Measurement, Analysis, And Knowledge Management

 Basic Business Cents

A Community Performance Improvement Plan for Small Business


In months 4-8 of the community plan training for small business, the focus is on the selection of what data to collect, measurement methods, analysis, and corrective action to take. The first part of the training session for Month 4 is to again do a self-assessment of the Baldrige Criteria Award for this category. It includes:

  • Measurement, Analysis, and Improvement of Organizational Performance: How do you measure, analyze and then improve organizational performance?
    • Performance Measurement
      • Performance Measures
      • Comparative Data
      • Customer Data
      • Measurement Agility
    • Performance Analyses and Review
    • Performance Improvement
      • Best Practice Sharing
      • Future Performance
      • Continuous Improvement and Innovation
  • Management of Information, Knowledge, and Information Technology: How do you manage your information, organizational knowledge, and information technology?
    • Data, Information, and Knowledge Management
      • Properties
      • Data and Information Availability
      • Knowledge Management
    • Management of Information Resources and Technology
      • Hardware and Software Properties
      • Emergency Availability


This is the first of five months dedicated to process improvement and innovation.  After the assessment, training will be provided on the Plan-Do-Study-Act cycle and the Seven Basic Quality Tools.  Included in this session will be instruction on:

  • How to obtain data
  • Pareto analyses
  • Cause and effect diagrams
  • Histograms
  • Scatter diagrams
  • Run charts
  • Basic control charts
  • A system called The Improvement Journal to use the basic tools in the proper sequence for process improvement.




Attendees are asked to bring a completed Improvement Journal to review and obtain feedback on how to improve the application of the basic tools.

The seven basic quality tools are based on data. In the real world of management, there are some problems where data cannot be obtained. A committee of top Japanese scientists was asked to develop tools to solve these problems where data is not available. They have proven very useful to save time and frustration by management around the world and result in better decisions. Although they total seven in number (seven is considered to be a lucky number in Japan), this session will focus on five:

  • Brainstorming
  • Affinity diagram
  • Interrelationship diagraph
  • Tree diagram
  • Matrix diagram




Attendees will share an application of the Management Tools with the class and recommendations for improvement will be provided.

An introduction to the Toyota Production System, commonly called Lean Thinking will be provided.  This is an excellent methodology to remove waste in the form of material, effort, movement, and redundancy in the work processes.


Attendees will share an application of Lean Thinking for feedback from the class and the instructor.  This month will present phase one of an introduction to Six Sigma-Improvement through DMAIC

  • Define
  • Measure
  • Analyze
  • Improve
  • Control



Attendees will share an application of improvement through a Six Sigma application for feedback.  Instruction this month will be provided on innovation through Six Sigma through DMADV

  • Define
  • Measure
  • Analyze
  • Design
  • Verify


This education and practical application of the process improvement tools arms the attendees and their organizations to continually improve their performance and thereby contribute to success and survival long term. Again that saying of Dr. Deming’s comes to mind, “Nowhere is it written that thou shall survive.” You have to arm yourselves with the best tools and technology and then work at it, now and forever.