Morgan Palmer

Morgan Palmer
Morgan is the Chief Technical Officer at EtQ, Inc.

Recent Posts

Redefining Scalability in your Quality Management Software

[fa icon="calendar'] Fri, May 28, 2010 / by Morgan Palmer

In an enterprise quality management software, scalability is usually measured in terms of performance: how many active users, how much memory used, how much bandwidth, how many processors and how fast they are. Scalability using these performance metrics is critical and a must have for any enterprise software, but not sufficient. Equally important is scalability of administration.

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Quality Management scalability

Why Risk is Important to Corrective Actions

[fa icon="calendar'] Wed, Jul 01, 2009 / by Morgan Palmer

The Corrective Action process is at the heart of your quality management system, transforming quality issues into opportunities for improvement. Unfortunately, in most organizations the Corrective Action process is clogged with too many Corrective Actions, slowing everything down, diluting everyone's efforts, and frustrating management. To unclog the system, you need to focus on only the Corrective Actions you have capacity for. The difficulty lies in picking the ones you should work on and the ones you can put on hold until later.

Risk assessment provides a quantitative technique for picking the Corrective Actions you need to work on now and the ones you can leave to later. Using a rating of probability and severity (and optionally detectability), supported by clearly documented guidelines, you can calculate a risk level for each Corrective Action. With this information, you can set a risk threshold for determining which Corrective Actions to work on. Complete all those Corrective Actions first, regardless of their issue date or "priority" level, before moving to lower-risk Corrective Actions.

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Enterprise Risk Management

What Quality Management can learn from EHS

[fa icon="calendar'] Mon, Jun 15, 2009 / by Morgan Palmer

Quality Management (QMS) and Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) systems have much in common. They are founded on a similar standards that include a core set of common procedures. But although EHS is, for many, the new kid on the block, it is already garnering more attention and bigger budgets than QMS. What helps EHS stand out is a compelling vision that everyone can get behind. Saving lives and the environment is quite a bit more motivating than reducing defect rates and indirect costs.

On the flip-side, with increased visibility comes increased expectations. Which is why EHS implementations are run more like mission critical projects, compared with less stringent QMS implementations. EHS projects will typically have stricter project management, predefined outputs in the shape of reports and metrics, detailed security requirements, usability guidelines, and more emphasis on end-user buy-in and training. All of which contribute to a successful, well-rounded project, but that are often missing from QMS implementations.

EHS implementations are different because they often have direct involvement from a stakeholder at the highest level of the organization. This stakeholder can rein in scope creep and resolve disagreements. They can enforce deadlines and allocate resources to keep the project on track. QMS implementations, on the contrary, are often user-driven initiatives with no clear directive from upper management. These projects can sometimes meander in a continual cycle of requirements gathering and refinement that extends the delivery dates and dilutes the value of the project.

What QMS can learn from EHS is to recruit an influential advocate for the project at the highest levels of the organization who will take an active role in defining the objective and scope, allocating the necessary resources, and monitoring the progress of the project to its successful conclusion. After all, Quality deserves nothing less.
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EHS Management Quality Management

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