The Quality Improvement Handbook essay
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During the first week of work after training, the research analyst time is separated between activities that are mainly related to the analysis of the three main financial statements-Cash Flow, Balance Sheet, and Income Statement, as well as those entries that are based on the company’s system. The analysis is conducted using sources such as annual reports and press releases that the company files annually and in intervals throughout the year. For a day or two the analyst is expected to work on one activity of the company without rushing into a second worrying about efficiency and deadlines (Westcott, 2006). The check sheet is the main analyst’s tool for describing data gathered. It is typically longer and time consuming than other forms of analytical tools.
Data Research Analysis
The data research analyst receives extensive training related to the use of the company’s analysis system, but management wants to ensure data entry quality, so the analyst is permitted to spend some extra time on this activity. In summary, the first post training week of work for the new data research analyst is related to careful data analysis and gathering data based on the new developed skills from training. For instance, the analyst is permitted to use longer check sheet that consists fields that describes the data entry locations needed into the company’s system. In addition, the analyst is spending some extra time learning how to navigate and use the company’s data in on the job conditions out of training simulations, at this point of time management is concentrating on quality assurance rather than efficiency (Bauer, 2005).
The second post training week of work for the data research analyst is different and it is filled with bigger variety of activities. Consequently, the analyst needs to restructure time use and reorganize activities with priority level. During the second post training week the analyst needs to work on other sources besides annual reports or 10-Ks, so reducing time for notes on the check sheet and faster data entering are the key items for more multitasking. Some of these new activities are related to quarterly entries and more newswire work volume. In order to make room for these activities and fulfill the assigned tasks the analyst has to cut time spent on the check sheet and eventually use shorter one (Bauer, 2005). In the same order of thoughts, the analyst is expected to be more familiar with the company’s system use and management knows that extra time for these new activities may be made by cutting corners on system browsing and navigating. Overall, during the second post training week the data research analyst had to restructure and reorganize time use in order to satisfy higher efficiency requirements.
During the third week of training the data research analyst main priority is the time for working on a second company's source at one day. Also, besides that each analyst has a mentor that monitors and discusses necessary corrections needed after company's analysis before released to the data client’s base. Management underlines the time with mentor this late in training, because the analyst has some knowledge for the system’s navigation and that allows some time to be spend with mentor regarding errors and ways to prevent them. This is a good technique for quality assurance, because future errors prevention is insurance for product quality. These two main factors define the time management of the analyst during the third week, so it is normal to restructure it and decrease again Balance Sheet, Cash Flow, and Income Statement related entries, and simply redirect this spare to mentoring and restatements. Another significant difference is the check list's length that the analyst uses. The check sheet now is just basic, and only consists two fields-data collected and its location on the source. Given these points, the data collection throughout the three post training weeks shows that the analyst is going through a series of adjustments from training to real work conditions. During each week the analyst is restructuring time use and prioritizing activities in order to be efficient and successful.
Cause Analysis is a structured approach that facilitates the identification of those factors that give rise to harmful outcomes. The approach also identifies the nature, magnitude, timing, and location of these factors for effective analysis. The harmful outcomes are the consequences of some past events, and if carefully analyzed, they facilitate the identification of actions, conditions, and behaviors that ought to be changed so as to avert recurrence of the harmful outcomes. The performance of the root cause analysis is evaluated with the view that effective solution to problems are attained by addressing the root causes instead of a mere correction of the immediate symptoms. It is for this reason that an analyst trainee is equipped with the knowledge of every step of the performance, such as the data entry and various data manipulation techniques. Nevertheless, a problem cannot be entirely prevented from recurring. The best that an enterprise can achieve is to equip its analysts with the right kind of knowledge such that he can determine the cause of a certain condition for effective correction. Since there might be more than one cause, the analyst ought to be proficient with the correction techniques as multiple correction techniques may be required (Siebels, 2004).
There are various measures that facilitate the addressing of the root causes to a problem. As such, root cause analysis is regarded as an iterative procedure that ensures continuous improvement. Root cause analysis is a reactive procedure that facilitates the identification of event causes, revelation of the underlying problems, as well as finds the solution to these problems. Although the analysis is conducted following the occurrence of an event, insights in this procedure may facilitate proactive measures to be taken in an attempt to deter the occurrence of a problem. This means that proficient analysts are in a position to predict or forecast probable outcomes even before their occurrence. There are various tools, philosophies, and processes that facilitate the performance of the root cause analysis. These tools may be production-based, safety-based, process-based, system-based, or failure-based. Production-based tools are formulated based on the quality control in industrial manufacturing. Process-based root cause analyses supersede the production-based ones with an expanded scope that includes various business processes. Finally, system-based tools have evolved in line with the preceding ones, and they have taken into account fields such as risk management, system analysis, and change management. As such, during the training, the management should ensure that the analyst is equipped with a couple of these tools and techniques to enable him/her to perform the root cause analysis in an effective manner.
Solution Planning and Implementation
Business Continuity Planning is the identification of the internal as well as external threats in a manner that facilitates the synthesis of soft and hard assets. The synthesis is undertaken with a view of providing effective prevention as well as recovery after a disaster. The recovery should facilitate the maintenance of the competitive advantage as well as the integrity of the system. This procedure is also referred to as Business Continuity and Resiliency Planning. A Business Continuity Plan is a strategic blueprint that facilitates the continuation of operations when the market is in an adverse situation. Such situations would include, but not limited to, natural as well as man-made hazards. As such, a Business Continuity Plan provides the methodology of conducting business so as to ensure the continuation of operations in event of, for instance, fire, theft, vandalism, floods, or earthquakes. These events impacts operation, and; therefore are considered to be interruptions that leads to damage or loss of critical infrastructure. This reason necessitates the incorporation of risk management in the Business Continuity Planning in an effort to reduce operational risks. Any backup plan that runs a business enterprise in an interrupted manner is regarded to be part of the Business Continuity Plan. Business Continuity Plan for any organization is implemented at the organizational level. However, of interest to an analyst is the backup plan that is implemented as small unit scales. Organizational management requires the management to formulate teams that are accountable for large scale Business Continuity Planning (Duke & Westcott, 2000). When such a procedure is implemented in the right manner, it facilitates the improvement of security while aiding the corporate reputation with regard to reputation risk management processes. The analysis of impact gives rise to differentiation between the critical and non-critical activities. A critical function is the one whose implications to the organization results in unacceptable outcomes. With regard to acceptability perceptions, disruption is modified by the establishment and maintenance of the appropriate technical and business recovery solutions.
Evaluation of Results
Results evaluation is the procedure of determining and presenting the outcome of quality analysis. The analysts present the outcomes in a coherent and structured manner. At this stage, most of the analytical work has already been completed, including data collection. What follows is the analysis and evaluation of what need to be discovered for presentation to the stakeholders. The section on results informs the stakeholders on the findings while allowing the analyst to provide initial interpretations that are discussed in further details as the analysis continues. This is the section that provides the initial opportunity of evaluating what has been achieved so that the stakeholders can acknowledge the contributions of the research on existing information regarding the area being studied. The sections that follow the results can only be reliable if the evaluation was conducted in an effective manner and on data that was authentic. Data evaluation by an analyst is conducted in three processes. The initial one is that which facilitates the organization of data, meaning that the logging of data is done during the collection phase. As such, the accuracy of the data needs to be checked at every interval to facilitate organization. Secondly, the data need to be described through the summarization of what has been collected. Summarization and simplification is done through statistical description as well as by identifying the emerging patterns. Finally, the analysis should proceed with testing hypotheses so as to suggest significant findings. At this juncture, the analyst is well aware of how the research work has contributed to the knowledge regarding the topic in question.
The effectiveness of any analysis is dependent on the groundwork that is laid in the initial stages of the process. Remaining at the descriptive or superficial level makes the analyst to miss the opportunity of discovering what is of interest with regard to the project. For instance, it may be inappropriate to conduct complex statistical analysis when sample questionnaires are numerous. As such, any analysis is dependent of the prevailing circumstances and the type of data that is available. Result presentation necessitates effective decision making. Careful decisions need to be made with regard to the materials that are necessary in the procedure of analysis. Moreover, material presentation needs to be carefully done, for instance, through the use of quotes, graphs, case studies, and tables. The choice of presentation is of significance to the understanding of the stakeholders. The provided information includes the analytical approach, data presentation, and result reporting.
Since business rules represent the foundation of an enterprise, standardization of their fundamentals, relationships, and definitions is of vital importance as it facilitates the supporting of complex procedures. To ensure complete and accurate tracking, consistency should be maintained at a high abstraction level. Most enterprises have structured business rules over the last three decades. The structuring has been highly verified so as to ensure accurate and complete tracking of specified items. At this stage, the leader decides how the firm will utilize its resources in achieving its goals. This is a strategic position and it involves making trade-offs among different decisions. As such, the leader chooses what to do as well as what not to do so as to avoid losses. This view is shared by Michael Porter, the author of Competitive Strategy who depicted competition as a consequence of five forces. Since tough choices need to be made, it is the leader who forces the issues that are in line with the objectives of the business. However, contemporary settings do not always facilitate the top-down approach in crafting the strategy. For a better strategy, a leader ensures that three types of people contributes in the strategy making: the youth, the newly employed, and those that plays peripheral roles, that is, those who help maintain the good name of the business without direct engagement in its day-to-day operations. These kinds of people are favored because they are the most likely to have revolutionary ideas that would transform the company. Moreover, they may easily challenge the views that the managers have for long been holding true (Westcott, 2006). They, consequently help in redefining the industry through their challenging of the accepted beliefs.
However, for them to be effective, such challenges require the parties involves possessing the attitude of humility as well as openness. This helps in crafting the most suitable strategy for the firm. Such a practice helps the leader to eventually indicate the position of the enterprise after making a couple of tradeoffs. As much as the business aims at making profits, it is also important to deepen its strategy as well as communicate this strategy outwards with the view of informing its customers (Swanson, 1995). In this regard, assuming a strategic position which can deliver value and the ability to communicate that strategy to all stakeholders is core to effective leadership. Consumer products are regarded as object types, and there are several component parts as well as subtypes (Bauer et al, 2006). The types are composed of the very basic portions of the value chain in corporation, including the acquisition, production, packaging, as well as distribution of the consumer products in a company. Depending on the level of the analysis being conducted, the analyst uses codes as well as abbreviations, especially in situations when business rules have not been formulated. The definition of business rules with regard to analysis of the accounts is apprehended differently by professionals in business and those in information technology sector. Entrepreneurs regard business guidelines as meaning of procedures that need to be interrelated and processed around the objects in the business. As such, analysts view business rules as statements that constrain or define important aspects in a business.
The rules are intended to enforce business structure and influence behavioral control. As such, the rules are used by information technology analysts as well as designers during the structuring of application models. These models are represented in form of workflow and activity diagrams. They are modeled in terms of nouns as well as facts. For these reasons, an analyst must be aware of the business embedded rules and all the underlying structures in their applications (Westcott, 2006). This awareness facilitates the executive management in establishing commonality as well as in maintaining consistency in every automated system. During the process of decision making, a business incurs several processing costs. It is, therefore, expected that an analysts would have an initiative cooperating with the rest of team professionals in various aspects of product value and material chain.
Quality analysis involves the establishment of processes that facilitates the meeting of objectives that are necessary in delivering the results as par the expected outcome. As such, the accuracy and completeness of a specification is the main target for improvement (Bauer et al, 2006). Plans are implemented and executed through collection of data that deals with Cash Flow, Balance Sheet, and Income Statement in a manner that facilitates the commencement of small scale tests. Following the analysis, the plan is effectively implemented as par the data that has been collected. Planning involves analysis and charting through checking and acting steps. A study of the results is done before comparison with the expected results so as to ascertain all the differences (Westcott, 2006). Charting of data facilitates the completion of the PDCA cycles in a manner that converts the collected data into usable information. Information aids the completion of the last step which involves acting. Acting involves the corrective actions that indicate the differences between planned results and those that the enterprise really gets. The difference is analyzed so as to determine the root causes of the deviation. This helps in pinpointing where changes need to be effected so as to improve the process as the analysis continues from one iteration step to the next.