Chris Woolston’s picture

By: Chris Woolston

Companies spend millions of dollars and burn countless hours conducting performance reviews and devising checklists to assess their employees, and business scholars have studied the issue with great urgency and intensity. The results so far? By all available evidence, formal attempts to rate employees don’t seem to meaningfully improve employee performance or give companies any sort of competitive advantage, says Elaine Pulakos, a management expert and CEO of PDRI, a management consulting company based in Arlington, Virginia.

“They end up being extremely costly and have no impact on productivity,” says Pulakos who discussed the science of employee evaluation in a 2018 issue of the Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior.

Ronda Culbertson’s picture

By: Ronda Culbertson

The AS9100 family of standards has completed very important updates, raising the business management quality bar again for aerospace and defense suppliers and OEMs. The transition to the new standards caught quite a few organizations somewhat flat-footed; particularly with the emphases on risk management and top-management participation (leadership). Getting it right is important; certification to one of the standards is rapidly becoming a requirement of the aerospace and defense industry.

The updated standards have proven challenging for small to midsized supplier organizations that need certification to advance their positions in the global supply chain. Even for larger companies and the major OEMs, the new revision of the standards is demanding.

Much like recent updates to core ISO standards (ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and ISO 45000), the revisions to AS9100, AS9110, and AS9120 demand a broader view of quality and organizational impacts. Some of the changes are very specific and technical; others are conceptual.

Bill Laverty’s picture

By: Bill Laverty

Operations management plays an important role in the manufacturing process, but similar to a stage crew at a theater, operations managers do all their best work behind the scenes. The best operations managers strive to go unnoticed, and why shouldn’t they? A seamless supply-chain process should require little to no attention from customers.

But recent tariffs are jolting operations. NAFTA changes, along with tariffs on Chinese imports, are forcing operations managers to step out on center stage. New tariffs on materials like steel and aluminum as well as electronic components could mean disruption in the supply chain process, and operations managers have to work diligently to mitigate any hiccups that crop up for the company and its customers alike. Certainly costs are going to increase somewhere, so companies have to decide whether they’re going to absorb them or pass them along to their customers, both of which are less than ideal options.

Boris Shiklo’s picture

By: Boris Shiklo

About 10 years ago, software testing was perceived as the only possible quality assurance (QA) measure for software, according to the World Quality Report 2018–2019. However, QA has since outstepped these boundaries. The QA process now implies that all stakeholders have a direct interest in software quality during the entire project life cycle. But how should you establish such a comprehensive QA process?

Let’s consider what obstacles you may face while setting it up and explore a real-life example of how software QA consulting can solve QA problems.

Why QA consulting?

An established QA process should build in defects detection right from the project planning stage. QA teams should dwell on bugs prevention rather than just finding them, and regularly measure testing effectiveness using clear quality metrics. Project managers, business analysts, and developers should do their share in establishing a solid QA process.

Multiple Authors
By: Alexandra Killewald, Xiaolin Zhuo

Almost 70 percent of American mothers with children younger than 18 work for pay, but motherhood remains disruptive for many women’s work lives.

American women earn almost 20 percent less per hour than their male peers, in part because women disproportionately take responsibility for raising children. Mothers often experience employment interruptions or reductions in work hours.

When it comes to understanding mothers’ long-term employment patterns, researchers know less. How common is it for mothers to persist working full-time throughout their child-rearing years? Which mothers are most likely to be absent from the labor market over the long term? What do employment patterns look like for mothers who fall in between these two extremes?

AssurX’s picture

By: AssurX

Last month an investigative report revealed that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has millions of “hidden” serious injury and malfunctions reports on medical devices. According to the report from Kaiser Health News, “Since 2016, at least 1.1 million incidents have flowed into the internal “alternative summary reporting” [ASR] repository, instead of being described individually as device-adverse events in the public database known as MAUDE.”

Medical experts trust the Manufacturer and User Facility Device Experience (MAUDE) to identify problems that could put patients in jeopardy—making products that are not in that database essentially concealed.

In 2017 alone, 480,000 injuries or malfunctions were reported through the ASR. The FDA has declined to provide a complete list of the approximately 100 devices that have been granted reporting exemptions. Requests for those data through the Freedom of Information Act could take up to two years.

Critics have pointed out that many of those devices, which include staplers, vaginal mesh devices, robotic surgical devices, breast implants, and heart valves, come from medical device industry leaders.

Chris Woolston’s picture

By: Chris Woolston

More than a decade has passed, but Mary Mawritz can still hear metal-tipped tassels flapping against leather loafers—the signature sound of her boss roaming the halls of his real estate company.

“Whenever I heard that jingling, I would get sick to my stomach because I knew he was approaching,” she says. Her boss had another characteristic sound: Yelling, and a lot of it. He would berate her in front of the whole office and threaten to fire her immediately if she didn’t keep up with his never-ending barrage of deadlines and demands.

Mawritz would go home at night with a splitting headache and a lot of questions: Why did he act like that? Why did he think it was OK to treat people that way?

Lots of workers have asked themselves similar questions, but Mawritz has made a career of it. Now a business management researcher at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business in Philadelphia, she’s one of many experts who are using insights from psychology and business management to tackle the phenomenon of bad bosses, a stubbornly persistent problem that continues to drive people out of promising careers, hurt companies’ bottom lines, and ruin a lot of otherwise decent days.

Matthew M. Lowe’s picture

By: Matthew M. Lowe

Despite the life science industry’s infatuation with modernity and trend chasing, even its most forward-thinking organizations have struggled to fully digitize and integrate their operations.

Yet, while the industry lags behind most other sectors in implementing business-streamlining digital technologies, many shrewd life science companies are working to close the digital gap so they can capitalize on the competitive advantages digitization affords.

As digital initiatives gain more traction, and as advanced technologies increasingly perform more of our mundane tasks, skilled life science professionals’ fears about job displacement are intensifying. Their digital apprehensions are undeniably intertwined with the global workforce’s general anxieties about automation, as highlighted in a 2017 PwC survey that reports 37 percent of the world’s workers are worried about eventually losing their jobs to automation. The unease is worsening, it seems, as only 33 percent of workers reported concerns about job-eradicating automation in the same survey in 2014.

Brian S. Smith’s picture

By: Brian S. Smith

Throughout my career, I have been a member of several trade organizations. I believe that standards have meaning, in every field. When I become a member of an organization, I endeavor to learn as much as possible.

For example, I belong to ASQ (American Society for Quality). I enjoy having resources and peers that can educate me and keep me at the top of my field by helping my clients reach their goals.

For many companies, belonging to an organization is a purely financial decision. The amount of money spent on being a participating member in certain organizations can often add up to the same amount as a yearly advertising budget. However, many companies feel that belonging to certain organizations, and having the privilege of advertising that organization on their websites or via other marketing tactics, makes it well worth the money.

Ryan E. Day’s picture

By: Ryan E. Day

Most of us have heard of kaizen—continuous improvement of philosophy and methodology. In business, this involves all employees working to improve a company's processes to lean it out, to run with less waste. But most of us who are familiar with kaizen think of it as something you do.

Especially, we think of kaizen as something you apply to an existing operation or process, or in terms of mounting a “kaizen blitz.” We tend to think of it as is trying to fix something that’s already broken. But what if you applied kaizen principles before your organization was actually up and running?

“The ideal time to think about using kaizen, or continuous improvement, is really phase one, or the feasibility study of construction or building out an existing manufacturing facility,” explains Dan Chartier, managing director of Kaizen Institute North America. “It’s important to get involved as early as possible in the project. This helps in assessing the efficiencies of the plan before it gets designed and constructed.”

Syndicate content