Drivers for Performance Excellence


This Month

February 27-28, 2017 Phoenix, Arizona.  See You There!  

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  • Operational and Quality Systems
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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.

Do You have a Subject of Interest for our Newsletter?  Please let us know.

Drivers For Performance Excellence


Welcome to 2017! At this time of year it is natural to reflect on your organization’s annual performance and set business goals for the New Year. The question is what kind of results do you want to create for yourself and your business?

2017 Top 3 Leadership Drivers for Performance Excellence


These 3 Top Leadership New Year’s Resolutions can serve as the Key Drivers for achieving a culture for organizational effectiveness and excellence. Planning, Human Resources, and Quality are often “siloed” under different Corporate “Executives and Departments” to provide oversight, however an Intentional Alignment and Integration of Strategy, Engagement and Quality Processes can create Systems Synergy for effectiveness.


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 risks 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.


Relationship Engagement
Business strategic thinking and direction must be translated into actions that engage employees toward purposeful action, while providing valued products or services that engage customers. Moving beyond reactive “complaint management” to creating proactive opportunities for listening to the “voice of the customer” can help employees engage in their work through relationship management approaches.

Balancing between internal employee engagement and customer relationship management can serve as two wings of the same bird to help establish trust, essential for effective relationships.


Quality Management
It has been said that quality is “everyone’s job”, however many organizations silo the “quality function” under a senior executive or department. Work systems and processes must be intentionally designed to provide value for the service rendered. This becomes more than an operational “policy and procedure manual”, but a defined systematic approach to infuse innovation, continuous improvement, and knowledge management for organizational learning over time. Quality then becomes “the way we do business“.


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  

Click Here to view our Breakthrough Improvement Model.


ISO 9001:2015 Minimal Documentation?

Per ISO 9000 a Document – is information (meaningful data) and its supporting medium. Each organization determines the extent of documentation needed to demonstrate fulfillment of QMS requirements and the documentation medium it wants to use.  Which equates to hard copy or electronic, your choice.

So, is ISO 9001:2015 Really Promoting Minimal Documentation?   

Remember the objectives/purposes of a QMS and its processes are to:
  • Consistently provide products and services that meet requirements;
  • Enhance customer satisfaction through the effective application of the system.
Effectiveness (according to ISO 9000:2015 3.7.11) is the Extent to which planned activities are realized and planned results are achieved.
  • Planned Activities – (processes & monitoring and measurement methods to achieve products and services per 4.4.1c)
  • Planned Results – (evaluation to ensure that processes/methods achieve their intended results e.g., requirements, objectives per 9.1.3)
If your current company documentation is meeting, and hopefully exceeding your planned activities and results (procedures) why eliminate it?

Point:  Now that the standard does not mention Preventive Action, do you eliminate your preventive action procedure and methods? Think twice, many of our clients have seen a large financial and safety payback with preventive measures, and are keeping their preventive action system, why eliminate it?

The extent of documented information is really dependent on multiple factors of an organization such as:

  • The type and size of the organization
  • The complexity and interaction of processes and/or of products and their control
  • Customer, applicable statutory and/or regulatory requirements
  • The demonstrated ability of personnel, and the extent required
Let’s take a further look into the ISO 9001:2015 “Documented Information” requirements.

ISO 9001:2015 – 4.4.2 Quality Management System And Its Processes

To the extent necessary, the organization shall:
a) maintain documented information to support the operation of processes
b) retain documented information to have confidence that the processes are being carried out as planned

ISO 9001:2015 – 7.5.1 Documented Information General

The organization’s quality management system shall include:
a) documented information required by the standard
b) documented information determined as being necessary for the effectiveness of the quality management system

Point: In the end is the ISO 9001:2015 Standard truly driving minimal documentation given the fuller context of the requirements and the need to establish effectiveness?  We don’t think so, and neither should your organization.

Have questions?  Contact Us.


ISO/TS 9002:2016 Guidelines
The new standard, ISO/TS 9002:2016, Guidelines for the Application of ISO 9001:2015, provides guidance on the intent of requirement clauses 4 through 10 of ISO 9001:2015.

This document gives examples of what an organization can do, but it does not add new requirements to ISO 9001. The examples in this document are not definitive and only represent possibilities, not all of which are necessarily suitable for every organization.

ISO 9001 contains requirements that can be objectively audited or evaluated. This document includes examples, descriptions and options that aid both in the implementation of a quality management system and in strengthening its relation to the overall management system of an organization.

As the requirements of ISO 9001 are generic, this document can be used by organizations of all types, sizes, levels of maturity and in all sectors and geographic locations. However, the way an organization applies the guidance can vary based on factors such as the size or the complexity of the organization, the management model it adopts, the range of the organization’s activities and the nature of the risks and opportunities it encounters.

While the guidelines in this document are consistent with the ISO 9001 quality management system model, they are not intended to provide interpretations of the requirements of ISO 9001 or be used for audit or evaluation purposes.

You can purchase ISO/TS 9002:2016 at this website, and others.



In the News
2017-2018 Baldrige Excellence Framework  


The Baldrige Performance Excellence Program has released the 2017-2018 Baldrige Excellence Framework (Business/Nonprofit). The 2017-2018 Baldrige Excellence Framework (Education) and 2017-2018 Baldrige Excellence Framework (Health Care) will be released in mid-January 2017.

All three versions include the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence, core values and concepts, and guidelines for evaluating your organization’s processes and results.
Revisions to the Baldrige Excellence Framework, as with previous editions, aim to reflect the leading edge of validated leadership and performance practice.

The 2017-2018 Baldrige Criteria feature a renewed focus on

  • managing all of the components of your organization as a unified whole;
  • managing cybersecurity risks to data, information, and systems; and
  • understanding the role of risk management within a systems perspective of organizational performance management.
Tale of Two Salaries – Quality Professionals 

After last year’s significant increase, the average salary for quality professionals in 2016 remained nearly flat; the increase is described as “barely visible” in the 

ASQ Quality Progress magazine’s 30th annual salary survey.

While salaries in the United States remain flat, the percentage of respondents dissatisfied with their salaries decreased from 35 percent in 2015 to 27 percent this year

– the lowest level since QP began monitoring employee satisfaction in 2014. Furthermore, respondents are most satisfied with their pay when their employers pay for quality-related training and ASQ certifications, demonstrating that they value employees who hold ASQ certifications, and have top management who actively support quality.

Salary survey results are featured in the December 2016 issue of Quality Progress magazine, the flagship publication of ASQ – the leading global authority on quality in all fields, organizations and industries.

For more detailed information view the ASQ Article.


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 kind of results do you want to create for yourself and your business? 

Do you have customers coming back for more of your product or service? 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?

The demands of today’s business environment have caused many of us to shift our approach from thinking as a professional to acting as an entrepreneur. Avoiding past mistakes and taking the time to plan your next moves can make the difference between an exceptional year, and a mediocre year for you and your organization.

The Best of the New Year to You!

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


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