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21210 McLean Line, RR#1
Wardsville, ON

Canada
N0L 2N0

Tel:  (519) 785-0276

Fax:  (519) 785-3037


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Quality, Organizational Excellence and Process Improvement

The pursuit of organizational excellence, often expressed in terms of 'continuous quality improvement', is on the 'radar screen' of companies in virtually every sector of the economy across Canada.   Regardless of the quality or business excellence framework or certification your organization has chosen to pursue, (e.g., ISO 9001:2000, National Quality Institute's Progressive Excellence Program for Quality and/or a Healthy Workplace, and Accreditation Canada) we've had the occasion to observe in our work (with a diverse array of for-profit and not-for-profit clients of all sizes) that many find it challenging to demonstrate what quality actually looks like 'on the ground' and 'to prove it' to key stakeholders and funders.  

We can help introduce you to some practical tools that will support your organization's quality improvement and business excellence journey, in particular:

  • Mapping-out key processes in order to demonstrate how work flows throughout your organization and provide a focal point from which to analyze opportunities for improvement;
  • Identifying, measuring and closing quality gaps;
  • Measuring key organizational processes;
  • Displaying data in a variety of formats; and
  • Formulating action-oriented process improvement plans that help maintain the closure of quality gaps.
Worth Noting

"Home care providers must know how to effectively manage the data collected through the various technological applications.  Converting data to knowledge and using that information to improve home care services is tested through the competitive process".

Ontario Home Care Association in Competing for Quality...what does it mean?



Defining Quality
Quality is variously defined from organization to organization; here's one coined by Canada's National Quality Institute (NQI) that frames and provides context for a particularly effective approach to organizational excellence and process management:

"Quality is meeting or exceeding the customer's agreed
upon requirements at the lowest cost, first time, every time."

It actually allows one to assess whether quality has been achieved or not. The concept at the centre of this definition is the axiom what gets measured is more apt to be improved!

Deconstructing the key concepts:

  • 'Customer' refers to those to whom an output (i.e., a product, service or information) is supplied. "Customers can be either internal (those within the organization who receive the products and services you produce) or external (those who make use of the final product or service)."
  • 'Agreed requirements' are the promises made to customers.
  • 'Meeting or exceeding' the former means that the product, service or information looks and behaves exactly as promised and the latter means giving customers more than they knew they wanted.
  • 'At the lowest cost' means that no time, effort or materials are lost or wasted in the delivery of the product or service so that the company's profits are maximized, or, in the case of non-profit organizations, so that service can be provided within the funds allocated.
  • 'First time every time' means getting it right 100% of the time. Doing things right means no failures - zero defects - which in turn means no need to correct mistakes. This eliminates costly re-work.

Quality as a Process
As NQI, a global leader in promoting and building business excellence points out, achieving quality is as much about the process as it is about the outcome thus, it's important not to forget the fact that achieving quality is an on-going undertaking. They define a process as:  "...a series of definable, repeatable and measurable steps which transform some input from a supplier into a useful result, or output, for an internal or external customer".

Deconstructed, a process is:

  • 'Definable', in that it can be described and documented;
  • 'Repeatable', in that it should produce the same results;
  • 'Measureable', either the whole process or each step is measurable;
And with regard to:
  • 'Input', the raw materials or information used to start the process, e.g., the information provided or whatever launched your process;
  • 'Supplier', the person or group (internal or external) who supplies the input;
  • 'Output', the result of the process; and
  • 'Customer', the consumer or user of the output.
Want to learn more?
Process improvement training and coaching is carried out under the aegis of Catilyst Performance Partners (Catilyst) who are experts in the field. A strategic partner of the National Quality Institute, Catilyst is dedicated to generating sustained performance excellence through effective planning, implementation, monitoring, and continuous improvement using proven quality and management models, approaches and techniques. 

Catilyst assists private and public sector organizations of all sizes and in all sectors of the economy in obtaining: NQI certifications for Quality and/or a Healthy Workplace; the coveted Canada Award for Excellence; and registrations to both national and international management systems standards, e.g., Six Sigma, Lean, and ISO 9001:2000.

 

Continuous Quality Improvement Training | CQI Coaching | Continuous Quality Improvement Healthcare | CQI Coaching & Training