At Hallmark Building Supplies, Inc., quality and process improvements are fundamental to our success. Our business philosophy is founded on the System of Profound Knowledge developed by W. Edwards Deming in the late 1970's. We started by using the methodology created by Associates in Process Improvement, Quality as a Business Strategy, to implement Deming's philosophies, concepts and specific methods - and guide our decisions and business practices. With insight into the importance of leadership, Quality as a Business Strategy has evolved into "Leading a Learning Organization- A System for Learning and Improvement."
This strategy aims to enable the organization to provide products and services that will be in demand and to create a place where people can enjoy and take pride in their work.
Deming's System of Profound Knowledge
The System of Profound Knowledge provides a theory by which to understand our workplace. The System of Profound Knowledge is composed of four interrelated parts.
Appreciation for a system
Most products, services or outcomes result from a complex system of interaction among people, procedures and equipment. Appreciation of a system helps us understand the interdependencies and interrelationships among all components and thus increases the quality our system produces and the accuracy of our improvement efforts.
Knowledge about variation
Everything operates as a system. Within that system everything varies. Knowledge of variation allows us to determine what variation is normal and occurs as a result of simply operating a system and what is outside of normal system operation. Process improvement happens when you are working to reduce the variation of your process or system and/or making fundamental changes in the process to achieve different (better) results.
Theory of knowledge
Management is prediction. The theory of knowledge helps us understand that the more knowledge you have about how a particular system functions, the better the prediction and the greater likelihood that the changes you make to the system will result in an improvement.
The theory of psychology helps us understand what makes people resist or accept change. Everyone is different – they learn differently, act differently and react differently. Understanding that this is part of normal variation allows us to communicate and help foster an environment that is free of fear. It enhances our ability to successfully improve the system and create a workplace that is enjoyable.
System for Learning and Improvement
A System for Learning and Improvement includes philosophies, concepts and specific methods for creating an interdependent system. It is a map, which in the theory, is converted to the actionable, results-oriented implementation of managing a business and quality improvement within an organization. This approach to managing an organization centers around the following activities:
A comprehensive leadership philosophy revolves around defining the purpose of the organization being led, identifying the ethical and moral reasoning guiding decisions being made, defining the practical values needed to achieve the organization's purpose and goals and results that are aligned with the purpose and practical values.
The purpose of an organization is the reason the organization exists – the need in society that it fulfills. The basic elements of a company's purpose statement are: the company's mission, beliefs and values, and vision. The purpose statement helps a company maintain a long-term focus and fosters an environment of improvement and quality.
The system activity refers to viewing the organization as dynamic, adaptive to the needs of the customer and comprised of interdependent people, departments, equipment, facilities, processes and products all working toward a common goal.
Everyone works as an interdependent system. Making a change in one area can dramatically positively or negatively impact another part of the organization. Link to a System View of Hallmark.
Measures of the System
Key measures of the system are required to manage the performance of the system. These measures are defined by the purpose, they are displayed graphically using the theory of variation to evaluate, and provide data to be used by decision makers to predict what may happen in the future.
This activity requires an established system to gather information relevant to the need the organization is fulfilling. Hallmark actively gathers and solicits feedback from our customers, channel partners and associates to help us plan, improve and guide our strategic direction to best meet the needs of our customers. To provide feedback, contact us.
The planning activity uses the information that has been gathered from the system to determine system improvements and to guide business operation plans.
Managing improvement activities
This activity provides a process for managing and implementing improvement efforts in various areas of our system. Each improvement effort starts with a charter that answers three basic questions: 1) What are we trying to accomplish? 2) How will we know a change is an improvement? 3) What changes can we make that will result in an improvement?
In August, 1994, Cliff Norman and Associates for Process Improvement introduced Hallmark to QBS along with the idea of Profound Knowledge. As a result, Hallmark started to formalize the quality journey that is now part of our culture. Everyone in the Hallmark system is responsible for participating in our quality journey and improving the quality of everything we do.
"Hallmark is outside the system...that is why you have become an example to study by others worldwide." Cliff Norman, Associates in Process Improvement.
To learn more about Dr. Deming's System of Profound Knowledge, the five elements of Profound Knowledge, or QBS, please contact Louie Paynter.