Last updated: May 25, 2013
Overview of Services
|Associates in Process Improvement (API) helps organizations improve their products and services and build their capability for on-going improvement by providing the following services:|
continuous improvement of quality is to be a significant part of
an organization's business strategy, top management must assume a
role of leadership. API can assist top managers in assuming that
role by offering guidance on:
Many things must happen if an organization is to continually make changes that lead to improvement from the viewpoint of the customer. Establishing a system of improvement to provide a framework for leading change is a high priority. Five key activities can be used by leaders to drive, manage, and support the organization toward this aim.
Since the inception of API in 1984,
its members have been leaders in advancing state-of-the-art of
improvement. This work has been published in two books (The
Improvement Guide: A Practical Approach to Enhancing
Organizational Performance and Quality Improvement Through
Planned Experimentation) and in numerous articles. API
continues to work with clients to adapt current methods and
develop new ones to increase the rate and impact of improvement.
Examples include the Model for Improvement, the Breakthrough
Series, and planned experimentation.
API emphasizes a comprehensive framework for learning and making change within an organization known as the Model for Improvement. Click the graphic for more information about the model.
The Breakthrough Series, developed in conjunction with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (Boston, MA), demonstrates APIs innovative work in accelerating rate of improvement. Although developed for the health care industry, this method has the potential to accelerate the rate of improvement for many industries. It relies on spreading and adapting existing knowledge to multiple similar sites to accomplish a common aim for example, to reduce employee turnover, reduce cycle times, reduce workers compensation costs, increase voter turnout, or to improve the management of part-time, temporary, and contract employees.
Components of the method can be divided into two segments: pre-work and project work. APIs unique capabilities are important in both segments but are critical in the pre-work segment, when the problem is formulated and the changes are identified and packaged to facilitate adaptation and spread. API works closely with the Chair and Advisory Group, who are the experts in the subject matter, during the pre-work segment.
Planned experimentation can be used to quantify cause-and-effect relationships in complex systems and to test whether changes to products, processes, and services are improvements. The book Quality Improvement Through Planned Experimentation (1991, 2nd edition) provides the information that methodology engineers, as well as those in industry, education, or government need to plan and conduct experiments. As an alternative to the fairly common statistical methods such as standard errors, confidence intervals, and analysis of variance, this book relies on graphical methods to help experimenters ascertain how much the planned changes in the factors are contributing to the variation in the data.
|Teaching Philosophy and Methods|
instruction in improvement for all levels of the organization. The
education and training range from seminars for managers on
theories and methods for quality management to classes for
engineers, technicians, clerks, etc. on the use of the basic
concepts and methods of improvement in their jobs.
Classes are also available on statistical methods such as statistical process control (SPC) and planned experimentation.
API believes that:
|Guidance to Teams and Individuals|
with long-term clients, API divides its time equally between
teaching and guidance to teams and individuals. API maintains
long-term relationships with almost all clients. The frequency and
context of visits by API members change as the leadership for
improvement becomes more self-sustaining in the organization.
API guidance reaches into all areas of the organization, ensuring that concepts and methods are adapted to specific needs. Click here to view areas of guidance offered.
API has a variety of clients engaged in both manufacturing and service related industries: Health Care, Chemical Manufacturing, Electronics, Instrumentation, Distribution, Engineering and Construction, Energy Production, Pharmaceutical, Trade Associations, Construction, and Consumer Products. Client companies range from small, privately owned businesses to large Fortune 500 corporations and include a Baldridge Award winner.
|© 2013 Associates in Process Improvement|