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Ask any two managers for a definition of quality, and you’ll get two different answers. This isn’t surprising: no two dictionaries will give you quite the same definition either.

Quality is an abstract concept, albeit one capable of having concrete effects on the goods and services an individual or company produces. Definitions alone cannot express abstract concepts. Quality must be explained and experienced to be fully comprehended, and managers require both instinct and insight to fully develop quality as a profitable result.

In The Metaphysical Constructs of Quality, quality-assurance expert Patrick Lou Kelly explores the nature of quality and how it applies to management. He argues that the need for quality is a basic human instinct that evolves with new insight. Management evolution is a gradual process in which a manager passes by degrees to a more complex, advanced, and mature stage defined as a profound change in concept awareness in a pool of constructs.

Instinct alone is not sufficient to manifest quality, however. Managers also need insight into the nature of quality—a learned response that, when combined with instinct, creates a synergy capable of driving management to ever more advanced stages of concept awareness.

Weaving metaphysical concepts together with management science, Kelly offers a new way to explore and refine humanity’s need for quality while also offering managers the information they need to evolve by tapping into their instincts and insight.

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A Farewell to the Beginning

LOGO FINALManagers are very busy people. Their days are filled with action. They must execute to survive. Managers make decisions that must be communicated in a clear and concise manner.

Good management decisions stem from an effective knowledge base.

For the typical manager, knowledge is developed by doing the job.  If they have the time, they attend seminars, conferences and read. This book targets the manager who likes to read and improve his or her ability to connect concepts, heard frequently as “buss words”, with the associated principles and paradigms that guide their daily struggle. Busy managers do not have the time to read, assimilate and comprehend all the classics, much less, execute what they have learned.  As a writer, and a member of management for more than four decades, I am going to do the reading for the busy manager that simply does not have the time. I will communicate the knowledge in a quasi academic and theoretical style. If the word “quasi” bothers you, let me define it.

Quasi is defined in the Encarta Dictionary as resembling something, in some ways, but not the same. Academics love paraphrasing the works of other academics. I do too. But, I do not trust paraphrasing because something always gets lost in the translation and may be taken so far out of context that the process becomes unreal. If you don’t believe me, look up some of the citations in one of you favorite books and read it in the context of the originating author. You just may be as surprised as I was, most of the time.

My style is quasi because I rarely paraphrase and when I do, the sentence structure of the original author remains intact. A theoretical style simply means that I will be focusing on “What does it mean”, “Why is it important” and “How to understand it” while utilizing concepts, principles and paradigms as a structure for explanation.

I study everything from the perspective of someone that has been in the trenches doing the work, implementing change and executing the vision of the employer. I will be connecting quality with the relevant knowledge of the great minds of the 20th and 21st centuries that typify quality like Deming and Shewhart and some that don’t, i.e. Kuhn, Bono, Kaplan and Boyd.

My intention is not to impose “how” to do anything. In my experience, at the director level, it is best to leave the “how” up to the manager’s discretion. However, the manager must be given the tools to develop their own universal principles and must accept the expected outcome.

My book is about Quality. Not its practice but its conceptual basis and content. It is about what Quality IS and how it’s DNA and meaning can be exposed. I use the term “DNA” because quality is complex and the term “exposed” because I do not believe quality has been linked to every manager in organizations that make decisions directly affecting quality. The term “meaning” does not translate directly to a definition. To make quality meaningful it must be explained in the context of a complex entity that cannot be defined.

I sincerely hope my traditionally published book will be of interest.  Some would say that I have given much of my book away in this blog, which is true, but there is a lot more where that came from. I intentionally left out most of Part Two that provides the details of the Pattern Engine and the ConPriDigm. Chapter Thirty is also absent. I will continue to monitor and occasionally edit and/or add information to this blog because it is a work of fidelity…fidelity to the complex concept of Quality. The objective: make Quality so meaningful that the quality function is no longer needed at the organizational level, every decision, by every manager, is based on what Deming called profound knowledge but I call profound understanding.

I leave you with two of my favorite quotes that are part of this blogged book. Google the authors, they are two very interesting people.

Seek simplicity — and having found it, suspect it.    James Conant

People like to think that businesses are built of numbers (as in the “bottom line”), or forces (as in “market forces”), or things (“the product”), or even flesh and blood (“our people”). But this is wrong…Businesses are made of ideas — ideas expressed as words.”  – James Champy

 

Please support my traditionally published work…Thank You!

 

March 27, 2014

Patrick Lou Kelly, MSQA

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Chapter Twenty-Nine: Processes – Linking Activities

ConPriDigm AvatarQuality IS…linking activities efficiently and effectively.

Why do efficient and effective processes order activities in a way that concentrates time, utilize raw material to advantage and create value?

 

 

Conceptual Pattern for Processes

A process is a sustained phenomenon manifested by a series of actions, directed toward a specific aim, intended to achieve a result.  It is a sequentially ordered set involving statements, facts or occurrences. A process is an observed occurrence, known through the senses rather than by intuition or reasoning, impressive or extraordinary, involving similar or related things or events or ideas in which each successive member is related to the preceding, is obtained by examining, studying, or calculating something, exists as a consequence of another action, condition, or event, and solves a problem or explains how to solve a problem. (Pattern Engine – Process N=12 © 2014)

If processes are understood then the meaning of Quality will follow.

First Principle: The purpose of a process is to take a logical, related, connected set of activities that takes an input from a supplier or process or activity, adds value to it, and produces an output to a customer.1

Second Principle: Every process has a function within the organization that may or may   not be connected directly to an external customer.1

Third Principle: Processes perform functions within systems and must coordinate its outputs with other processes.1

Fourth Principle: Process functions define the organization in terms of providing the necessities for profitability and sustainability.1

Fifth Principle: A process cannot exist without input and a method for transforming the inputs to something useful.1

Sixth Principle: Processes can be improved, reengineered, combined or integrated with other processes and can become systems.1

Key Conceptual Patterns

FUNCTION

A function is an action or use for which something is suited or designed resulting in performance as expected when applied such that one thing is dependent on another. It is the accomplishment of a given task, contingent on something else to produce an effect. A function is conditioned or determined or affected or decided by particular factors or circumstances that makes a statement in order to achieve a purpose. It is measured against preset known standards while using knowledge, as opposed to just possessing it, in a manner that is efficient. (Pattern Engine – Function N=12 © 2014)

TRANSFORMATION

A transformation is a qualitative act of change in form or shape or appearance usually into something with an improved usefulness. It is a process and event knowingly performed and capable of being put to use. A transformation  occurs when something passes from one state or phase to another, by which things become different, by varying from a routine or pattern, causing something to happen, performed by a person, or which is deliberately omitted, serving a purpose while being practical. . (Pattern Engine – Transformation N=12 © 2014)

Next Post: The Plan

1   H. James Harrington, K. C. Esseling & Van Nimwegen: Business Process Improvement Workbook: Documentation, Analysis, Design, and Management of Business Process Improvement, 1997.

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Chapter Twenty-Eight: Activities – Disciplined Execution

ConPriDigm AvatarQuality IS…reducing waste where it counts.

Why are activities the elements that make processes work?

 

 

Conceptual Pattern for Activities

An activity is a measurable amount of work or behavior performed to convert inputs to outputs with the capacity to undergo change. Activities lead to a series of actions and an aggregated response. It is directed toward a specific aim, intended to achieve a result, happens due to a special set of circumstances and is significant between two or more things that depart from expectations and vary from a norm or standard.  Activities require mental or physical energy, undertaken by an individual or group of people, performed to convert inputs to outputs, and result in a likely final state. An activity is a phenomenon that follows,  and is caused by some previous phenomenon. Activities react to internal stimuli; the same way in which a person, organism, or group responds to a specific set of conditions. (Pattern Engine – Activity N=12 © 2014)

If activities are understood the meaning of Quality will follow.

First Principle: The purpose of an activity is the efficient and effective execution of processes.

Second Principle:  Activities are the smallest unit of work and have four characteristics: (1) duration, (2) relationships with other activities (3) resource consumption, and (4) and cost.1

Third Principle: Activities must be monitored as a discipline providing the route to improve both the value received by customers and the profit earned by providing that value. 2

Fourth Principle: Activities enable: a product to be produced as a unit or batch; a technology to produce a product; and production to occur. 2

Fifth Principle: Activities are performed to service customers and prospects.3

Sixth Principle: Activities consume costs, products, and services; customers consume activities.4

Key Conceptual Patterns

DICIPLINE

A discipline is a branch of knowledge involving the practice or methods of teaching and enforcing acceptable patterns of behavior via a system of rules of conduct. A discipline is the psychological result of systematic execution and a manner of acting.  Disciplines are orderly, logical arrangements of acts, usually in steps, according to a plan, that result in perception, learning and reasoning.  A discipline germinates from the combination of data, information, experience, and individual interpretation leading to the awareness or understanding of a circumstance or fact. A discipline is gained through association, management, and controlling of a process or activity. (Pattern Engine – Discipline N=12 © 2014)

EXECUTION

Execution is the act of accomplishing some aim using knowledge, as distinguished from merely possessing it, terminating in effective action and success. Execution is the achievement of an anticipated outcome that causes a result. It is marked by certain qualities, allocating powers to produce an intended effect, accomplishes its planned intended purpose, produces good results, and guides planned actions. (Pattern Engine – Execution N=12 © 2014)

Next Post: Processes – Linking Activities

  1. Business Dictionary Online
  2. Cokins, G., A. Stratton, and J. Helbling : An ABC Manager’s Primer, Institute of Management Accountants, 1993.
  3. Cokins, G. (1996). Activity Based Cost Management: Making it Work, 1996.
  4. “The “Principles of Activity Based Management”, ICMS, Inc

 

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Chapter Twenty-Seven: Improvement – An Antonym for Stagnation

ConPriDigm AvatarQuality IS…an Antonym for Stagnation

Why will organizations, that are effective and efficient in their improvement efforts,  eventually dominate their markets?

 

 

Conceptual Pattern for Improvement

Improvement is a condition superior to an earlier condition made possible by progress in development and the promotion of desirable qualities. It is a valid assumption that encourages and advances knowledge. Improvement is an activity of a gradual kind. It moves toward achieving a goal or reaching a higher standard for moving forward and rests on the validity or effect of something else that must be kept in mind when making a decision. Improvement affects a particular state of repair or ability or function that results in enterprise growth and acceptance. (Pattern Engine – Improvement N=12 © 2014)

If the meaning of improvement is understood the meaning of Quality will follow.

First Principle: The purpose of improvement is to make activities and processes and systems more effective, efficient and adaptable. 1

Second Principle: Improvement requires knowledge: knowledge of what needs to be accomplished, knowing that a recommended change is an improvement and knowing what needs to be changed that will result in improvement. 2

Third Principle: Streamlining the process identifies the methods that create positive change in effectiveness, efficiency and adaptability. 1

Fourth Principle: Streamlining requires the elimination of bureaucracy and duplication, values-added assessment, simplification, cycle-time reduction, error proofing, simplifying the way procedures are written, standardization of activities, supplier partnerships, and automation or mechanization where appropriate. 1

Fifth Principle: Finite resources are needed for improvement; these resources should be focused on the initiatives that best accomplish the aim(s) of the organization. 

 Sixth Principle: All improvement requires change, but all changes do not result in improvement, the change must lead to higher value to someone — better quality, a lower    price, or both. 2

Key Conceptual Patterns

ADAPTABILITY

Adaptability is the ability to adjust easily to a new environment or different conditions or be changed due to changed circumstances to suit a different purpose. It is an aggregated series of actions with a rationally stated motive. Adaptability is directed toward a specific aim intended to achieve a result. It happens due to a special set of circumstances and is particularly significant between two or more things that depart from expectations and vary from a norm or standard. Adaptability involves external surrounding conditions, things, or influences especially those affecting a particular activity. Adaptability is manifested as an anticipated outcome that guides planned actions.  (Pattern Engine – Adaptability N=12 © 2014)

SIMPLIFICATION

An explanation that promotes understanding, reduces complexity, and eliminates superfluous details. Simplification is a capacity to perceive the condition of isolated facts. Simplification leads to meaning based on rational thought, inference or discrimination. It is made up of many intricate, compounded and interrelated parts resulting in something difficult to analyze, understand, or solve. Simplification addresses issues that are considered separately from the whole but are a treatment of all the individual parts. (Pattern Engine – Simplification N=12 © 2014)

Next Post: Activities – The Key Components for Effective and Efficient Processes

1   H. James Harrington: Business Process Improvement – The Breakthrough Strategy for Total Quality, Productivity, and Competiveness, 1991,

2   Gerald Langley, Kevin Nolan, Thomas Nolan, Clifford Norman & Lloyd Provost: The Improvement Guide –  A Practical Approach to Enhancing Organizational Performance, 1996.

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Chapter Twenty-Six: Segmentation – Concentrating Customer Needs

ConPriDigm AvatarQuality IS…concentrating the needs of the customer.

Why does the concept of segmentation lead to concentration of resources in markets where competitive advantage is the greatest?

 

 

Conceptual Pattern for Segmentation

Segmentation is the structure of something that is made up of a series of similar segments separated by the creation of a boundary that divides or keeps apart subdivisions of a population with similar characteristics. It is a number of related elements or events with measurable properties and features. Segmentation is the logical or comprehensible arrangement of separate elements coming one after another in sequence or are arranged in a particular order on the basis of a common characteristic. Segmentation may exist for only a short period of time in which each member is adapted for a special use in a particular operation and are of the same kind, belonging together, and are so used in a way that they are the greatest possible degree of something and the final or limiting point resulting in a restriction in what can be done. Segmentation helps to distinguish an item, person, phenonomenon, etc., usually divided into three categories: (1) physical, (2) functional, and (3) operational. (Pattern Engine – Segmentation N=12 © 2014)

If segmentation is understood then the meaning of Quality will follow.

First Principle: The purpose of segmentation is to identify groups of potential customers with similar needs and/or characteristics who are likely to exhibit similar behavior. 1

Second Principle: Customer segmentation leads to the concentration of resources in markets where competitive advantage is greatest and returns are high. 2

Third Principle: The segmentation process starts with knowledge of who the customers are, how are they different and what are their needs. 3

Fourth Principle: Each segment must be of sufficient size to justify expenditures, must   be clearly distinguishable from other segments, must be accessible to the company, and must be compatible with the company’s resources and expertise.3

Fifth Principle: To understand what lies behind the choices made by customers requires their behavior to be understood in terms of the needs they are seeking to satisfy. 2

Sixth Principle: Customers have a limited number of similar needs and wants that can be sated by providing sets of similar products that create superior value. 1

Key Conceptual Patterns

BEHAVIOR

Behavior is the aggregate of responses to internal stimuli in which a person, organism, or group responds to a specific set of conditions. Behavior is the prevailing context of circumstances following a phenomenon that stimulates information. It is something said or written in reply to a statement or question as in words or in some action that influences the performance or outcome of the process for something to happen. Behavior is based on a set of facts that surround a situation or event and that and encourages an activity or a process to begin, increase, or develop. (Pattern Engine – Behavior N=12 © 2014)

EXPERTISE

Expertise is the skilled knowledge of an expert acquired from experience, training or study. Expertise engenders special knowledge and ability acquired by repeated practice. It is skillful performance in a particular field or activity or in any special branch of learning that results in doing something well. It is usually gained through training or experience for producing solutions or performing tasks in some problem domain. Expertise is the result of an activity or exposure to events or people over a period of time resulting in knowledge acquired by learning and instruction that leads to wisdom. (Pattern Engine – Expertise N=12 © 2014)

Next Post: Improvement – a Strategic Event

 1   Art Weinstein: Handbook of Market Segmentation – Strategic Targeting for Business and Technology Firms, 2004.

 Malcolm McDonald & Ian Dunbar: Market Segmentation – How to Do It , How to Profit from It, 2004.

3   James H. Myers: Segmentation and Positioning for Strategic Marketing Decisions, 1996.

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Chapter Twenty-Five: Customers – The Raw Product of Profitability

ConPriDigm AvatarQuality IS…the raw product of profitability.

Why is the term “customer” often associated with fours concepts: needs, expectations, requirements, and demands? Why is each concept unique, but often overlap with the others?

 

Conceptual Pattern for Customer

A customer is current or potential buyer or user or of goods or services in a particular way from an individual or other company. A customer is a business organization that has authority to consume or employs a good or service that is founded to produce articles of commerce. A customer is a number of persons united or incorporated for joint action and a specific purpose to obtain a benefit or to solve a problem that may not be the actual purchaser of items that are used for later consumption. ( Pattern Engine: Customer N=12 © 2014)

If customers are understood the meaning of Quality will follow.

First Principle: The purpose of the customer is to drive profitability.

Second Principle: Quality in the twenty-first century must start with the customer, not with the tangible product sold or the work process that create it. 1

Third Principle: Internal improvements have to matter to the customer before they can create improved external quality, customer satisfaction and loyalty. 2  

Fourth Principle: The most cost-effective areas of product and service performance to improve are those that are important to the customers and which, at the same time, the organization is performing poorly. 2

Fifth Principle: Successful organizations deliver value to their customers in one of three categories: operational excellence, customer intimacy, or product leadership. 3

Sixth Principle: A customer’s loyalty grows through seven stages: suspect, prospect, qualified prospect, first-time customer, repeat customer, client, advocate. 3

Key Conceptual Patterns

LOYALTY

Loyalty is unwavering devotion and allegiance that may be intellectual or emotional, to a course of action. It is the use of knowledge that creates a tie and a commitment to some purpose. Loyalty is the manifestation of enthusiasm, admiration and a strong attachment that results from a highly developed ability to think, reason, and understand. It may be implied or expressed in return for support and protection, often characterized by intelligence or mental capacity. (Pattern Engine: Loyalty N=12 © 2014)

LEADERSHIP

Leadership is a goal seeking activity and state of mind that results in doing something well. Leadership is an effective way, when measured against a standard. It favors steady progress and typical behavior while accomplishing a task well, with a particular amount of success. Leadership is often the result of some previous phenomenon that brings about an outcome as a direct result of somebody or something else that makes something happen or exist or is responsible for something that happens.  It is characterized by reliance on one’s self, or one’s circumstances; a feeling of self-sufficiency; a feeling of security; self assurance or a belief in one’s ability to succeed. World class leadership is often in free from anxiety or fear. (Pattern Engine: Leadership N=12 © 2014)

Nest Post: Segmentation – Focusing Customer Needs

 1Karl Albrecht: The Only Thing that Matters, Bringing the Power of the Customer into your Business, 1992.

2 Michael D. Johnston & Anders Gustafson: Improving Customer Satisfaction, Loyalty, and Profit, 2000.

3Jill Griffin:  Customer Loyalty, How to Earn It How to Keep It, 2002.

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Chapter Twenty-Four: Value – Identifying Aspects of Customer Loyalty

ConPriDigm AvatarQuality IS…value – a subjective aspect.

Why is value the key ingredient for customer loyalty?

 

 

Conceptual Pattern for Value

Value is the extent to which a good or service is perceived by its customer to meet his or her needs or wants. It is a quality that renders something useful. Value is based on the worth or importance of something to somebody.  Perceived importance or usefulness translates to essential and distinguishing attributes. Value is a motivating force that compels action for its satisfaction. Value is something tangible or intangible that results in a grade or standard that identifies the essential nature of something. Value results in something that is a requirement or is wanted or is necessary but cannot be lacking. (Pattern Engine – Value N=12 © 2014)

If value is understood the meaning of Quality will follow.

First Principle: The purpose of value is to create loyal customers.

Second Principle: The subjective concept of quality is closely tied with the utility or value of the objective physical properties of the thing itself.  The subjective concept of quality has to do with what we think, feel or sense as a result of the objective reality. When we consider quality from the subjective viewpoint, comparatively serious difficulties arise.  To begin with there are various aspects of the concept of value. We may differentiate between the following four kinds of value; use, cost, esteem and exchange.1

Third Principle: Value is always increased by decreasing costs and by increasing performance if the customer needs, wants and is willing to pay for more performance.2

Fourth Principle: There are nine potential reasons for poor value from the suppliers and or customers perspective; lack of information, wrong beliefs, risk of personal loss, reluctance to seek advice, shortage of time, negative attitudes, changing technology, strict adherence to requirements and poor human relations.3

Fifth Principle: In the context of function “value” means the lowest cost that would provide a function with the qualities and specifications with which the customer wants to operate. 2

Sixth Principle: The analysis of value is the organized creative approach that has for its purpose the efficient identification of unnecessary cost, that is, cost that provides neither quality nor use nor life nor appearance nor customer features. 2

Key Conceptual Patterns

SUBJECTIVENESS

Subjectiveness is a judgment based on individual personal impressions and feelings and opinions rather than external facts or evidence. It pertains to, or is derived from, one’s own consciousness, in distinction from observation. Subjectiveness is a cognitive state resulting in a personal judgment or vague idea. Subjectiveness leads to awareness and immediate knowledge or perception of the presence of any object, state, or sensation but is not founded on proof or certainty.  Subjectiveness is held with confidence but not substantiated by positive knowledge. It results in a lasting effect in which confidence is placed about understanding something. (Pattern Engine – Subjectiveness N=12 © 2014)

OBJECTIVENESS

Judgment based on facts and the observation of phenomena and not influenced by emotions or personal prejudices and free of bias. It is a partiality about a piece of information that is reached by attentive watching. Objectiveness is a statement of verified information that can be shown to be true, to exist, or to have happened about events that have occurred. Objectiveness is about circumstances that exist or performance of what is prescribed.  It is not an unfair preference preventing consideration and does not leave the mind indifferent. (Pattern Engine – Objectiveness N=12 © 2014)

Next Post: Customers – The Raw Product of Profitability

 1 Walter Shewhart, Economic Control of Manufactured Product, 1931.

2  Lawrence D. Miles, Techniques of Value Analysis and Engineering, 2nd Edition, 1972.

3 Anil Kumar Mukhopadhtyaya, Value Engineering Mastermind, 2009.

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Chapter Twenty-Three: Performance – Quality in Disguise – or Not

ConPriDigm AvatarQuality IS…not performance in disguise.

Why have the officials responsible for maintaining the criteria for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award been dropping the word quality since the early 1990’s?

 

Conceptual Pattern for Performance

Performance is accomplishment of a given task measured against preset known standards while using knowledge, as opposed to just possessing it, in a manner that is efficient and fulfills an intended purpose. It is a psychological result and level of quality resulting in the skillful avoidance of waste. Performance is a result of perception, learning and reasoning that germinates from the combination of data, information, experience, and individual interpretation. It results in awareness or understanding of a circumstance or fact, gained through association. Performance is that which is accepted as the norm or by which actual attainments are judged. Performance is a universally or widely accepted, agreed upon, or established means of determining what something should be as a basis for comparison, a reference point against other things can be evaluated. Performance involves utilizing the minimum use of resources, time, and effort while achieving a desired result. (Pattern Engine – Performance N=12 © 2014)

If the meaning of performance is understood then the meaning of Quality will follow.

First Principle: The purpose of performance is to provide value to customers.

Second Principle: Performance must be measured at the work unit level, key process level and organizational level.1

Third Principle: Performance indicators must have predictive power, capture key business changes, reflect cross-functional processes, and intellectual capital. 1

Fourth Principle: Performance is best monitored with a balanced scorecard that includes four perspectives: financial, internal process, customer needs and satisfaction, innovation, and learning.2

Fifth Principle: Performance must be articulated in terms of an effective and efficient approach, deployment and results.1

Sixth Principle: Performance cannot be substituted for Quality because world class quality without value has no value.

Key Conceptual Patterns

RESULT

A result is a statement that solves a problem or explains how to solve a problem and follows as a consequence of another action, condition, or event to produce a particular outcome. It is a conclusion regarding a state of difficulty or puzzle having important effects. A result is an expected or likely final state raised as a question for consideration or solution and reached through a process of logical thinking that is produced or influenced by a cause.(Pattern Engine, Result N=12, ©, 2014)

STANDARD

A standard is a level of quality or excellence that is accepted as the norm or by which actual attainments are judged. It is a universally or widely accepted, agreed upon, or established means of determining what something should be as a basis for comparison, A standard is reference point against which other things can be evaluated. It is a method for doing or achieving something marked by features and indicators. A standard possess good qualities that are available and make it possible for somebody to do something to obtain a result that orients usually in terms of distance or direction or both. (Pattern Engine, Standard N=12, ©, 2014)

Next Post: Value – A subject aspect of Quality.

1 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award – Criteria

2 The Balanced Score Card

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Chapter Twenty-Two: Organizations – The Executioners of Quality

ConPriDigm AvatarQuality IS…governed by an organized executioner.

Why is quality the DNA of organizations that can be mapped, charted, modeled, and altered?

 

 

Conceptual Pattern for Organization

An organization is a relationship identified by a shared interest or purpose that exists between separate components in a coherent whole by virtue of orderliness. An organization is methodical and well structured. It is a quality that is a logical interconnection associated with a rationally  stated motive. An organization is aesthetically consistent so that all the separate parts fit together and add up to a harmonious or credible entity. Organizations obey or appreciate method, system, and arrangement in a neat, sensible, or proper way that leads to understandability. An organization exists or for which something has been done or made and is manifested as an anticipated outcome that is intended or guides planned actions to achieve a desired result. (Pattern Engine – Organization N=12 © 2014)

If the organization is understood then the meaning of Quality will follow.

First Principle: The purpose of the organization is to delight the customer and make a profit doing it.

Second Principle: Organizations are quasi-markets in which influence and control are negotiated and allocated according to which organizational participants are the most critical to the organizations continued survival and success.1

Third Principle: An organization is a purposeful complex adaptive system.2

Fourth Principle: An organization as a system is the product of the interaction of its parts.3

Fifth Principle: The command-and-control organization that first emerged in the 1870s might be compared to an organism held together by its shell. The organization that is now emerging is being designed around a skeleton: information, both the organizations new integrating system and its articulation.4

Sixth Principle: In order to assess the cognitive framework of an organization, there is a need to understand the interactions of four fundamental elements contained in every organization: its principles, models, rules and behaviors.2

Key Conceptual Patterns

ADAPTATION
Adaptation is responsive adjustment to varying conditions affecting the structure, function, or behavior by which an organization improves its chance of survival in a specific environment as the result of change. Adaptation aggregates surrounding conditions causing an event that modifies circumstances. It occurs when something passes from one phase or state to another. Adaptation is the result of alteration, modification, or a variance from a routine or pattern that must exist for something else to happen. Adaptation rests on the validity or the effect of something else that may be restricting or limiting and thus influences or affects a particular activity. (Pattern Engine – Adaptation N=12 © 2014)

ARTICULATION
Articulation is the expression of thoughts, ideas and feelings that results in a connection and coherency. It is a relationship of parts expressed in words. Articulation is a means of communicating a feeling or thought or conveying an idea or sentiment as in the case of one causing the other or sharing features with it within its context. Articulation is logical, orderly and consistent so that all the separate parts fit together and add up to a harmonious or credible whole and may proceed from the subordination of the parts of a thing to one principle or purpose.  (Pattern Engine – Articulation N=12 © 2014)

 Next Post: Performance – Quality in Disguise or just Plain Disguise.

1. Jeffery Pfeffer and Gerald R. Salancik, The External Control of Organizations, 2003.
2. Howard Sherman and Ron Schultz, Open Boundaries: Creating Business Innovation through Complexity, 1993.

3. Russel Lincoln Ackoff, Recreating the Corporation: A design for the 21st Century, 1999.

4. Peter Drucker, The Essential Drucker, 2001.

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Chapter Twenty-One: Homeostasis – Achieving Equilibrium with Cybernetics

ConPriDigm AvatarQuality IS…a sustainable state of feedback mechanisms.

Why does an organization gain the ability to maintain a constant internal state of equilibrium – in spite of external conditions?

 

 

Conceptual Pattern for Homeostasis

Homeostasis is a stable situation in which forces cancel one another and reach equilibrium resulting in the presence of feedback mechanisms which can adjust the state of the system to compensate for changes caused by the external environment. It is an influential response to an inquiry resulting in a stable state.  Homeostasis is an effective, valid or applicable change that produces a powerful effect. It results in an equal distribution in which opposing forces or factors balance each other out.  Part of the output of a machine, system or circuit is returned to the input in order to regulate its further output. (Pattern Engine – Homeostasis N=12 © 2014)

If the meaning of homeostasis is understood then the meaning of Quality will follow.

First Principle: The purpose of cybernetics is to achieve a stable, sustainable, state through the coordinated response of its systems, processes and activities to feedback mechanisms to maintain dynamic self-regulating equilibrium.

Second Principle: Cybernetics studies the flow of information round a system, and the way in which this information is used by the system as a means of controlling itself.1

Third Principle: Cybernetics incorporates the following three key ideas: systemic dynamicity; homeostasis around a value; and recursive feedback. 2

Fourth Principle:  Cybernetic systems must have the capacity to sense, monitor, and scan significant aspects of their environment and be able to relate this information to the operating norms that guide system behavior. 3

Fifth Principle: Cybernetic systems must be able to detect significant deviations from operating norms. 3

Sixth Principle: Cybernetic systems must be able to initiate corrective action when discrepancies are detected. 3

Key Conceptual Patterns 

DYNAMICITY

Dynamicity is a driving or energizing force, characterized by action while providing an efficient incentive. It is an influential goal seeking activity that incites. Dynamicity is a positive motivational influence that is effective, valid or applicable and produces a powerful effect of change. Dynamicity results in action as a means of increasing output caused by some previous phenomenon that brings about an outcome. (Pattern Engine – Dynamicity N=12 © 2014)

RECURSION

Recursion is the use of repeated steps, each based on the result of the one before generated by a particular operation which defines a function or calculates a number by the repeated application of an algorithm.  It is a procedure maneuvering a series of functions. Recursion details a sequence of rules or sets of rules performed to solve a problem while controlling or managing the way a process works. Recursion is a part of a stage in a progression of a series of actions to achieve a particular goal. (Pattern Engine – Recursion N=12 © 2014)

Next Post: Organizations –  the Executioners of Quality

1 Stafford Beer, 2000,  http://www.asc-cybernetics.org/foundations/definitions.htm.

Psycho-Ontology.net, 2000,  http://www.asc-cybernetics.org/foundations/definitions.htm.

3  Gareth Morgan, Images of Organization, 1986.

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Chapter Twenty: Algorithms – Effective and Efficient Use of Metrics and Indicators

ConPriDigm AvatarQuality IS…an effective procedure for creating information from data.

Why is an algorithm a logical sequence of steps for solving a problem or carrying out a procedure and may contain embedded experience, expertise and knowledge?

 

Conceptual Pattern for Algorithm

An algorithm is a procedure that details a sequence of rules or sets of rules performed to solve a problem. It is a serial arranged method to resolve a state of difficulty or puzzle. An algorithm addresses things, actions, or events arranged or happening in a specific order or linear arrangement having a specific connection as a recurrent pattern of actions intended to achieve a result. An algorithm is a fixed step-by-step sequence of activities that must be followed in the same order to correctly perform a task raised as a question for consideration or solution.(Pattern Engine – Algorithm N=12 © 2014)

If algorithms are understood then the meaning of Quality will follow.

First Principle:  The purpose of an algorithm is the effective and efficient transformation of data.

Second Principle: An algorithm is a finite effective procedure, written in a fixed symbolic vocabulary, governed by precise instructions, moving in discrete steps and sooner or later comes to an end. 1

Third Principle: The actions carried out by an algorithm must be rigorously specified for each case. 2

Fourth Principle: An algorithm must arrive at a problem solution after a finite number of steps. 2

Fifth Principle: Inputs may be defined as quantities which are given to the algorithm initially, before it its executed, and the outputs as quantities which     have a specified relation to the inputs and which are delivered at the completion of its execution. 2

Sixth Principle: An algorithm has five basic properties: boundedness, it stops; correctness, it finds the right answer to a problem; predictability, it always does the same thing if given the same input; finiteness, it can be described in a finite number of steps; definiteness, each step has a well defined meaning. 3

Key Conceptual Patterns

PROBLEM

A problem is a state of difficulty or puzzle raised as a question for consideration or solution. It is a condition of something difficult to resolve requiring a correct answer. A problem is something requiring a solution but is difficult or impossible to resolve without successful action in respect to its main attributes.(Pattern Engine – Problem N=12 © 2014)

SOLUTION

A solution is a method that results in successfully dealing with difficulty and solves a problem or explains how to solve a problem or provides the answer to a puzzle or question. It is a way of doing something with requested information regarding a state of difficulty. A solution is a body of systematic techniques used by a particular scientific discipline according to a plan that is made to reply to a question or request or criticism or accusation and perceived as a gap between the existing state and a desired state raised for consideration.(Pattern Engine – Solution N=12 © 2014)

Next Post: Homeostasis – Achieving equilibrium with cybernetics.

Davis Berlinski: The Advent of the Algorithm, 2000.

2. Lydia Kronsjo: Algorithms: Their Complexity and Efficiency, 1987

3.  Gregory Rawlins: Compared to What; An Introduction to the Analysis of Algorithms, 1992.

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Chapter Nineteen: Capability – The Indicator of Quality Performance or Not

ConPriDigm AvatarQuality IS…conformance to requirements, but is not free.

Why is poor process capability equivalent to Russian roulette when it comes to customer satisfaction?

 

 

Conceptual Pattern for Capability

Capability is the total range of inherent variations in a stable process that is susceptible to a particular treatment expressed as potential ability. It is a sustained phenomenon resulting in an action to do something well. Capability is a series of actions directed toward a specific aim intended to achieve a result manifested in an effective way when measured against a standard that favors steady progress and typical behavior while accomplishing a task well with a particular amount of success and results in a particular way something is handled or managed. (Pattern Engine – Capability N=12 © 2014)

If capability is understood then the meaning of Quality will follow.

First Principle: The purpose of process capability is to demonstrate compliance with customer needs.

Second Principle: If a process is predictable and stable then its capability will be predictable. 1

Third Principle: Once the location of a process output has been described and the dispersion of the process output has been measured it is possible to make useful         comparisons between the Voice of the Process and the Voice of the Customer. 1

Fourth Principle: Capability can be expressed in ratios that compare the Voice of the Process with the Voice of the Customer or they can be simply expressed as the percent of the product that is exceeding specification limits.1

Fifth Principle: A measurable process characteristic is considered capable if one-  hundred percent of the data values fall within the specification limits.1

Sixth Principle: A simple estimate of the fraction of nonconforming product for a stable process can be obtained from a histogram of the measurements by dividing the number of nonconforming measurements by the total number of measurements in the histogram. 1  

Key Conceptual Patterns

CUSTOMER

A customer is current or potential buyer or user or of goods or services in a particular way from an individual or organization. A customer is a business organization that has authority to consume or employs a good or service that is founded to produce articles of commerce. A customer is a number of persons united or incorporated for joint action and a specific purpose to obtain a benefit or to solve a problem that may not be the actual purchaser of items that are used for later consumption. (Pattern Engine – Customer N=12 © 2014)

SPECIFICATION

A detailed description of design criteria providing an exact measurement or detailed plan needed to make, build, or produce something. It is a detailed written statement regarding a standard point of reference. A specification represents something in words regarding certain or salient aspects, characteristics, or features of a subject matter or something seen, heard, or otherwise experienced or known. It is used in making a decision or judgment against which others can be evaluated against and intended future course of action aimed at a method for achieving specific objectives within a timeframe.(Pattern Engine – Specification N=12 © 2014)

Next Post: Algorithms: Effective and efficient use of metrics and indicators.

1 Donald Wheeler, Advanced Topics in Statistical Process Control, 1995

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Chapter Eighteen: Waste – Knowledge without Know-How

ConPriDigm AvatarQuality ISwaste when knowledge is not used to good effect.

Why does wasted knowledge lead to wasted action and chaos?

 

 

Conceptual Pattern for Waste

Waste is the failure of inefficient or non-essential activities to consume resources in a way that adds value. It is an event that is perceived as an economic or productive factor. Waste is characterized by inadequate growth, development, or production. Waste is something that does not accomplish its intended purpose or required function within specified limits. It is the extent to which a good or service is perceived by its customer to not meet needs or wants and thus rendering something useless. Waste does not contribute to the accomplishment of an activity as a source of aid or support that can be drawn upon when needed for survival. (Pattern Engine – Waste N=12 © 2014)

If waste is understood then the meaning of Quality will follow.

First Principle: The purpose of waste is to reduce efficiency and effectiveness and to hamper execution.

Second Principle: Waste is the failure to use the knowledge of variation and control wisely, properly, fully or to good effect.

Third Principle: The performance of routine sampling with unacceptable error leads to wasted action.

Fourth Principle: Wasted action results from reacting to an outcome as if it came from a special cause, when actually it came from common causes of variation or reacting to an outcome as if it came from common causes of variation, when actually it came from a special cause. 1

Fifth Principle: Developing and implementing product specifications without taking into consideration the voice of the process, the voice of raw materials and the voice of the customer leads to waste for the supplier, waste for the processor and waste for the customer.

Sixth Principle: The most common organization wastes are: overproduction of sold product, waiting for activities to be completed, to transport from point A to point B, the inefficiency of processing steps,  inventory of unsold goods, motion where it is not needed, defects, and spoilage.2

Key Conceptual Patterns

VALUE

The extent to which a good or service is perceived by its customer to meet needs or wants. Value is the quality that renders something useful. It is the worth or importance of something to somebody. Value is an essential and distinguishing attribute and a motivating force that compels action for its satisfaction. Value is something tangible or intangible that results in a grade or standard that identifies the essential nature of something resulting in something that is a requirement or is wanted or is necessary but lacking. (Pattern Engine – Value N=12 © 2014)

RESOURCE

A resource is an economic or productive factor required to accomplish an activity as a source of aid or support that can be draw upon when needed for survival. Resources have influence on outcomes. A resource contributes to the act of continuing an activity without interruption while fulfilling a need or furtherance of an effort or purpose. Activities need resources that help them be successful, influence whether an event happens or the way that it happens and compete successfully within the environment. (Pattern Engine – Resource N=12 © 2014)

1W Edwards Deming, The New Economics for Industry, Government Education, 1994.

2 Don Tapping, Tom Luyster and Tom Shuker, Value Stream Management, 2001.

Next Post: Conformance – The Indicator of Quality Performance – or Not

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Chapter Nine – Knowledge – The Prerequisite for Achieving Quality

ConPriDigm AvatarQuality IS…knowledge for modifying behaviors and events.

Why learn that knowledge is the ability to analyze, generate a solution, select and plan the solution, and then subject the solution to implementation and evaluation?     

   

Conceptual Pattern for Knowledge

Knowledge is the psychological result of perception, learning and reasoning that germinates from the combination of data, information and experience.  Knowledge is dependent upon individual interpretation resulting in awareness or understanding of a circumstance or fact. It is gained through iterative association. Knowledge results from the process of mentally interpreting relational information coming from the senses. It is the ability to explain the meaning of something and thus increases the capacity for rational thought and comprehension while combining or connecting thoughts, ideas, or feelings. (Pattern Engine – Knowledge N=12 © 2013)

If Knowledge is understood then the meaning of quality will follow.

First Principle: The purpose of knowledge is to provide the raw material for effective and efficient execution.

Second Principle: Knowledge is recognizing attributes within good prototypes, discriminating what attributes have importance, having the ability to measure the      attributes, the ability to control the attributes, recognizing and discriminating between processes,   controlling processes, and understanding associated procedures.[1]

Third Principle:  Knowledge is the ability to identify and select a problem, subject the problem to analysis, generate a potential solution, select and plan the solution,      subject the solution to implementation and evaluation.[2]

Fourth Principle: Converting data into information requires knowledge.[3]

Fifth Principle: Knowledge base redundancy within organizations improves cognition by providing a common ground and facilitates the transfer of knowledge that         is understood.[4]

Sixth Principle: Knowledge is not an abstract concept divorced from the world of business; it is a tangible corporate asset; you can manufacture it, own it, buy and sell it, build it into machines that make profits: It is the real stuff that has value.[5]

Key Concept  Patterns

ATTRIBUTE

An attribute is a characteristic, construct or abstraction belonging to a thing distinguishing it from other things. It is an abstract or general idea leading to a distinguishing feature or a formation of concepts. An attribute is a characteristic of an entity measured under closely specified conditions and usually divided into three categories: (1) physical, (2) functional, and (3) operational. It is systematically put together and derived from thought. An attribute is related to concrete examples, realities, specific objects or actual instances. (Pattern Engine – Attribute N=12  © 2014)

PROTOTYPE

A prototype is a standard or typical example which has essential features and is the model for subsequent forms representing or constituting an original type after which other similar things are patterned. It is a normative example that hypothetically describes something that is representative. A prototype is a complex entity or process that is used as a standard or example. It is one of a number of things, or a part of something, taken to show the character of the whole of a complex entity or process and used for imitation or comparison that is a regular or repetitive form, order, or arrangement considered worthy of imitation. (Pattern Engine – Prototype N=12  © 2014)

THE FOLLOWING  CONCEPTS WILL BE EXPANDED TO CONCEPTUAL PATTERNS IN THE BOOK.

EffectiveEfficientExecution
AnalysisImplementationProcedure
AssetImportanceProcess
BaseInformationProfit
BusinessMachineRedundancy
BuyManufactureSell
CognitionMeasureSolution
ConceptPlanUnderstand
ControlProblemValue


[1]  David A. Garvin, Building a Learning Organization, Harvard Business Review, 1988.

[2]  David A. Garvin, Building a Learning Organization, Harvard Business Review, 1988.

[3]  Peter Drucker, The Coming of the New Organization, Harvard Business Review, 1988.

[4]  Ikujiro Nonaka, The Knowledge Creating Company, Harvard Business Review, 1991.

[5] Alan N. Fish, Knowledge Automation, How to Implement Decision Management in Business Processes, 2012.

Remember— we are building a theory about the meaning of QUALITY.

Next Post – Chapter Ten: Thinking – Creating Meaning and Finding Patterns

 

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Chapter Ten: Thinking – Creating Meaning and Finding Patterns

ConPriDigm AvatarQuality IS… thinking that creates meaningful patterns.

Why think with the objective of forming a pattern and utilize data, facts and experiences to make inferences and judgments based on concepts and theories to answer a question or solve a problem?

 

Conceptual Pattern for Thinking

Thinking is the process of using the mind to reason rationally. Thinking is a sequenced process using logic to draw conclusions based on a premise or known facts that generate thoughts, feelings, ideas, and perceptions. Thinking stores knowledge and memories to promote understanding and offer directions. Thinking generates a result and draws conclusions from interdependent and linked activities that are directed toward a specific action. (Pattern Engine – Thinking N=12 © 2013)

If Thinking is understood then the meaning of Quality will follow.

First Principle:  The purpose of thinking is to collect information and to make the best use of it.[1]

Second Principle: Because of the way the mind works to create fixed concept patterns we cannot make the best use of new information unless we have some means of restructuring the old patterns and bring them up-to-date.[2]

Third Principle:  We think for a purpose, within a point-of-view, based on assumptions, leading to implications and consequences.[3]

Fourth Principle: Whenever we think; we use data, facts and experiences to make inferences and judgments based on concepts and theories to answer a question or solve a problem.[4]

Fifth Principle: Intellectual standards that must be considered for thinking are: clarity, relevance, logicalness, accuracy, depth, significance, precision, breadth, and fairness.[5]

Sixth Principle: The key to thinking creatively and intelligently is to connect two or more ideas, relate seemingly different ideas to things, explore the commonalities, subject the ideas, things and connections to analysis, discover or invent something new based the analysis, connections  and explorations, apply the discovery or invention to new contexts.[6]

Key Concept Patterns

INFORMATION

Information is a collection facts and data acquired through study, experience and instruction that culminates with knowledge. It is accumulated knowledge that results in awareness and possession of verified data. Information results from active involvement in an activity from learning and instruction or exposure to events or people over a period of time. Information leads to an increase in knowledge or skill that germinates from a combination of data, facts, ideas, truths, principles, experience and individual interpretation that can be shown to be true, to exist, or to have happened. (Pattern Engine, – Information N=12 © 2013)

PATTERN

A pattern is a general concept formed by extracting common features from specific examples. Patterns are distinct and unifying ideas that are simplified versions of something complex. They are used in analyzing and solving problems, making predictions or making a comparison that is perceived as an entity. A pattern is a recurrent idea expanded in a discourse due to a special set of circumstances. They are considered as a whole, belong together, referred to by name and serve as a master from which other similar things can be made, copied, or used as the basis for a related idea, process, or system. (Pattern Engine, – Pattern N=12 © 2013)

THE FOLLOWING CONCEPTS WILL BE EXPANDED TO CONEPTUAL PATTERNS IN THE BOOK.

PatternRestructuringPoint-if-view
AssumptionImplicationData
FactsExperienceInference
JudgmentConceptTheory
AnswerQuestionProblem
ClarityRelevanceLogicalness
AccuracyDepthSignificance
PrecisionBreadthFairness
IdeaThingCommonality
AnalysisConnectionExploration
DiscoveryInventionContext


[1] Edward de Bono, Lateral Thinking, 1970

[2] Edward de Bono, Lateral Thinking, 1970

[3] Richard W. Paul and Linda Elder,  Critical Thinking, 2002

[4] Richard W. Paul and Linda Elder,  Critical Thinking, 2002

[5] Richard W. Paul and Linda Elder,  Critical Thinking, 2002

[6] Todd Siler, Thinking Like a Genius, 1996

Remember – We are building a theory about the meaning of quality

Next Post – Chapter Eleven: Curriculum – Shared Paradigms

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Chapter Eleven: Curriculum – Shared Paradigms

ConPriDigm AvatarQuality IS…scientific technique not shared paradigms.

Why should curriculum be based on the needs of potential employers—not the shared knowledge and paradigms of individuals and institutions?

 

Conceptual Pattern for Curriculum

A curriculum is an integrated set of combined, required or prescribed academic courses of study, arranged in a sequence, to be fulfilled for a particular purpose. A curriculum is a process involving a serial arrangement of sessions that results in learning. A curriculum integrates a number of classes or lectures in an academic subject or a practical skill. A curriculum follows a logical order or a recurrent pattern for applying the mind to understand a subject by reading, thought, intuition or research using the scientific method. Curriculums have a specific connection through time imparting an education to students. (Pattern Engine – Curriculum N=12 © 2014)

If curriculums are understood then the meaning of Quality will follow.

Scholar Academic Curriculum  from Curriculum Theory, Conflicting Visions and Enduring Concerns by Michael Stephen Schiro, 2008.

First Principle: The purpose of a curriculum is to help children and young adults learn the accumulated knowledge of our culture and academic disciplines.

Second Principle: Scholars accomplish the extension of the discipline through the transmission of its knowledge and ways of thinking to students.

Third Principle: The curriculum must reflect the essence of the discipline.

Fourth Principle: The essence of the discipline is a defined area of study; the collection of facts, writings, and other works of scholars associated with a community of individuals who’s ultimate task is the gaining of meaning in one domain of the world of knowledge.

Fifth Principle Disciplines are viewed as hierarchical communities consisting of inquirers into new knowledge, teachers of knowledge, and learners of knowledge.

Sixth Principle: The primary characteristic of the knowledge that Scholar Academics consider to be potential curriculum content is that it is claimed by one of the academic disciplines as belonging to its domain.

 Social Efficiency Curriculum from The Curriculum by John Franklin Bobbitt, 1918.

First Principle: The educational task and purpose preceding all others is the determination of a scientific technique of curriculum design.

Second Principle:  Effective organization of learning experiences allows curriculum objectives to be efficiently accomplished by stimulating learning to take place efficiently, where efficient is defined in terms of expenditure of time, money, and human resources.

Third Principle:  Educators must determine the needs of society (terminal objectives) and the product that fulfills those needs (curriculum).

Fourth Principle The discovery and clear specification of terminal objectives is the first task educators undertake.

Fifth Principle: Knowledge is a skill or a capability for action identifiable as the successful performance of a class of tasks.

Sixth Principle: Human life consists of the performance of specific activities; a curriculum that prepares for life is one that prepares for those activities.

Key Conceptual Patterns

DISCIPLINE

A discipline is a branch of knowledge involving the practice or methods of teaching and enforcing acceptable patterns of behavior via a system of rules of conduct. A discipline is the psychological result of systematic execution and a manner of acting.  Disciplines are orderly, logical arrangements of acts usually in steps according to a plan that result in perception, learning and reasoning.  A discipline germinates from the combination of data, information, experience, and individual interpretation leading to the awareness or understanding of a circumstance or fact. A discipline is gained through association, management, and controlling of a process or activity.(Pattern Engine – Discipline N=12 © 2014)

SCIENTIFIC

Evidence resulting from study and experimentation requiring or demonstrating systematic knowledge and skills, exactness in observation and testing, and keen but dispassionate interest in the truths of nature leading to organized general principles. An assumption based on a fact or belief. A proposition or principle that can be demonstrated or verified in reality that is received and understood and gives a sign or proof of the existence or truth of something, or that helps somebody to come to a particular conclusion concerning a natural phenomenon or its function in a complex system of thought that is accepted as true and can be used as a basis for reasoning or conduct. (Pattern Engine – Scientific N=12 © 2014)

Many concepts will be expanded to conceptual patterns in the book can you pick them out from the principles?

Next Post – Chapter Twelve: Metrics – The Handle on the Door to World Class Quality

 

 

Flashback in Theory Chapter

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Chapter Twelve: Metrics – The Handle on the Door to World Class Quality

ConPriDigm AvatarQuality IS…a metric for an ideal state

Why learn that the metrics of an ideal state are closely related to variation, targets, performance and control?

 

 

Conceptual Pattern for Metric

A metric is a standard system of related measurement statistics by which efficiency, performance, progress, or quality of a plan, process, or product can be assessed and quantified. A metric is an assigned piece of information based on a system of measurement. Metrics are numerical representations of any measurable characteristic of some subjective aspect (attribute, property) according to a rule or arbitrary scale, e.g. a mean or standard deviation, used to describe a sample or population made meaningful by quantifying into specific units. (Pattern Engine – Metric  N=12 © 2014)

If metrics are understood then the meaning of Quality will follow.

First Principle: The purpose of a metric is to provide measurements for the management, monitoring and improvement of activities and processes.

Second Principle: A measured value from an activity or process can be considered to be in an ideal state only by satisfying four conditions: inherent stability over time, the process is operated with the goal of consistency and stability, the process average (target) is set at the proper level, the natural process spread must be less than the specified tolerance for the measurement characteristic value.1

Third Principle: A measurement value that is in the ideal state is predictable and is producing one-hundred percent conforming product. 1

Fourth Principle: Conformity will be a consequence of natural process limits which fall within specification limits.1

Fifth Principle: Metrics need to have targets based on research.2

Sixth Principle Multiple metrics can be combined into several overall indices of    performance.2

 Key Conceptual Patterns

IDEAL

An ideal is an example and model of standardized excellence. It is a representative member or example offered as a basis for comparison. An ideal is a typical version of a concept, phenomenon, relationship, structure, system, or an aspect of the real world that deserves to be imitated as a pattern. It is typical by virtue of having features of the thing it represents and is universally or widely accepted, agreed upon, or established means of determining what something should be and is accepted as the norm or by which actual attainments are judged. (Pattern Engine – Ideal N=12 © 2014)

CONFORMITY

Conformity is compliance with a fixed standard, regulation, requirement or practice according to a particular set of rules. Conformity is a prescribed guide establishing a customary way of meeting requirements. Conformity is a confirmed set of accepted standard operations especially those that have been developed through experience and knowledge and authoritative principles resulting in translating ideas into into action and are accepted as true and can be used as a basis for reasoning, conduct or action. (Pattern Engine – Conformity N=12 © 2014)

Nest Post: – Indicators – Harbingers of needed change.

  1. Donald Wheeler, Advanced Topics in Statistical Process Control, 1995
  2. Mark Graham Brown, Keeping Score, 1996
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Chapter Thirteen: Indicators – Harbingers of Needed Change—or Not

ConPriDigm AvatarQuality IS…an indicator of needed change.

Why learn that indicators are simple algorithms that combine and then process metrics that may not be related but when used together provide a switch for needed change.

 

Conceptual Pattern for Indicator

An indicator is a measurable variable and signal for attracting attention to something observed or calculated and shows the presence or state of a condition,  trend, or representation of an associated (but non-measured or non-measurable) factor or quantity. It is a message based on an assumption or provision that is an incitement to action. An indicator encodes an agreed upon message that is understood as the occasion for concerted action. A indicator rests upon the validity or effect for something else to happen and is a statement or declaration setting forth particulars or facts regarding something real or alleged, especially one meant to induce a response and expressed by a term, character, or symbol. (Pattern Engine – Indicator N=12 © 2014)

If indicators are understood then the meaning of quality will follow.

First Principle: The purpose of an indicator is to provide the basis for change.

Second Principle: The mean, median and mode are indicators of central tendency and must approximate the target for measured process characteristics.

Third Principle: Variance and standard deviation values are indicators of spread or dispersion in data about the central tendency.

Fourth Principle: Standard error is an indicator of the average deviation between a measurement and the average of many repeated measurements of the same thing. 1

Fifth Principle: Test-Retest Error is an indicator of variation that exists in duplicate measurements of any specific indicator. 1

Sixth Principle: The Discrimination Ratio is an indicator that quantifies the relative usefulness of a measurement process for a specific characteristic and may be used to establish priorities with regard to improvement efforts. 1

Key Conceptual Patterns

CHANGE

A change is a process and event that occurs when something passes from one state or phase to another and by which things become different by varying from a routine or pattern. Change is the occurrence of a difference in a sustained phenomenon. Change is a series of actions directed toward a specific aim intended to achieve a result. that happens due to a special set of circumstances and is particularly significant between two or more things that depart from expectations and vary from a norm or standard. (Pattern Engine – Change N=12 © 2014)     

CHARACTERISTIC

A characteristic is any measurable property or feature that helps to distinguish an item, person, phenomenon, etc., usually divided into three categories: (1) physical, (2) functional, and (3) operational. A characteristic is an abstract measurable construct belonging to an entity a, group or set of things. A characteristic is peculiar to a whole class whereby objects or individuals can be distinguished, set apart from similar items or offered as a special attraction that share common attributes marking divisions or coordination’s in a conceptual scheme. (Pattern Engine – Characteristic N=12 © 2014)

Next Post – Variation – A Blessing or a Curse

1 Donald J. Wheeler and Richard W. Lyday, EMP, Evaluating the Measurement Process, 1989

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Chapter Fourteen: Variation – A Blessing or a Curse

ConPriDigm AvatarQuality IS…variation that affects predictability.

Why does quality become unpredictable and frustrating for both provider and user when variation becomes excessive?

Conceptual Pattern for Variation

VARIATION

Variation is the rate or magnitude of inevitable change in the output or result of a process that deviates from a norm or standard. It is a process and event that is a numerical property or datum. Variation occurs when something passes from one state or phase to another and by which things become different by varying from a routine or pattern of relative size and extent. Variation may be assigned to the ratio of two quantities such that it can be compared to others numerically. Variation can be represented numerically as an average or average range as measured across a large group and may be a standard, model or pattern that is considered typical. (Pattern Engine – Variation N=12 © 2014)

If the meaning of variation is understood then the meaning of Quality will follow.

Chapter Fourteen: Variation – A Blessing or a Curse

First Principle: The purpose of variation is to reflect the essence of nature and the creations of man.

Second Principle: Every data set contains the noise of routine variation, some data sets may contain signals, therefore; before you can detect a signal within any given data set, you must first filter out the noise .1

Third Principle: No data have meaning apart from their context .1

Fourth Principle: Appropriate, statistically derived, time series charts, are the simplest way to filter out noise, detect signals and put data in context.1

Fifth Principle: The purpose of analysis of variation is to provide needed insight.1

Sixth Principle: The best analysis is the simplest analysis which provides insight.1

Key Conceptual Patterns

CONTEXT

Context is the set of facts or circumstances that surround a situation or event expressed as words, phrases, or passages that come before and after a particular word or passage in a piece of writing and help to explain and interpret its full meaning. It is a message explaining a distinct occurrence. Context establishes and makes clear significance of something that is intended, expressed in words that captures value, effectiveness and significance and may not be immediately obvious. Context follows and is caused by some previous phenomenon at a given time. (Pattern Engine – Context N=12 © 2014)

INSIGHT

Insight is the power of the mind to achieve a clear or deep perception of knowledge in the form of understanding, or deduction to grasp essential meaning or truth. It is a process of reasoning to identify facts. Insight uses the senses to acquire information about the surrounding environment or situation to understand and make good judgments about something resulting in the basic component in the formation of a concept. Insight has been verified and conforms to an original or standard for drawing conclusions by reasoning, esp. from given information, stated premises, or general principles and transcends from the general to the specific or cause to effect. (Pattern Engine – Insight N=12 © 2014)

Nest Post: Sampling, a paradox without adequate representation.

1 Donald J. Wheeler, Understanding Variation – The Key to Managing Chaos, 2000.

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