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Jamie McCoy

Module 1

1. Explain the relationship between quality and competitiveness

Companies that used to compete only on local, regional, or national level now find themselves
competing against companies from throughout the world. At each successive level of
competition the quality of the competitors increases. Only those who are able to produce world
class quality can compete. It is important for a countrys business to be able to compete globally
in todays marketplace. When they cannot, jobs are lost and the quality of life in that country
declines correspondingly.

2. Explain how education related factors can inhibit competitiveness

There are well known problems with public schools in America for example (especially K-12)
and lack of skills and training of high school and entry level workers. There are other indicators
that show the U.S. with leading percentages of the population ages 18 to 24 and 25 to 29 enrolled
full time and part time in public and private institutions of higher education. The U.S. does
poorly compared to its main competitors in the world marketplace in education: 19th in mean
achievement scores by country in mathematics literacy, 16th in mean achievement scores by
country in science literary, 15th in mean achievement scores by country in advanced mathematics,
and 16th in mean achievement scores by country in advance physics. (Chandler, 2012)

3. List and briefly explain the basic philosophical constructs underlying the human
resource aspects of the competitiveness of Japan and Germany.

The list consists of cooperation of business, labor, government, high quality education training,
employee involvement and empowerment, leadership at all levels, and finally teamwork. These
are the basis for their success in quality and motivation of the workforce there.

4. Define what quality means to you. Be specific and give examples!

Most managers will say if we slow down, take longer, and get less feedback, then we will get a
better outcome for customers. However, where is the evidence for this? Some companies that
foist new products on us, I wish would have received more feedback first. When it's our product
though, we somehow think that it will work better if we go in the den and cozy up to the
whiteboard for as long as it takes and only come out when it's finished. How often does that
actually produce a delightful user experience though? Yet it's deeply intuitive that the longer we
take to work out all the details, the better the product will be. The problem is that quality is really
in the eye of the beholder. For a for-profit company, quality is defined by what the customer
wants. So if we are misaligned with what the customer wants, then all the extra time we take to
polish all the edges and get everything right is actually wasted time because we end up pushing
the product away from what the customer really wants. Quality in business to me is completely
up to the end customer.
Jamie McCoy
Module 1

5. Explain the Deming cycle. Where and how could it be utilized?

The Deming cycle is a four-stage process used for solving problems in business. It is also called
the Deming wheel, but is arguably better known as PDCA. This stands for plan, do, check, act.
It's notable that the structure and basis of the Deming cycle is somewhat reminiscent of the
scientific method. It can be utilized in the following bullet points.

As a model for continuous improvement.

When starting a new improvement project.

When developing a new or improved design of a process, product or service.

When defining a repetitive work process.

When planning data collection and analysis in order to verify and prioritize problems or
root causes.

When implementing any change.

6. Explain each aspect of the Juran Trilogy.

Quality planning is first and is the process for designing products, services, and processes to
meet new breakthrough goals. Quality control comes next and is the process for meeting goals
during operations. Lastly, you have quality improvement which is the process for creating
breakthroughs to unprecedented levels of performance.

7. What is ISO 9000? What does each standard address? What 8 quality management
principles are incorporated into ISO 9000:2000?

The standard is based on a number of quality management principles including a strong customer
focus, the motivation and implication of top management, the process approach and continual
improvement. Checking that the system works is a vital part of ISO 9001:2008. An organization
must perform internal audits to check how its quality management system is working.

7. How does the traditional approach to doing business equate quality with higher cost?

Organizations that have successfully changed themselves into total quality enterprises have
found that quality is not free of charge. It also brings unforeseen benefits though as well. It is sad
that many traditional managers still feel that if you want better quality you have to pay for it, and
decide that it is not worth the cost.
Jamie McCoy
Module 1

8. Which 3 of Demings 14 points to do you believe to be most trivial and why?

Use a single supplier for any one item is a point I feel is of less importance in todays
marketplace. Consistency is important, but the market for suppliers is constantly evolving and
changing to provide better material at lower cost. You have to explore your options once in a
while. That goes with adapting to change. Secondly, removing barriers to pride of workmanship
may be impossible in a competitive environment. Everyone wants to make more money in a
capitalist economy. That may be more important to a socialist country. Third most trivial would
have to be stop depending on inspections. I have never been at a company that enjoyed or
depended on inspections, so maybe I do not understand this point fully. I am in no way saying
these are not good points but was asked to pick the top three most trivial. If implemented the
correct way, all of these points can be valuable in my opinion.

10. Discuss in detail three of the categories for the Malcolm Baldrige National quality Award.

1) Leadership - Examines how senior executives guide the company, how the company
addresses its responsibilities to the public, and how the company practices good citizenship.

2) Human Resource Development and Management - Examines how the company


enables its workforce to develop its full potential and how the workforce is aligned with the
company's objectives.

3) Business Results - Examines the company's performance and improvement in the key
business areas of customer satisfaction, financial and marketplace performance, human
resources, supplier and partner performance, and operational performance. The category also
examines how the company performs relative to competitors.