1. South African Quality Institutes latest news

    April 26, 2015 by ahmed

    South African Quality Institute (SAQI) http://www.saqi.co.za is the national body that co-ordinates the Quality effort in South Africa. Their monthly newsletter is an excellent source of information to keep up with the latest quality issues in South Africa.


    • The Customer Driven Organization: Employing the Kano Model, by Lance B. Coleman
    • Quality Qualification progress in South Africa, by Paul Harding
    • The Cost of not developing skills, by Jacques Snyders
    • Sustainability depends on a strong Governance Framework, by Terrance M. Booysen
    • Jumping kids is ability, by Jacques Snyders
    • Quinton has learnt Quality principles, by Richard Hayward

    Click here to download download this newsletter.








  2. Insights from Leaders of 2014 Baldrige Award Recipients (Part 2)

    by ahmed
    Leaders of 2014 Baldrige Award recipient

    Leaders of 2014 Baldrige Award recipient organizations and Commerce Department Deputy Secretary Bruce Andrews watch the procession of the United States Joint Service Color Guard during the Baldrige Award Ceremony on Sunday, April 12, 2015.

    Originally posted on Blogrige by Dawn Marie Bailey

    Read the first part of this series that features 2014 Baldrige Award recipients PricewaterhouseCoopers Public Sector Practice and St. David’s HealthCare.

    Award recipients during the leadership plenary of the Baldrige Program’s Quest for Excellence® Conference this week. Following are detailed highlights from those leadership presentations.

    Jayne Pope, CEO, Hill Country Memorial Hospital

    There is a tourist attraction just north of town—a large granite formation called Enchanted Rock. According to Jayne Pope, CEO of 2014 Baldrige Award winner Hill Country Memorial, that rock represents the history of the nonprofit, rural hospital in the hill country of Texas and its climb to serve its community, getting better and better year after year.

    “Any one of you who has made a climb knows that some of the most beautiful vistas are along the way,” she said. “We at Hill County Memorial have been able to turn, and we have seen some beautiful sights, some wonderful accomplishments. Yet, we can’t linger, because we know as leaders, the real work is what lies ahead. . . . Once you have committed to a climb . . . you are obligated to find the best, safest, most efficient road to the top. . . . We have integrated the Baldrige Criteria to help us get through our climb.”

    Pope said the independent, non-tax-supported hospital is the economic and civic backbone of its communities. Opened in 1971, community members literally collected coins in mason jars to start the hospital, with over 90 percent participating in the fund drive.

    Hill Country continues today as a center for caring and compassion, with every workforce member appreciating its “legacy of trust” with the community and demonstrating very impressive results:

    • distinction as a 100-top U.S. hospital four years in a row, five times in its history
    • number one in the nation for patient satisfaction
    • physician and employee satisfaction in the top decile

    Said Pope, “The Baldrige Criteria are what has propelled these results.”

    The hospital answered its community obligation not by thinking small but with “a powerful promise,” she said. Adopting the “proactive, innovative attitude of [its] founders,” the hospital redefined its mission in two words: “Remarkable Always,” with “remarkable” defined as performing in the top decile in America—and that’s across all hospitals, large and small, urban and rural, every hospital industry standard.

    Hill Country also lives by a motto, “keep it simple and remember what we are here for”: an aspirational and brief vision (“Empower others. Create healthy.”) and a measurable and clear mission.

    “Before we engaged with the Baldrige Criteria, we thought that we wanted to be the best community hospital anywhere,” Pope said. “And then we started to use the Baldrige Criteria, and we started to dream bigger. We thought about being the best hospital in the nation.”

    Pope shared leadership lessons that Hill Country has learned:

    • Developing services tailored for its “independent-natured” community in and outside the hospital, with services such as hospice, home health, a farmer’s market for healthy choices, community industries for free health screenings, and a wellness center.
    • Creating core competencies that differentiate the hospital in its industry and market and really living those competencies.
    • Building relationships with patients and staff. Pope said the role of a leader is to remove obstacles for team members so that they can go above and beyond to serve patients; “It’s my job as a leader to serve the people who serve the people.”
    • Integrating the values into everything that we do. Pope said patients know when staff are living the values, as evidenced through strong customer engagement results. As CEO, Pope personally screens physicians to ensure that their personal values align with the hospital’s values, and all team members are coached to ensure their work aligns with the values. “Not a day goes by at Hill Country Memorial when you will not hear, ‘How does that fit with our values?’” she said.
    • Being accountable to the mission. Pope defined the core competency of “execution” as really living the mission; setting a big picture goal, determining how to measure it, and monitoring it along the way. “As leaders, we believe we have the accountability to build a culture that we’re all on the same page, . . . so that’s we’re able to be working in sync.”
    • Being transparent. Pope said leaders share the desire to always get better for the sake of others. In a changing market, this is done by holding leaders accountable and ensuring transparency with the board, community, physicians, and workforce. “The leadership system is about doing right,” she said.

    In 2007, Pope said the hospital looked at where it performed against other top hospitals. “We weren’t great,” she said. “We recognized that we needed a framework to help get us to the top, so we chose the Baldrige framework. . . . Year after year after year, we got better, until now we’re in the top 1 percent in the nation.”

    In regards to the climb to always get better, Pope said, “We’re not perfect. We’re not at the summit. We have opportunities to learn. . . . .We can’t linger, our real work is ahead.”

    Gerry Agnes, CEO, Elevations Credit Union

    In 1953, 12 individuals at the University of Colorado contributed about $50 to a cash box; individuals making deposits at 2014 Baldrige Award winner Elevations Credit Union now number about 108,000.

    Defining a credit union as a nonprofit, financial cooperative, CEO Gerry Agnes said the community-based organization may be small but competes with some of the largest financial organizations in the world. That was one thing he said he learned from Baldrige: identify who you benchmark/compete against. Credit unions have about 6% of the market, but that does not mean they can’t compete “mightily,” he said.

    Agnes shared lessons he’s learned from leading the credit union on its Baldrige quality journey, which started in 2008 with the question, “Just how good are we?”

    Of course, the year was 2008, the midst of the financial crisis. Although one in four residents in Elevation’s primary market was a member of the credit union, capital wasn’t growing nearly as quickly as it was for competitors, neither was there significant growth for the credit union in members or assets.

    “Many people were asking us why would you spend financial capital and human resources to undertake [the challenge of adopting the Baldrige framework] in the middle of a crisis. And we thought to ourselves, we’re really at a fork in the road,” Agnes said. “If we take the wrong fork, we might end up in mediocrity. . . . We wanted to make sure we understood who we are, where we’re going, and how we are going to get there.”

    Agnes shared some of his leadership lessons:

    • Build your foundation with the core values and vision; ask how are you going to get there?
    • Make adopting the Baldrige framework about a journey to excellence not winning the award.
    • Create a safe environment to be honest. Citing the line “you can’t handle the truth” from the movie A Few Good Men, Agnes said he was reminded that “in organizations, truth is often really hard to handle. . . . If I had one goal to measure my success, it would be, have I created an environment with my team that is safe, where we can have brutally honest conversations about salient matters that will benefit our members, our employees, our community.”
    • Get input and buy-in from all employees and the board of directors. “At the end of the day, employees want to be seen, heard, and valued,” he said. “People were starting to see that we valued their input and actually took action on it. They realized it was safe to ask [difficult] questions. That enabled us to persevere.”
    • Acknowledge the “pain curve.” Agnes said the credit union thought it was doing pretty well, but then employees really started looking at the data and realized they may not be doing as well as they thought. “It’s quite remarkable that over time our perceptions and reality got closer and closer,” he said.
    • Celebrate victories, large and small. “Relish every one of them,” Agnes said. “Because if you celebrate with your team, you rejuvenate their spirits and keep that momentum going.”
    • Actively plan. Agnes said Elevations is very proud of its “operational rhythm,” which includes actively managing its strategic plan: “Our plan is not something that sits back and collects dust.”

    With honest conversations and a culture permeated by continuous improvement, Agnes said Elevation’s quality journey got some momentum, and the results were clear. By 2014, Elevations had seen 2 to 1 growth in capital, 6 to 1 growth in membership, and 2 to 1 growth in assets. This “stark contrast of results stemmed from the Baldrige framework,” he said.

    Member-centricity was our winning strategy, with fully engaged employees and a very loyal member base, Agnes said; the “financial results are the byproduct of employees serving our members and doing a great job.” He added, “My job as CEO is to turn this organization over to the next CEO in better shape than it is today, and through the Baldrige framework, we [will be] able to do that.”

  3. Sheikh Mohammad launches fourth generation of government excellence system in Dubai

    April 20, 2015 by ahmed
    Shaikh Mohammed and Shaikh Maktoum at the launching of the fourth generation of the government excellence system

    Shaikh Mohammed and Shaikh Maktoum at the launching of the fourth generation of the government excellence system

    Originally posted on Gulf News

    The aim of the fourth generation of the government excellence system is to upgrade the system of government work on innovative basis

    His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice- President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has launched the fourth generation of the government excellence system which is the first of its kind across the globe that focuses on results and was designed to develop government performance.

    The aim of the fourth generation of the government excellence system is to upgrade the system of government work on innovative basis and standards based on achieved results as a foundation for excellence in government services in three main areas: achieving the vision, innovation and empowerment in realising the highest satisfaction rates and people’s happiness.

    “Today we have launched the fourth generation of the government excellence system representing a new phase of excellence to which we aspire in the work of the government. It paints a proactive approach to the governments of the future to serve our people and country. It is also a completion of the path of excellence that we started 20 years ago when we launched the Dubai Quality Award,” Shaikh Mohammad said.

    “We have come a long way of successful excellence, and the world at large has witnessed to that. Our country has come in first places and topped global competitiveness indexes. Today we want to build over this achievement to move to a new stage in work titled: excellence based on the results,” he added.

    “In the race toward the first place we look to excellence as a challenge rather than an achievement. Achievement is what we realize for the future of our people; while the march of excellence is continuous and does not stop at any limits or borders, however it goes through various stages. The race for excellence does not recognize the limits of time and space,” he further indicated.

    The fourth generation of the government excellence system was launched at the presence of Shaikh Maktoum Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Mohammad Abdullah Al Gargawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs.

    Shaikh Mohammad also reviewed some stages of the government excellence process which began in 1994, with the “Dubai Quality Award”. At the time, it drew the first steps toward achieving excellence in the private sector through the adoption of best practices and trends and the construction phase, which was launched in 1997, through the Dubai Award for Government Excellence and developed. It set the international standards for quality to be applied government departments and then the leadership phase marked by the launch of Emirates Award for Excellence in Government Performance in 2009 to form the highest award for institutional excellence at the state’s level.

    “After we passed these stages successfully the government reached an important stage of maturity and excellence in performance, its programmes, goals and clarity of vision. So it was time for a new challenge to build upon and through these achievements to launch a broader and more comprehensive system of excellence, thus to continue through it the road to the future that we aspire for our country, making our country the best in the world and our people the happiest and for the UAE to remain a pioneer and most advanced and innovative in government work in the world,” he pointed out.

    “The content of the fourth generation of the government excellence system is in line with these trends . It focuses on the results of what constitutes an incentive for continuous improvement in the labour regulations proportional with the governments requirements of the future that are capable of understanding the needs and aspirations of the people and meeting them,” he said.

    “It represents a step forward and a new approach in the process of work and performance of future governments” He also stressed that ” The gates of future governments will not allow traditional ideas and outdated work methods to cross.”
    “Every effort by the government aims at making people happy and content. Achieving people’s interest is a government priority before anything else, and this makes it imperative for the government to be proactive and innovative, competing with itself, does not wait or delay, rather it foresees prospects for the future. Government work must focus on achieving results in the field, which is reflected positively and effectively in people’s daily lives,” he concluded.

  4. Insights from Leaders of 2014 Baldrige Award Winners (Part 1)

    April 19, 2015 by ahmed
    Leaders of 2014 Baldrige Award recipient

    Leaders of 2014 Baldrige Award recipient organizations and Commerce Department Deputy Secretary Bruce Andrews watch the procession of the United States Joint Service Color Guard during the Baldrige Award Ceremony on Sunday, April 12, 2015.

    Originally posted on Blogrige by Christine Schaefer

    “If we’re not getting better faster than our competitors, then we’re losing ground.” (Scott McIntyre, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Public Sector Practice [PSP] US Leader)

    “Values are really the culture of our organization.” (David Huffstutler, St. David’s HealthCare President and Chief Executive Officer)

    “How we live [our organization’s core competencies] differentiates us in our industry and in our market.” (Jayne E. Pope, Hill Country Memorial Chief Executive Officer)

    “To make progress … we had to get to the source of truth. My measure of my own success as a leader: “Have I created a safe environment for my team to handle the truth?” (Gerry Agnes, Elevations Credit Union Chief Executive Officer)

    Those are some of the insights and lessons shared by senior leaders of the 2014 Baldrige

    Award recipients during the leadership plenary of the Baldrige Program’s Quest for Excellence® Conference this week. Following are detailed highlights from those leadership presentations.

    Scott McIntyre, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Public Sector Practice (PSP)

    PSP is one of six businesses within the broader financial services firm of PwC, one of the largest privately held organizations in the world operating in 157 countries, McIntyre explained. PSP operates globally and in the United States, and he has responsibility for its U.S. and overseas operations.

    From the start of his presentation, McIntyre spoke of his firm’s need to attract “great talent.” In doing so, he said, it seeks to build a business that is widely recognized as a top performer by third-party endorsements, which now include the Baldrige Award.

    “Being recognized … is very important to us because our brand is very important,” he said. “We were very fortunate to learn a few weeks ago that PwC’s brand at the global level is ranked number-two in the global brand health index.”

    According to McIntyre, the PSP organizational structure is designed to put the customer first and thus reflects “the investments we make in products and services and in people” to serve its clients’ unique needs.

    To realize its vision to be recognized as the public sector’s clear choice for driving effectiveness across federal agencies, the organization’s leadership focuses on three objectives, said McIntyre.

    One is building out a leadership capability. This includes understanding competitive dynamics, contemplating changes in the industry, and setting the tone and vision. The second is making sure it furnishes the tools to its employees to support its vision. And the third is grooming future leaders. Fulfilling those three objectives is his job, McIntyre said.

    He described the organization’s “leadership pipeline” as beginning with its annual intern event at a Disney amusement park. The experience emphasizes teamwork, collaboration, and sharing. “These are not just core values of our firm,” he added, “They’re core tenets of our leadership program.”

    McIntyre said one of the unique aspects of his organization’s leadership development program is its dual focus on grooming people to be effective leaders whether they stay with the organization or go on to other organizations—“whether they’re in PwC or [become] clients of PwC.”

    A second unique leadership practice of his organization, he said, is “the way we look at what we want to cultivate” in employees. Corporate efforts to develop leaders tend to focus on rewarding performance, he said, but his organization has learned that exclusively rewarding “performers” (those “who bring in money every day”) can drive away “producers” (those “people who produce big ideas … who are true visionaries”). To attract and retain people who can help the organization be competitive for the long term, McIntyre’s organization changed its leadership system to put more emphasis on supporting visionaries even as it maintains a focus on high-performing contributors to the organization’s current success.

    McIntyre also shared some of his organization’s learning and improvements as a result of its adoption of the Baldrige framework and process.

    “Using Baldrige to improve was, I think, one of the smartest things we did in our business,” he said. “It really gave us a touchstone, it really gave us an opportunity to learn about [how the Baldrige framework and criteria for excellence] could be adapted to our organization … and to constantly measure ourselves and evaluate how we’re doing.”

    For his organization, he explained, the process was about “taking an organization that was very successful in its marketplace and that’s growing very dramatically… and [making] changes.” Among those changes, the organization refined its core competencies last year. For example, he said the organization recognized that talent recruitment and development “had to be a core competency” for the firm to remain successful.

    Another change was to completely overhaul its strategic planning process. Clients’ ever-changing demands and competitive pressures made it necessary for the organization to be able to rapidly develop strategy on a situation-specific basis, he explained.

    David Huffstutler, St. David’s HealthCare

    One of the largest health systems in the state of Texas, St. David’s HealthCare encompasses six hospitals, four free-standing emergency departments, four urgent-care clinics, and six ambulatory surgery centers. It also is associated with 76 physician practices and affiliated with six hospitals in outlying areas. It is the third-largest employer in the Austin and central Texas area, with more than 7,400 employees, supported by nearly 2,000 physicians.

    St. David’s HealthCare has a unique business model as a joint venture partnership between the for-profit hospital management company HCA and two nonprofit community foundations, St. David’s Foundation and Georgetown Health Foundation. This partnership has been in place since 1996. “It’s really a very unique business model that’s been great for the community,” said Huffstutler. Beyond the capital and operating funds generated, surplus profits go to shareholders of the management company and to both local foundations, he said. In 2014 alone, they contributed $50 million to their communities, he added.

    The organization’s mission of providing exceptional care “is the basis of everything we do,” said Huffstutler. Four years ago, it set a vision to be the finest care and service organization in the world. While that vision is “clearly aspirational,” said Huffstutler, “we really wanted to reach for the brass ring.”

    The organization decided to adopt the Baldrige framework as a way “to really know whether we were getting better and … benchmark ourselves against organizations, not just in our industry but across industries,” said Huffstutler.

    “St. David’s HealthCare had not had a very sophisticated performance improvement methodology prior to this time,” he said. “We knew how to execute well, but we didn’t have a framework.” With the Baldrige approach, the organization gained “a disciplined and organized process to get better as an organization, external expertise, and someone who can give us feedback on where we’re going as an organization.”

    Since embracing the Baldrige improvement process, the organization learned to use the leadership system to take advantage of its core competencies: operating discipline, a culture of excellence, physician collaboration, and clinical expertise. For example, in recent years the organization has applied its operating discipline to prioritize opportunities to pursue, develop action plans, allocate resources, and track programs.

    He described the organization’s critical success factors as follows:

    1. Improve understanding of mission, vision, and values
    2. Communicate commitment to performance excellence
    3. “Expand the circle” (educating the workforce on why improvement is important and creating internal experts to help with improvement efforts)
    4. Ensure systemwide alignment in measurement and performance (making sure that departmental goals lined up to organization-level goals)

    A key success factor, Huffstutler emphasized, “is all about the culture of the organization—it’s all about believing in what you do, understanding that you’re involved in a higher purpose.” Therefore, his organization focuses on driving home its mission, vision, values, and goals through “activities around making sure our employees can understand those and recite those, but more important, be able to convey” them in their daily work.

    The organization’s performance dashboard reflects a balanced approach with measures in three areas: customer loyalty, exceptional care, and financial strength. “Making sure we’re good stewards” of resources is his organization’s responsibility to the community, Huffstutler said.

    Stressing the value of the continuous improvement process, he asserted that his organization has a responsibility to keep improving and that its patients expect it to do so: “We owe it to them, so we have to get better.”

    In the highly regulated health care industry, he added, the pursuit of excellence is also important because of both incentives and penalties tied to health care quality measures.

    Coming next: Insights from CEOs Jayne Pope of Hill Country Memorial and Gerry Agnes of Elevations Credit Union

  5. At Boeing, Innovation Means Small Steps, Not Giant Leaps

    April 13, 2015 by ahmed

    Roy Conner BOEINGRay Conner, the CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes

    Originally posted on WSJ by Jon Ostrower

    The 99-year-old aerospace giant long has focused on developing new technologies that it reserved for big projects every 15 years or so to craft the fastest—and farthest-flying jetliners—such as its 787 Dreamliner.

    Today, Boeing is centering innovation on incremental improvements that it can deliver more quickly to airlines with greater reliability and at a lower price, said Ray Conner, chief executive of Boeing’s commercial airplane unit, in an interview.

    Mr. Conner is overseeing the development of seven models to upgrade Boeing’s portfolio of jets with capacities from 125 seats to just over 400 seats, plus a new military refueling tanker. The updated products are adapting some of the technologically advanced features of the Dreamliner to models that have long been in production.

    “It’s not to say you don’t innovate,” said Mr. Conner. He wants engineers “innovating more on how to [design jets] more simplistically, as opposed to driving more complexity,” he said. “How do you innovate to make it more producible? How do you innovate to make it more reliable?”

    The shift reflects how sharply the industry has changed. Boeing Chief Executive Jim McNerney last year declared its era of technological boundary-pushing “moon shots” over. Airlines, he concluded, don’t want to pay more for advanced technology.

    Saving up a host of advanced technologies for a single new project has proved too expensive and disruptive.

    Mr. Conner likened the current landscape for selling jetliners to Apple Inc.’s iPhone. The smartphone’s starting retail price of $199 with a cellular contract has remained relatively consistent since its second model in 2008, even as each iteration is more capable.

    Boeing’s formula is aimed in part at reversing market-share losses to rival Airbus Group NV. Both companies have experienced a boom, as fast-growing airlines in Asia, the Middle East and South America and carriers with aging fleets in the U.S. and Europe have driven orders for some 5,800 jets worth $440 billion at contract prices. However, Airbus, which has generally had a more incremental approach to new planes, has eroded Boeing’s share of the high-volume market for single-aisle jets.

    Few are more familiar with Boeing’s approach to jet making than Mr. Conner, 59 years old. He started as a unionized machinist in 1977 not far from his current corner office here and held a range of jobs before taking over the commercial airplanes operation in 2012.

    With the Dreamliner, Boeing revamped not only the design of a modern jetliner, but how it’s built. The plane boasted a mostly carbon-fiber structure and advanced electrical system that replaced many pneumatic and mechanical functions.

    Boing R&D

    Design problems and an unprepared supply chain caused huge cost overruns and a 3½-year delay before delivery of the Dreamliner in September 2011. Boeing’s investment in the 787 program is now approaching $50 billion, estimates Barclays Capital analyst Carter Copeland, including research-and-development costs, new facilities as well as acquisitions of struggling suppliers. Boeing isn’t expected to start making money on a per-unit basis until next year, though the aerospace company reports the program as profitable based on its accounting method, which spreads the high early costs over many years.

    “Don’t judge our future by what’s happened on the 787,” said Mr. Conner.

    Boeing’s new approach extends to every corner of its operations. It is aggressively trying to renegotiate contracts with suppliers, which account for about 65% of its jets’ costs. Its push toward faster, better and cheaper production led Boeing in 2013 to tap Walter Odisho, a former head of Toyota Motor Corp.’s U.S. auto production to run manufacturing. The company has long looked to the Japanese auto maker for improving its processes, which are becoming increasingly automated. Both efforts helped the company save $1 billion last year, Boeing said.

    Research-and-development spending by Boeing’s commercial unit ticked up slightly last year to $1.88 billion, or about 3.1% of the unit’s revenue—below the nearly 16% in 2009 when R&D spending increased as it struggled with the Dreamliner and a revamp of its 747-8 jumbo jet.

    Boeing’s more pragmatic approach also comes as it ramps up jetliner production to unprecedented levels. It expects to deliver 750 to 755 jets in 2015, topping last year’s record, and that number could climb to more than 900 late in the decade if demand holds. A decade ago, by comparison, it delivered 290 planes a year.

    Mr. Conner said Boeing’s priority now is completing its current slate of projects on time and on budget. The seven projects include a new version of its 777 with composite wings, and upgrades of its single-aisle 737s with new engines.

    That doesn’t mean the company has given up on the idea of creating an all-new model.

    Mr. Conner said Boeing is polling customers to help conceive a new jet that seats more people than its single-aisle 737s, but doesn’t have the long range—and resulting extra weight to carry fuel—of the Dreamliner.

    Mr. Conner said the company isn’t likely to repeat the business model that created the Dreamliner, but is open to a large strategic partner to share the development costs.

    “These are things I think about all the time,” he said.

    One goal, he said, would be to design any new jetliner so its technology and production system could be scaled to eventually create a second family of planes, like its 737, which has been in continuous production for nearly a half century.

    “I think our job is make sure we totally understand what the customers are looking for and working on our ability to go execute” on a viable business case, said Mr. Conner. “And we will do that. We will flip the switch when it needs to happen.”