RSSAll Entries in the "Operational Excellence" Category

Was There an Impact?

Was There an Impact?

A major challenge in impact assessment, program, and policy evaluation, is determining whether our actions had a meaningful impact. Did our program work? Is the policy effective? Frequently, data analytics use tests of statistical significance (such as F, t, p, R2) to answer this question. Unfortunately, tests of statistical significance can’t answer questions concerning impact.

Read More…

Full House: Understanding and expanding capacity in health care

Full House: Understanding and expanding capacity in health care

Why is the Canadian health care system struggling with long wait times for everything for emergencies, seniors care and surgeries? The answer–mismanagement. Specifically, a fundamental flaw in the way we think about and manage capacity. Read the article that has kicked the health care industry “on its butt” courtesy of Six Sigma Forum, a peer

Read More…

Systems Thinking in I.T. and Service

John Seddon is one of our favorite people and a leader in applying systems thinking to Service, Project Management, and especially in I.T. Below are parts of a speech from John on Systems Thinking–as entertaining as it gets. Part 1 Video Part 2 Video Part 3 Video        

Statistical Significance--what do statisticians think?

Statistical Significance–what do statisticians think?

Many practitioners have trouble getting over the hurdle of statistical significance testing. We’ve used it for so long, it seems like a trusted friend. Do we really want to toss an old friend aside? No, but then again, statistical significance hasn’t been a friend. In the words of Ziliak and McCloskey, it has cost us

Read More…

The Decline of Health Services in Alberta

The Decline of Health Services in Alberta

The Triumph of Professional over Real Management The past 20 years have seen a steady decline in the provision of health services to Albertans. Waiting times for surgeries, diagnostic services and emergency room visits is increasing, costs are escalating and quality of care has remained constant at best. A day doesn’t go by without the

Read More…

Inspections and Audits

Inspections and Audits

Developing a cost effective approach Some organizations equate quality with the level of inspection. The greater the number of inspections, checks, audits or evaluations, the greater the level of quality that is assumed to be in the final product or service. Unfortunately for these organizations, just the opposite is true. Quality assurance is only required when processes

Read More…

Analyzing WCB Injury Rate Data

Analyzing WCB Injury Rate Data

How to properly analyze and interpret Alberta injury rate data On October 01, 2010, the Alberta Government publically released workplace injury & fatality records. This made the Province the first in Canada to release a comprehensive list.  Anyone can now access information about worksite injuries and fatalities involving more than 140,000 employers insured by the Workers

Read More…

The New Management Thinking

The New Management Thinking

Managers are being flooded by a host of management ideas and models — Six Sigma, process re-engineering, Lean Enterprise, Lean Production, operational excellence, quality management, value chain analysis, business process redesign, process outcomes management and performance measurement. Whatever else these things are intended to produce, confusion is definitely a by-product. To help work through the

Read More…

Lean Certification Standards from ASQ/Shingo Prize

The American Society for Quality (ASQ) and the Shingo Prize recently announced their joint Lean Certification Book of Knowledge (BoK). Now that these standards are out, they provide an important benchmark against which organizations can examine their existing Lean training and development programs. For those experienced with Lean, much of the content will be familiar. There are

Read More…

Implementing Lean and Lean Six Sigma

Implementing Lean and Lean Six Sigma

The most frequent question we are asked by clients these days is how to get started with Lean or Lean Six Sigma. The second most frequent question is some variation of: What is Lean Six Sigma anyway? Let’s answer the second question first and then dive in on how to get started.

Master of Cycle Time: Little's Law

Master of Cycle Time: Little’s Law

In physics, laws are a fundamental part of understanding how systems operate. E=mc2 would have to classify as the most famous example. From these three simple letters, physicists and others have been able to greatly improve their understanding of how the universe works and make predictions about how things will behave under differing circumstances –

Read More…

Systems Thinking and the Health Care System

Originally Published as a Converge Newsletter for Operational Excellence (OpX) In response to the demand for pieces referenced in The Decline of Health Services in Alberta, we have republished this article from 2004.   Health care, like other industries, is seeking ways to improve efficiency and effectiveness. In Canada, this has taken on a new urgency

Read More…

Understanding Value using Dr. Kano's Model

Understanding Value using Dr. Kano’s Model

How do you define quality? That’s an important question for those engaged in quality improvement. Defining things can be difficult, doubly so when the definitions concern something as vague as quality. Yet define we must, especially if we want to measure current quality levels, or improvement to quality. After all, if you can’t define something,

Read More…

Flexibility, The Third Dimension to Performance

Flexibility, The Third Dimension to Performance

A year ago, businesses were planning for major expansion. Now, attention has turned to how to weather a recession. Soon, expansion plans will be back. It is difficult to keep up. Actually, it is impossible. Is there better evidence that the key to survival is not in prediction or forecasting? After all, who do you

Read More…

    Why products get better and service gets worse

    Posted on: 2012-07-25


    Service standards are really a means of avoiding accountability CALGARY, AB, Jul 17, 2012/Troy Media/ – Remember when getting a 100,000 miles of your car was considered a miracle of sorts? Those invited to bear witness performed the ritual of peering into the driver side window to confirm all those zeros on the odometer. The

    Read More…


- More From Our Blog-