Systematic Performance Improvement


This Month

ISO 9001:2015 Internal Auditor Training  March 13-14th. Chandler, AZ.

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  • Operational and Quality Systems
  • Assessments
  • Training
  • Internal Audits
  • Lean Enterprise
  • Six Sigma
  • Kaizen Events 
  • Breakthrough Improvement

Improved Profits and More!

Our newsletters provide information on business management systems and process improvement methods. These systems include ISO 9001 QMS, AS9100 Aviation, Space and Defense, ISO/TS 16949 Automotive, ISO 27001 Information Security, ISO 13485 Medical Devices, ISO 14001 Environmental Management Standard, and others. Subjects include performance improvement methods such as Six Sigma, Lean Enterprise, and other topics of interest to our readers.

This month, February 2017 is Sustaining Edge Solutions 15th Year in Business! We are so proud to achieve this business milestone and extend our sincere thanks to all our clients and newsletter readers. You are the reason for our continued success.Thank you!

Systematic Performance Improvement


In our January Newsletter, we spoke about the Top 3 Leadership Drivers for transforming your organizational culture; Strategy, Relationship Engagement, and Quality Management.

Strategy is the first of three Leadership Core Competencies serving as one of 3 Key Drivers for achieving a culture for organizational effectiveness and excellence. This article focuses on the importance of Leadership establishing Organizational Intention through a systematic approach for Strategic Thinking, Strategy Development and the measurement of objectives to assess Strategy Implementation.

Strategic Thinking

When business strategies are extensions of the core mission, vision and values, measurable goals can be articulated to guide organizational performance in the desired direction. Often strategic plans are formulated in closed rooms, then gather dust on CEOs book shelves as the business resumes a “crisis management” reactive culture from year to year. Directed action planning and taking intelligent risk require that the CEO establish senior leadership discipline to maintain the desired direction, but adapt with innovation and agility as changing circumstances may require for sustainability.


Strategy Development
There is power in an organization whose senior leaders have the discipline to follow a strategic planning process. Annual assessment of the business internal and external context will enable the senior leaders to identify issues arising from operational, technological, environmental, political, regulatory, and competitive environmental factors. Strategic advantages and challenges can then be considered from a data-driven assessment that incorporates innovation thinking to identify intelligent risks and strategic opportunities that may lead to business growth, despite competitive pressures


Once strategies are identified, the organization can leverage its core competencies through work systems development to facilitate the accomplishment of strategic objectives designed to meet its key customer requirements. Measureable Objectives and Goals and timetables for accomplishing action plans can help leverage strategic advantages and opportunities within business short and long term planning horizons.

Strategy Implementation

Many Strategic Plans do not get implemented due to inadequate Action Plan Development and Accountability to assure deployment. Action Plans must align to strategic objectives and utilize a measurement system with benchmarked metrics that help stretch operations for Breakthrough Performance. Financial planning must systematically ensure resources are allocated to manage any risk associated with the strategy to ensure financial viability.

Workforce plans must also be developed to address potential impacts on workforce capability and capacity needs. Real time response is needed to modify action plans, if changing circumstances in the external business environment or internal organizational operations require a rapid shift.


Linking and Aligning Strategy
Strategy alone, however, is not sufficient, and must be supported by a more holistic integrated approach for internal and external relationship management. An effective organization must learn to simultaneously engage the both the Workforce and Customers of the enterprise. Often the most well-conceived strategy and action planning will be ineffective, if there is a failure to link to the organization’s performance management system to help motivate and incentivize engagement with the workforce.

Relationship engagement with employees, as well as the business key customers, is a critical leadership competency, and is not merely the function of a human resources department or Director. More on relationship engagement as a leadership competency and driver will be shared in the next article in this series.


Next Steps

Throughout 2017 in a series of articles, we will go into more detail for each of the top 3 key leadership competencies and the synergy needed for organizational alignment and integration. These are often the “missing links” and internal blind spots, when identified and addressed with action plans by senior leaders, can make the difference between a dysfunctional culture and breakthrough world class performance excellence.


This article was written by Sustaining Edge Solutions Senior Consultant, Dennis Stambaugh. Dennis has over 30 years in senior leadership roles within business organizations. Dennis brings extensive knowledge on a systems perspective and the use of quality frameworks to drive effective leadership strategy, cost reduction, and continuous improvement.

For any questions about this article or further information, email Dennis at  


We deliver Comprehensive Organizational Assessments of Leadership approaches and systems are available to guide organizations toward improved organizational effectiveness.

Click Here to view our Breakthrough Improvement Model for Performance Excellence Achievement.


Transition Time Becoming Shorter


What’s your company transition timeline?  Have you started, or are you still thinking we have plenty of time left?

Whether you are transitioning to ISO 9001:2015, AS9100D, ISO 14001:2015, or IATF 16949, you have very little time to implement the new requirements.
Here are dates you need to know:
  • All ISO 9001 audits after June 2017 will be to ISO 9001:2015
  • All AS9100 audits after June 15, 2017 will be to the new revision D
  • All ISO/TS 16949 audits after October 1, 2017 will be to IATF 16949:2016

Will you be ready?

We can assist your organization with your transition needs.  Our services include training, gap assessment, documentation and requirements development, internal auditing and much more. 


For more information see our transitioning services details. To discuss your specific needs, please contact us.


ISO 9001:2015 Internal Auditor Training. March 13-14, 2015. Location:  Hyatt Place Phoenix/Chandler Fashion Center 3535 W. Chandler Boulevard, Chandler. Lunch is included, students receive course material and a certificate of training. Group discounts are available.     


IATF Strategy-ISO/TS to IATF 16949

IATF 16949:2016  has undergone a major revision and was released in October 2016 as the First Edition of IATF 16949.

IATF does replace the current ISO/TS 16949, defining the requirements of a quality management system for organizations in the automotive industry supply chain.

In support of this change, the International Automotive Task Force (IATF) has also published a transition strategy document and also taken the opportunity to release an updated version of the Rules for achieving and maintaining IATF recognition, known as Rules – 5th Edition.

IATF 16949 will fully respect ISO 9001:2015 structure and requirements, however, IATF 16949 is not a stand-alone quality management standard, but is implemented as a supplement to, and is to be used in conjunction with, ISO 9001:2015. Information from the IATF document includes

  • After 1st October 2017 no audits (initial, surveillance, recertification or transfer) shall be conducted to ISO/TS 16949:2009.
  • Organizations shall transition to the new IATF 16949 standard in line with their current audit cycle i.e. at the next planned surveillance or recertification
  • The transition audit shall be the duration of a recertification audit and shall comply with all requirements defined in the IATF Rules, section 6.8. A (new) subsequent audit cycle starts from the last day of the transition audit
  • Organizations can have initial audits to ISO/TS 16949:2009 until 1st October 2017, but their certificates will only be valid until 14th September 2018
  • Organizations may upgrade from ISO 9001:2015 to the new IATF 16949:2016 standard. It is not possible to upgrade from ISO 9001:2008
  • Organizations with an existing Letter of Conformance will need to have a full initial audit when moving to the new IATF 16949:2016 standard 
There a number of new requirements to the new standard, for example product safety, human factors, risk and contingency plans.  We are here to support your transition needs.  Contact us for further information and assistance. 



In the News
Auditing Standard Under Revision   


Organizations are increasingly turning to management systems, in a quest to be more effective and save time and money. Many companies have several different management systems, each focusing on different areas, such as IT, information security, quality and environmental management. ISO 19011, Guidelines for Auditing Management Systems, will help with the effective audit of those management systems to ensure continuous improvement, allowing harmonization across systems and a uniform approach of the auditing process where there are multiple systems in place.

The standard is currently being revised to reflect the growing number of management system standards (MSS) and the recent revisions of some of the most widely used, such as ISO 9001 for quality and ISO 14001 for the environment. It has just reached Committee Draft (CD) stage, meaning those countries involved in its revision have an opportunity to make comments on the draft.
ISO 19011 also provides guidance on external audits, including certification and supplier, which support the implementation of the MSS.  The revised version of ISO 19011 is due to be published in 2018.


Manufacturing USA Spurs R&D Innovation

Manufacturing USA is working. That’s the overarching conclusion of an independent study conducted by Deloitte with funding from the U.S. Department of Defense.


Seven specific recommendations for improvements from the study focus on developing strategies for long-term growth and sustainability, maintaining institute focus on U.S. national priorities, making the most of existing programs in workforce development and other resources, and more.

Manufacturing USA is working. That’s the overarching conclusion of an independent study a major focus of the Manufacturing USA network is workforce development-ensuring that there are enough workers with the right skills to meet the needs of advanced manufacturers. The report notes that baby-boomer retirement; the technical complexity of manufacturing work, science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills deficit among students; and persistent negative perceptions make it difficult for companies to fill critical roles in a timely manner.

The report highlights the institutes’ most effective initiatives that reduce the talent gap through industry workforce assessments, community engagement events, post-secondary apprenticeship programs, and coordination on the creation of effective industry-based and skill-based credentials.


To view and download the report “Manufacturing USA: A Third-Party Evaluation of Program Design and Progress view here.

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.

What are the Steps for Success with Transitioning your Current Management System?

1. Identify the gaps needing to be addressed with the new requirements.
2. Develop an effective implementation plan.
3. Provide appropriate training and awareness for all parties that have an impact on organizational effectiveness.
4. Update your existing documented management system to meet the requirements and provide verification of effectiveness.
5. Conduct and document a complete system internal audit to ensure all internal requirements are being met, which includes the new standard requirements, customer, and any applicable business regulatory requirements.
6. Communicate with your CB for transition schedule and arrangements.


Plan for a successful transition now! 

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



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