BRAINSTORMING


Week 3 Learning Team Assignment


Facilitator


10 December 2003



From the Coast Guards, to manufacturing floors and in retail, organizations around the world are using brainstorming. These organizations need to meet or exceed customer expectations while maintaining a cost competitive position. This paper will discuss several ways of brainstorming


In the Coast Guard there are many ways in which quality is maintained. In aviation and shipboard there are weekly, quarterly and annual maintenance schedules to keep. Through these required schedules potential problems can be averted, while continuing to perform our jobs. If a problem is noticed at one unit it is communicated to other units to alert them. Through avid required record keeping people can tell at a glance what has been done and what tasks need to be completed. If the maintenance is not performed it can cause an aircraft to be grounded meaning it can’t be used. Crews will work longer hours when required to fix problems.


Computer problems are evident in every organization, but the Coast Guard continually updates their systems as problems arise. Sometimes the fixes cause a temporary loss of computer access.


Performance qualifications are a series of tasks that must be demonstrated to someone that is at least 1 pay grade higher than what you are trying for. For example if you hold the rank of YN3 and are trying to advance to YN2 a YN2 or above could sign. These qualifications are part of a service member’s permanent record. There are 2 sets. 1 for your specialty and one set for military requirements. This system can work if implemented and overseen properly, however I have seen instances where qualifications have been pencil whipped, or signed off without any demonstration. This not only hurts the integrity of the organization as a whole but sends a message that the very qualifications set forth for promotion and added responsibility are meaningless.


Another example of brainstorming is PROMES or Productivity Measurement and


Evaluation System


The main goal of PROMES is to motivate employees to higher levels of productivity. It is a means of measuring and feeding back productivity information to personnel.


PROMES consists of four steps. First, people in an organization identify the products, or the set of activities or objectives, the organization expects to accomplish. The organization\'s productivity depends on how well it produces these products or services. Second, the staff defines indicators of the products. Indicators are measures as how well the products or services are being generated by the organization. Third, the staff establishes the contingencies between the amount of the indicators and the level of evaluation associated with that amount. Fourth, a feedback system is developed that provides employees and work groups with information about their specific level of performance on each of the indicators. An overall productivity score can be computed by summing up the effectiveness scores across the various indicators.


In the sales and service industries, this measure is strongly suggested because it is proven to be effective in increasing productivity, however, it has been applied in only a few situations. Research on this measure also suggests the system is an effective feedback mechanism. However, users found it time-consuming to develop the initial system. Future research on PROMES needs to be conducted before drawing any firm conclusions, but the existing research indicates that this may be a useful performance management tool.


Another tool that is used for brainstorming at Convenient Housewares is a checklist. Convenient Housewares has a very well defined chain of command, which has enabled them to be able to measure quality performance, and determine the areas of the organization that can be improved upon. The company has always maintained the vision of exceeding customers’ expectations regarding quality, but from time to time has failed in doing so. The current method is to simply ensure that each person in the organization fulfill his or her individual responsibilities. In the instances when responsibilities were forgotten, a more defined method for measuring quality may have prevented the mishap from occurring.


One method that the organization has used in the past was to complete checklists. The checklists contained the details that needed to be completed for each individual customer, and an area for the individual that completed the task to signify that the task was completed. This process was very