Understanding Change in a Quality Culture

Clock with time for change written on itIn any improvement process, managing the influence of change and the anti-change culture that will continually try to raise its head will be one of the most ardent tasks. Learn to deal with this as effectively as you do the project management itself. There are many well-written books on the subject of change in every category of change that you could imagine. Below is a compiled list of items about change that are relevant to implementing process change.

When examining change it is necessary to understand the stages of change that have been identified. It is interesting to note that these stages take place in varying degrees in different people, but are exactly the same whether the change is a different process in the workplace or the death of someone close. You should be able to identify and deal with the levels of acceptance encountered. Here are the stages and some tips on how to deal with them.

Denial

A wonderful self-preservation response. It is characterised by minimising the situation, and saying (or thinking) things like “This isn’t happening”, “It won’t help”, and “There’s no problem.” You may find the person will avoid talking about the situation, or even make up excuses for not attending meetings.

  • Explain the denial to commitment process that you went through to get where you are.
  • Present the situation openly and allow a lot of time for questions and answers.
  • Have a training session on change management.
  • Present a caring and understanding front. Though this may not be your normal attitude, during this process it will be invaluable.
  • Be a broken record with memos, thank you emails, posters, or anything else that presents your platform in a positive light.

Resistance

It is at this stage that you may see the active signs of sabotage. They may be passive, as in “I’ll just do it my way anyway”, along with a lot of whining-crabbing about the new systems. Or they may manifest in physical methods of sabotage depending on the character of the person. Be aware that these are real threats to the success of any project. But for the most part, those who fall into this category will show a lack of interest and a lot of time spent on finding reasons it won’t work.

  • Listen! And I mean listen. You can hear more in the tone and inflection of what is being said as well as the body language than you can imagine.
  • Solicit Response. People love to know that they are being heard and even more that their suggestions are valid. Many of them are. These are the people who will make or break the installation, let them know they have input to the outcome.
  • Acknowledge Feelings. Let them know you went through a similar process in getting where you are. Validate that they are not alone.

Exploration

People will begin to see some of the good that may occur in the situation, and will generally vacillate between thinking that it might be ok and that it is still a bad idea. But, the up side is that you are beginning to get them on your side and they will begin to make effort to get the changes in place.

  • Facilitate. People are more open at this point. Take advantage of it. Be your own commercial! Challenge people to find a better way within the new system. It gets them thinking about the next round of change and off the current.
  • Reward forward thinking with mounds of compliments. Praise the desired behaviour.
  • Seek out new possibilities. Have brainstorming sessions. It does wonders for everyone’s moral.

Commitment

You’ve got buy-in and will see productivity through the changes. People can see the bigger picture and the opportunity that the change affords.

When dealing with this from a management point of view, it is important to remember several things. These feelings are very real and they happen at different times for different areas of the organisation. Do not expect to spend several months agonising over the commitment to purchase expensive software only to turn around and expect everyone else to do a Tarzan swing from denial to commitment in a week. Remember the process you had to get through in order to accept the change. Others will require the same; allow the process to manifest itself in others. You can facilitate the process by understanding it and helping others to get through.

  • Recognise and acknowledge those who get there. Give them more opportunity to improve the process and celebrate their victories.
  • Inspire people to get others on board. Teach them about the process and how to recognise the people in various stages and how to move them along.
  • CELEBRATE!!!!! Most important. When you have achieved goals, let everyone know and celebrate, celebrate, celebrate. When people know their efforts will be recognised and appreciated, you will have fewer problems in future change.

Remember that we have a tremendous amount of information to process every day. There is more information in a single daily paper today than a person in the 15th century processed in a lifetime. Change takes form in one of three types; that which we cannot control, that which we can, and that which we can influence. Being positive and trying to move things from cannot control to can influence helps in the ability to manage the changes that occur. But, there will always be those things you cannot control and acceptance of that fact is the only road to remaining sane.

Source: http://www.projectsmart.co.uk ,  John W. Wright III
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Leader Standard Work?

Leader standard work? Is it valuable?

Leader standard work as being fundamental to any company that is committed to continuous improvement and culture change. Leader standard work is part of what is included in third principle of manufacturing excellence, i.e., it is the disciplined use of an authorized formal system.

Typically, manufacturing companies are meticulous about creating standard work for machine operators, e.g., job instructions. The job instructions for a particular process are very detailed and represent the required behavior to produce products that meet the customer specification. I hope we always collect the operators’ input before an engineer or technician retires to the office to formalize the instructions.

 But once the job instructions have been committed to the formal system, then we don’t vote anymore about how to do this work. We expect the instructions to always be followed until and unless someone comes up with a better idea to be vetted and tested before changing the standard work and retraining the affected people.

On the other hand, the closest thing many companies have to leader standard work is the position description. Even a very well-thought-out and written position description is far too general to be used on the day-to-day responsibilities.

Leader standard work requires the commitment to detail the important responsibilities of a leader, some of which do not happen from the comfort of the office.

Leader standard work, in the case of the first line supervisor, involves having a daily plan of what the leader’s key duties are. Those might specify, for example, at least three gemba walks and dialog with each person in the area each day.

As we go up the ladder, the plan could become weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc., depending on the level in the organization. For example, a plant manager might commit to a daily gemba walk to touch base with the value stream managers, supervisors and a few hourly associates in each area just to understand how the plant is running each day, what the issues are and, yes, to be visible to everyone.

The plant manager also is behaving in a way that serves to coach people along the way. If the manager sees a potentially unsafe condition, does she walk on by or stop and engage the issue? The leader’s response will speak volumes to all those who are watching to see what happens next.

It’s a teachable moment if handled properly and helps to reinforce the new culture that would expect operators, material handlers, etc., to step up themselves rather than wait on a member of management to respond. Hourly folks typically see these things first, and we want to help them know what to do and feel confident enough to speak up and help keep their teammates safe as well as themselves.

The same kind of coaching opportunity could occur on a quality issue, schedule issue, maintenance, whatever. This important work cannot be done from the office.

The plant manager might also plan and execute a monthly “state of the business” meeting for everyone once a month. The VP of manufacturing/operations might do it quarterly along with a gemba walk. The CEO might do a video for companywide viewing on full-year results and expectations for the new year.

These opportunities to be visible and interactive provide the means to ensure that leadership’s expectations are clear for the results and behaviors that we seek.

source: http://www.industryweek.com

Revised ISO 9001 Standard Moves Closer to Completion

Revised ISO 9001 Standard Moves Closer to Completion

The revised standard will retain its strong focus on a process-based approach to quality management systems.

quality management

There is change afoot with respect to the ISO 9001 standard on quality management systems.

It is not unexpected change. All ISO standards are reviewed every three to five years to determine whether revisions are needed to keep the standards current and relevant in the marketplace, according to the International Organization for Standardization.

ISO 9001 is in the late stages of the revision process, with a new edition expected in 2015.

There are several changes outlined in the ISO 9001: 2015 edition, although the standard will retain its strong focus on a process-based approach to produce desired outcomes, explained Nigel Croft, chair of the ISO subcommittee revising the standard, in a Web update. “…which in the case of a quality management systems means, of course, consistent products and services consistently meeting customer needs and expectations.”

The changes focus on three concepts:

  1. The process approach will strongly emphasize that the quality management system has to be woven into and fully aligned with an organization’s strategic direction.
  2. Superimposed on the system of processes is the PDCA (plan-do-check-act) methodology, which will apply both to individual processes as well as the quality management system as a whole.
  3. An overall focus on risk-based thinking aimed at “preventing undesirable outcomes,” such as non-conforming products and services.

A recent vote approved the latest draft of the revised ISO 9001 standard, which has since moved to the next stage – Final Draft International Standard. In his update, Croft explained that the subcommittee will review comments that came in during the last vote and produce a final draft, which then will be voted on.

While ISO itself does not certify organizations to ISO standards, Croft noted that there would be a three-year transition period for companies to migrate to the updated standard once the new edition is published.

He also suggested that organizations may want to review the draft rather than wait until the new edition of the standard is published.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1JIMyvpP0tw#t=319

Source: http://www.industryweek.com

Communication Management Skills

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Communication Management Skills:

A few tricks to improving your communication skills are:

  • Practice active listening. Try to look the person speaking in the eyes and think only about the words that they are speaking.
  • Speak slowly and ask questions to test whether the listening party understands what is being communicated.
  • When writing, always write a first draft and edit the draft into a final copy after asking whether the purpose of your communication is clear and understandable.
  • When you find yourself caught up in your own thoughts, try to relax and “Watch” the thinker thinking those thoughts. You are not your thoughts. You are greater than your thinking.
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