Acing Basics

It’s hard to build if the foundation is shaky

As the mother of a 9-year-old girl, I’m constantly hammering away at her to get her math facts down pat. Repetition, memorization and frequency, rinse and repeat, I say. Nailing down these basics allows you to build on your knowledge and grow in your abilities. I doubt Newton worked out his laws of motion still counting on his fingers.

The basics should never be ignored—not even when, theoretically, you’ve had them mastered for years. Because of the continued requests from readers, and our continued efforts to meet those needs, each year we dedicate an issue of QP to some foundationally based articles that let you brush up on the basics or identify areas of your organization that could benefit from some tweaks and adjustments at the most basic levels.

What better place to start than by examining our processes? "Process Primer" takes a look at business process management (BPM) and the ability to control outcomes by controlling processes. The article lays out five BPM pillars and explains how to systematically approach each to achieve the desired results.

As the author concludes: "Implementing and using BPM can be simple, but it’s never easy—especially if you haven’t been proactively managing your processes."

In "Small Changes, Big Results," learn ways to make positive incremental change in a lean environment. After a lean implementation, and all the big wins that come in the initial stages, where do you go from there? Learn about one automotive parts manufacturer’s winning approach.

"Outside Influence" addresses a true foundation: education—in this case, a camp for high school seniors interested in science, technology, engineering and math. The team who developed the program—a joint effort between University of South Carolina Upstate and BMW—took an unorthodox approach to teaching that earned it rave reviews from the students and made learning fun and exciting. Some of the exercises might serve as examples of ways to invigorate or inspire your own teams.

As mentioned last month, ASQ recently launched an exclusive video channel featuring a series of interviews with standards experts, with particular emphasis on ISO 9001:2015. Recently, we followed up with the launch of an information-packed enewsletter featuring articles, information and video each month on standards, including ISO 9001, news and more. Subscribing is free and easy. Go to asq.org/standardsconnection to sign up.

Seiche Sanders

Seiche Sanders

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