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Total Quality

Are we all singing from the same sheet music?

How do we know? 

Organizations are complex entities. Effective leadership calls for developing strategy (the action taken to secure a competitive advantage), structuring the orginization to achieve that strategy, ensuring that internal processes are focused on customer needs and focusing all of the people within the organization. 

The larger the organization, the more difficult this job of people focus becomes. The best laid plans of mice and mean are doomed for failure if everyone within the not focused on the implementation of those plans. 

The question then becomes:"How can we easily measure if the people are aligned with our strategies?"

The Answer is D.I.AL.O.G. 

D iagnostic Data
I ndicating the
AL ignment of
O rganizational
G oals

The D.I.AL.O.G. Organization Evaluation Instrument provides an organization's leadership with hard data as to where there aredisconnects affecting results. The source of these data is the people within the organization. 

The data reported provide a tool for identifying specific issues that may need to be addressed as well as highlighting areas of strength which can be capitalized upon.

The Foundation... 

for this instrument is the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. The seven Baldrige categories provided a framework that have been proven time and time again. One just has to look at the results generated by Baldrige winners. 

Baldrige categories 

The Seven Baldrige categories which correspond to the D.I.AL.O.G. categories are: 

1. Leadership
2. Strategic Planning
3. Customer Focus
4. Information & Analysis'
5. Human Resources
6. Process Management
7. Business Results

1. Leadership:

addresses senior management's leadership and involvement in creating and sustaining values, organizational direction, performance expectations and a customer focus that promotes performance excellence. 

2. Strategic Planning 

addresses how the organization sets strategic direction and how plans are put into action.

3. Customer Focus

addresses how the organization determines the requirements and expectations of customers. It also addresses how the organiza- tion strengthens relationships with customers and determines their level of satisfaction. 

4. Information and Analysis

deals with the use of data and information in the organization to better understand areas for improvement and how the orga- nization is performing. 

5. Human resource development and management 

determines how employees are encouraged to develop and utilize their potential. It also addresses efforts to build and maintain an environment conducive to performance excellence as well as personal and organizational growth.

6. Process Management

addresses the key aspects of how processes are designed, managed improved and their cycle times reduced. 

7. Business Results 

focuses on the organization's performance and improvement in key business areas and how effectively these results are communicated throughout the organization. 

These seven categories are called the Criteria For Excellence and address all of the elements critical for the health and survival of an organization. 

The key benefit of the D.I.AL.O.G. instrument is that it takes a "systems" approach to the evaluation. 

The "program de jour" is not the answer in today's competitive environment.

How is the instrument structured? 

The instrument consists of 70 statements (approximately 10 in each category). The respondent indicates the degree to which he or she agrees or disagrees "with the statement or checks the response: "I don't know". 

In addition, the respondent indicates his or her level in the organization and the department which he or she works in. 

The responses are entered onto a response answer sheet and returned to our affiliate. 

The data is then tabulated and a summary report prepared. The turnaround time is usually less than 10 working days from receipt of the final response.

How is the summary report structured? 

The data for the entire organization is presented in color graphs and text form. All of the responses (degrees of agreement) are translated into organizational positives and negatives. 

All of the statements for each category are then listed in the order in which the organization should consider addressing them as a result of the responses. 

The data is then delineated according the levels selected by the client. Data showing how each of the levels compare to the others is presented in color graph form for each of the categories. 

Likewise, the data by department is presented in the same fashion. 

What to do with the data? 

The D.I.AL.O.G. data identifies for management which categories need to be addressed. Organizational resources are too precious not to be focusing on what's important now. 

If the organization's business resuits are not meeting expectations, then D.I.AL.O.G. is the tool of choice to identify the disconnects and what issues need to be addressed.Believe it or not, there are some organizations which are afraid of hearing the truth. Without naming names (so as to protect the guilty), some have told us: "Not interested We really don't want to uncover issues that we are not prepared to face right now." 

Sounds strange but true. This is akin to only visiting a doctor who touches up the X-rays! 

Who should consider using D.I.AL.O.G.? 

If any of these symptoms sound familiar, give serious considera- tion to contacting our affiliate: 

• Profitability is slipping
• Customers are defecting
• Employee turnover is high
• Marketshare is eroding
• Internal conflict is the order   of the day
• You spend more time   reacting to competition
• Or, the best reason of all: 

You just want to improve!

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Copyright © 2011 Benjamin Winston. All rights reserved.