Thursday, January 31, 2013

Continuous Quality Improvement, CQI

From classrooms to board rooms, on manufacturing floors and in medical centers, organizations around the world are using continuous quality improvement (CQI) as their strategy to bring about dramatic changes in their operations. Their purpose is to stay competitive in a world of instant communication and technological advancement. 
These organizations need to meet or exceed customer expectations while maintaining a cost-competitive position. CQI, a systematic, organization-wide approach for continually improving all processes that deliver quality products and services, is the strategy many organizations are adopting to meet today’s challenges and to prepare for those down the road. I mention this because all Management Systems need CQI. This includes Safety Management Systems. 

In pursuing CQI, stick to these four basic principles: 
1. Develop a strong customer focus. 
2. Continually improve all processes. 
3. Involve employees. 
4. Mobilize both data and team knowledge to improve decision making. 

1. Develop a strong customer focus 
Total customer focus includes the needs of both external and internal customers. External customers are the end users internal customers are your coworkers and other departments in the organization. 
2. Continually improve all processes 
Identify them. A process is a sequence of repeat-able steps that lead to some desired end or output: a typed document, a printed circuit board, a “home-cooked” meal, arrival at work, and so on. 

Improve them. Use the Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA) Cycle: PLAN what you want to accomplish over a period of time and what you might do, or need to do, to get there. DO what you planned on doing. Start on a small scale! 

CHECK the results of what you did to see if the objective was achieved. ACT on the information. If you were successful, standardize the plan; otherwise, continue in the cycle to plan for further improvement. 
3. Involve employees 
Encourage teams—train them—support them— use their work—celebrate their accomplishments! 

4. Mobilize both data and team knowledge to improve decision making. 
Use the tools to get the most out of your data and the knowledge of your team members. The best Tool resource is the Memory jogger II for Safety Management Systems available at

You will find it very hard to analyze and communicate without the proper tools to help you. Using these tools on a regular basis will result in Continuous Quality Improvement.....your thoughts. 

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