Process Management Involvement


This Month


Southern AZ Tech and Business Expo October 30, 2019 Tucson Convention Center. We are Exhibiting. Information and Registration.  

Lunch and Learn – Achieving Breakthrough Performance November 5, 2019 Tempe, AZ. 
See Below for Details on both Events.              


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  • Operational and Quality Systems
  • Assessments
  • Training-onsite & online
  • Internal Audits
  • Lean Enterprise
  • Six Sigma
  • Kaizen Events 
  • Breakthrough Improvement
  • Baldrige Performance Excellence
  • Executive Coaching
Improved Profits and More!
Our newsletters provide information on business management systems and process improvement methods. These systems include our services ISO 9001 QMS, AS9100 Aviation, Space and Defense, ISO/TS 16949 Automotive, ISO 27001 Information Security, ISO 13485 Medical Devices, and ISO 14001 Environmental Management Standards. 
Further subjects include methods of performance improvement such as Six Sigma, Lean Enterprise, and other topics of interest to our readers.

Do you have a topic of interest for a subject article? Please let us know.


Process Management Involvement
  project management flow chart or mindmap - a sketch on a napkin with cup of coffee

In September 2019, the American Productivity & Quality Center (APQC) an international recognized resource for benchmarking and best practices, released the “People of Process Management” by Holly Lyke-Ho-Gland and Lochlyn Morgan. The goal of the survey was to gain insight on the people who support process management work. This survey also was to understand the demographics, skillset, and education of today’s process workers. The study included 726 participants in over 25 industries represented.

The process management study definition included participation in the following activities, for example defining, modeling, and deploying processes, implementing process improvement activities, and managing process improvement teams. The college education level with participants was 35% bachelor’s degree, with almost half of process people, 49% have a masters degree.

The majority of process teams, over 32% are stand alone departments that report to the executive team for oversight of the process department.  This was followed by either operations or I.T. department.  When asked Why Process Management – most process professionals were drawn toward a career in process management because of their desire to improve how work gets done as a capability to support other projects, or as an opportunity to further their career.

This finding is not surprising, the majority of process professionals, including our company personnel followed this career path. In reality, how many of us actually majored in process management? The study continued to showed 29% had a desire to make things better, with 17% saying it was a career opportunity. The respondents represent a wide spectrum of process responsibilities and their time spent on process management is evenly spread out across the spectrum with 40-100% time spent.

The majority of process people’s certifications reflect their core competencies-with 53% Lean and 53% project management, followed by 29% change management and 27% quality assurance.

So, where do people spend most of their time in process management?
  1. Process Mapping and Documentation- 14.5%,
  2. Business Analysis- 14.%,
  3. Facilitation, e.g., workshops- 12.1%,
  4. Problem scoping – 11.6%, and
  5. Project management 11.4%
When asked to what extent do they feel that they have a clear path for career advancement in their current organization, more than one quarter (29%) of respondents indicated that there is still much room for improvement, and almost half (47%) agree that they have a clear career path.

The vast majority do see themselves staying in the process management field. However, they do not see their positions changing drastically and will maintain management positions or work as internal consultants to provide process management services. The majority of survey respondents said their career path in process management was good with a Yes 84%, and a No 16%.

To gain more valuable information on this survey, visit the APQC website – People of Process Management: Survey Report.


Supply Chain Management

Due to the complex supply chains the aerospace sector has it is imperative that organizations have a robust supply chain management process to ensure that parts are produced to the highest quality, are on time and not counterfeit. No matter where you are in the supply chain ensure that you have adequate controls over your supply base.

When the AS91xx series of standards were originally released they were never intended to be implemented so far down the supply chain, they were only intended for the top tier suppliers. However, over time the requirements have flowed down to every organization who touches aerospace parts no matter how small or large.
Due to the complex supply chains the aerospace sector now has it is imperative that organizations have a robust supply chain management process to ensure that parts are produced to the highest quality requirements, are on time and are not counterfeit.Every organization has to ensure that they have effective supply chain controls in place to not only meet standard requirements but to evolve their business.


Non-conformances undetected early in the process are often passed through the supply chain causing major disruptions or could even be undetected until an incident occurs. There are critical control points which need to be monitored to prevent these issues.

There are 8 key elements of supply chain management:

  • Supplier approval and surveillance process
  • Contract review process
  • Production planning and First Article Inspection
  • On-going Product and Process Verification
  • Monitoring performance
  • Change management
  • Manufacturing process control
  • Corrective action management
For more extensive information on this topic, visit the NQA Website.


Have You Found the Root Cause Yet?
We frequently ask or hear others ask that question. Root cause analysis (RCA) is an old subject and is familiar to many people. If your company is certified to a major global quality standard, you hear it very often and you most likely have contributed to a corrective action using it.
The phrase “root cause” can be somewhat misleading. Many who use it are unaware of the concept’s larger context. Asked what root cause means, some typically respond with:
  • “It is what is really happening.”
  • “It is the one thing that causes everything else.”
  • “It’s the light switch. When you flip it, the lights go on.”
According to Gary Jing, these explanations imply there is one specific thing that is the originator of the considered effects, and the origination is absolute, meaning unconditional and inevitable. This absolute origination is usually referred to as the root cause. The challenge to people is to know when and where to stop drilling down through the infinite layers of cause and effect and conclude they have reached a root cause.

The clue resides in the typical business mind-set. It’s similar to selecting something that can yield a high return on investment (ROI), for example. That is how most businesses make decisions.

One key to unlock the root cause chest is called the span-of-control or sphere-of-influence principle.

Span of Control: The span-of-control principle prescribes that you should try to operate within the span of control (your full authority) as much as possible. The causes within the span of control usually provide the highest leverage, or ROI. In practice, the span-of-control principle can be used to identify where to stop drilling down the chain of causation and to select the preferred root causes to pursue.

Sphere of Influence: Similarly, if a cause is outside the sphere of influence (persuasion only), it’s a good indication you can stop drilling because working beyond that generates no returns. That’s not to say you’ll always give up in this case. The focus then must be shifted to expanding the influence boundaries to enclose the cause currently outside of your influence. In my experience, the sphere of influence is frequently the dominating factor in root cause selection.

Many people have not thought much about the deeper meaning of root cause and, therefore, are not clear on when and where to stop searching for root causes. The so-called root causes are what people subjectively choose to serve in the role of origination. The task to pursue the root cause is really the task to decide when and where to terminate the chain of causation to generate high ROI.



In the News
Southern Arizona Tech and Business EXPO  

Join over 500 business leaders in discovering new technologies, great products, innovative and emerging Arizona-based tech companies and much more at the largest Tech + Business Expo in Tucson, showcasing over 85 booths!
  • Connect and network with your peers.
  • Learn about the amazing technology from a variety of companies in optics, biotech, mining, aviation, machining, robotics, aerospace, IT and more!
  • Discuss global technology issues with your peers and leaders in our industry.
Looking to make new business opportunities, and network with various industry personnel – Don’t miss this event!  Sustaining Edge Solutions is an EXPO Exhibitor – Drop by our Booth and Visit Us!!


Date: Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Time: 12:00 – 6:00 PM

Location: Tucson Convention Center 


Arizona Technology Council Lunch and Learn –

At this informative Lunch & Learn, attendees will learn how to develop a framework for evaluating and establishing breakthrough improvement within their organizations.

  • Understand the critical operational challenges affecting your organizations future.
  • Identify and take action against common business process gaps affecting customer relationships.
  • Learn the truth about the lack of industry employee engagement, the negative cost to business effectiveness and actionable questions.
  • Recognize best practices and lessons learned for achieving operational excellence.
Date: Tuesday November 5, 2019

Time: 11:30AM – 1:00PM


56 South Rockford Drive Tempe, Arizona

For more event information and Event Registration, visit the Arizona Technology Council Website.   See You THERE!



Training Courses
All courses can be delivered at your company or at our training centers. We do provide training beyond our home state of Arizona. Click on the course title for description, schedule, registration and payment. Group discounts are available. We also provide custom designed training to fit your specific needs. All training is fully documented for your training records and certificates of training are awarded.
Don’t see a course or schedule that fits your needs?  Contact us.

With the Year 2020 approaching all of us, business planning is in full swing. Do you have a set of ideal customers you want to cultivate? Are your business processes in control and capable of producing what you and your customers require on a continuous basis?

Times change, your business may need to consider some new, and tried and true strategies:
1.  Understand what your customers really care about
2.  Every business today needs to get their message out.
Original Content Creation and Social Selling continues to grow through websites, LinkedIn, Facebook and other channels.
3.  Collect the right information to strengthen your customer knowledge.
4.  Establish a stable sales and operational management system.
5.  Keep Customer Prospecting.
If you only pay attention to current customers, you will suffer long-term opportunities, to your competition’s delight. When businesses grow to a certain size, any management team can get into a mode of not needing to prospect all the time. Few people like to prospect for new customers, but you have to do it continuously!


Best regards,

Walter Tighe and SES Team
Sustaining Edge Solutions, Inc.
Toll Free 888-572-9642


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