Mark Norman and Dalton
Kehoe, The CORE Group
WHAT NEEDS TO BE IN PLACE FOR
A PROJECT TEAM TO BEGIN
What needs to be in place for a project team to
The top administrator (sponsor) of the area of
implementing teams must conduct a Strategic CQI Planning Process
within a reasonable time of team start-up. The planning consists of
identifying processes in which the department or unit engages
themselves on a regular basis and that have a high impact on the
service receivers sense of quality. A team will be formed around each
critical process identified for analysis.
The Team Leader is usually a senior manager on
the team responsible for the process. The Team Leader must at a
certain points provide updates to the Sponsor in order to reduce the
risk of investing a great deal of work in a way that doesn't fit with
the work taking place in other parts of the unit or organization.
This update is called a sign-off. Generally, there will be three
sign-offs during the life of the project team.
A facilitator to assist your team during
It is recommended that each Team be assigned a
facilitator. A pool of facilitators will be coordinated by the CQI
Program coordinator: for each facilitator utilized, a department will
eventually be able to donate a facilitator to be used in another
The Team Leader and Facilitator are trained
prior to team start-up. The team will be provided with initial tool
training by the facilitator. Subsequent «just-in-time»
training for team members will be provided by the Team Leader and/or
Facilitator as needed.
The Team Leader will keep a complete file of
all documents related to the team's activities and accomplishments.
This must include (but is not limited to): meeting notes, sign-off
documents, copies of questionnaires, all charts and graphs.
After completing each step of the CQI Process,
the team will produce a report, detailing their accomplishments. The
report should contain narrative and graphical information about each
step of the CQI Team Process. Teams may be asked to present their
results to the Continuous Quality Improvement Council (CQIC). An
actual report is included in the annexes of this manual.
How many meetings and how long?
Generally projects require 8 to 10 meetings.
Teams meet one and a half to two hours per week using the CQI Team
Process. After solutions are implemented, the team will continue to
maintain the process performance measure. The team will reconvene
periodically (approximately every 6 months) to evaluate the process
performance measure and modify solutions as necessary. The
Facilitator may or may not continue involvement with the team as
determined by the team Leader and CQI coordinator.
THE TEAM ROLE IN
CONTINUOUS QUALITY IMPROVEMENT
Continuous Quality Improvement involves
everyone in decision making to improve services to better meet the
needs of customers. Each team studies a critical process in detail,
collects information from customers, and gathers data for the purpose
of improving the quality of the critical process. Frequent questions
about teams include:
What is a team?
- Teams are the basis empowerment and
problem solving.They meet on a regular basis to
- study how to improve the process.
What is a critical process?
- A process is a flow of work that
progresses from one person or one activity to another.
- A critical process is an important
process, defined by customer need, that links to the mission of an
- The sponsor will ask the team to study a
specific critical process.
Who is on a team?
- A team is comprised of the owners (doers)
and stakeholders (receivers) of an identified process.
- An owner is anyone who works on any part
of the process, regardless of his/her status in the organization.
Who leads a team?
- The Team Leader is usually the supervisor
responsible for the performance of the selected critical process.
Who is a Sponsor?
- The sponsor is the highest level manager
of the organizational unit that controls the process. The sponsor
does not serve on the team, but approves the results of each
process step taken by the team.
Who helps the team use the CQI
- Each team has a facilitator who helps the
team communicate effectively and explains the problem solving
IDENTIFYING YOUR CRITICAL PROCESSES AS A
1.List your primary
- Who receives our services (internally
or externally) ?
2. List and group customer
- What do they expect of our services?
How do they define "Quality"?
3. Name the few processes you follow
time and time again to fulfill the university mission and ensure
that customer needs are met.
- What are the services or activities
that we offer or do repeatedly?
4. Determine at least one performance
measure for each critical process.
- What measurements will tell us how well
we are doing?
CQI "TEAM PROCESS" PRINCIPLES
- CQI teams follow the CQI Team
process. The focus is on improving the process, not fixing the
- Teams are comprised of all major
owners (stakeholders) of the process, regardless of rank.
- Commitment to improve the
process is required. Improving the process and addressing the
needs of customers are the only reasons for this kind of team.
- The roles of the team members
are known and defined. Expectations are clear.
- CQI Teams are study teams.
Problems are carefully analyzed and solutions are thoughtfully
planned before being implemented.
- CQI Teams develop not only
solutions to process problems but also one or more key process
performance measures that they maintain after the initial
problem-solving is complete.
THE CQI TEAM
Each team uses the CQI Team process. The
process involves a well-researched and logical approach to team
problem-solving. The steps include the use of quality tools
employed by numerous private and pubic organizations. While there
are many problem-solving methods, a simple, explicit method works
best for groups. The advantage of a common model is that everyone
can begin to speak the same quality improvement language, and
everybody can understand what step of the process they are working
The CQI Team process accomplishes three
The Team process helps all members of the
team develop a clear understanding of the current condition of the
process. Many team members may feel everyone knows the issues at
hand, but our experience is that they usually do not.
The Team process provides for a detailed
assessment of customer requirements. Customer needs and
requirements are the reason we are in business. Therefore any
changes or improvements must be targeted to address the needs of
our customers as defined by those customers.
The Team Process drives solutions by facts.
The team relies on data analysis and measurement to justify their
selection of solutions, as opposed to crisis management.
RULES AND GUIDELINES
The team's first task is to establish
common ground rules and guidelines. At the first team meeting,
each team member should agree to the following guidelines:
All decisions are by
- Consensus does not mean everyone agrees
with the decision. Nor does it mean taking a vote and majority
rule. Consensus means that everyone agrees to actively support
the group decision. Discuss as a group how to handle absences
and determine whether the team can achieve consensus if one
member is missing.
- In addition to Facilitative Leadership
and Team members roles. Here are several additional
recommendations for effective CQI teamwork:
Some issues are confidential.
- Who says what is always
confidential. All statements and
findings are reported from the group as a whole. The majority
of issues discussed by the team can (and should) be shared with
everyone. However, team members need to be sensitive to the
fact that some discussions should remain confidential. Problem
solving is a creative process During which teams discuss ideas
and issues that might be misinterpreted by someone unfamiliar
with the context of the discussion.
Listen to Others.
- Everyone on the team should feel like
their ideas are listened to.
Come prepared to the meeting.
- CQI Team meetings are not typical
meetings. These are study groups. There is substantial work
outside regular meeting times, including interviewing customers
and collecting data. All members need to complete their
assignments before the meeting. Decide as a group how to handle
situations when a member is unprepared.
Be an active participant in the team
- Employee involvement is a critical
success factor to quality improvement. An employee is asked to
serve on a team because their input is vital to improve the
critical process. Team members must freely ask questions and
offer opinions. Everyone's involvement is essential.
Improve how the group works together as
- Evaluate your meetings near the end.
What worked that day? What didn't? What can be improved for
Keep records of your work.
- The Team Leader keeps a file of all
documents related to the team's activities and accomplishments.
This includes meeting minutes, sign off documents, copies of
questionnaires, charts and graphs of data.
- Most teams rotate the responsibility of
keeping minutes among members.
THE SIGN OFF
- An important feature of the CQI Team
Process is the Sponsor's "sign off". At appropriate steps, the
team presents it's results to the sponsor for review and
evaluation. If the sponsor supports what the team has
accomplished to that point, and agrees with the direction the
team appears to be heading, the sponsor "signs off". If any
problems arise in the way the team is analyzing the process or
in the solutions being developed, this is the step at which it
is appropriate to make adjustments. Sponsor sign-off allows the
teams to move to the next step of the model and commits the
Sponsor to fully supporting the team's decisions to the point
of the sign-off. This step is vital to the success of the CQI
process and to the continued effectiveness of the team.
- The team leader is the information link
between the Sponsor and the team. The Team Leader must keep
both the sponsor and the team accurately informed. The
Facilitator should monitor the sign-off process and work with
the Team Leader to ensure its effectiveness.
The following pages are a compilation of
brief descriptions of tools used by teams to understand and
analyze their work processes.
The process analysis cycle
What is it and why do we use
- It's a standardized approach to
analyzing work done at the University. It provides a consistent
framework for understanding how process occur, identifying
problems within the work, collecting data and developing
solutions that take the needs of customers into account.
What is it and why do we use it?
- Flowcharts allow teams to lay out the
actual steps of work as it is done. The graphical aspect of this
tools is useful to identify bottlenecks, places or steps where
works tends to pile up or slow down, unnecessary steps as well as
- Most teams find that flowcharts open their
eyes as to how processes are actually happening. They also
frequently report that flowcharting helps others become aware of
the specifics of tasks or processes and serve to educate one
- Once a process has been flowcharted and
problems identified, teams set up a new flowchart that
incorporates all changes made to the work process. This is helpful
documentation for future revisions of the work and as training
tools for anyone having to learn the processes in question.
What is it and why do we use
What is it and why do we use it?
- Cause and effect diagrams are useful to
understand all of the contributing factors to a problem. Often ,
when a team is working on a process, the number of factors that
contribute to a specific problem become confusing. This diagram
allows the team to sort them out and to begin identifying the root
causes of a problem. When the root causes of a process problems
aren't identified and addressed, the problem usually manifests
itself again, often with greater intensity. The team's role is to
deal with problems by attacking the root causes.
All teams are encouraged repeatedly to collect
data around their work processes. A few tools are commonly used to do
Example: Number of keyboard errors in class
Wrong Page Numbers
- Check-sheets allow teams to analyze the
frequency of certain events or problems. It also allows the team
to notice any trends or tendencies emerging from the data. In the
example above, it's easy to see that punctuation is the greatest
problem in the table. The data provides a clearer picture of the
situation and allows teams to analyze the process while avoiding
making changes on the basis of anecdotes.
- Benchmarking is the comparison of the
performances between organizations or within the same
organizatipon for given processes. For example, if Concordia
University wanted to evaluate it's performance in regards to the
time taken to accept a student at the University, it would gather
data on it's own performance and compare it to other universities
of the same size and with similar conditions. This comparison
leads to an evaluation of performance levels and to learning from
other organizations that are doing well. Conversely, Concordia
could also become a benchmark for other organizations for
processes it is accomplishing effectively.
1. Identify Process to
2. Identify organizations
3. Determine data collection
4. Collect Data
5. Define performance
6. Establish new performance
7. Communicate results and
obtain commitment to improve
8. Establish improvement
9. Develop an action
10. Implement and control
11. Readjust performance
Cost of Quality
- Cost of quality is the measurement of what
the team is spending for its overall quality. Cost of Quality
(COQ) opportunities are those areas where the university is not
meeting its customer requirements or is meeting them but not in
the most cost effective way. In addition to information about
customer concerns, process improvement teams use COQ as an input
when selecting the issue they will work on. Teams also use COQ to
evaluate their achievements. Cost of quality includes:
- the cost of correcting errors
- moneys lost as a result of not doing the
job right the first time (lost opportunities)
- the cost to change or improve
Costs of Conformance
- The cost of conformance is money spent to
ensure that customer requirements are met (prevention) and the
money spent to ensure that work processes are producing outputs
that satisfy customer requirements (inspection). Examples of
prevention costs include money spent on training, on
communications, and on the right kind of equipment to do the job
well. Examples of inspection costs include the time and money
spent to ensure that the work is going well, to assess the success
of results of work, or to evaluate progress. Prevention and
inspection costs are necessary costs of doing the job right the
first time. Money spent on conformance will reduce the cost of
- Costs are incurred when the University
fails to meet customer requirements. These include the cost of
waste, re-doing work, or unnecessarily exceeding customer
requirements. An example of unnecessarily exceeding customer
requirements would be preparing a twenty page report when a single
page document is required. Non-conformance costs are unnecessary.
They represent the cost of not doing the job right the first
Costs of Lost
- Lost opportunities result when a customer
chooses to go elsewhere for service due to the university's
failure to meet his/her requirements. Customer dissatisfaction is
also considered a lost opportunity cost. Lost opportunities costs
result from non-conformance.
Cost of Quality Over
- Over time, as the University is successful
in reducing COQ, it is likely to observe a change in the makeup of
its total COQ. Initially, non-conformance and lost opportunities
costs will compromise the biggest part of its total COQ. As
reductions in non-conformance and lost opportunities costs occur,
investments will be made in conformance costs. As processes reach
steady state levels and lost opportunities and non-conformance
costs are minimized, it may be able to reduce the absolute level
of conformance costs required in the interim stage. However, as a
percentage of the total COQ, conformance costs will increase in
the mature state. Again, it is important to note that money spent
on conformance will reduce the cost of non-conformance.
A simple formula to
calculate the cost of a process:
Note taking during team meetings
This is often the most avoided role in the
team because of the potential tediousness of the task. The task is
important and is not related to minute taking. The important elements
that must be reflected in the annals of the teams life consist of a
few key items. The following table can be used to simplify the task
and produce the needed results:
Annex 1: Tool
1. Identify and select a
process or problem
- Flow charts, Interviews and
surveys, Data sheets, Pareto charts, Brainstorming,
2. Describe the
- Data sheets, Pareto charts, Bar
charts, Control charts
3. Develop a broad
perspective by identifying all possible causes
- Data sheets, Brainstorming,
4. Develop a consensus
on root cause
- Data sheets, pareto charts,
Correlation charts, Brainstorming, Consensus
5. Create a solution and
an action plan
- Brainstorming, Presentation
6. Implement solution
and measurement procedures
- Pareto charts, Bar charts,
7. Maintain control