Newsletter – November, 2014

On My Mind
I recently heard first-hand what is happening at numerous world class organizations at the International Conference on Quality in Tokyo, Japan. There are exciting Quality Management developments occurring at Toyota, Hino Motors, Komatsu, Mahindra & Mahindra, TVS, and the Siam Cement Group to name a few. The most profound presentation was made by Masahiro Sakane, Komatsu Councilor and Chairman of JUSE. He won the Deming Prize for Individuals in 2008 and is the former CEO and Chairman of the Board of Komatsu. His presentation was titled, “Innovation through Quality – Creating New Value to the World!” This is the third time I’ve heard Mr. Sakane speak and he seems more profound each time. He promotes the need to think about the long-term view and understanding the fundamental changes taking place in the world. He described how Komatsu is striving to understand the customer’s perspective and more broadly enhance corporate value—defined as the total sum of trust given to Komatsu by all stakeholders. He also described Dantotsu products and Dantotsu services. This is from the Komatsu website: “The Dantotsu Strategy, launched in 2003, concentrates company resources on overwhelmingly differentiating specific features of Komatsu products. Dantotsu products (unrivaled products) are a designation used only for machines considered vastly superior to competitors’ products. Furthermore, it is this selectivity that ensures Dantotsu is synonymous with dramatically enhanced commercial value.” The Komatsu KOMTRAX satellite communications system is an example of Dantotsu service. Study Komatsu if you want to learn more about a global Quality Management leader.

Interesting Stories
FYI—to follow-up on my mentioning of the Kansas City Royals baseball team last month. The Royals came so close to winning the Major League Baseball World Series and perhaps would have if not for the heroics of pitcher Madison Bumgarner. His pitching performance was one of the most amazing in World Series history. You can visit to see his statistics.

Company News
I made three presentations during my Tokyo trip. My first presentation was on “Statistics vs. Analytics” at the 2014 Global Quality Futures Workshop session. I described the similarities and differences between traditional statistical methods used in Quality Management and some of the new techniques used in the analytics movement. The participants gave me valuable feedback on my emergent analytical models. My second presentation was at the Pre-Conference session for the International Conference on Quality. It was titled, “Trend of Data Analysis in the U.S.A.” Here I described the data analysis trends in the U.S.A. and the results of my pulse survey on the topic. My third presentation was during the main International Conference on Quality session and it was titled, “Applying the Four Student Model During the SDCA Cycle.” This paper describes my research on standardization in Lean and Six Sigma contexts. It is timely given the recent discussion in the media on the new Ebola protocol and the Virgin Galactic crash. The paper is available on this website on the RESEARCH page.

Intriguing Reads
There is an excellent book published by JUSE titled, “QC Circle Leader’s Guidebook for Level Identification: How to get out of Zone D or C.” Toyota evaluates QC circles using two performance dimensions: (1) Overall performance of the QC circle (X variable) and (2) How much the workplace is vibrant and challenging (Y variable). The four zones (A, B, C, & D) are depicted on an x-y coordinate system with “A” being the highest level of achievement for a QC circle. This book explains the fundamental skills and techniques front-line leaders need to possess to be successful in leading work system improvement activities. You can learn more about the book by visiting the Publications page of the JUSE website: