1. The Cult of Six Sigma and PodCasts

    May 12, 2009 by

    In a recent survey it was found that from 20 improvement tools that Six Sigma was the least popular.. with 22% of respondents indicating they used Six Sigma.  Whilst this % is relatively high (more than 1 in 5 organisations) I was a little surprised that it was the least popular considering the publicity and fanfare it has received over the past five years.

    Obviously least popular does not mean that it is not effective. Popularity and effectiveness do not necessarily go together.. Also, perhaps, some industries are more likely to apply this technique than others – perhaps Service Industries do not see the relevance of Six Sigma as much as other industries where data may be more readily available or perhaps some organisations think that they are too small to get the benefits from Six Sigma. 

    Some answers to the relevance of Six Sigma to Service Industries and Small Organisations and an excellent overview of the technique has been provided by Alan Skinner of the Faculty of Business, University of Sydney. Go to the PodCast here to hear Alan's views.

    Also, if you are aware of other useful PodCasts or Videos showing the use of quality tools or best practices, please let us know at the BPIR.com.

    Thanks 

    Dr Robin Mann

    Co-owner, BPIR.com Limited. 


  2. More evidence that social networking sites are good for you – honest!

    April 2, 2009 by admin

    In a follow up to my previous blog on Social Networking I came across some new research saying how social networking sites are good for you…

    Melbourne University’s Dr Brent Coker says workers who surf the internet for leisure, known as `Workplace Internet Leisure Browsing’ (WILB), are more productive than those who don’t. Read more here…

    This means there is now convincing evidence that even using non-work related social networking sites are good for you.. Wink Just think how more productive you will become when BPIR launches its work-related social networking site…

    Happy networking

    Regards Robin

    (Dr Robin Mann, Commercial Director and Part-Owner, BPIR.com Limited).

     


  3. Questions on Quality Management

    March 12, 2009 by admin

    Hello all,,,

    My name is Ahmed, the newest member in BPIR.com team and this is my first blog, I would like to share with you some questions I’m thinking about.

    What is the future of quality? What is the next big thing? What does the future hold for the profession after the recent global financial crisis?

    Ideally, quality professionals are the people that organisations rely on to search for improvements and eliminate wastes, is this what is happening currently?
    Have you noticed that quality departments have become smaller!!! while its roles and knowledge are spread throughout all the functions and departments in most organisations, in my opinion this means quality is everyone-job now, all employees should know and put in practice some quality tools and techniques not just the responsibility of business excellence or quality control department.
    That’s good thing for organisations (I mean the knowledge part not the smaller quality departments part) and overtime will result in developing quality culture but this will result in demand for more specific solutions and more tailor made programmes which is a new challenge for quality service providers for businesses (B2B) such as accreditation bodies and research agencies, how to address the very specific needs of other quality professionals in different sectors such as healthcare, education and food such challenge faced ISO9001 earlier and resulted in developing sector specific versions (ISO / TS 29001 for petrochemicals, TL9000 for Telco and ISO13485:2003 for design and manufacture of medical devices, etc..).

    Fortunately, we have very good tool that can bridge the gap between two processes in two different entities in two different sectors, which is Benchmarking.

    But Benchmarking as a process may takes significant time and resources so we need to do something to help us to accelerate the process and make life easier. Well, here comes another question, what will happen if we mixed a performance resource with web 2.0 technologies into one website?

    So, what does the future hold for us?

    This is what you will experience in the next few weeks.

    Best regards,

    Ahmed

    My BlogCatalog BlogRank


  4. People, Priorities, and Wee-Early-Hours Finishes

    November 11, 2008 by admin

    Sat here in my usual apparent stupor, mouth open, eyes fixed – in between bursts of soft tap tap tapping on the keyboard – I am fiercely concentrating on the inside.  Its 2.17am according to my laptop. As usual I am working towards one of many regular weekly deadlines, any of which, if I miss, will affect people; individuals.  These take priority in my life over less personal deadlines that may in fact affect the company bottom line more significantly.  Why do I prioritise so?  And why do I place my own work-life balance, and even health, at so much risk on their behalf?   Thinking about this takes me back to an incident on eBay a couple of years ago when I invoked a ‘gentlemen’s rule’.  An item I had received was not as per the description advertised.  It was a mistake; nothing devious.  The seller, Jared, agreed to take back the item and pay for the postage too – both ways.  He ended up paying more in postage than the worth of the item he had intended to sell.   He said, in an email, “people before money, mate” when I thanked him for being so gracious.  

    Jared’s comment has stayed with me ever since.   He was right of course and is one of the ‘good guys’, but the point I want to make is that, increasingly, business is becoming more about individuals and relationships than about supply and demand.  The arrival of Web 2.0 and networking concepts referred to in previous posts here, and our deliberate move to orientate the BPIR resource towards a more personal relationship-based approach, is part of the natural evolution in our society.  Looking back, this change started to build up steam a couple of decades ago when terms such as ‘internal customer’,‘supplier-relationship’, and ‘customer-supplier partnership’ became new buzz-words in contemporary management jargon.  Mergers and Acquisitions gave way to Strategic Partnerships and Alliances, Collaborative Projects, and Joint Ventures.  The reality of these brave new concepts is of course that they were built around trust and strong relationships between the leaders of the participant organizations.  The coincidence of relationship-based enabling technologies and the ‘survival’ need for businesses to become more sharing, open to alliances and partnerships, and to identify and nurture Human Capital has forced an almost quantum leap in a few short years.  I have always believed that every business is a ‘people business’, but recognition of this is only now growing strongly.

    Well, I’d better crack on.  I just thought I’d share those thoughts with you since they derailed me from my work. It’s now almost 3am and I’d like to accomplish a few more tasks before bed. 

    Nitey-nite

    Steve

    General dog’s body, grafter, and MD of BPIR.com Limited  ” A boss with no humor is like a job that is no fun”


  5. Benchmarking and Social Networking

    by admin

    Hello all

    I thought I would share with you our next phase of development for the BPIR.com and hopefully get some feedback from you.

    Currently the BPIR.com is an information resource. It contains one of the largest collections of best practices, benchmarks, self-assessment tools etc on the web.. However, with recent developments in web technology and the growing interest in social networking we are now planning to introduce the 2nd phase of development. This will transform the BPIR into an information and networking resource.

    I recently attended the 3rd International Benchmarking Conference in Hungary, www.bestpracticeconference.com. Much of the talk here was to do with how technology can support benchmarking. One of the most interesting presentations was by Aad Streng, Corporate Quality, Philips.   Philips found that few people will implement a good idea without first consulting the owner of the idea/best practice. Hence, Aad emphasised that it is at least as important to connect people to people than to connect people to information. Aad then talked about how Philips through its profiling/social networking tools was encouraging its employees to network and learn from each other – with over 130,000 employees worldwide it was essential that knowledge was transferred effectively company-wide and social networking technology had a key role in this.

    Moving back to the BPIR… By May 2009 all our members will be able to develop their own personal and organisational profiles, share best practices, benchmarks and information on the tools they use. Members will be able to search and contact others to find information and collaborate on benchmarking projects. We will also be encouraging this sharing through providing a number of best practice awards to those organisations/people that share their best practices with others. All in all we want to make the BPIR the No.1 website for sharing best practices so that if you have a certain problem or issue you can raise it with our membership and obtain good ideas on how to move forward.

    For further information on social networking and the use of technology I have provided links to three interesting articles:

    Overview on Web 2.0 and social software – This is a short paper written by the Global Benchmarking Network that provides a simple introduction and explanation of Web 2.0 technology. Read full article: Overview of Web 2.0 and Social Software

    Social networking sites good for business – Good news for workers addicted to Facebook, Bebo and MySpace, a British think-tank says bosses should not stop their staff using social networking sites because they could actually benefit their firms.  The report by Demos said encouraging employees to use networking technologies to build relationships and closer links with colleagues and customers could help businesses rather than damage them. Click here for full article.

    Towards NHS 2.0 –  This white paper discusses the changes in the UK’s National Health Service. It draws parellels between the changes from a Web 1.0 (being fed generic information) to a Web 2.0 (networking and personalised information) environment and a Health 1.0 and Health 2.0 environment. It discusses what this means for patients and clinicians. Read full article: Towards NHS 2.0

    So, how can you help the BPIR? Please let me know what functionality you would like in the BPIR from a social networking perspective? How can we best help you to build up your networks and learn from other organisations? What service would help you the most?

    Looking forward to hearing from you,  Robin

    (Dr Robin Mann, Commercial Director and Part-Owner, BPIR.com Limited).