Training Article

Laurel Thoennes @ Quality Digest’s picture

By: Laurel Thoennes @ Quality Digest

Compliance to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations has come a long way in the past 30 years. Here are the main changes. Have they affected your business?

1988: Food and Drug Administration Act
Officially establishes the FDA as an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services and broadly spells out the responsibilities for research, enforcement, education, and information

1988: The Prescription Drug Marketing Act
Requires drug wholesalers to be licensed by the states; restricts reimportation from other countries; and bans sale, trade, or purchase of drug samples, and traffic or counterfeiting of redeemable drug coupons

Multiple Authors
By: Henrik Bresman, Deborah Ancona

A leading supermarket chain in an eastern European Union country feared an 8-percent drop in sales as discounting giant Lidl was about to enter its market. So, in collaboration with researchers, it decided to run a randomized controlled experiment. The goal was to reduce its costly personnel turnover problem in a bid to improve quality and operational efficiency.

Selected store managers received a letter from top management, encouraging them to do something about the 90-percent yearly staff turnover. It worked: During the next three quarters, the monthly quit rate fell by 20 to 30 percent. However, surprisingly, this vast improvement led to no discernible effect on the predefined performance metrics (sales and value of perished food). In interviews, the researchers found the explanation. As store managers focused more on HR issues, they spent less time interacting with customers (to increase sales) and dealing with the flow of goods (to reduce food wastage).

Multiple Authors
By: Stephen Fankhauser, Matt Ebbatson

The world is running out of experienced pilots. Supply is not keeping up with the growing demand for air travel. In Australia, the effects are already starting to bite. Even flagship carrier Qantas is having problems. In recent months it has had to perform a very nimble tap dance to crew its vast fleet and maintain its extensive flight schedule.

In response, Qantas has plans for one of the biggest pilot training programs in its history. It has just announced that its first-ever pilot training academy, training 250 pilots a year, will be based in Toowoomba, Australia. A second site, to train a similar number of pilots, is still to be announced.

Training these many pilots, though, will be a struggle. The academy will first have to find enough instructional pilots to deliver the required training flights.

Ruptured training pipelines

The reason airlines and other operators are in this predicament stems from the rupturing of the training pipelines that historically supplied pilots across all levels of the aviation industry.

Dirk Dusharme @ Quality Digest’s picture

By: Dirk Dusharme @ Quality Digest

Who’s more clever, engineers or designers? Alexa-connected toilet, anyone? How do you promote rigorous thinking? We discussed all of that and more during this week’s QDL.

“CES brings you... the Alexa-connected toilet!’

Just when you thought that nothing crazier than your clothes dryer could be connected to the internet... there’s this.

“How to Get Smarter and Sharper Employees”

In order to promote rigorous thinking for better problem solving, all team members should be prepared to advocate for their ideas and defend them. They should be prepared to walk through the upside, downside, data points rooted in reality, and how the idea works given assets and constraints. With that in mind, what questions should team members ask?

Mike Richman’s picture

By: Mike Richman

Happy New Year one and all! For our first QDL of 2019, we were pleased to present some thought-provoking content on the benefits of compromise, the dangers of rhetorical trickery, and the meaning of Chekhov’s gun. Let’s take a closer look:

Ripped from the headlines

Can’t anyone here get along? The new year is starting out just like the old one, with plenty of dysfunction and finger-pointing in Washington. In this segment looking at news headlines, it’s clear that an inability to compromise is affecting not only governance but global trade, too. So what can we all do to get along with each other just a little bit better?

“Protect Yourself From Verbal Sleight of Hand”

Wes Kao’s picture

By: Wes Kao

If you’re a leader, you got to where you are because you think strategically and are killer at execution. You simply can’t get far without being good at both.

Now that you’re in charge of people, though, your ability to increase impact depends on how well you manage other people. You need your team to become smarter, sharper, A-players.

Unfortunately, sometimes smart people (like you) accidentally traumatize their teams

You say you want your team to think harder and stop just doing exactly what you say. But every time they have a question, you just answer it. Or worse, you give them a wrist slap for bringing you a new idea.

I get it. You already don’t have time to do your own job, so you definitely don’t have time to clean up everyone else’s mess. But each time you give your team a wrist slap for stepping outside the box, you discourage them from trying new things.

So you have a dilemma: You want your team to think like an owner and bring you fresh ideas — and you want those ideas to be defensible.

What is rigorous thinking?

Rigorous thinking is asking critical questions about tactics and having a systematic way of making decisions. For example, let’s say you manage five to six direct reports.

David Currie’s picture

By: David Currie

This is part three of a three-part series. Read about good metrics in part one and bad metrics in part two.

Have you ever had occasion to dread a metric reviewed month after month, where the metric defies logic, and any action taken does not seem to reflect in the metric? It is most likely a bad metric in so many respects that it has turned ugly. Let’s look at a sample ugly metric.

Kelsey Rzepecki’s picture

By: Kelsey Rzepecki

As the global economy grows, it’s more necessary than ever to stay on top of efficiency. Keep up with increasing production demands by implementing a continuous improvement method to streamline the workflow.

Continuous improvement is an ongoing effort to improve products, services, and processes. It starts with small, incremental changes, and over time it adds up to produce major improvements to productivity, quality, and cost savings. A 5S system is an effective improvement tool to guide this process.

5S—A method of improvement

5S is a Japanese management approach originally developed by Toyota as part of its lean manufacturing system. It helps correct inefficiencies and ensure smooth operations by keeping the workplace clean, functional, and orderly. It’s also designed to support a workplace culture of continuous improvement. 5S is one of the easiest ways to build a foundation for operational success because it consists of simple planning, and it can be implemented quickly in every aspect of a business.

Dirk Dusharme @ Quality Digest’s picture

By: Dirk Dusharme @ Quality Digest

In this episode we look at bioethics, next-gen manufacturing employees, and the death of Le Grand K.

What happens if customers want designer babies? We discuss the latest news about a Chinese researcher who claims to have edited the genes of two babies. Should society draw a line in the sand?

“Convincing Students That Manufacturing Job Skills Will Pay Off”

With jobs in the trades going begging and too many kids exiting four-year colleges with crippling debt only to find their degrees don’t have labor-market currency, maybe more people need to consider the value of certifications and two-year technical degrees.

Aytekin Tank’s picture

By: Aytekin Tank

A giant engine in a factory fails. Concerned, the factory owners call in technicians, who arrive with bulging toolkits. None of them can work out what the problem is. The issue persists.

One day, an old man shows up who’s been fixing engines his whole life. After inspecting it for a minute, he pulls out a hammer and gives the engine a gentle tap. In seconds, it roars back to life.

A week later, the owners receive an invoice for his work: $10,000. Flabbergasted, they write back asking for an itemized bill.

The man replies:
• Tapping with a hammer: $1
• Knowing where to tap: $9,999

There’s an app for that

Everyone has access to tools. But these tools are useless without the right system to support them.

To-do list apps, distraction-free note-taking software, kanban-style project management tools.... Some of these block distracting websites. Some track your data. Some keep track of your time. Some reward you. Some threaten and punish you.

The tech battlefield is littered with millions of apps, tools, and software that claim to make us better: at work and at life. The sheer amount of choice means it’s easy to lose an hour just scrolling and tapping between them.

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