Operations Article Features

Mary Ann Pacelli's picture
Mary Ann Pacelli
In part one of this series, we discussed the importance of providing formal skills training and having open communication. Without further ado, here are two more workforce tips, one about cross-...
Davis Balestracci's picture
Davis Balestracci
As I was preparing this column, one of my resources referred to chapter 48 of the 2,500-year-old Tao te Ching (quoted below), which, as some of you know, is one of my favorite sources of wisdom. It...
Niranjan Deodhar's picture
Niranjan Deodhar
As process improvement practitioners, we get hired to drive waste and variation out of our clients’ businesses. But what if we hired ourselves, provided frank advice, and then...
Beamex's picture
Beamex
For more than a century, Salt River Project (SRP) has produced power and delivered water to meet the needs of its customers in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area. Today, as one of the nation’s...
Quy Huy's picture
Quy Huy
I t’s no longer a secret that most companies struggle with strategy execution. McKinsey research tells us, for example, that 70 percent of change efforts fall short of desired results. The...
Christine Schaefer's picture
Christine Schaefer
A question for devotees of the Baldrige Excellence Framework: Do people who passionately promote continuous improvement within organizations also tend to make New Year’s resolutions to improve...
Bruce Hamilton's picture
Bruce Hamilton
This is an article inspired by the glut of recent football weekends. Lou Holtz, the legendary college and pro football coach, offers the following advice to coaches everywhere: “I never learn...
Douglas C. Fair's picture
Douglas C. Fair
When a consumer goes to purchase a new car, the first thing they’ll notice is the vehicle’s make. Yes, the car may say “Toyota” or “Ford” on the outside, but what’s on the inside? In reality, the...
Mike Micklewright's picture
Mike Micklewright
I’ve made the point many times that the quality function and the lean/continuous improvement/kaizen function within an enterprise are really one and the same. Treating them as separate value...
Arun Hariharan's picture
Arun Hariharan
I don’t claim to be qualified to advise other quality professionals. However, having had an opportunity to work for many years in this field with reasonable results and also having made my share of...
Randy Long's picture
Randy Long
A study conducted by the Laboratory Accreditation Bureau of noncompliances during accreditation assessments to ISO/IEC 17025—“General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration...
George Huang's picture
George Huang
You import promotional goods from China. You're sitting at your desk, staring down at the balance sheet, burning the midnight oil again. You have an order of 20,000 pens currently in production and...
Jordy Byrd's picture
Jordy Byrd
You’re only as strong as your weakest link. Although trite, the phrase embodies what manufacturing plants and processing facilities have worked to overcome for years: How do you plan for and...
Luk Van Wassenhove's picture
Luk Van Wassenhove
Establishing a clear and consistent focus, and knowing when to change it, is the essence of manufacturing agility. Factories don’t just make things. Viewed properly, they are where the rubber of...
Michelle LaBrosse's picture
Michelle LaBrosse
What habits do you need to develop to become a more effective project manager? Maybe you need to get more organized with your paperwork, or change how you spend your time each day to stay on track...
Harry Hertz's picture
Harry Hertz
During my 25 years with the Baldrige program, I have never come across an organization that couldn’t improve its communication, no matter how good it already is. The importance of...
Mike Micklewright's picture
Mike Micklewright
To many people, the relationship between daily kaizen and statistical process control (SPC) might seem as remote as the relationship between a kangaroo and the past iconic American TV series...
Jack Dunigan's picture
Jack Dunigan
Whenever I hire a new employee, as part of his orientation I am always careful to emphasize that it would be wrong to mistake my forbearance for indifference, that while I am long-suffering and...
Gilles Hilary's picture
Gilles Hilary
Eric (not his real name) was under pressure from his sales department. He was hesitant to close a large financing deal with a Chinese corporation but had little beyond his intuition to back up his...
Dawn Bailey's picture
Dawn Bailey
Losing can actually have its benefits. For Baldrige users, however, it’s a common saying that everyone is a winner who takes that first step. The most important reason for using the ...