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Can't Change it if you Don't Measure it-Quality Control

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[edit] Starting with Measurement

One of the familiar principles of quality control is the saying, "You can't change it, if you don't measure it." A fundamental starting point to improve the quality of any operation, product, process or service in an organization is to establish a measurement system for the activity in question.

  • First, members of the organization learn a lot from measuring the activity.
  • Second, that measurement information becomes shared knowledge in the organization with leaders, managers and employees.
  • Third, there becomes top of the mind focus on the measurement and performance of that activity because there is now a common set of information and understanding in the organization.
  • Lastly, with the baseline for change established, the organization including leaders, managers and employees can try various methods of change to alter the performance and outcome of the activity.

Measuring and sharing the measurement information in an organization can be very empowering.

[edit] Dr. W. Edwards Deming - the father of quality control

Dr. W. Edwards Demings is generally credited as the father of modern quality control. Wikipedia provides a good overview of Dr. W. Edwards Demings that also has many additional source to learn more about quality control systems and history

[edit] America Adopts Dr. Demings Teachings the Hard Way!

The pathway by which Americans adopted the teachings of Dr. Demings are very instructive lessons.

The principles and teachings of Demings were successfully adopted in the US for WW II production, but were soon forgotten after the war. Demings teachings were subsequently embraced from 1947 forward in Japan with outstanding success.

There, from 1950 onward he taught top management how to improve design (and thus service), product quality, testing and sales (the latter through global markets) through various methods, including the application of statistical methods such as analysis of variance (ANOVA) and hypothesis testing. Deming made a significant contribution to Japan becoming renowned for producing innovative high-quality products.

Decades later American businesses discovered the teachings of Demings as Japanese products became known for their high-quality and American products such as autos, motorcycles and cameras struggled in the market place. American businesses lacked the will to search for answers from their foreign competitors with an open mind. Biases, ego and other restrictive forces were a barrier to learning and changing.

[edit] Author

The author of this article is Terry Gardiner.

Terry Gardiner is the founder and President of Silver Lining Seafoods and NorQuest Seafoods - a medium size Alaska seafood processing companies; and currently Board member of the Anvil Corporation, an employee owned company specializing in oil and gas engineering.

His co-operative experiences include member director of the Commercial Fishermen Co-operative association; creation of legislation for the Alaska Commercial Fishing and Agriculture Bank; and advisor to the US Dept of Health and Social Services for the state Health CO-OPs.

Terry served ten years as a member of the Alaska House of Representatives -several legislative committee chairmanships, Speaker of the House, Chairman of the Alaska Criminal Code Commission and board member on various state and federal boards and commissions.

His non-profit experiences include National Policy Director for the Small Business Majority in Washington DC; working with the Herndon Alliance and ForTerra.

Terry authored the leadership book, "Six-Word Lessons to Build Effective Leaders: 100 Lessons to Equip Your People to Create Winning Organizations".

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