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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Quality Improvement – Six Steps to Improving Quality

Step 1 - Reason for Improvement

Objective – Identify the Problem (Theme).

What key activities should be undertaken?

Research for Theme(s) (Problems)

- Review key processes and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

- Survey internal/external customers

- Identify what the team knows (brainstorming)

- Conduct interviews

Determine Process Ownership (related to problem/improvement)

- Document the “As Is” processes

- Determine customer needs

- Determine what improvement is needed using available data

- Show likely impacts of the solution/new process

- Get to work on the new solution/activities

Tools to Utilize

* Control Charts

* Brainstorming

* Process Maps

* Relationship Interaction Diagram

* Variance Analysis

Key Questions to Ask

* What do we produce? (Work products)

* Whom do we do it for?

* How well do we do it?

* How do we know we are doing it well?

*** Note: The other five steps will be posted in the coming days.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Friday, October 24, 2008

General Colin Powell and Leadership

General Colin Powell spoke at this year's PMI (Project Management Institute) Global Congress in Denver, CO.

The PMI website summarizes General Powell's remarks below.

“Leadership is leadership is leadership,” says General Powell, who served as a U.S. National Security Advisor for former President Ronald Reagan and held executive positions at several organizations.

“At the end of the day you have to convince a bunch of followers to do what you want them to do—and [convince them] that they want to do it.”

The goal, he says, is to make sure every member of the team knows what is expected of them and to create a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. That means providing support, plus clear, concise missions and inspiration.

“The leader’s passion has to be the example of excellence in the organization and people will want to follow you,” he says.

Sometimes, though, the difference between a good leader and a bad leader is as simple as the ability to recognize when an employee is worth the investment—and when they are not. While it’s important, General Powell says, to capitalize on strengths and build on weakness, leaders can’t “carry dead weight.”

Saturday, October 18, 2008

In Denver,CO and a Mile High!

Waiting for the PMI global conference to start. I attended the ISSIG business meeting today and walked around the city. Denver is a great town.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

See You at the PMI North American Global Congress 2008

I'm traveling to Denver on Saturday to attend the PMI Global Congress. Anybody else going? Want to meet up? E-mail me at sfseay(at)

PMI North American Global Congress 2008 Announcement

PMI is proud to host its Global Congress 2008—North America in Denver, Colorado, USA. The city of Denver is the largest city in Colorado and is also the state’s capital. The nickname of "the Mile-High City" was given to Denver because it is situated at an elevation of one mile above sea level. Denver has the largest park system in the U.S. and experiences more than 300 sunny days in a year, which makes it sunnier than San Diego or Miami Beach. Because of this and its proximity to the mountains, Denver has gained a reputation as being a very active, outdoor-oriented city for skiing, hiking, climbing and camping.

Denver lies at the foot of the Rocky Mountains and experiences a semi-arid type of climate. Autumn (October through December) has a warm climate with sunny days and cool nights. The climate of Denver can be quite unpredictable and does experience frequent weather fluctuations. A popular saying in Denver is that if you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute; it will change.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Principles and the Leader

Principles are mile posts that help to guide our conduct. They come from natural laws that are recognizable by all cultures. Principles have been around since the dawn of time. They are timeless and aren’t dependent on us making them a permanent part of our lives.

I believe a most of our problems in society come from the fact that many of our leaders don’t live principle-centered lives.

What are principles that are easily recognized? These are a few: Patience, Kindness, Tolerance, Integrity, Honesty, Encouragement, Empathy…

Principles should guide our conduct, and when they do, they are easily recognizable by others. When our leaders decide to reject principles in order to gain power, influence or money, the organizations they lead are in deep trouble.

Many times leaders attempt to put aside principles to get short-term gains. They believe by making speeches filled with empty promises they will gain the trust of others. This happens all the time in our organizations and results in the same mistakes repeated over and over. Having said that, we keep electing the same people to office over and over, don’t we? Where has this gotten us?

Albert Einstein said, “The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them”. To solve the tough problems we need to look at our paradigms and habits and be willing to change them. Sometimes this means firing (not re-electing) our current leaders.

Do we really think we can just buy our way out of the current mess on Wall Street without fundamentally changing the way things work (paradigms and habits) and putting principled leaders in place? Can you or your organization really change things for the better without focusing on principles and rethinking your paradigms and habits? Do organizations really believe that layoffs alone change anything when their current broken paradigms and habits are left intact?

I have seen the results of unprincipled leadership, and the behaviors these “leaders” exhibit can have a profound, lasting, and negative influence on others. The sad part is these leaders believe they are part of the solution, however we know better. You can’t lead your way out of a problem that you don’t fully understand, and if you try to do it without principles the results are easily predicted. DISASTER!

Big problems cannot be solved by small people and small mindedness. Remember, principles aren’t values. The Mafia has values, but their practices certainly aren’t related to principles. As Stephen Covey say’s “Principles are the territory. Values are the map”.

Friday, October 03, 2008

The Bailout is a Crime!

We are being ripped off. See the article below from John Dvorak (

Give the Public $600 Billion By John C. Dvorak

The administration talks a big game about economic stimulus packages and claims that the public is the winner when taxes are low or they are simply given a handout to spend. So take $600-plus billion and give each man, woman and child $2000 each. That will distribute all this money. A family of 5 would have a nice $10,000 nest egg for a down-payment or to rent a house and pay off their credit cards thus sending the money back into the system.

The trickle-down bail-out is designed to go to the same people who gave themselves huge salaries and ran these firms into the ground? It gets them off the hook. They can then slither out of town when they all should be tarred-and-feathered.

Why not let the public buy up the mortgages at these low-ball prices and move in? Why can’t that be arranged? Use the FHA to do it if the banks cannot. Why do the crooks get to re-buy the bad mortgages at the low price? So they can gouge later?

There has never been economic stimulus from the top down when the money is given to these weasels. These are people who will sell dollars and buy Euros, or horde the money or move to Switzerland to spend the money there. All of the CEO’s of these failed companies have offshore villas. The average Joe spends his money in the USA, not Europe. It stays in circulation. Good things happen.

According to the pro-bail-out “experts” the economy should have melted down on Tuesday hurling us into a depression. Instead the market went up. So how does that work?
Start looking at this bail-out and you start to see that it is an exit strategy for Paulsen and his friends at Goldman, Sachs. There was a need to rush it through before anyone discovered what it was all about.

No oversight, a finance Czar, more free reign than ever.

Exactly why is there such a rush? It’s like the sleazeball salesman telling feeble-minded customers that they MUST buy now. It just makes no sense.