Better Together

Abstract:Despite the merging that has taken place between process flow improvement and quality improvement approaches, two largely distinct core methods remain: the quality sciences on one hand and flow methods on the other, each with its own separate community of professionals. In critically examining a previous case study that focused only on quality methods, this article supports the idea that separation into quality and flow camps can (and often does) lead to suboptimal results. The author argues that for the sake of more effective process improvement, each camp needs to broaden its skill sets to be adept at understanding and fixing processes through quality and flow methods combined. The article examines a previously published case study of a meat product supplier's product quality problems, and notes that the quality analysis that had been performed did not include flow management considerations. The author identifies five actions that appear well suited for changing disruptive process flows at …

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Mt.Schonberger gave a very important message and reminded us that we need to broaden our knowledge and do the Gemba to better support a business process flow.
--Joanna, 03-09-2015


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