Return to Organisations

Tools available

  • There are many different improvement approaches and tools on offer


  • They are usually designed to improve just one of the set of cardinals and are certainly not appropriate for them all


  • Some are more effective than others however


  • The following selection are thumb-nail sketches of the more popular approaches in use


  • Opinions on their pluses and minuses are also included

Baldrige award

BEM – Business Excellence Model


BPR, from Thomas Davenport and Michael Hammer, appeared in the early 90s with the aim of redesigning whole processes, even whole organisations BPR was said to be needed when a dramatic and perhaps unexpected change highlighted an organisation’s weaknesses e.g. a hostile take-over bid, the loss of a major contract, market share suddenly decimated – …


BS 5750 or ISO 9000

BS 5750 is a national standard for quality management – it certifies that a company’s quality management system works efficiently The system is defined as ‘the organisation structure, responsibilities, activities, resources and events that together provide organised procedures and methods to ensure the capability of the organisation to meet quality requirements’ BS5750 requires the company …

BSC – Balanced Scorecard

IIP – Investors in People


Lean – aka Toyota Production System (TPS) – was invented by Taiichi Ohno and evolved at Toyota over the last 50 years Its goal is to eliminate waste and continuously improve productivity in every area of work, including customer relations, product design, supplier networks and factory management Wikipedia says Lean aims ‘to produce less low-value human …

OPT – Optimised Production Technology

OR – Operations Research

Most improvement projects do not need more than common business sense and elementary mathematical and statistical skills to find good solutions – but some do OR aims to find optimal solutions to complex management problems where there’s a clear objective and a large number of variables and choices are involved – it’s the cream of …


To stay competitive, the recent trend has been to outsource whole processes or functions because: Others, whether at home or abroad, can complete them better or cheaper They’re only needed occasionally They’re supportive, not core, and only the latter must be controlled closely Over the last two decades, many UK organisations have resorted to outsourcing …

PPF – Putting People First

In the mid 80s, British Airways had completed a major cost cutting exercise,      including labour shedding, and was starting to be profitable again A complete change of attitude was needed on the part of many of the staff, at all levels and in all departments, not just with staff that fronted up to …

Project Management

PM – Project Management – aims to minimise the time and cost to complete a specific task or project – in particular, it aims to minimise the ‘waste of time’ that can easily arise between the start and finish Usually, the projects involved are large, complex, non-routine, one-off affairs – there’s no business problem to …

Quality Circles

Six Sigma

Six Sigma is a statistical approach which aims to drive up profits by putting special effort into ensuring goods or services conform to specification It’s applicable to repetitive, relatively simple processes Six Sigma is about eliminating unpleasant surprises and broken promises via: Reducing any variation in the outputs from processes – defects or delivery times …


Total or Multi Factor Productivity – TFP, MFP: Academics have tried to evolve total productivity measures for both nations and organisations – inevitably, they’ve been given TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms) viz: TFP = Total Factor Productivity MFP = Multi Factor Productivity – essentially the same as TFP Both seek to measure the efficiency with which …

TQM – Total Quality Management

At the end of WW2, the American statisticians Deming, Juran and Crosby, revolutionised the Japanese economy by persuading them that improving quality levels would not only increase sales volumes but also reduce costs – their ideas had fallen on deaf ears at home It was not until the 80s that customers finally got top billing …

VA – Value Analysis

WS/ OM – Work Study/ Organisation & Methods

Sometimes, specific tasks must be analysed in detail to identify how to improve them Work Study, a scientific management approach, can be the answer WS engineers determine the right way to perform a manual or clerical task, and then calculate the time it should take an experienced operative to complete it, measured in SMVs  – …