#186 – WHAT KEEPS ENGINEERS FROM ADVANCING IN THEIR CAREERS? – GARY HINKLE

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02WEB-144x150-144x150Chris is an engineer at a leading scientific instrument company, and his career is stuck. He hasn’t been promoted in years. He’s an Engineer III, but he thinks he should be at least a IV (out of six levels altogether). He has more than ten years of experience, and he knows he’s made several significant technical contributions to the company’s products. Continue reading

#186 – BEHIND COMPLIANCE MANAGEMENT FAILURE AT MITSUBISHI, VW, & TARGET – GREG CARROLL

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team-carroll-150x1502016 and 2017 have seen a virtual tsunami of compliance failures involving some of our largest companies. From Mitsubishi to VW, from ANZ to Target, almost weekly there have been media reports about some company employees having run amok – unbeknownst to their executives and boards. People are asking: “What happened to the compliance management systems that are supposed to monitor and prevent such abuses?” Executives and boards are naturally starting to question the entire compliance management function. Continue reading

#186 – PREDICTABLE SURPRISES: THE VOLKSWAGEN STORY – JIM KLINE PH.D.

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aIMG_4231-150x150A predictable surprise is a risk event that in some form is known within the organization. It is of a nature that if left unresolved, it could be costly.  But fixing the problem appears to have larger short run costs, than long term benefits.  The Volkswagen diesel emissions fraud is one such example. It also a case where the penalties imposed outweighed the short term costs. Moreover, had a risk assessment occurred at several points along the way, there might not have been a scandal.  Continue reading

#186 – INNOVATION VS. TRANSFORMATON – JOSEPH PARIS

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image001-2-300x300-250x250If you want your business to survive, you need to innovate.  If you want your business to have a chance of thriving, you need transformation.  Certainly, either innovation or transformation are no guarantees of success – but the lack of both almost certainly leads to doom.  Need proof?  Can you name one company or one industry (other than government) today that, when faced with a change in the marketplace, failed to innovate – and instead stayed with its traditions, and survived – not to mention, thrived?  If you think of one, let me know.  How about a company that faced a transformation in the marketplace – how did it fare over time? Continue reading

#186 – STRATEGIC ITAM: THE WAY FOR REACHING THE STRATEGIC CAPABILITY THAT EMPOWERS YOUR BUSINESS – FRANCISCO JAVIER TEN MORON

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Picture1The increasing complexity and dynamism that the markets have today, but especially those where organizations operate using Information and Communication Technologies as the core of the business, as well as the resulting uncertainty thereof, suggests that the Strategic Development in those Organizations should be based on the usage of traditional processes as well as other emergent strategies that arise from internal processes and daily activities. Continue reading

#185 – WHICH IS IT: A SYSTEM OR PROCESS AUDIT? – J.P. RUSSELL

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Russell-PIC7AIt seems that everyone knows the difference between a system and a process. We know processes and systems are related, but most of us aren’t sure when one begins and the other ends. ISO 9000 provides definitions, but they seem inadequate at times.

Understanding the differences between a process and a system is important for effective organization management and auditing programs. Understanding some of the dynamics will help in the development of value-added auditing strategies. Continue reading

#185 – WHAT IS COLLATERAL RISK? AND WHY SHOULD WE BE WORRIED ABOUT IT?- GEARY SIKICH

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Untitled1-150x150Introduction

The Law Dictionary defines Collateral Risk as:

The RISK of loss arising from errors in the nature, quantity, pricing, or characteristics of COLLATERAL securing a transaction with CREDIT RISK.  Institutions that actively accept and deliver collateral and are unable to manage the process accurately are susceptible to loss.  A subcategory of PROCESS RISK. Continue reading

#185: “MADE IN JAPAN”: OUR QUALITY STORY – GREG HUTCHINS

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Greg HutchinsTakata airbags.  Now Kobe Steel.

… “more cases of misconduct have continued to emerge, including revelations that Kobe Steel group falsified quality inspection data for steel powders and steel rods.”
Japan Times, ‘Kobe Said Employees’ Cover Up Hampered Probe on Data Falsification Scandal, October 201, 2017

Here’s our story of a similar event:

A few years back, our firm, Quality Plus Engineering, was asked why an industrial product was having quality and reliability problems.  The manufacturer’s products were failing prematurely in a very important application.

We had to go to the source – the corporate design and manufacturing center in Japan. Continue reading

#185 – HOW A CULTURAL AUDIT CAN ASSIST RISK MANAGEMENT – JAMES KLINE PH.D.

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aIMG_4231-150x150Introduction

An organization’s culture is an important determinant of its success or failure. This is because an organization’s culture is the combined effect of the employees’ underlying assumptions, beliefs, attitudes and expectations. Each can affect performance and adaptability.  A cultural assessment can help determine areas that can inhibit mission accomplishment. This article lists the different techniques used in conducting a cultural audit and indicates how it can help guide corrective action. Continue reading

#185 – PROJECT MANAGEMENT: A RISK TO PRODUCT DELIVERY – MALCOLM PEART

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Malcom-Peart-pixMost of us are aware of the old saw “the operation was successful, but the patient died!” which has been around since 1829 and used to describe medical, as well as military and business failures.  There are many reasons for failure but is ‘over-management’ one of them? Can too much ‘project management’ be applied to the point that the aim of the project, i.e. the product, is compromised? Continue reading

#184 – DEVELOPING RECOVERY PROGRAMS: WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM HURRICANES IRMA AND HARVEY – GEARY SIKICH

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Untitled1-150x150Worst Case Scenarios

When planning for disasters we often time opt for “worst case” scenario plans.  Yet, time and again we are surprised when the “worst case” based plan that has been developed is superseded by an actual event that occurs.  Hurricane Katrina taught this lesson.  Will we be going back to school to learn the same lessons from Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma?  And, Hurricane Jose is coming in on the heels of Irma. Continue reading

#184 – STEPPING STONES IN THE LEAN JOURNEY – JOSEPH PARIS

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image001-2-300x300-250x250As very young children, we had an instinctive need to be very close to our parents – feeling a great deal of anxiety, even a sense of abandonment, if they were not within our sight.  As we grew older – and whether it was geographically, intellectually, or psychologically – we would become more comfortable with greater distances from what we felt were our basic truths, but almost always as stepping stones and rarely great leaps.  Think of early commanders of sailing ships always keeping sight of land until traveling ever greater distances was more predictable because of maps and navigation techniques and tools. Continue reading