Quality Progress - March 2017 - 30


F E AT U R E

INNOVATION
If the front and rear axles are connected by gears with exactly
the same size and number of teeth, both will move at the same
speed. If, however, there is any difference between the speed of
the powered rear axle and the speed of the powered front axle,
that mismatch must be addressed. This difference is not uncommon when building a truck with components provided by a
third-party supplier. Drive axle ratios will vary from manufacturer
to manufacturer. This leads to the first principle of automotive
engineering that can be applied to quality engineering: Give the
front axle more speed.
There are two possibilities when there is a speed mismatch:
Either the front axle is moving a little faster than the rear axle, or
the rear axle is moving a little faster than the front axle. In this twoaxle system, it is better to have the front axle moving faster, and
here's why: (Note that the speed mismatch still must be small-
within a few percentage points.) When the rear axle moves faster
than the front axle, the rear axle will actually push the system
closed, compressing it. This will cause the front axle to skip forward, thus limiting-if not eliminating-the advantage of all-wheel
drive in handling slippery or difficult terrain. This compression puts
a strain on the overall system (see Figure 1, p. 29).
If, instead, the front axle moves a bit faster than the rear axle,
the front axle will pull the vehicle forward and stretch the system
(see Figure 2, p. 29). There is no danger to the rear axle if the two
axle ratios are close enough to each other as described earlier. In
fact, a modest efficiency gain is achieved when tension is added
and the system is stretched.
Applying this to quality management, if there's a two-part
process to improve, always motivate your team to first improve
the second part-which is normally closest to the customer or
end user. If the team does not take this advice and decides to
first improve the first part of process, everyone may initially
be satisfied. The second part of the process, however, remains
dysfunctional, the overall process remains unsuccessful and final
customer impressions remain unpleasant until the second part of
the process is addressed.
In an order management system, for example, order entry is
the first step and order fulfillment is the second (see Figure 3).
If you work on a project to improve the order entry step and
make it smooth, but order fulfillment remains poorly executed,

FIGURE 3

Two-part process
Order entry

Fulfillment

Green is faster. Improving order entry first will push more
orders into a dysfunctional fulfillment process.

the customer will be unsatisfied. In addition, if order entry is
streamlined and accelerated, then pushing more orders into a
dysfunctional fulfillment process will increase demand and stress
on the second part of the system.
If problems in fulfillment are addressed first and that part of
the process is improved, there's now a reliable infrastructure
in place to accommodate new orders capably. That would be
the time to start working on the order entry part of the system.
When that part of the process improves, new orders will move
more smoothly into the improved fulfillment process.
A series of quality management tools can be used to help
determine the sequence of improvement for the many parts of a
process. The use of these tools is explained in the sidebar "Affinity, Clock and Sequence Diagrams," p. 32.
In a two-step sequence of processes, the principle of giving the
lead axle more speed suggests the second part of the process
initially should be fixed so it will be ready to accommodate the first
part of the process when the improvement program goes forward.

Bridges to improvement

Shifting gears from automotive to civil engineering, consider innovation management as a way to construct a bridge from present
to future. Actually, two principles of bridge engineering can be
useful when thinking about innovation project management.
While considering the ASQ Innovation Division's approach to
instruction on the topic of innovation management, for example,
it was important to remember that engaging creative people to
conceive an idea-as well as team members who can develop
and execute a plan to deliver the new solution- was critical for
the success of the project.

TA B L E   1

Pearl knot project review template
Pearl knot project review-Introduction of new tool: tension-compression chart

May 3, 2017

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March 2017 ❘ qualityprogress.com


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Quality Progress - March 2017

Seen and Heard
Expert Answers
Progress Report
Mr. Pareto Head
Field Notes
Innovation Imperative
Hard Wired
Propel Forward
Life After Disruption
Work Smarter, Not Harder
Statistics Spotlight
Standard Issues
Marketplace
Footnotes
Back to Basics
Quality Progress - March 2017 - cover1
Quality Progress - March 2017 - cover2
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 1
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 2
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 3
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 4
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 5
Quality Progress - March 2017 - Seen and Heard
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 7
Quality Progress - March 2017 - Expert Answers
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 9
Quality Progress - March 2017 - Progress Report
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 11
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 12
Quality Progress - March 2017 - Mr. Pareto Head
Quality Progress - March 2017 - Field Notes
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 15
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 16
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 17
Quality Progress - March 2017 - Innovation Imperative
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 19
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 20
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 21
Quality Progress - March 2017 - Hard Wired
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 23
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 24
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 25
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 26
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 27
Quality Progress - March 2017 - Propel Forward
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 29
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 30
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 31
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 32
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 33
Quality Progress - March 2017 - Life After Disruption
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 35
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 36
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 37
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 38
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 39
Quality Progress - March 2017 - Work Smarter, Not Harder
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 41
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 42
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 43
Quality Progress - March 2017 - Statistics Spotlight
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 45
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 46
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 47
Quality Progress - March 2017 - Standard Issues
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 49
Quality Progress - March 2017 - Marketplace
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 51
Quality Progress - March 2017 - Footnotes
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 53
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 54
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 55
Quality Progress - March 2017 - Back to Basics
Quality Progress - March 2017 - cover3
Quality Progress - March 2017 - cover4
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