To design effective and efficient systems and processes or improve existing processes, knowledge of the systems and processes is needed. The “knowledge hierarchy” as it is sometimes called in the literature, is generally attributed to Harlan Cleveland (1982). The knowledge hierarchy relates to the learning that ultimately underpins KBM and consists of five categories:
TQM and CQI
Early Total Quality Management (or Continuous Quality Improvement) efforts focused on quality as the primary goal; the improved business performance was thought to be a natural outcome of this goal. No longer is the focus on quality for quality’s sake, but rather a quality focus is seen as a means to improve organizational performance. To accomplish this, TQM relies on the active involvement of all functional areas and all employees.
The ISO 9000 series of standards are primarily concerned with quality management, or how the organization’s quality requirements and comply with applicable regulations. The five sections of the ISO 9001:2000 standard are:
The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award was established by Congress in 1987 to recognize U.S. organizations for their achievements in quality. It was hoped that the award would raise awareness about the importance of quality as a competitive priority and help to disseminate best practices by providing examples of how to achieve quality and performance excellence.
Just-in-time (JIT) is an inventory management strategy aimed at reducing or eliminating inventory. It is one part of Lean manufacturing. The goal of Lean production is to eliminate waste, of which inventory is one form.
Six Sigma has been defined as a philosophy, methodology, set of tools, and a goal. It is seen as a business strategy with a focus on eliminating defects through prevention and process improvement.