Monday, August 12, 2013

Quality Professional Training

ASQ's Global State of Quality Research found that  “Organizations that govern quality with a centralized group are roughly 30 percent more likely to provide quality training to staff than organizations where a senior executive governs the quality process”.

This is certainly true of my employer, 3M. In fact, I helped manage this central staff group in 3M for the past 5 years. 3M has a long, rich history of superior statistical consulting and corporate quality services groups that delivered continuous improvement and problem solving training, coaching and consulting, and as a result enjoys a well-earned brand reputation for quality and innovation. 3M strengthened its core when it adopted Six Sigma in 2001, and added lean in 2007.  Today, 3M Lean Six Sigma Operations delivers all manner of continuous improvement and problem solving training, coaching and consulting to all 3M employees: Lean Six Sigma Champions, MBBs, BBs and GBs, as well as product / process / quality engineers and technicians; change agents and project team leaders. The 3M Lean Six Sigma product portfolio includes courses in Six Sigma, Lean, DFSS, commercialization, ISO quality management systems, project management, quality, statistics, change acceleration, optimized operations (new employee), hoshin kanri / business execution, ideation and more.  In addition, the 3M functional groups design and deliver function-specific training for employee competency development.

3M became an Enterprise member of ASQ in 2009. 3M is a global, multinational diversified manufacturing company. ASQ also has a global presence. This relationship has allowed 3M to expand its quality training product portfolio and offer ASQ online resources to all 100,000 employees worldwide. 3M Quality subject matter experts use ASQ materials to supplement its internal quality professional certification training (CQA, CQE, CMQ/OE).  3M's goal is that every employee becomes a problem solver. ASQ on-line tools, templates, presentations, white papers, case studies, webinars, etc. are useful supplemental resources available to every 3M employee.

3M talent management advocates a 70-20-10 model for employee development: 70% on the job experiences (i.e. special projects and teamwork), 20% informal (mentoring, networking), and 10% formal (classroom, seminars, conferences).  In addition to the instructor-led classes mentioned above, 3M encourages participation and collaboration in various Communities of Practice (CoP) to build informal networks and share best practices. Examples in the 3M quality community include an ISO QMS CoP, Supplier Mgmt CoP, Process & Product Understanding CoP, Customer Projects CoP, and a Statistical Practitioners Forum. The 3M corporate Quality Council has oversight responsibilities of these quality communities of practice.

Leaders teaching leaders is another tenant of 3M talent management. Advanced Leadership Development and Advanced Coaching are two of many offerings for leader development.

I believe the ASQ Global State of Quality Research offers a valuable benchmarking comparison for 3M.