Learn cause and effect diagrams and more…

We have found an excellent resource for videos explaining various quality tools.  One of our favorites relates to cause and effect diagrams, but we found the GoogleStorming video quite interesting as well.  There are several other videos relating to quality tools on the Dr. Eugene O’Loughlin YouTube page.  It’s worth checking out!

An additional resource for a instructional videos relating to a wider variety of topics includes the Khan Academy.

Welcome 2012 – Top 10 Ways to Add Value & Keep Resolutions

Welcome 2012!  For Pro QC, this year will be met once again with the primary objective of continuous learning and adaptation of skills and services with the intent of adding value to our industry and helping reduce quality risks and cost along the way.  Of course, as many of us already know, this is more challenging than it seems.  And, just saying that this is what we’d like to do wouldn’t necessarily provide the results we want.  So, we have incorporated several principles into our planning process that maintains focus and gets us results.

Top 10 Ways to Add Value & Keep Resolutions:

  • Plan, plan, plan… Then, plan some more.  – Quality tools are imperative here. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of them or resources that show you when and how to easily incorporate them into your process.  (The Quality Toolbox is a an absolute must-have!) Plan objectives that lead to both short-term (micro) and long-term (macro) success (adding value).  But, make them S.M.A.R.T. so everything else falls into place as expected.
  • Stay Focused – It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day obstacles.  The best way to make sure you stay focused on short and long-term objectives (resolutions) is to schedule it in.  Figure out a reasonable time you can dedicate each day or week and block it out in your calendar.
  • Stay Informed – There’s never a good enough excuse to be unaware of what’s going on in your industry or the general business environment. Think of it as an ongoing PEST analysis, but you will be surprised by the opportunities and threats that you’ll identify by reacting early.  Staying informed can be as easy as subscribing to industry blogs and newsfeeds in something like Google Reader, listening to podcasts during your commute or even getting active in industry organizations, such as the American Society for Quality for us.
  • Maintain Perspective – Keep your eye on the ball and always be able to answer “why am I doing this?” with a response that directly ties into your specific objectives.
  • Dedicate Resources – It’s often one thing to think an idea is good but another to dedicate the time and other resources to the associated activities required to make it happen.  If the planning process concluded an activity as something that will generate results, follow through with making sure the resources are there to back-up the successful development.
  • Measure the Important Stuff – There was a quote that I can’t quite recall the source of, but it said ~65% of the data we are presented with, we ignore.  The point there seems to be we naturally focus on what’s important, so why not free up resources by eliminating data that doesn’t directly have an impact on adding value or those activities that are involved in creating or maintaining value.
  • Regularly Review Metrics – Whatever data remains and is deemed as the most relevant to the tasks at hand, people do need to evaluate it and be able to suggest and act on changes that will improve the results.  This usually works best when interests from a multitude of departments are involved and one or more people are responsible for managing and making changes.
  • Make Decisions Based on Pre-Determined Objectives – Regularly reviewing metrics will likely identify opportunities to rededicate resources and focus, but it’s important to make decisions based on the specific short and long-term objectives identified at the beginning of the process.  It’s not necessary to discount an identified opportunity or change of course, but separate efforts.
  • Communicate – Join in the conversation and keep all of your stakeholders informed of your activities and related news.  Comments and suggestions will increase, which will guide the decision making and planning process.  People want to know what’s going on.  Communication should be open, honest and welcomed from all levels within the organization and from outside.
  • Accept Change – Ralph Waldo Emerson pointed out a key perspective of change, which is that “we change whether we like it or not.”   With that logic, focus should be on change management.  Organizational culture and the reference to communication as referenced above are good places to start.
“Be the change you want to see in the world.” ~Mahatma Gandhi


Reflecting on Human Rights Day 2011

Amid the huste and bustle of the last month of the year, we paused on December 10th to recognize Human Rights Day.

The United Nations released an excellent video highlighting the importance of social media as a vehicle for change this year.

As a global organization, Pro QC seeks to contribute to the international community by offering comprehensive social audits using custom client requirements, SA8000 or the more recently introduced ISO26000 guidelines. In addition, we continue to learn and advise others that see the unlimited potential in supporting human rights.


SIFE Quest – Students in Free Enterprise Making a Difference

Pro QC was proud to sponsor the 1st annual SIFE Quest community fair and 5K race at Al Lopez Park in Tampa, FL last Saturday.  As a long-time member of the Tampa HCC Chapter’s Business Advisory Board, I was pleased to support their initiative.

Although the turnout itself was less than expected, the SIFE team and many other volunteers came out to support the event.  The American Red Cross, as well as several other vendors, attended and educated the community.

We look forward to participating in this event again next year and applaud the efforts of the SIFE team for their commitment to projects that make a difference in the community, while developing the skills to become socially responsible business leaders.


Everyday Quality: Top 5 – #worldqualitymonth

Although we should be focusing on quality all twelve months out of the year, it is nice to have a recognized international dedication to something so important and relevant in today’s global environment. ASQ (American Society for Quality) and others have been spreading the word about November’s World Quality Month for some time now and have really raised awareness.

While Pro QC is offering 10% off audits in China and Taiwan throughout the month, we also wanted to share a few ideas for incorporating quality into everyday life.  It just makes sense that a broader focus on quality would positively impact those issues that we as quality professionals (and many others) worry so much about.  Talk about root-cause analysis…

Top 5: Everyday Quality 

Multi-task less and focus more.

Even though we may feel as if our expertise at multi-tasking is unparalleled, the fact is that we need to keep it under control or the compromise is most certainly quality.  Effective planning, down to the mundane daily details, will keep your mind focused.  The more focused you are, the more likely output will meet or exceed expectations.

Check your work.

Life is very busy… But, it doesn’t mean we can’t squeeze in a few extra moments to double check our work or even reconsider bigger picture strategies or activities.  A second look, or thought, increases the likelihood of quality output… no doubt.

Spread the word.

If everyone is talking about quality, then our expectations will likely increase as well.  Quality should not be used as a marketing position, but rather as a way of life within the organization (corporate culture).  Everyone should be talking about it, and it should be fun!

Support quality as a consumer.

Don’t justify purchasing something that you know fails to meet your expectations.  Use your monetary resources to make purchasing decisions that support companies passionate about what they do and the consumers they serve.  These are the companies more likely to actually incorporate quality methods successfully!

Don’t compromise on personal and professional development. 

Each day, we make decisions.  We make decisions such as which tasks to work on, what to eat and how we’re going to entertain ourselves.  All of these decisions contribute to our personal and professional development and shouldn’t be taken lightly.  Spending quality time with family makes us better individuals… learning a new skill that will help us contribute to the greater good makes us better individuals.  Compromising on our daily decisions for whatever the reason may be, should be avoided.  Set goals (priorities/aspirations)… follow them (employing metrics is great for the OCD or general QA crowd)… modify as necessary whenever improvement is identified (corrective action).