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Key Terms to understand for Total Quality Management

By Junaid Tahir
In a competitive business era now a days, an adequate percentage of companies are taking effective measures for Cost Reduction, ISO Compliance, Continuous Improvements and Process Excellence in order to ensure Total Quality Management (TQM). Below are some of the terminology to be understood by the executives while carrying out the TQM activities.
Continuous improvement: An activity to ensure repeated improvements in products and/or services. Improvements can be continuous (linear rate), Continual (gradual rate) or breakthrough (major improvements).
Corrective action: An action to fix the undesirable situation which is minor or major conformity.
Audit: An audit is a systematic, analytical, controlled and documented process in order to identify and quantify the root cause of any event.

Audit evidence: Qualitative or quantitative proof of record, statement, document, incident or a fact related to the audit.
Resource Record Management: Record keeping of all assets including fixtures, computers, accessories, stationary, manuals, drawing, software, shipping containers and so on.
Customer satisfaction: Criteria to define the degree of compliance with the customer requirements.
Preventive action: An action to eradicate the root cause of a potential nonconformity so that it may not occur again.
Products and Services: The hardware and/or activities which have been defined and agreed by the customer in the legal business document.
Quality: Measurement of the degree to which specific characteristics of the products and services fulfill the requirements agreed.
Quality Control: Techniques to ensure the quality by way of consistent audits, pre and post execution activities.
Quality Management: Consistent activities in order to control the quality of product and/or services.
Quality policy: The generic statement prepared by the leadership of any organization on how they define the Quality for Products and Services and how they intend to ensure the same.
Policies and Procedures: Foundations of organization on how their day to day Operations run including Procurement, Risk, Resources, Integration, Time, Scope, Cost, Communication and Quality management.
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About Author: Junaid Tahir is a passionate blogger. He writes articles on Leadership, Stress Management and Life Enhancement subjects at his personal blog

Process Excellence and Process Governance

By Junaid Tahir
Processes are everywhere; Production Process, Construction Process, Delivery Process etc. A process by definition is defined as a series of actions performed in order to complete a specific task.  But that's the basic definition because much more than that can be and should be achieved by ensuring Process Excellence and Process Governance. For example, Cost reduction, ease of tasks execution, efficiency enhancement, stake holder engagement,  time & scope control and customer satisfaction can be acquired by Process Excellence.

Processes are the core catalysts of any company. High quality processes results in high outcomes and vice versa. Hence the more a company ensures excellence and governance of its processes the more successful it becomes in many ways as in terms of high profit margins, high customer retention, highly engaged employees, more productivity, less faults and so on.

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About Author: Junaid Tahir is a passionate blogger. He writes articles on Leadership, Stress Management and Life Enhancement subjects at his personal blog

Keep the Engine Running

After the major hierarchy changes in the company's organization our Senior Director delivered a lecture to clear the doubts the employees may have and to elaborate the company's strategy behind this move. He explained the advantages of this new change in detail and advised us to endeavor in overcoming the challenges during the transition period. In my opinion, the core part of his lecture was when he asked us to 'Keep the engine running'. Later I pondered on this line and I concluded that this is such a powerful line which can help overcome a lot of tragic challenges in personal and professional life and help reduce the stress levels.

Thinking about this concept of 'Keeping the Engine Running', I believe that efforts to achieve any goals in your personal or professional life should not be stopped till the time we conquer. The momentum of things can be slow or fast at different phases of time but overall efforts should not be halted. When you have doubt of failure for a specific task, you can take next small step to determine if things are going in right direction. In case this small step is successful you can continue our journey towards the target. In case of failure you can take corrective action by moving one step back. This will give you the wisdom and experience not to repeat this mistake in next phases of your project. By the way, don't consider failure as opposite to success; consider it as part of your success because it is empowering your experience and wisdom to achieve the target with maximum perfection.

Your unstable behavior is polluting your success journey. Your success demands consistency in your deeds. Remember the fact that consistent actions become your habits, consistent habits define your character and a concrete character makes the foundation of your bright destiny. So keep the engine running, always!

0055-mjunaidtahir-paradigmwisdom-260812- Keep the Engine Running - A lesson for consistency

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Ensuring Safety for Kids at Home

Your kids are a great blessing. You can be more patient for a mishap that happens to you but when it comes to your kids, you are very sensitive and cannot see them in pain, tragedy or chronic sickness. Below are some of the tips through which you can avoid several emergency situations popping up when your kids are at home:

1-    Don't allow kids to go to washrooms alone till they clearly understand the usage of hot and cold water taps.
2-   Keep medicines away from your kids. Recently a friend of mine had to take his daughter to hospital in emergency as she ate 10+ tablets from the shelf. Although the hospital washed her stomach but did not take any responsibility for any mishap. My friend has to sign the disclaimer which stated that in case of any mishap the whole responsibility would be on the parents.
3-   Don't put chairs or sofas near windows, especially if you are living in flats. We have read so many news about kids death falling from windows.
4-   Consider windows/doors closing brackets. If you have IKEA in your area, buy one from there.

5-   If you have sharp edged dining or lounge tables, consider rubber based edge protectors. (Visit IKEA)

6-   Keep the match or lighter away from the stove.
7-   Keep the knives, scissors and other sharp edge cutlery away from the reach of kids.
8-   Cleaning agents (floor cleaners, crockery cleaners, toilet antiseptics etc) must be out of reach. Be sure to close the bottles tightly. Toddlers have the tendency of putting everything in mouth.

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About Author: Junaid Tahir, a telecom engineer and a passionate blogger, writes articles on wisdom, happiness, stress management and life enhancement subjects. His articles can be read Here

18 Ways to Make Your Parents Feel Great

By Junaid Tahir
The parents now a days are quite worried about the behavioral changes in their children due to several socio-economical reasons. The gap between parents and us, the youth, is increasing day by day due to which the family bonding is getting weaker and weaker. We, the youth, want liberty in every deed we do. We want our parents not to be disturb us in what-ever we do in what-so-ever manner. We have forgotten the amount of time our parents have invested in for our brought up. We have forgotten the countless efforts and sacrifices by our parents throughout our lives.  

Starting from our birth they have taken care of our food (22 years * 365 days * 3 times = 24000 times!), our clothes (daily washing, ironing, new purchasing), our education (daily home works, uniform, school/tuition fee), religious & moral teaching every day (THE REAL GREAT JOB), computer & toys purchasing and God knows how many other countless efforts they have put in to make us a complete human being to survive in this world. Indeed, all those efforts cannot be covered in this article but the overall emphasis is that its our moral and religious mandatory responsibility to take care of them now.
Below are some small acts of kindness which I request you to consider to show your affection with them and to take care of them:

  1. Give them enough money so that they don't have to ask you.
  2. Share funny and entertaining things with them to make them laugh or smile.
  3. Don't speak loudly. Speak slowly, nicely and softly.
  4. Do not walk in front of them in market or anywhere. They might walk slow being old; stay behind them. Give them respect.
  5. Ask for small tasks again and again. For example, "Abou Jee, do you need water? Should i bring tea for you? Are you hungry, baba" etc 
  6. Closely monitor thier health. visit doctor if required. Have them thorougly checked time to time.
  7. Take care of their medicines. Set reminders on your phone for their medicines and serve them on time.
  8. Take them to the mosque. Walk slowly. Follow their pace.
  9. Take them to the park for walk. If not possible daily, then take them on weekend.
  10. Do not call them by their name. Call them with respect.
  11. Open the door for them with respect
  12. Adapt yourself according to their schedule not vise versa.
  13. Do shopping for them (buy their clothes, shoes, small items like tooth paste).  Buy your mother a nice coffee cup. Take them to market and buy them according to their likings. Buy your parents some nice books; usually people love to read books in old age.
  14. When you come back to home, visit them first in their room.
  15. Respect their social circle and let them enjoy with their friends.  Article written by Junaid.Tahir
  16. In case of conflict on any issue, try to follow them as much as possible. Remember, they have been sacrificing their money and time in raising you for years and years. Its time to pay back. They have been showing all the patience during your childhood. Its time for you to be patient.
  17. Keep them with you instead of sending them to old houses etc. This will be a big act of ignorance if you do.
  18. When starting the food, serve them first.
In the end, I would recommend making a check list of this email and and paste it on any wall in your room or kitchen and read it often to remember
Please do share if you are doing any other good thing for making your parents feel great :)

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Top 10 New Year Resolutions

By Junaid Tahir

A New Year's resolution is a self commitment that a person makes to achieve personal goals, projects, or reforming of a bad habit. This committment is the driving force to perform the corrective and preventice actions througout the next year in order for acheiving the committed result.
Below are the top ten New Year Resolution which you can consider to chose from for your personal goals in next year:

1-     Learning new things:  Gaining more and more knowledge increases the wisdom level by giving you insightful depth in the field of your interest. Whether you are a professional, a businessman, student or a house wife you must learn new things in order to enhance your mental horizons and improving your life standards. You can do this by getting trainings, earning a new degree or certificate, subscribing toonline communities or reading books. 

2-    Achieving Mental & Spiritual Heights: This one is my favorite as Mental peace and mental prosperity is the most critical aspect of life regardless of the financial situation. Even if you are rich, if you don't have mental peace, you are missing a great blessing so you must work on the techniques to attain a humble and stable mind. This can be achieved by attaining positive personality, by having bettercontrol on Anger, by being less Reactive, and by avoiding Stress
3-    Financial Targets: Most of us work on this target all year round. However we do not strategize enough to achieve it. Primarily we spend a lot of money on our wants instead of our needs. A careful analysis must be done before you spend on anything. Read this article for making good decision. Another aspect of achieving financial growth is to increase your sources of income for example running a new business, changing your current job, investing in land or gold etc. You may want to read this side article about what is actual wealth and how to achieve this. 
4-    Health and Fitness: With the invention of new luxuries the life style is becoming more and more lazy consequently raising the bar for health related concerns. What adds fuel to the fire is our increased liking for fast foods and dining out in unhealthy restaurants. Junk food adds fats, results in high cholesterol and high Blood Pressure which increase the risk of heart disease leading us towards big disasters. Make a commitment to yourself to minimize eating fast foods and shift to vegetables and fruits. This cannot be done overnight so you have to change your current habits slowly and steadily.     
5-    New Career Move: I was listening to the interview of the CEO of Porsche selling company; the guy mentioned that autonomy is the most considerable reason people leave their job. Everyone wants more and more luxury, independence and growth in life. So you make this resolution to go high in your professional ladder this year. Carefully sense the market and make a smart move. Read this article, 15 ways to Find Job  
6-    Cutting the clutters: This is not something to achieve rather to leave in order to gain indirect goals. Stats show that people who live simple life have higher happiness index. Basically what happens is that over the course of time we keep purchasing things because of our instant buying habit mixed with our intention to show-off and then eventually we dump these things in the closets or home store. Being too much materialistic and having the lust of acquiring more and more things, even if we don't use them, takes us away from simple life which ultimately add extra layer to the complications in our lives . Now is the time to clear all those bulky things in the closet and store including old clothes, toys and other commodities to give in charity. Personally, I use 6 months formula" "If something has not been used for the last 6 months, there is a most likely chance that it will not be used in next 6 months so better to give this to poor people & family around me"  
7-    Spend more time with family: With more focus on materialistic things we have reduced our family time, sometimes our children are being referred to as new age orphans. With everyone busy on his smart phones, PDAs, laptops and Television we have almost killed the family union spirit which is adding complications in relationships resulting in serious consequences. Strong family bonding are an indicative of better happiness index. People who spend less time with families are comparatively less happier. Make a resolution this year to become a family guy. Spend time with them, spend money on family fun activities and you will feel a special mental peace eventually. 
8-    Getting Organized: Staying organized has many advantages in terms of having more time for yourself and family; in terms of saving money; peace of mind, better health, balanced life and improved professional/Social life. This involves being organized in terms of time, in terms of office desk, official work, differentiating between urgent and important tasks and organize them, maintaining a personal diary, maintaining a list of things-to-do.  
9-    Helping Others: Not a lot of people focus on this but I would really appeal you to consider this. Charity Services are the tax we pay back to society for living on earth. Almost all of the religions emphasize to its followers to take care of people around them. Practically speaking, you can assign 3-5% of your earnings for charity projects within your country or foreign countries who are less fortunate; having low or no food and/or having lack of other basic human necessities like water, clothes, medicines etc. Article written by Junaid.Tahir

10-   Quit Smoking and drinking: Understood that bad habits die hard but remember the fact that bad habits make you die early too, especially when it comes to habits of smoking and drinking. Quit them ASAP before they overcome your health. You already know that how these two habits affect your lungs, kidneys and levers. Quit them before they make you quit the world.

visionary person like you can definitely achieve the targets by being proactive and analytical, by having consistency and Hard work and the ability to focus on the commitments you make. Make Effective decisions for the new year and work hard to achieve concrete results.
Good luck and Happy New Year !!!

Technology Update: Volvo Developing The No Death Car

Car giant Volvo is developing 'no death' cars that drive themselves and are impossible to crash – ready for launch in showrooms within eight years.

The computerised vehicles will be fitted with high-tech sensors and will 'refuse to be steered' into other objects. Volvo says they will be on sale to customers by 2020, but that some of the life-saving future will be incorporated into its vehicles even earlier – from 2014

– it says.

The car will be fitted with dozens of sensors allowing it to monitor both pedestrians and other traffic, and take action to avoid collisions. Volvo claims by 2020 it can eradicate accidents and deaths in its vehicles. Sensors will also work at high speeds, ensuring the car is a safe distance from surrounding vehicles.

Volvo's head of government affairs Anders Eugensson said: 'Our vision is that no one is killed or injured in a new Volvo by 2020.' Swedish-basedVolvo - now owned by China's Geely group - said the first versions of its crash-free cars would meant for driving in towns at a maximum speed of 31mph.

It is part of the race by leading car manufacturers including Volvo, FordMercedes-Benz, BMW, Vauxhall and even Google to build fully automomous 'Robo-cars' that can drive themselves – like the one which actor Will Smith drove in the sci-fi movie 'I, Robot.'Thebiggest hurdle is not the future which is largely developed – but public acceptance of it and and issues of who would be liable if a crashp roof car did actually crash: the driver or the manufacturer?

Volvo'sMr Eugensson said;'We have tested prototypes on thousands of miles of test drives on public roads in Spain and on the company's test track in western Sweden.

'The car of the future will be like the farmer's horse.' 'The farmer can steer the horse and carriage but if he falls asleep the horse will refuse to walk into a tree or off a cliff.'

New Manager's Fundamentals

By Junaid Tahir

Below are my notes from the lecture I attended recently about "New Manager's Fundamentals". The speaker elaborated that following aspects must be taken into account by all new managers or leaders if they want to sustain and succeed in their roles:

-          Chose Your Decision Making Style:  
o    Chose different approaches of decision making for different situations like deciding salaries, budget review and allocations, Promotions, routine work. Following are 3 categories of decision making.
1.     Autocratic: You make the decision at your own and then inform your team, if required. (Deciding Salaries, Budget allocations, Promotions etc)
2.     Collaborative: Seek input from your team and then make the decision. (Routine office tasks, Making WBS for the project etc)
3.     Democratic: Asking your teams to decide. (Asking team where to go for lunch, get together, small/medium impact official task etc)

-          Develop Professional Relationship (not friendly relationship):
o    Hobbies, interests, families come under friendship. Your 5% of discussion can be on such subjects just to show people that you are human but strictly note more than 5 minutes a day.
o    Build new relationships at Lunch, Coffee times and other breaks.
o    Learn about different people in your organization from LinkedIn and have chat on relevant subjects to make them comfortable with you.
o    Build Rapports (A close and harmonious relationship in which the people or groups understand each other's feelings or ideas and communicate well)

-          Stay Visible:
o    Say hello to people around you; 5-10 minutes each day. Good relations result in good outcomes.
o    Ask people in a gentle way about what are they working on? How you can help them.
o    Tell them What you are working on? This improves the visibility about your work and help maintaining good professional relations.

-          Be concerned About Your Status Bubble As A Manager/Leader:
o    Be open with your team members, discuss your new role and elaborate your new responsibilities.  
o    Ask them that you want to know what they think about you as new boss

-          Communicate Proactively:
o    What you say is important but do consider how to say and when to say and when not to say.
o    One kg of prevention is better than 10kg of cure so stay ahead of challenges by being proactive.
o     When communicating, pause for a moment and ask "are you with me?"  At the end of discussion, ask a team member to summarize what you said.
o    Don't misjudge when you have a doubt about something your team member said.  Ask "can you clarify".
o    Consider Candor communication Vs Civility Communication approach. Both are important. Candor (Straight, blunt, candid). Civility (nice, positive, congenial)
o    Different communication approaches (Text, Email, Phone, Meeting) have different kind of trade of in terms of effectiveness and efficiency. Some approaches might be efficient to convey the message but may not be effective (SMS). Face to face is the best approach to consider as much as possible.
o    Want to send tough email? Draft it now, go for coffee or lunch, come back, read again with relaxed mind and then send.

-          Provide Effective Feedback:
o    Give right amount of feedback. Too little may not help a person. Too much criticismmay not be digested by employee and may sound offensive. Consider what amount of feedback is required and then convey. Feed back is two way thing not one way. Make it a conversation. Ask him/her about his/her opinion.
o    Give feedback in person. Give feedback as quickly as possible so it sound relevant. Be respect. Avoid "You" and "I" words.

-          Conduct Relevant Meetings Only:
o    Don't call unnecessary meetings. Consider these situations to call  meeting:
1.     Important Team decisions
2.     Major Announcements (Changes in company strategy)
3.     Kick off Meeting. (Clarifying the initiative, expectations from teams, roles and responsibilities)
4.     Pre mortem and Post mortem (Discussing what might go wrong when project starts and when it goes live)
5.     A challenging situation on which feedback is required.
o    Call only relevant people (Experts, Affected and Sponsors)
o    Don't invite too many experts.  Don't invite sponsors (Leadership) every time. Don't invite political associates.

-          Use Authority Wisely:
o    Authority is your legitimate right to exercise influence and decision making.
o    If you want to make changes, start with the smaller ones.
o    Consider Pro-Employee changes (the one which employees are going to like – example, lunch timings flexible etc)
o    Consider Team culture (The shared attitude and behavior of the overall team). Consider buy-in from key employees prior to implementing a new decision.
-          Develop a Lieutenant:
o    Consider a person to work as second in command who can make decisions when you are away, attend meetings on your behalf etc . Make it informal  instead of formal position in the team.
o    He will give team's feedback for improvement.
o    He will be your personal devil's advocate. He will privately question your assumptions and challenge your thoughts for improvement.
o    He is 'not a yes man', not a conflict generator, not a political personality. He is trust worthy, hard working, visionary and thoughtful.

-          Enhance Your Outlook:
o    Look and behave like a leader. Spend time on enhancing your outlook. Right clothes, shoes, suit, hair style etc
o    No sudden change in outlook required. Avoid becoming a joke by immediate change in your personality. Slow transformation is recommended.

-          Defining Norms:
o    Define formal and informal norms for your team members. For example, we are Positive; we show respect; we are solution oriented; we are trust worthy and transparent etc.
o    These norms will become their habits if you repeat them in different meetings and other discussions.
While  attending this training I made my own Norms. These norms cover my major professional personality traits. Have a look below and then ponder what are your norms?
N- No negativity – All Positive
O- Open heart (Transparent)
R- Respectful – Strong mutual respect.
M- Micro and Macro Analyst 
S- Solution Oriented

-          Some General Recommendations:
o    Convey the message to your teams with your actions that you trust them not be telling them. Your actions must portray what you believe in.
o    Share Credit. Acknowledge everyone's contribution.
o    Help others succeed. If they succeed you succeed.
o    Develop Empathy: The skill to understand and be sensitive to other emotions.
o    Project your confidence with your eye contact and through your  voice
o    Maintain your modesty. Be Humble

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About Author: Junaid Tahir is a passionate blogger. He writes articles on Leadership, Stress Management and Life Enhancement subjects at his personal blog