Welcome to my blog for all things related to business quality (processes, systems and ways of working), products and product quality, manufacturing and operations management.

This blog is a mixture of real-world experience, ideas, comments and observations that I hope you'll find interesting.



Primilis and CogniDox announce a Graphical QMS

Our Press Release from 5 March 2013: Primilis and Cognidox have announced the development and general availability of a new Graphical Quality Management System (G-QMS) to aid companies looking to achieve Quality certification. The collaboration has been documented as a case study available for free download from both the CogniDox and Primilis websites. One of […]

Crosby’s Quality Management Maturity Grid

Of all the quality ‘gurus’ I find the late Philip Crosby one of the most readable. In his book ‘Quality is Free’ (Mentor 1980, ISBN 978-0451625854), which I can thoroughly recommend, he advocates the use of a simple tool to show where you are in the quality management spectrum; he calls it the Quality Management […]

The winds of change…

In a recent blog I wrote about Deviations and Concessions, temporary changes that allow you – when necessary and under control – to not do things the way you normally do them. But what happens when the change is permanent; how do you manage change? This is a well-established part of quality management and you […]

Assess yourself

No, it isn’t a Madonna song or anything written by New Order for the England football team! In order to go somewhere that you want to be you need to know where you are now, otherwise how do you know in which direction to travel? A key element of many Quality Management Systems – for […]

How to manage risk

Another preventive technique I recently promised to blog about was risk review and analysis. This is an approach used to reduce or manage risk; we aren’t necessarily trying to achieve zero risk (if there’s no risk at all you often get little benefit) although in areas such as safety or security a zero-tolerance approach to […]

The secrets of Poka Yoke

Poka Yoke (“poh-ka yoh-kay”), translated as mistake-proofing, was developed by Toyota manufacturing engineer Shigeo Shingo in the 1960s. (Its original name, ‘fool-proofing’ was changed because some people were offended by its implications.) It’s another preventive technique that I recently promised to explain in more detail. Poka Yoke is a simple but effective approach to reducing […]

Quality is a strategic issue

I’d like to take an overview of what quality is… and why it’s strategically important to your business. What is Quality? Quality means meeting requirements. It isn’t about providing more features, or complexity, or performance that increases cost, takes longer to provide or makes it more difficult to use and may not be required. A […]

Prevention is better than cure

Many moons ago I was blogging about Corrective Actions and said that, whilst they were invaluable, taking Preventive Actions was even better, as it should stop the problems occurring in the first place, but is considerably more difficult! I thought I should elaborate… It is obviously more difficult to say whether it will rain tomorrow […]

5S is more than just spring cleaning

5S stands for Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu, and Shitsuke. And, by the way, despite being called 5S many people say there’s a 6th – Safety. Well, I’m glad to have cleared that up! Perhaps I had better explain… You have probably deduced that 5S is another Japanese-inspired approach to quality improvement; in this case it’s […]

The secrets of Lean

‘Lean’ means fat-free or thin or containing little waste, doesn’t it? (Appropriate for just after Christmas…) The answer is yes, and it’s one of the most recent trends in quality and management that started on the factory floor with Lean Manufacturing and has spread to other areas such as Lean Six Sigma and Lean Software […]