before, where an auditor (internal or external) has cited you with a finding, 483, or an observation that you quickly addressed by adding a line or two of information to a particular Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)…that was easy.
But then you go through another audit and find yourself making more […]

Read the full article →

Frustrated with the Quality Profession?

On occasion, I’ll get an email from a Quality professional expressing their frustrations with the profession…specifically, work cultures that show little respect or commitment to Quality.  The frustrations can be so overwhelming that you may feel like quitting your job and changing your career path to include anything but Quality.
Before you quit, you need to […]

Read the full article →

Redefine Your Quality Management Strategy

In the past Quality has always played a support role in most organizations, but if you look closely that role is slowly changing to one that’s more strategic.
A good example is the biotech industry, where you’ll occasionally see start-up companies bring in Quality Engineers and continuous improvement methodologies at the onset of their business so […]

Read the full article →

Do Performance Reviews Really Measure Performance?

After watching an episode of Undercover Boss last week, I was reminded of how ineffective employee performance reviews really were.
The show is about high-ranking officials that go undercover to see the inner workings of their company by pretending to be an employee.  The undercover boss usually finds a few standout employees that are hardworking with […]

Read the full article →

Does Personality Type Matter When Selecting a Project Team?

If you think personality types don’t matter, then think again.  As a Quality professional, there’s been many times throughout my career that I had to lead a project team.
On one occasion, I can remember working with a team to create a process map, which was just one of many tasks we had to deliver. I […]

Read the full article →

Should You Ever Reopen a Closed Non Conformance Report?

Photo: Help Key by Petr Kratochvil

You know that dreaded feeling, when you realize that you forgot to put key information in a non conformance report that’s since closed and product has been released?  Do you reopen the report or not bother?
Every time you reopen a closed non conformance report, you’re putting […]

Read the full article →

Is Your Brainstorming Session Doomed?

Have you ever wondered why a brainstorming session that you participated in or facilitated, never really got any traction?
I recently came across an article that outlines 23 reasons why most brainstorming sessions fail. The information in the article can be used as a checklist to help you avoid the most common pitfalls, or at the […]

Read the full article →