Quality Progress - March 2018 - 43

related to an improvement project may often have to be
set aside as second, third or even fourth priorities behind
matters deemed more pressing.
For example, patient care typically comes first in a
healthcare setting, perhaps above and beyond improvement project tasks. This may force the completion of
tasks according to the original project schedule established by the project team to get delayed. As a result,
improvement projects may take two to three times as
long to complete than expected, or they may not be
completed at all.
In addition, business not as usual-such as mergers or
other large organizational changes-can interrupt the
work in an improvement project such that other priorities
are placed ahead of improvement project tasks. While
these types of issues may not be avoidable, they can be
factored into the project planning process to help establish more realistic schedules for improvement projects.

REFERENCES
1. John Bessant, Sarah Caff yn and Maeve Gallagher, "An
Evolutionary Model of Continuous Improvement Behaviour,"
Technovation, Vol. 21, No. 2, 2001, pp. 67-77.
2. Donald A. Schön, The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals
Think in Action, Basic Books Inc., 1983.
3. Fabrice Bouchereau, Kaizen Kanban: A Visual Facilitation
Approach to Create Prioritized Project Pipelines, ASQ Quality
Press, 2016.
4. Richard Luecke and Jeff T. Polzer, Creating Teams with an Edge:
The Complete Skill Set to Build Powerful and Influential Teams,
Harvard Business School Publishing, 2004.
5. Project Management Institute, A Guide to the Project
Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide), fifth edition,
Project Management Institute Inc., 2013.

A proactive, mindful approach

With these seven challenges in mind, let's stop wondering why it's difficult to conduct improvement projects
and effectively implement process improvements, and
start acting. Given that most organizations want to
reduce costs and improve customer satisfaction, understanding and preparing for these challenges in advance
of conducting a process improvement project will surely
help to enhance your improvement efforts.
Because as the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Taking a proactive
approach to these well-known challenges is more likely
to provide a better return on investment with respect to
your organization's improvement projects than simply
reacting to them as they occur.
In addition, project and risk management techniques5
can be used to help address these issues. Developing
a detailed project management plan, including a work
breakdown structure and a detailed project plan, will
help project teams clearly identify what must be done
and when those tasks will be completed.
Identifying, prioritizing and developing mitigation
strategies regarding the risks associated with conducting
improvement projects also will help to keep projects on
track and minimize delays and budget overruns. Collectively, these approaches can help organizations cultivate
an environment to support more successful process
improvement projects.

Jamison V. Kovach is an associate
professor at the University of
Houston. She holds a doctorate
in industrial engineering from
Clemson University in South
Carolina. Kovach was awarded
ASQ's Feigenbaum medal in 2010 and promoted to a full
academician in the International Academy for Quality
in 2015. Kovach received her lean Six Sigma Black Belt
certification from North Carolina State University in
Raleigh. She is a senior member of ASQ and past chair of
ASQ's Houston Section.

Pratibha Sharma holds master's
degrees in supply chain and
logistics technology from the
University of Houston. She is a
student member of ASQ.

qualityprogress.com ❘ March 2018

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http://www.qualityprogress.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Quality Progress - March 2018

Seen and Heard
Expert Answers
Progress Report
Mr. Pareto Head
Career Coach
My Quality Story
In the Right Direction
A Different Kind of BBQ
Gaining Ground
Impeding Progress
Innovation Imperative
Statistics Spotlight
Standard Issues
Marketplace
Footnotes
Back to Basics
Quality Progress - March 2018 - INTRO
Quality Progress - March 2018 - cover1
Quality Progress - March 2018 - cover2
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 1
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 2
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 3
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 4
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 5
Quality Progress - March 2018 - Seen and Heard
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 7
Quality Progress - March 2018 - Expert Answers
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 9
Quality Progress - March 2018 - Progress Report
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 11
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 12
Quality Progress - March 2018 - Mr. Pareto Head
Quality Progress - March 2018 - Career Coach
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 15
Quality Progress - March 2018 - My Quality Story
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 17
Quality Progress - March 2018 - In the Right Direction
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 19
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 20
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 21
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 22
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 23
Quality Progress - March 2018 - A Different Kind of BBQ
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 25
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 26
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 27
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 28
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 29
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 30
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 31
Quality Progress - March 2018 - Gaining Ground
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 33
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 34
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 35
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 36
Quality Progress - March 2018 - Impeding Progress
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 38
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 39
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 40
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 41
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 42
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 43
Quality Progress - March 2018 - Innovation Imperative
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 45
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 46
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 47
Quality Progress - March 2018 - Statistics Spotlight
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 49
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 50
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 51
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 52
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 53
Quality Progress - March 2018 - Standard Issues
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 55
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 56
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 57
Quality Progress - March 2018 - Marketplace
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 59
Quality Progress - March 2018 - Footnotes
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 61
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 62
Quality Progress - March 2018 - 63
Quality Progress - March 2018 - Back to Basics
Quality Progress - March 2018 - cover3
Quality Progress - March 2018 - cover4
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