ISPI Performance Digest
Nov. 30, 2010

Companies run lean with eye on quality control
The Record
With the weak economy reducing both consumer and corporate spending, more businesses are turning to performance improvement methods to operate as efficiently as possible. Lean performance, which cuts redundant activities, and certification by the International Organization for Standardization, or ISO, which standardizes quality control, are on the rise as companies strive to reduce costs, distinguish themselves from foreign competition and improve customer satisfaction.More

Focus on safety and quality pays off
Engineering News
Construction firm Grinaker-LTA Earthworks Engineering’s business unit has almost halved its lost-time-injury frequency rate (LTIFR) during the past year. The financial year-end LTIFR is 0,13, which is comparable with science-based solutions company DuPont safety principles globally, and is a safety leading result in the local construction industry, says Grinaker-LTA Earthworks Engineering MD Tony Page. A combination of management commitment, implementation of internationally accredited health, safety and environment (HSE) management systems, and a growing HSE awareness in the company, have all played a role in contributing to this achievement.More

HPT's role in business continuity
Business Continuity in both the private and public sectors focuses on programmatic issues involved with identifying the core objectives of organizations and designing the capabilities to meet those objectives before, during, and after a disruptive event. Disruptive events include natural disasters (floods, storms, and fire) and terrorists acts, The effect of these events will differ depending upon the critical functions of the organization.More

Reacting matters as much as planning
Young Ingvar Kamprad used unexpected cash from his father — a gift for good exam results — to found IKEA. He lived near furniture makers so reacted by selling furniture. He reacted to a boycott from local rivals by producing his own furniture. Kamprad's first designer reacted to not being able to fit a table in a car by creating the first flat pack. Then Kamprad reacted to his showroom burning down by building a huge replacement. He reacted to excessive customer demand by starting self-service. So the IKEA strategy came from clever reactions to great unplanned opportunities. Unplanned opportunities may be your best chance of creating a great strategy so you need to be constantly looking for them.More

Performance reviews: Useless or worthwhile?
Consumerism Commentary
As the end of the year approaches, managers and supervisors throughout the corporate world will begin having conversations with the employees who report to them. These conversations usually involve tools like a self-evaluation form completed by the employee, feedback forms completed by the supervisor, and possibly peer evaluations completed by co-workers. There isn't one part of the employee-employer relationship that isn't as stacked against the employee as this process. In a perfect world, these performance reviews could be valuable, with the manager offering specific tips for helping the employee reach his or her professional goals.More

How lessons from billiards can help Six Sigma training
Six Sigma & Process Excellence
The Editorial Staff at Six Sigma IQ & Process Excellence wrote, "If you’re a pocket billiards enthusiast, you’ll relate to this story. Pocket billiards (i.e., pool) is a game that can be played equally well alone or competitively. Several years ago, a co-worker purchased a top-of-the-line pool table (Gold Crown III), a dozen or more instructional videotapes, "how-to-do-it" books and even a CD-ROM that enabled him to simulate playing a world-class professional." More

A&G IT director talks business continuity
CIO Magazine
Georgina Swan of CIO Magazine spoke with Paul Malt regarding the recent unification of A&G's call centers More

Talent management lessons and strategies from the World Series
The World Series is over and the San Francisco Giants won. Whether you are happy or upset with the outcome, you should analyze what it took for them to win and determine what talent management lessons can be learned. Major league baseball has always been a leader in measuring employee performance, developing precise measures that look at every aspect of performing key activities on and off the field. If you look a little deeper, you might find that its best practices are several levels above those found in the average corporate environment.More

Industry-supported telework bill supported by US Congress, sent to President Obama
After years of arguably tentative applications, the U.S. federal government may at last be on track to providing its public employees with a solid telework program. If implemented right, it could achieve the cost savings, improved flexibility, ability to hire and keep the best workers, improved productivity and rugged business continuity realized by contact centers and other private sector employers. Telework, as employed by the federal government, may well diminish if these results obtain the need for tax dollars from struggling individuals and businesses as well as provide better public service.More