Tools & Resources
Organizing papers and files to stay on top of your bills, investments and other important documents
I feel I am certainly hardwired to look at all situations that present themselves in my personal life through quality lenses: quality assessment of my friendships, my time, buying a car and all the way to organizing my kitchen, my backyard garden and the food that makes its way into my mouth.
When I bought my last car, the plan-do-check-act cycle had begun about two years before I actually purchased the car. Reviewing customer feedback and test driving has become an ongoing exercise in preparation for my planning and data-gathering cycle for our next car.
To prove I am a quality geek fascinated by the quality concepts, I have been teaching certified manager of quality/organizational excellence and certified quality auditor preparation classes in Minnesota, and I used a prioritization matrix to compare the two job offers that I got six months ago. I use the 5Ss to control my garden, home and garage on a daily basis. Does it work and are my surroundings impeccable? No way! Isn’t our quality life an odyssey of continuous improvement?
—Meena Chettiar, quality associate III, Synovis Surgicals, St. Paul, MN
The common thinking is that quality stays at work and doesn’t go into personal life: Leave everything at the workplace and start all over again in a different life at home and in your personal life.
I personally believe that quality starts with self. Quality is nothing but your attitude, mind-set and behavior. That’s why personal quality is very important. Personal quality involves one’s behavior with family members, neighbors, friends and community.
Organizing all your documents is very important. All necessary information should be available at your fingertips without wasting time searching. That includes retirement planning, key documents and financial information.
Planning, organizing and executing also are important parts of personal quality. When my ASQ certifications are due for renewal at the end of three years, for example, I just pick up my folder and submit it because I keep updating the folder all the time. Similarly, as tax time approaches, I don’t need to worry about finding all tax documents because I keep everything in one folder.
In the same way, house maintenance and health maintenance can be easily managed using quality tools such as measuring, checking and taking appropriate actions as required.
—Navin S. Dedhia, quality management consultant, San Jose, CA
The concept of a control plan is universal. I first learned about it through my work in quality as chair of the business department at a South Carolina technical college. Planning, organizing and measuring activities are crucial in the workplace. Why wouldn’t this be just as useful in my personal life?
I first created a control plan to manage my finances. I have indicators established for weekly and monthly tracking. My planning includes research, discussion with a financial professional and coordination with my spouse on joint financial decisions. I have a task list that tracks when events occur and established escalation procedures when special causes are observed.
Quality is for every activity—not just for those at work.
—Grace L. Duffy, president, Management and Performance Systems, Tavares, FL