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  • 1.
    Backlund, Fredrik
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
    Sundqvist, Erik
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
    Continuous improvement: challenges for the project-based organization2018In: International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, ISSN 0265-671X, E-ISSN 1758-6682, Vol. 5, no 7, p. 1306-1320Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose

    There are limited studies of Continuous improvement from the perspective of a project-based organization (PBO). Hence, this article explores challenges that PBOs may encounter when applying Continuous improvement.

    Design/methodology/approach

    An exploratory and qualitative approach has been used, involving six management teams in six different project-based organizations, using focus groups interviews as data collecting method.

    Findings

    A high degree of autonomy among project managers seems to limit a collective approach to project management in PBOs. As a consequence the overall PBO performance becomes subordinate to the individual project performance – an approach opposite to that of Continuous improvement. Further, the management teams themselves seem to uphold a project focus, also complicating improvement initiatives from a PBO perspective.

    Research limitations/implications

    The management teams have been the unit of analysis, where the PBOs mainly conduct projects in an engineering and construction context, and are located in the same country and region. This approach enables the thorough study of a phenomenon, while preconditions for generalization are limited. However, the findings could be used by researchers as a basis for more in-depth studies of specific challenges, and for making surveys to obtain generalization of results.

    Practical implications

    The results can induce awareness and understanding of different challenges if applying Continuous improvement in a PBO, hence a starting point for finding ways to overcome these challenges.

    Originality/value

    The article contributes to an increased understanding of challenges that PBOs may encounter when applying Continuous improvement, confirming and presenting additional findings compared to previous studies.

  • 2. Barabady, Javad
    et al.
    Kumar, Uday
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Operation, Maintenance and Acoustics.
    Availability alocation through importance measures2007In: International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, ISSN 0265-671X, E-ISSN 1758-6682, Vol. 24, no 6, p. 643-657Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose - To define availability importance measures in order to calculate the criticality of each component or subsystem from availability point of view and also to demonstrate the application of such importance measures for achieving optimal resource allocation to arrive at the best possible availability. Design/methodology/approach - In this study the availability importance measures of a component are defined as a partial derivative of the system availability with respect to the component availability, failure rate, and repair rate. Analyses of these measures for a crushing plant are performed and the results are presented. Furthermore, a methodology aimed at improving the availability of a system using the concept of importance measures is identified and demonstrated by use of a numerical example.Findings - The availability importance measure of a component/subsystem is an index which shows how far an individual component contributes to the overall system availability. The research study indicates that the availability importance measures could be applied in developing a strategy for availability improvement. The subsystem/component with the largest value of importance measure has the greatest effect on the system availability. Research limitations/implications -The result of availability improvement strategy is demonstrated using only a hypothetical example.Practical implications - Using of availability importance measures will help managers and engineers to identify weaknesses and indicate modifications which will improve the system availability.Originality/value - This paper presents the concept of availability importance measure for a component/subsystem. It also introduces some availability importance measures based on failure rate, mean time between failures (MTBF), and repair rate/mean time to repair (MTTR) of a component /subsystem. The concept of importance measures are used to prioritize the components or subsystems for the availability improvement process.

  • 3. Barabady, Javad
    et al.
    Markeset, Tore
    University of Stavanger.
    Kumar, Uday
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Operation, Maintenance and Acoustics.
    Review and discussion of production assurance program2010In: International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, ISSN 0265-671X, E-ISSN 1758-6682, Vol. 27, no 6, p. 702-720Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to review, discuss and further develop the production assurance (PA) concept; and to define and describe a typical production assurance program (PAP) and its elements. Design/methodology/approach - An explorative literature study covering PA and dependability concept was carried out on contemporary literature. During the course of the study, meetings and discussions with a number of experts in Sweden and Norway were performed. Different types of data and examples from the oil and gas industries are used to illustrate and support the discussions. Findings - This paper indicates that the concept of PA helps the decision maker to estimate whether a production plant is able to meet customer requirements, as it provides information about the production plant's delivery capacity, production rate and ability to deliver according to design or customer demands. PAP can provide a basis for effective production control. Research limitations/implications - The material analysed was mainly related to the oil and gas industry. However, the findings and discussion can be transferred to other areas of application, such as mine production plants and chemical process plants. Practical implications - A PAP is a valuable tool for production plant managers and engineers, not only for documenting a production plant's performance, but also for providing decision support for the development and optimization of the production plant to improve the plant's performance and reduce risk and uncertainties. Originality/value - In this paper the concept of dependability is extended to include capacity performance and customer requirements or market demand, which provides a measure for delivery assurance or plant production performance in relation to customer requirements. This paper also develops a generic PAP to achieve a high level of delivery assurance.

  • 4.
    Deleryd, Mats
    Luleå tekniska universitet.
    On the gap between theory and practice of process capability studies1998In: International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, ISSN 0265-671X, E-ISSN 1758-6682, Vol. 15, no 2, p. 178-191Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Historically, a theoretical framework has been established to judge whether a process is capable or not. These studies, called process capability studies, have received both positive and negative comments. Both researchers and practitioners have indicated that the concept of process capability studies is often misused in practice. This article aims to identify and quantify this misuse, and when it is severe, try to provide some explanations of its origin. The survey presented is primarily based on questionnaires and carried out among 97 Swedish organisations where process capability studies are used regularly. It shows that there is often a gap between theory and practice concerning process capability studies. The article also provides some possible answers to why the gap exists. It has been found that the gap between theory and practice can be explained by management issues, practical problems, conservative personal attitudes and methodological aspects. Based on the results, some suggestions for successfully implementing and using process capability studies are presented.

  • 5.
    Eriksson, Henrik
    Division of Quality Sciences, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Outcome of quality management practices: Differences among public and private, manufacturing and service, SME and large organisations2016In: International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, ISSN 0265-671X, E-ISSN 1758-6682, Vol. 33, no 9, p. 1394-1405Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose

    The purpose of this paper is to describe differences among public and private, manufacturing and service and SMEs and large organisations regarding the outcome of quality management (QM) practices.

    Design/methodology/approach

    This study looks at the scores for different criteria (or practices) from quality award applicants in Sweden between 1992 and 2010.

    Findings

    The service industry outperforms the manufacturing industry. Furthermore, and perhaps unsurprisingly, large organisations are ahead of small and medium enterprises in the race for quality progress. In general, when comparing public with private organisations, private organisations do better, and the practice of process management seems to be easier for private firms.

    Research limitations/implications

    This study suggests that process management, as it is currently described and evaluated, needs to be revised and improved to better fit organisations.

    Practical implications

    Organisations, in general, score worse on business results than in all other criteria. This study proposes that quality managers must focus even more on how to achieve results and improve results in order to justify QM.

    Originality/value

    This study proposes that researchers and managers need to change their mind-set regarding service organisations in relation to manufacturing organisations, and that manufacturing organisations in particular need to see how successful service organisations work with leadership aspects, information and analysis, and business planning; how they obtain committed co-workers, and how they work with their customers.

  • 6.
    Garvare, Rickard
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
    Eriksson, Henrik
    Luleå tekniska universitet.
    Organisational performance improvement through quality award process participation2005In: International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, ISSN 0265-671X, E-ISSN 1758-6682, Vol. 22, no 9, p. 894-912Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose - The purpose of the study is to describe the activities initiated based on participation in a quality award process and with the intention to improve performance. Design/methodology/approach - This study presents a case study of three organisations that have participated in the Swedish Quality Award process. The cases were selected in order to clarify how this award process could be used to improve organisational performance. Findings - Several examples of activities on how to improve organisational performance are provided. Specifically, the areas of customer orientation, process orientation, continuous improvement, committed leadership and participation by everyone have been improved due to the initiated activities. Furthermore, the studied organisations have been successful in their development and communication of visions, and in their empowerment of employees. Research limitations/implications - An interesting area of further research would be to compare different methodologies for performance improvement with one another. Practical implications - Findings from the case studies, and of importance for organisations applying for quality awards, indicate that, if the goal is to get lasting results, it is not sufficient to participate in a quality award process only once. Instead one should participate in the process several times, with enough time in between the applications in order to complete as many as possible of the improvement projects resulting from the evaluations. Originality/value - It is the authors' intention that the guidelines presented in the paper might be helpful for organisations considering a participation in a quality award process.

  • 7.
    Ghodrati, Behzad
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Operation, Maintenance and Acoustics.
    Banjevic, Dragan
    C-MORE Lab, University of Toronto.
    Jardine, Andrew K.S.
    C-MORE Lab, University of Toronto.
    Product support improvement by considering system operating environment: a case study on spare parts procurement2012In: International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, ISSN 0265-671X, E-ISSN 1758-6682, Vol. 29, no 4, p. 436-450Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The ongoing availability of existing industrial systems/machines depends to a great extent on the form and level of product support. Product support, or the after sale service of a product, is important because it assures the expected function of the product in its operational phase. Product support is affected by a number of factors, including system reliability and maintainability characteristics and the operating environment. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the influence of time independent external factors of industrial systems on product support requirements and spare parts need.

  • 8. Gupta, Suprakash
    et al.
    Bhattacharya, Jayanta
    Barabady, Javad
    Tromsø University.
    Kumar, Uday
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Operation, Maintenance and Acoustics.
    Cost-effective importance measure: a new approach for resource prioritization in a production plant2013In: International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, ISSN 0265-671X, E-ISSN 1758-6682, Vol. 30, no 4, p. 379-386Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose - The aim of this paper is to propose a new measure for criticality analysis of different components of a production plant, called cost-effective importance measure (CEIM) that considers the component’s performance, system structure and economic aspects.Design/methodology/approach - In this work, an explorative literature study covering the concept of importance measure and criticality analysis has been carried out on contemporary literature. The result of the literature study shows that the commonly used importance measures consider the probability of failure of a component and systems structure, and ignore the effect or severity of failures which is an important factor in engineering decision making. It is not clear how to use the concept of importance measure in combination with cost parameter. Hence, a cost-effective importance measure (CEIM) is defined and a case study is presented in order to demonstrate the application of proposed importance measure.Findings - The paper indicates that CEIM useful for the analysis of production plants where reliability and cost of break down are of paramount importance.Research limitations/implications - The concept of CEIM is demonstrated using only a case study of a belt conveyor system in the underground mine of Singareni Coal Company Ltd. However, the concept of CEIM can be used in other area of engineering system.Practical implications - The concept of CEIM can be a handy and effective tool for scheduling of inspection, maintenance and fault diagnosis and these activities can be carried out as per the rank of the components to maximize the benefits in skilled manpower crunch. It also indicates that the upgradation of the production plant’s performance can also be done by improving performance of components with relatively large CEIM values.Originality/value - In this paper, the concept of importance measure is extended to include the effect of severity of failures and cost parameter in the criticality analysis.

  • 9. Hansson, Jonas
    et al.
    Backlund, Fredrik
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
    Lycke, Liselott
    Luleå tekniska universitet.
    Managing commitment: increasing the odds for successful implementation of TQM, TPM or RCM2003In: International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, ISSN 0265-671X, E-ISSN 1758-6682, Vol. 20, no 9, p. 993-1008Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Quality management, by means of total quality management (TQM), is considered to foster organisational performance characterised by competitiveness and long-term profitability. Since the benefits of quality management cannot be achieved without the sustained performance of equipment affecting product quality, maintenance management has become important. This has led to the development of maintenance methodologies, such as total productive maintenance (TPM) and reliability centred maintenance (RCM). TQM, TPM and RCM implementation have, however, often failed or been poorly executed. This has affected organisations' performance and ultimately survival in a competitive environment. This paper includes a comparative study of literature on TQM, TPM and RCM implementation, focusing on organisational change. The study found several common categories of activities when implementing TQM and the maintenance methodologies. These categories can be considered crucial to obtain management and employee commitment. Case studies on TQM, TPM and RCM implementation are used to validate the categories identified, and to yield recommendations on the handling of activities within these.

  • 10.
    Nyström, Birre
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Operation, Maintenance and Acoustics.
    A methodology for measuring the quality of deviation reporting: applied to railway delay attribution2008In: International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, ISSN 0265-671X, E-ISSN 1758-6682, Vol. 25, no 7, p. 656-673Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to describe a methodology based on vignettes and its application to measure the consistency of railway delay attribution, in order to report on experiences of using the methodology in this context. Design/methodology/approach - A survey is used to ask personnel performing delay attribution about how they would report the delays described in the vignettes of the survey. The development, application and analysis of the survey are thoroughly described here. Findings - The methodology proved useful for measuring the consistency of delay attribution. Research limitations/implications - The methodology also supports a further investigation of the accuracy of delay attribution systems. Practical implications - A survey similar to the one presented here can be used by railways to estimate the accuracy of their delay attribution systems, as well as to continuously improve them. Changes to computer software and training will improve the delay attribution system under study. Originality/value - By investigating current delay attribution practices using surveys based on vignettes, drawbacks of the current delay attribution system can be identified and remedied. The methodology is applicable to a wide class of deviation attribution applications.

  • 11. Palmberg, Klara
    et al.
    Garvare, Rickard
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
    Sustained quality management: how to receive the Swedish quality award twice2006In: International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, ISSN 0265-671X, E-ISSN 1758-6682, Vol. 23, no 1, p. 42-59Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to describe how Agria Animal Insurance Sweden (Agria) has organised its quality-related work through a sustained and systematic focus on basic elements of quality management such as value focused leadership, employee involvement, process management and control, customer focus, and continuous improvement. Design/methodology/approach - The study has been based on interviews, document studies and action research. It is a single case study design with limited intentions of generalisation. Findings - The analysis shows that the top management at Agria has been a strong driving force that has effectively united leaders at all levels as agents of change. Additional success factors have been the deployment of basic values, the "five always", and the value focused leadership. Further on the company has succeeded in creating a cultural basis and structures for systematic work with improvements. Practical implications - A way to address corporate culture in order to open up for a climate of micro improvements of practice within present routines is illustrated in this paper. Originality/value - Agria could be considered an example for others to study and get inspired by when working with quality-related issues.

  • 12.
    Wreder, Åsa
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
    Gustavsson, Maria
    Department of Behavioural Sciences, Linköping University.
    Klefsjö, Bengt
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
    Management for sustainable health: a TQM-inspired model based on experiences taken from successful Swedish organizations2008In: International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, ISSN 0265-671X, E-ISSN 1758-6682, Vol. 25, no 6, p. 561-584Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose - The purpose of this paper is threefold: to describe how a large organization has successfully worked to achieve sustainable health; compare the work of the large organization with methodologies used by smaller successful organizations; and then to create a model for how managers of larger organizations can work to create sustainable health. Design/methodology/approach - The empirical data were gathered through interviews with managers at different organizational levels and workshops with employees, within a case study in a large bank which received the award "Sweden's best workplace". The data were also compared to results from earlier case studies of three smaller organizations that have received the same award. Findings - The results of the studies show coinciding results as to the importance of management commitment and methodologies, such as employee involvement, delegation, goal deployment and coaching, to create a health-promoting work environment. This indicates that larger organizations do not need any specific methodologies. Practical implications - Based on the experiences from four successful organizations, managers should mainly consider doing the following: start measuring and evaluating the consequences of sickness absence in their organization; and adopt a management strategy based on humanistic core values that are supported by methodologies and tools. Originality/value - The paper adds understanding about how managers of large organizations could work practically to overcome management problems in today's working life and support the work and organizational factors earlier described in the literature to create a health-promoting work environment that stimulates the development of sustainable health.

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