Content By Shobhendu Prabhakar

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By: Shobhendu Prabhakar

In India, Mahatma Gandhi is one of the most revered leaders of our time. He was a man who devoted his life to truth and nonviolence. You may be wondering why I’m talking about him here. Well, we all enter our place of work with a set of values that influence how we see and approach our work. So it’s important to understand how what you believe aligns with what you do.

The more I read about Gandhi and these two of the many values he preached about and lived his life according to, the more I found I could connect and correlate truth and nonviolence to the idea and practice of quality. I’d like to share those connections with you.

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By: Shobhendu Prabhakar

Someone recently asked me why quality failures and safety incidents continue to occur despite organizations communicating their quality and safety visions to the workforce, developing and implementing quality and safety management systems, and campaigning day in and day out about quality and safety.

This is an important question, and the broad answer is that even the best systems rely on people to design them and to carry them out. Let’s call them the scriptwriters or authors, and the actors who follow those scripts. Let’s take a look at what I think are five key issues.

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By: Shobhendu Prabhakar

Historically, conventional wisdom among business managers was that the higher the quality, the higher the cost. This perception still holds true today among a few business managers. Common sense also tells us the same thing, i.e., to create higher quality products or services, organizations will have to spend more. However, is this perception the reality, and does common sense make sense in this scenario?

Here are five compelling arguments why higher quality means lower cost.

1. Zero is supposed to be nothing, but it means a lot when it comes to the defects. We can all agree that even one defect equates to additional cost, time, and effort. But can’t similar, related products in your product line suffer the same or similar defects? This means that to get the true cost of that defect you must multiply the additional correction cost, time, and effort with the number of products with the same or similar defects. Still not clear? Think about recalls where numerous products are victims of the same defect, and the company incurs hefty costs in recalling an entire range of products. However, if there is no defect, correction costs come out of the equation. Therefore, zero is a very significant number in the context of defects.

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By: Shobhendu Prabhakar

Why do we waste our time and effort completing checklist after checklist for tasks that we can complete even when half awake? Do we not have better things to do than complete checklists?

Good question! And the answer is simple: If there is a checklist, it exists for a reason, and we need to follow it diligently to complete the tasks at hand. Below are some insights about why checklists are vital and how they can save lives, improve performance, increase efficiency, and improve the bottom line.

Ten reasons why you need checklists

1. Time management. There are 24 hours in a day and 100 things to complete. Even worse, 50 of these 100 tasks have 10 steps each. We are humans and tend to forget. Having a checklist helps ensure that we have not missed any step that is essential to get desired results.

2. Consistency. It doesn’t matter whether Joe does it or Sara; you get the same product or service. In business terms, this is called consistency. Yes, using checklists provides consistent products or services, and reduces variability.

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By: Shobhendu Prabhakar

Whenever the term “nonconformance report” (NCR) comes into project home offices or construction and fabrication sites, it is often seen as a negative, and personnel are typically reluctant to accept it as a positive and powerful tool to improve. Perhaps, the “non” in nonconformance is the reason for this. This article explains why NCRs should be seen as friends rather than a foes, and how they can be used to improve a company’s projects, products, and services as well as its overall performance.

First of all, why are NCRs your friends? Here's a short list: