Kristin Case

Kristin Case has over fifteen years of expertise in designing, implementing, and improving quality management systems in manufacturing and aerospace. Experienced in lean, six sigma, Baldrige criteria, team facilitation, and project management, she has assisted numerous companies in developing quality management systems that drive organizations toward their objectives. She has presented papers at multiple conferences and been invited back by ASQ’s St. Louis Conference, ASQ’s Cowtown Roundup (Ft. Worth, TX), and the International ISO 9000 Conference where she has presented five papers, was awarded the Best Speaker Award in 2012, and is scheduled to present again in March 2015.

Case formed CaseConsults as a sole proprietorship beginning in 2001. It has grown from a part‐time consulting practice and now provides a menu‐driven selection of services including training, consulting, document review and development, project management, team facilitation, and auditing to help organizations develop, maintain, improve, or certify their quality management systems.

She is active in the American Society for Quality, currently serving as a Regional Director and on the Crosby Medal Committee, previously serving on the Board of Directors. Case holds several ASQ certifications: Certified Quality Engineer, Certified Quality Auditor, Certified Manager of Quality / Organizational Excellence, Certified Calibration Technician, Certified Reliability Engineer, and Certified Six Sigma Black Belt. She was a registered Lead Auditor for ISO 9001 and an Aerospace Industry Experienced Auditor (AS9100), accredited by RABQSA from 2001 - 2010. She holds a Master Black Belt in Six Sigma and Lean. She has served as a Baldrige Performance Excellence Program Examiner, Senior Examiner, and Team Leader from 2007 - 2011. She is an Associate Member of the International Academy for Quality.

She developed coursework and taught as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Oklahoma State University in the Master of Science in Engineering and Technology Management program from 2011 - 2013 and is slated to present the course again during Summer 2015 term. She is also serving as Secretary on the Advisory Board of OSU’s Industrial Engineering and Management program. She was previously an adjunct instructor for Tulsa Technology Center and Tulsa Community College, teaching multiple courses related to ISO 9001 and quality management systems.

Education includes a BS in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from Virginia Tech, an MS in Applied Mathematics from the University of Tulsa, and an MBA with a specialty in Finance from Oklahoma State University.


Using Baldrige Scoring Dimensions to Improve Process Audits

Internal quality audits have the potential to provide systematic feedback on how an organization is performing with respect to its strategy, mission and purpose. However, internal audit programs rarely live up to their potential. Poorly designed or executed internal audit programs are often viewed as

  • a policing function,
  • not value-added / a detraction from the “real work” of the organization,
  • checklist-driven or compliance-oriented,
  • a precursor for corrective action requests, or
  • a necessary evil to maintain ISO 9001 certification.

Despite attempts to promote “process audits”, in practice, most internal audits focus on compliance with procedures, work instructions, or product specifications. As quality management systems mature, a better approach to internal audits may be required to address questions such as: Is the organization performing to its greatest potential? Where should we focus improvement activities and resources?

The Baldrige Excellence Framework provides scoring dimensions for examiners to use when assessing processes as a part of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, similar to the RADAR attributes used to analyze enablers within the EFQM Excellence Model. Using this model to perform internal audits can increase the value of internal audits and have significant consequences on the performance of an organization and its quality management system.

Baldrige scoring dimensions for assessing processes include Approach, Deployment, Learning, and Integration. Approach refers to the methods used to accomplish a process and is typically the primary focus of a process-based audit. Is the approach compliant? Appropriate? Effective? Efficient? Repeatable? Based on reliable data and information? A solid approach is all of the above; yet internal auditors often stop after determining a process is compliant and appropriate. However, organizational resources are wasted when processes are not effective, efficient, repeatable, and based on reliable data and information.

Deployment refers to the extent to which the approach is applied. The best approach is still a poor process if only applied to one work area, one product line, one facility, or for one customer. Consistent application of a good approach is critical to having a good process.

Learning is the Baldrige dimension that focuses on assessing progress, capturing new knowledge, and continually looking for opportunities for improvement and innovation. How often do organizations “re-learn” lessons because the original learnings were not captured in a way that ensures future employees are aware of lessons learned? Evidence of a strong “learning” dimension includes refinement of approach through cycles of evaluation and improvement or breakthrough or innovative improvements.

Integration is the dimension that ensures the approach is aligned with the organization’s mission, goals, targets, measures, customers’ needs, and other processes. Integration focuses on the coordination between processes and the harmony between processes and results.

Attendees need not be familiar with Baldrige Excellence Framework or EFQM Excellence Model to take away a new approach to process-based internal auditing from this presentation. Each of the Baldrige scoring dimensions will be described and a real-life example presented to illustrate how to use these dimensions as a better framework for internal auditing.

Using Hoshin Kanri to Address ISO 9001:2015 Requirements

Hoshin Kanri, or policy deployment, is a systems approach to change management in critical business processes and a methodology to improve the performance of critical business processes to achieve strategic objectives. Within organizations, the use of Hoshin Kanri improves focus on strategy and objectives, linkage between strategy and daily management, accountability, buy-in, communication, and a process-based focus. It goes beyond strategic and annual planning and includes deployment and review.

The first requirement in ISO 9001:2015 (currently at the DIS stage) is: “The organization shall determine the external and internal issues that are relevant to its purpose and its strategic direction and that affect its ability to achieve intended results of its quality management system. The organization shall monitor and review the information…” The act of creating a Hoshin strategic plan summary will provide objective evidence of an organization’s ability to meet this and several other requirements in ISO 9001:2015.

The output of a Hoshin strategic plan summary is commonly called an X-chart or an X-matrix. Creating one involves first identifying the organization’s strategic goals (typically a 5 – 10 year timeframe). Then, the organization lists its core objectives (typically 1 – 5 year timeframe). Linkage between the strategic goals and core objectives are coded as a strong relationship, a direct relationship, or neither. This provides the organization with the ability to ensure that core objectives are aligned with the long-term strategy or to revise the plan to ensure adequate alignment. Once core objectives are aligned with the strategy, the organization establishes what metrics need to be established to monitor and measure progress toward objectives. Again, linkage is coded as a strong relationship, a direct relationship, or neither to ensure that objectives are being measured and measures are not being put into place unnecessarily. Lastly, ownership is assigned to core objectives to ensure accountability.

ISO 9001:2015 requires that top management demonstrate leadership and commitment by ensuring the quality policy and objectives are established and compatible with the strategic direction of the organization (clause 5.1.1). Additionally, leaders must ensure the quality policy is communicated, understood, and applied within the organization and ensure the integration of quality system requirements into the business processes. The process of developing a Hoshin strategic plan summary, sharing it with employees, and regularly reviewing the metrics that are clearly aligned with the organization’s core objectives and strategy may be infinitely more effective than annually asking employees to memorize the quality policy in preparation for the upcoming registrar audit.

This paper and presentation will provide an overview on developing a Hoshin strategic plan summary as well as Hoshin action plans, implementation plans, and implementation reviews and how these steps correlate to ISO 9001:2015 requirements. Specific requirements addressed will include those related to leadership and commitment

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Contact Us

* If you are interested to attend the Congress, please contact
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* If you are interested to participate as a speaker at the Congress, please contact
Mrs. Angeliki Theodorakopoulou
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