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Here are some quality management tools for business processes:
Relations Diagrams are drawn to show all the different relationships between factors, areas, or processes. Why are they worthwhile? Because they make it easy to pick out the factors in a situation which are the ones which are driving many of the other symptoms or factors.
Instead of one item following another in a logical sequence, each item is connected to many other pieces, showing that they have an impact on each one. Once all the relevant connections between items have been drawn, the connections are counted. Those with the most connections will usually be the most important factors to focus on.
While the relations diagram is one of the 7 New QC Tools described in the Japanese classic "Management for Quality Improvement", it is less frequently used than some of its stablemates. However, in a fairly tangled situation, it is a powerful means of forcing a group to map out the interactions between factors, and usually helps bring the most important issues into focus.
Project Pathways for Management
Dilbert notwithstanding, we (society) have actually learned some things about management in the past 2 million years. In most organizations today, spiked clubs are out of vogue as management tools. Bullwhips are frowned on. We're coming along.
We can still do a lot better. Brian Joiner, in "Fourth Generation Management", says that we are still wasting up to half of our time and energy in modern organizations. Why? Things are getting more complex. Organizations have grown, and people in them have become more specialized. In some ways, that works well - people can concentrate on what they do best. But it increases the likelihood that communication will break down, that no one will have a systemic perspective, and that overall purposes will be obscure.
One of the common features of modern management thinking is its focus on methodologies for problem-solving. Dr. Deming used the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle. Marshall-Qualtec espouses a seven-step problem solving model. The Juran ...