Quality Endeavors No. 155

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January 2013

Since the Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) effort began at Penn State in 1991, over 1000 CQI and innovation and improvement teams have been formed. That over 3800 individuals have been involved with these initiatives speaks to the scope and breadth of Penn State’s involvement in and commitment to these activities.

It is time once again for the annual call to enter recent improvement teams and innovation initiatives in the Office of Planning and Institutional Assessment’s Team Database. This includes teams that have been newly charged or formed since July 1, 2012 and previously established teams that have not yet been added to our Team Database. As noted in Goal 7 and Strategy 7.7 of the University’s strategic plan, in this time of economic constraints it is even more important that we look for ways to use our resources more efficiently and effectively. We should also acknowledge those who have contributed to this effort.

From the start of Penn State’s Continuous Quality Improvement program, one of the key components has been recognizing and celebrating the work done by team members and sharing information about their accomplishments. The first format for this was the Quality Expo, held each year from 1993 to 2002, in which teams developed displays to highlight their projects. In 2003, the Quality Expo was redesigned and renamed the Quality Issues Forum and Luncheon. Over the same time, Penn State’s format for making information about team accomplishments available outside of the event evolved, from annual printed listings to an online Team Database with team summary information available 24/7 worldwide.

In January 2012 we moved to a third generation format, Quality Team Highlights, to recognize, celebrate, and share information about the work of Penn State’s quality improvement teams while at the same time making use of technology and adjusting to the current economic environment. Quality Team Highlights recognizes teams on the Web and in the OPIA newsletter, Quality Endeavors, and provides each team member with a certificate recognizing their work.

In 2012, 33 teams from six colleges, two campuses and eight academic support units were recognized. We welcome the opportunity to add your improvement projects to the database.

Team leaders are encouraged to enter information about their teams in the Team Database. As in the past, budget executives will soon be invited and encouraged to have all new teams from their unit entered in the Team Database.