Quality Progress - January 2016 - (Page 51)
BACK TO BASICS
BY JANET BAUTISTA SMITH
Checks and Balances
A technique to sync organizational vision and strategy
A COMMON failure when deploying a
for the organization.
there are measures that can ensure consis-
strategic plan is its misalignment with the
Root causes can be remedied only if mis-
tent alignment of strategies and initiatives
organization's vision (Figure 1). There must
alignment is detected early enough to be mit-
be dynamic checks and balances to ensure
igated. Realignment efforts can be focused
critical milestones are pointed in the same
on the major discrepancies. A key process
compliance share the same path leading
direction as the business model to achieve
indicator (metric) for each core process will
to the realization of the organizational
serve as the early detection mechanism to
vision. These two business elements are
alert the system of a possible failure or de-
intertwined at all phases of operations.
wherein the vision is the nucleus of the
viation from target results. Without this early
The concept seems abstract and difficult to
strategic development and the catalyst for
detection mechanism, the incremental devia-
translate into practical day-to-day systems.
the creation of measurable operational
tion from the target may eventually become
initiatives. Misaligned strategies can result in
an irreversible, undesirable trend.
Figure 1 also depicts a business model
with the vision.
Strategic planning and auditing beyond
Strategies' alignment with the vision may
be monitored through the creation of key
performance indicators directly relevant to
waste, financial loss, suboptimized resources
or lost opportunities. Early detection of these
Recognizing process drift
the supporting initiatives. Early detection
gaps can facilitate timely intervention and
Undesirable trends do not happen over-
of an incremental drift from the target can
adjustments to strategies and initiatives to
night. They are caused by incremental
facilitate timely mitigation and realignment.
ensure alignment with the vision. Before any
nonconformances accumulated over time.
A sample template to monitor alignment
adjustments are made, you must define and
Why are these incremental deviations not
and effectiveness of the strategic plan is
understand the root causes of the deviation.
detected and mitigated before reaching
shown in Online Table 1.
Possible root causes of misaligned strat-
an out-of-control status? Commonly, there
Process owners' day-to-day interac-
is a lack of checks and balances to gauge
tions with operational variables may lessen
* Vision is not clearly stated.
whether performance is drifting from the
the sensitivity of recognizing incremental
* Vision is clearly stated, but the work-
target. Meeting the specification is not
changes. Implementing an auditing beyond
enough to determine whether performance
compliance program will minimize bias or
force misinterprets the intent.
to plan is adequate, as shown in Online
conflict of interest in the true measurement
force and strategies are initially aligned,
Figure 1 (found on this article's webpage at
of operational performance. The added
but they have drifted away from the
value of auditing can be leveraged further
* Vision is clearly understood by the work-
Auditing beyond compliance is more
* Vision is ignored by managers who
create initiatives they believe are best
likely to detect an incremental drift from the
Audits focused solely on strict compliance
target that may otherwise be hidden under
may miss opportunities to capture hidden
Misalignment of strategies
and vision / FIGURE 1
the conventional acceptance
variables that cause process drift, which
criteria of a traditional com-
can cause strategic plans to fail. QP
pliance audit. The repeating
drift shown in Online Figure
1 may signal a potential irreversible failure silently gain-
ing momentum, undetected
by a traditional compliance
audit. Process drift has the
if the scope extends beyond compliance.
same analogy as the impact
of strategy's misalignment
with the vision (target). But
Bautista Smith, Janet, Auditing Beyond Compliance: Using the
Portable Universal Quality Lean Audit Model, ASQ Quality
Press, July 2012.
JANET BAUTISTA SMITH is the director
of quality and continuous improvement at ProTrans International in
Indianapolis. She holds a bachelor's
degree in chemical engineering from
the University of Santo Tomas in
Manila, Philippines. A senior member
of ASQ, Bautista Smith is an ASQcertified Six Sigma Black Belt, quality engineer, quality auditor
and certified manager of quality/organizational excellence.
January 2016 * QP 51
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Quality Progress - January 2016
According to Plan
Use Your Head
Stakeholder Management 101
All About Data
Eight Simple Steps
Which Six Sigma Metric Should I Use?
Turning ‘Who’ Into ‘How’
In the Beginning
Outputs and Outcomes
That’s So Random—Or Is It?
Improving a System
Putting It All on the Table
Know the Drill
It’s Fun To Work With an F-M-E-A
Solve Problems With Open Communication
Tell Me About It
Separate the Vital Few From the Trivial Many
To DMAIC or Not to DMAIC?
Breaking It Down
1 + 1 = Zero Defects
Curve Your Enthusiasm
Make a Choice
What Is a Fault Tree Analysis?
Successful Relationship Diagrams
The Benefits of PDCA
Return on Investment
The Art of Root Cause Analysis
Why Ask Why?
Get to the Root of It
Checks and Balances
Clearing SPC Hurdles
Supplier Selection and Maintenance
Building a Quality Team
Plan Experiments to Prevent Problems
Quality Progress - January 2016