Reflecting on the Top 5 Quality Topics of 2015

Posted by Dan Jacob on Tue, Jan 05, 2016 @ 10:00 AM

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quality_cost_to_profit-1.pngIt’s the start of another year, a time to try out new resolutions and deploy new plans. Before 2015 fades into the past – likely followed soon by those sparkly new resolutions – it’s good to look back at a year filled with change and new developments. One way to catch the pulse of the year gone by is to recap what most interested our quality readers in 2015.Click here to speak with Dan

What better way to do this than to review the 2015 posts in LNS Research’s quality management practice that captured the most interest from readers.

So without further ado, here are the top five quality management posts of 2015.

1. The Importance of the 80/20 Principle in Quality in an Era of Big Data

Pareto charts have long been viewed as a valuable tool in quality, and are used universally by quality management to separate the vital few from a sea of many. With the advent of Big Data, that sea of many just got much, much bigger. In fact, one challenge that Big Data creates for a quality management team is an inundation of recommendations and notices, amounting to quality issue spam. This post considers these topics as well as others.

Recent LNS Research on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Quality Management shows that quality management is wrestling with the idea of applying Big Data Analytics to their quality processes, and also looking to overhaul quality analytics programs so it is not surprising that this was the most read post of the year. To read into this further, click here.

2. Four Things Quality Leaders Should Know About Document Management

Enterprise Quality Management System (EQMS) processes are not uniformly automated. While document management is the most widely automated - by nearly half of companies - many core processes are only automated by one in four companies. This blog discussed four key deliverables that should be accomplished by a document management system to ensure value and user adoption.

EQMS deployments are continually increasing year over year, with document management as one of the first areas of investment. Large companies (>$1B) have led the deployments, but small and medium businesses are investigating and budgeting. At this point just the laggards are not planning or have not already deployed EQMS. With that backdrop and the general adoption of document management, it’s easy to understand the interest in this post. Read it here.

3. Four Tips for Elevating Quality and Incorporating Risk into CAPA

Non Conformance and CAPA are nearly as widely adopted as Document Management. This particular post discussed four practical lessons learned from a Vice President of Quality regarding her transformation of the company’s CAPA processes on a journey of global process harmonization.

This post provided real-world guidance for both global CAPA harmonization and embedding risk into the CAPA process. This touches on two common challenges quality management faces today: globally fragmented core EQMS processes, and risk-based thinking. Although this was published in January 2015, its guidance is also highly applicable to those looking to deploy the ISO 9001:2015 update released in September 2015. This post can be read here.

4. Two Faces of Manufacturing Quality Problems: Product and Process

Most industries are extremely competitive and their customers are increasingly demanding, which puts a laser focus on slightly competitive advantages in product features and quality. In order to deliver quality, most companies have historically looked to process quality, but there is a growing attention on product quality. In this case, product quality being quality “designed in” in the product development process. The post compares and contrasts these two quality venues and provides recommendations to improve product quality.

We feel that this post was so widely read because many organizations are attempting to improve their upstream quality processes. While quality processes such as APQP and others have existed for decades, and have had impact on overall quality, increased product complexity and competition have placed a spotlight on design-side quality in recent years. Access this blog post here.

5. The Benefits of Audit Management in EQMS, Part 1 and Part 2

Including this one bends the rules a bit, as it captures a topic that rolled across two posts. However, the combined posts present some very valuable research regarding automation of audit management and discuss four benefit areas in some depth.

Frankly, audits are widely known to deliver substantial value and it’s shocking that the audit management process is only automated in less than one in four companies. Interest in this topic was likely a mix of education and justification on the topic of “why automate audit management.” Part one can be accessed here, and part two can be found here.

That’s a Wrap!

While that summarized the topmost topics of 2015, there were a number of other interesting topics that ranked highly as well, covering items such as EQMS architecture, EQMS processes, IIoT and Quality Improvement, what to change in Quality Management in 2016, EQMS selection considerations, Technology and many more. Happy New Year!

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Tags: EQMS, Quality Management, IIoT