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Posts under ‘Quality’

Project Kick-Off Canvas

The decisions made during project initiation are among the most critical in a project. They set the direction for the project, establish the project’s objectives and establish how the project is to be approached. Mistakes made at this early stage can be fatal. Sadly all too many projects do go wrong at this early stage […]


Implementing a process improvement initiative within an organization is an activity fraught with difficulty. On paper it sounds easy. Define the new process, document it, publish it, do some training and voila. In practice, most organizations struggle with the “voila” stage. Of course the problem comes down to culture change. Culture change is the dark […]

The Bean Counter’s Blind Spot

I can’t help thinking that the financial measures and metrics some organizations use to run their businesses are causing them serious harm. By focusing on narrow measurements some organizations have lost sight of the broader context from which organizational performance is shaped. A disconnect between the measurements used and the full reality of the situation […]

Say it with Samples

In last week’s post we discussed “Social Learning” and the use of role models as a learning tool. Another excellent way for organizations to speed up the educational process lies in creating “reference samples”. Reference samples are examples of key deliverables that demonstrate what high quality deliverables should look like. Much like a picture says […]

Social Learning

Being something of a Systems Thinker, I often find myself reflecting on events to see if I can understand the cause and effect relationships that drive the outcomes we attain. Working in the field of education, that interest has caused me to look deeply into the way individuals learn and how different modes of teaching […]

Revisiting Deming

Most people who have been through basic management or quality management training will have been exposed to the work of Edwards Deming. Known particularly for his work in helping Japanese companies establish a quality culture, Deming is regarded as a founding father of the quality movement. Although Deming is best known for his use of […]

The Process Fallacy

As many readers will know, the idea of “continual process improvement” is a pillar of the quality management movement. By improving processes, the root cause of problems that allow mistakes to be made can be eliminated, thereby allowing the organization to produce higher quality goods and services. Although the idea of continual improvement started in […]

Steering Clear of Shoddy

Although home renovation projects and IT projects may not appear to have much in common, there is one regard in which they are striking similar, both suffer from undesirably high failure rates. In Canada, TV personality and master contractor Mike Holmes draws attention to failed home renovations projects in his show “Holmes on Homes”. Each […]

Push and Pull

Although I’m not a great fan of taking concepts from the manufacturing sector and bending them so they can be applied to the IT sector, the idea of “push” versus “pull” processes is one that is worth considering. The concept of push versus pull comes from the field of lean manufacturing and is used to […]

Rickety Retrospectives

In project management practice retrospectives are the feedback mechanism by which lessons learned are fed back into the organization’s collective body of knowledge. In principle it’s a good idea, in practice, the sad truth is that retrospectives often achieve very little. The acid test of an organization’s retrospective process is whether or not the lessons […]