Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Quality Hacks

One of my favorite Web sites is The site posts an ever-changing cornucopia of tips, tools and techniques for hacking (i.e., improving) your personal and business life. Lifehacker is updated constantly, and I usually check it a couple of times during the day. It’s a great little break during the workday.

Lifehacker has all kinds of nifty tips, such as using e-mail more effectively, managing your time better, tweaking software to make it easier to use and more productive, and do-it-yourself projects that are fun and meaningful. I’ve discovered a lot of really useful information on the site that I use daily to make my job (and my life) a little easier.

For example, Lifehacker has featured some excellent tutorials on a very cool piece of software for Mac users called Quicksilver, which is a very nifty application that eliminates the need to look for nearly any application, document, file, picture, address or just about anything else you commonly search for on your computer. (Sorry, Windows devotees, but there really isn’t a Quicksilver equivalent for you yet. Launchy is close, but not so much.)

Lifehacker has also taught me how to use Google’s nifty e-mail service Gmail much more efficiently, how to fix a dent in my car, how to make my own paper, and it’s even taught me how to organize the mass of cables that run all over my desk. (OK, I actually haven’t fixed the dents, made the paper or cleaned up the cables, but at least I know how now.)

Recently, while checking out Lifehacker, I got to thinking that there really should be a place to share quality hacks—all those cool time-saving tips and techniques that quality professionals use in the course of their jobs to make their lives a little easier.

To help facilitate the sharing of quality hacks, I’ve just launched a new Web site called, aptly enough, QualityHacks ( where you can post your quality hacks and check out other hacks that quality professionals have posted. It’s a free site; I’ve just created it to give the quality community a forum to post hacks. Because it’s free, it’s pretty basic for now. If it proves to be popular, I’ll upgrade it.

In order for the site to be useful, it has to contain information. This is where you come in. I invite (beg, plead, urge—you get the idea) you to post your quality hacks on the site. They don’t have to be complicated or fancy. In fact, simpler is preferred. And you don’t have to worry about spelling and grammar and such. We’ll clean it up for you. We just want to give you an easy way to share your tips and techniques.

Here are some possible topics:
  • How have you modified the SPC software package you use to work better?
  • How have you set up your document control system?
  • How do you manage your gage calibration scheduling?
  • How do you communicate quality issues to employees, customers, and suppliers?
  • How do you motivate your internal auditors?
  • How do you recognize and reward team members?
  • How do you use everyday applications like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc. in your quality processes?
  • How did you select that last piece of measuring equipment you bought?

    If these sound like questions you’d like to see the answers to, you’re probably not alone. If they sound like questions you’d like to answer, rest assured that there a lot of people out there who would really like to know how you answered. Don’t be shy! Your peers are in the same situation you are.

    Check out Read, post and grow!


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