1. South African Quality Institutes latest news

    July 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.


    • Deming, Zen and Mathematics, Education, by Ansie Harding
    • AnalysingOperational & Financial Waste for SMMEs in the South African economy, by Peter R Bushell and Ian McDougall
    • What us A3 Problem Solving?, by Jacques Snyders
    • Sexual Hassassment: Dealing with the Pests, by Terrance M. Booysen
    • Quality in Schools, by Richard Hayward

    Click here to download this newsletter.








  2. A Practical Approach to Process-Oriented Knowledge Management

    July 23, 2015 by ahmed


    Due to global competition and increasingly dynamic markets, the importance of intangible resources such as knowledge has been growing dramatically, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME). SMEs have to be more innovative, flexible, and efficient to successfully cope with typical challenges such as growing competition and rapidly changing demand patterns.

    In the past, knowledge management has been successfully implemented and developed by large enterprises in particular. In contrast, knowledge management for SME is not a matter of course yet. However, current survey results affirm that activities in the area of knowledge management depend less on the size of an enterprise or its industry, but rather on an enterprise’s business strategy and core competencies. In the light of these results, SMEs seem not to have disadvantages regarding the implementation of knowledge management because of their size or industry, but rather because they need to take strategic decisions to implement such solutions and have difficulties in doing so. Against this background, the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology started the initiative “Fit für den Wissenswettbewerb” to support especially SMEs on the way to the knowledge society. In the course of the initiative, the research institutes Fraunhofer IPK and Fraunhofer IFF initiated the project “ProWis – Prozessorientiertes und integriertes Wissensmanagement in KMU”. Within this project, researchers designed methods meeting the specific needs of SMEs allowing the implementation of process-oriented knowledge management at reasonable efforts.

    Building up on the developed methods, both institutes accompanied 15 SMEs during the implementation of knowledge management and used the findings from these implementations to refine the methods. The results of the project are summarised in the guideline “Praxisleitfaden Wissensmanagement”, which is freely accessible to interested parties and enables SMEs to systematically and autonomously implement knowledge management. Based on the aforementioned results, this article illustrates the processoriented implementation of knowledge management according to the ProWis approach and, by means of a case study, leads the reader through the single steps of the implementation process towards a business process-oriented knowledge management.

    Download the full article from here

  3. Talking to Their Generation

    July 22, 2015 by ahmed


    Originally posted on Talent Management by Halley Bock

    Generation Y, or those born roughly between 1980 and 2000, has earned a strident reputation in recent years in corporate America.

    These smartphone touting, hoodie-wearing workers, also known as millennials, don’t like the traditional formal dress code, prefer collaborative open-plan offices and have more than one way to message their thoughts on a project — regardless of rank or pecking order — through a number of technology devices they maintain.

    Indeed, communicating with this generation of workers, projected to make up nearly half the workforce by 2020, is no easy feat. This effort is made more complicated as millennials today represent just one of four generations still in the workforce.

    Here are three strategies talent managers should keep in mind when communicating with millennials.


    As Dianna Kokoszka, CEO of Keller Williams MAPS coaching, a division of Keller Williams Realty Inc., said, “Millennials grew up with the microwave and the Internet. In their world, whoever implements the fastest wins.” In other words, this generation is used to instant gratification in every facet of their lives — and their jobs are no exception.

    This is illustrated as video clips become shorter, and learning and development content is now expected to come in “bite-size” chunks.

    And while there will always be endeavors that remain worthy of a deep dive, organizations can find plenty of opportunities to shorten or quicken the communication cycles, no matter the forum.

    For Keller Williams, the challenge was particularly important as it recognized that while it needed to adjust its classroom timelines, it wasn’t willing to sacrifice the integrity of its training. The company’s fix was to shift courses that previously required multiple days of immersive classroom time to a once-a-week shorter day over the course of seven weeks.

    Employees are now able to learn a new skill and incorporate it into their day-to-day and come back to add another layer to their learning, while still maintaining the depth and breadth of the training.

    Kokoszka said she also offers staff daily “power ups” in the form of a two- to three-minute video delivered over Keller Williams’ own internal app. Employees receive a tip, a new idea or motivational message that they can apply to their business.


    In an ever-changing world, it only makes sense that adaptability is a crucial skill for any organization. Many millennials aren’t content simply climbing the corporate ladder. Instead, they want to explore the entire lattice, participating in a company’s growth by extending their skill sets beyond a single discipline.

    This can be frustrating for some employees that value structure and the historical way of doing things. Extra training around understanding new ways of thinking is essential when generations begin to butt heads.

    Law firm Perkins Coie offers a 90-minute presentation on generations that specifically focuses on how many generational values actually align with one another so as to create unity among differing age groups.

    And when viewpoints may be at odds with one another, Traci Laurie, director of staff training and development at the firm, said she offers tools on how to navigate those situations.

    “When an idea is presented and someone from another generation doesn’t like the idea, we have to ask ourselves ‘Why does this idea upset me?’ ” Laurie said. “If the answer isn’t good, the reason is only around protocol or because our pride is hurt, then we need to challenge ourselves.”

    As a result of giving their employees the communication tools to tackle these issues, Perkins Coie has been able to open up new career tracks for employees who aren’t interested in the traditional partner track, equating to longer tenured employees and higher engagement stats.


    Studies show that communication is a top need for millennials. Whether it’s receiving immediate feedback, having regular one-on-ones or learning from others across an organization, millennials would prefer a constant, ongoing dialogue between themselves and their employers.

    Keller Williams encourages its millennials to take part in its “Young Professionals Group,” a leadership program designed for its younger workforce.

    Some of the most influential components of the program are the video interviews done with those of the older generation and, therefore, likely to be in higher leadership positions.

    The members of YP place incredible value on learning from those that have been in the industry and understand its intricacies.

    Laurie said she has found that while some may view millennials as wanting to short circuit process for the mere sake of advancing quickly, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. In her organization, she said she has seen a marked increase in requests for more supervision, as millennials desire constant feedback and more frequent performance conversations.

    Constant communication is essential to ensure they feel connected with not only their own career growth and trajectory, but also feeling deeply connected to their organization and its impact on the world around them.

    The influx of millennials into the workforce is no doubt presenting new challenges for talent managers as the style, frequency and delivery of any and all communication begin to shift in very specific ways.

    Organizations that can respond in meaningful ways that speak to this generation will find that these needs aren’t requiring large overhauls or new groundbreaking strategies to what already exists.

    Rather, with a few simple tweaks, companies can seamlessly slip into the new cadence of corporate conversations.

  4. A Comprehensive Excellence Framework for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care

    July 17, 2015 by ahmed


    Originally posted on Blogrige by Christine Schaefer

    Following is an interview with Baldrige alumnus examiner Christopher E. Laxton, executive director of AMDA–The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine (formerly the American Medical Directors Association). Laxton compares the Baldrige Excellence Framework (which includes the Health Care Criteria for Performance Excellence) to two other approaches used in his sector today to improve the performance of post-acute and long-term care organizations: Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement (QAPI) and Advancing Excellence in America’s Nursing Homes Campaign (AE).

    Christopher Laxton, CAE

    Christopher Laxton, CAE

    Tell us about recent developments in your industry and how those impact the focus on improving the performance of care-providing organizations.

    I work in post-acute and long-term care. This sub-sector of the health care field has gained a great deal of visibility and importance lately as many Baby Boomers move into retirement—by some estimates (Pew, AARP) at the rate of some 10,000 a day for the next 18 years.

    It is not surprising, therefore, that those who work in this sector and its federal and state regulators are looking for ways to improve the performance of post-acute and long-term care (PA/LTC) provider organizations.

    The Baldrige Excellence Framework is a helpful guide for organizations that are pursuing performance improvement. At the same time, there are other performance-improvement approaches in use across the multiple sectors of the U.S. economy. For PA/LTC organizations, two programs that have become more prominent because of their systems approach (like that of the Baldrige framework) to performance improvement are (1) AE, which comes from the provider side of this industry; and QAPI, which comes from the main federal payer and regulatory agency: the Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services (CMS).

    Would you please explain first how QAPI is similar to the Baldrige framework and approach?

    Yes. I think it is useful to look at how the QAPI and AE programs align to the Baldrige framework, both to understand their many points of connection to Baldrige Criteria categories, as well as to discern what may not be explicit in them.

    The CMS’s QAPI program was introduced in 2013 for nursing homes to voluntarily adopt a systems approach to improvement (http://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Provider-Enrollment-and-Certification/QAPI/nhqapi.html). The program describes QAPI as “the merger of two complementary approaches to quality management, Quality Assurance (QA) and Performance Improvement (PI). QA and PI combine to form QAPI, a comprehensive approach to ensuring high quality care.”

    QAPI is defined as having five elements (see Figure 1): Design and Scope; Governance and Leadership; Feedback, Data Systems and Monitoring; Performance Improvement Projects; and Systematic Analysis and Systemic Action. These will be familiar to those organizations using the Baldrige approach to improve, since they align relatively well with 2015–2016 Baldrige Criteria categories: QAPI’s “Design and Scope” element relates to Baldrige Criteria category 2, “Strategy”; QAPI’s “Governance and Leadership” relates to Baldrige Criteria category 1, “ Leadership”; QAPI’s “Feedback, Data Systems and Monitoring” relates to Baldrige Criteria category 4, “Measurement, Analysis, and Knowledge Management”; and QAPI’s “Systematic Analysis and Systemic Action, and Performance Improvement Projects” relates to Baldrige Criteria category 6, “Operations.”


    The five QAPI elements have open, non-prescriptive definitions and guidance for applying them. This is comparable to the Baldrige framework’s approach of asking questions rather than dictating particular solutions, based on the understanding that there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution to organizational excellence. This is especially true in the PA/LTC sector, where—despite years of organizational improvement efforts and extensive regulatory oversight—there is wide variability in provider size, scope, capacity, and quality.

    Next, would you please tell us about the AE program and how it compares to the Baldrige framework?

    Of course. Advancing Excellence (AE) was founded in 2006 by a coalition of 28 organizations that included nursing home providers, quality improvement experts, and government agencies (https://www.nhqualitycampaign.org/). The Campaign now includes more than 62 percent of the nation’s nursing homes and has a local presence in every state and the District of Columbia through a network of participants called Local Area Networks for Excellence (LANEs).

    AE has identified nine quality goals (see Figure 2) that describe areas of key importance to good nursing home care that are often challenging for providers. Those areas are where it is likely that nursing homes will find opportunities for improvement, to use a Baldrige term. The AE goals are organized into two groups that will sound very familiar to Baldrige framework users: four organizational goals, which are process-focused; and five clinical outcome goals, which are results-focused.

    The nine AE goals align the Baldrige Criteria in the following ways: AE’s Consistent Assignment goal is a Baldrige Criteria category 5 (“Workforce”) goal, as is AE’s Staff Stability goal. AE’s Hospitalizations goal aligns with Baldrige Criteria category 6 (“Operations”), since it principally relates to item 6.1 (on work processes). AE’s Person-Centered Care goal is clearly a Baldrige Criteria category 3 (“Customers”) goal. And AE’s five Clinical Outcomes goals (Infections, Medications, Mobility, Pain, and Pressure Ulcers) are all Baldrige Criteria category 7 (“Results”) goals, though they each have process elements that are relevant to Baldrige Criteria categories 4 and 6.


    The AE program also identifies a seven-step process that organizations can adopt to systematically address each goal in their organization (see Figure 3). These seven steps have some alignment with the Baldrige process-evaluation factors (approach, deployment, learning, integration [ADLI]) and, to a lesser extent, the Baldrige results evaluation factors (levels, trends, comparisons, integration [LeTCI]).


    With all these similarities, do you see these approaches as competing or complementary with each other?

    While the CMS QAPI program may resonate with those familiar with the Baldrige framework, I believe it would be a mistake to “choose” one over the other. One reason is that the Baldrige framework is very inclusive—accommodating all varieties of performance improvement tools, such as Plan-Do-Study-Act, Lean, Six Sigma, and so forth. Furthermore, when you line up both the QAPI and AE programs against the Baldrige Criteria (see crosswalk of 2013-2014 Baldrige Criteria to QAPI and AE), a comprehensive performance excellence framework for the PA/LTC sector is revealed. It is well aligned with the Baldrige Criteria categories, and it is specifically focused on the highly complex and challenging organizational and customer/patient/resident environment found in this sector’s care settings.

    These are not simply academic considerations for how quality might be improved in this important and previously neglected sector of U.S. health care. The demographic shift to an older population in this country and around the world—sometimes referred to as the “Silver Tsunami”—is producing major changes in public policy and rapid and massive shifts in market forces that will have a direct impact on the care and support available to our nation’s elders.

    What do you believe needs to happen in relation to the Baldrige, QAPI, and AE improvement tools to address the current and coming challenge of caring for more senior citizens?

    It is a basic principle of organizational excellence that systems produce exactly the results that they are designed to produce—intentional and unintentional. Having worked in the long-term care field for 30 years and having served as a Baldrige examiner for seven, I am inspired by the existence of such powerful frameworks for improvement.

    Now our long-term care leaders must take up these tools and apply them. Who better to do so than those who know intimately the complexity and challenges facing this sector? If they do not, others—with less commitment and connection to preserving and enhancing the health and well-being of our seniors—are sure to impose changes on us that will be neither of our design nor of our choosing.

  5. South African Quality Institutes latest news

    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.


    • Deming, Zen and Mathematics Education, by Ansie Harding
    • Need a quick profit boost?, by Ed Hatton
    • The lean report: lean news, notes and know-how, by Javed Cheema
    • Economic crime in South Africa: fact or fiction, by Terrance M. Booyen
    • Quality in Schools, by Richard Hayward

    Click here to download this newsletter.