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Wyoming Quality Circle Homepage

This webpage has been created specifically for members of the Wyoming Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Quality Circle (QC) as a forum and workspace in their efforts to develop innovative practices that will improve the process and outcomes of VR services in Wyoming. Given the sensitive nature of the material on this page, access will be controlled and limited to QC members, WDVR management, and NCRTM partners. Materials on this webpage are for your personal use. Do not distribute beyond the group.

a. Link to webex meeting, October 29, 2008

QC Training Module 1: Introduction and Orientation

This session began with a 6-hour retreat with members of the quality circle and selected managers. The first 3 hours were dedicated to introductions and a group discussion on the meaning of quality outcomes in Wyoming VR. The last 3 hours covered how knowledge in a profession can be organized, a computer based model for managing this knowledge base, and participant response to a technological application in the field. Three fundamental questions were raised during the course of the retreat. In this web-based session we will address these three questions as we complete the initial introduction and orientation.

Why Are We Here? (Part 1)
This module addresses the values that motivate us to come together to create a Quality Assurance approach to program evaluation and change. In particular it addresses the reasons why the the attendees were chosen and encouraged to participate.

What Have We Learned Thus Far (Part 2)
This module addresses the progress made by the QC in the retreat meeting and links it to the over all plan as outline in the "Methods-Based Management Goals and Objectives" (Topic 2, this page).

What Is Our Plan? (Part 3)
This module focuses on the role and function of the QC in the larger project. Participants will have an informed understanding of what to expect. Module concludes with a consideration of next steps in the development of the CARNES process and an activity: Express your opinion, questions, and inclination to participate in the blog at the top of the page.


Methods-Based Management Goals and Objectives

The ultimate goal of this project is to implement a model of proven business strategies that integrate management control, planning, organizing, and staffing functions for maximizing the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery. This model is called "Methods-Based Management", and it is a synthesis of "quality/lean/Six Sigma" initiatives (evidence-based practice in the world of business), information processing models (best practice in information systems; i.e. making your computer/software infrastructure work for you, rather than the other way around), and social networking methods for research and dissemination.

The challenge to implementation is the need for systemic change in the existing model. This is not an add-on to the compliance model. It will in fact reinterpret compliance in the context of Quality Assurance. Fortunately, implementation is evolutionary rather than revolutionary. It will, however, require a long term view and a commitment to small but continuous change.

Inasmuch as this is a pilot project, we cannot hope to complete the model within the time constraints. Of the 11 steps that will ultimately be required, we can complete the first two. In this way we shall provide some initial product and a clear view of the path and goal.

The first two steps are:
1. Educate executives, management, and workforce on the benefits, requirements, and objectives of running quality/lean operations, with specific provisions for client-centered focus, financial objectives, education and training, workforce compensation and retention, and information sharing.
2. Conduct process and value network mapping to understand the WDVR system and its constraints.

The Goals and Objectives that we have identified to meet these goals are as follows:

Goal 1. Educate executives. management, and workforce on the (a) principles and objectives of methods-based management (with emphasis on the first two steps of the quality/lean model), and (b) commitment to preparing for the 11-step process (through initial mapping of knowledge/value chains and critical processes).

1.01 Have initial meeting with agency representations to discuss the project
Completed 11/02/07
1.02 Document meeting and outline particular responsibilities for WDVR and the Clearinghouse (NCRTM)
Complete 11/07/07
1.03 Complete IRB permissions process for the social (expert) network study
Complete 11/05/07

Goal 2. Conduct value network and process mapping to understand the system and its constraints.

2.01 Select a process on which to focus
Completed 11/02/07: WDVR identifies the CARNES process as a priority.
2.02 Select the principle knowledge/value network within WDVR for study and encouragement
Completed: Sampling frame was staff and management at WDVR.
2.03 Obtain IRB clearance to engage in the study
2.04 Obtain informed consent from agency employees for study participation
2.05 Collect social network data from WDVR agency
2.06 Evaluate social network structure of WDVR agency
Completed: Identified expert network based on expertise and referent influence (i.e., actively social in the community).
2.07 Determine schedule and location of expert retreat
2.08 Obtain stage two informed consent from identified expert network
Completed: Retreat session will be recorded.
2.09 Facilitate morning session of retreat
Completed: Discussion of the meaning of quality in WDVR and issues for counselors.
2.10 Facilitate afternoon session of retreat
Completed: Demonstration of generative taxonomies; discussion of professional knowledge organization, potential implementations of information technology to support the dissemination and utilization of professional knowledge.
2.11 Consideration of issues with respect to CARNES model
In Process: Initiated at the retreat, continuing via this website.
2.12 Code and Develop grounded theory based on expert network retreat transcripts
In Process: Initial session being transcribed. Afternoon session is missing in action, but not essential to the project.

Goal 3. Come to understanding of the nature of knowledge/value networks within WDVR and strengths and weaknesses of CARNES process in particular.

3.01 Meet and consider grounded models of the expert/futures group sessions
Pending: Must complete grounded theory analysis.
3.02 Consider implications of legitimacy models from quality/lean perspectives
Pending: This will be developed through dialog between NCRTM and WDVR management (Kirk McKinney & Brian Hickman), and input from developing quality circle.
3.03 Evaluate systematic/technological issues and alternatives with respect to quality/lean objectives
Pending: This will be developed through dialog between NCRTM and WDVR management (Kirk McKinney & Brian Hickman), and input from developing quality circle.
3.04 Consider specific findings form the study with respect to reported results from prior period.
Pending: Requires access to and analysis of longitudinal data of 911 data. Generate suggestions for improving reporting requirements to RSA. This will be developed through dialog between NCRTM and WDVR management (Kirk McKinney & Brian Hickman).

Goal 4. Project Summary and Future Planning

4.01 Meet with agency administrators to review project and establish future directions
Pending: Plan development based on findings and collaborative processing.
4.02 Establish plan for strengthening knowledge/value networks within WDVR
4.03 Consider information processing requirement for more substantive support of WDVR
Pending: Hardware and software support integrated into system to minimize need for manual documentation and maximize "fluid" access to information when and where it is needed.
4.04 Consider prospects for strengthening knowledge/value networks with other agencies within Wyoming
Pending: Focus on CRP's to expand quality assure in the larger community of practice.
4.05 Consider opportunities for extending knowledge/values to other state VR agencies
Pending: Wyoming takes a leadership role at the national level.
4.06 Consider plans for extending the quality/lean project past the first two steps
Pending: Will require decision from RSA on whether or not they are willing to pursue (fund) the continued development of this model.
4.07 Evaluate specific aspects of process evaluating and reporting
Pending: In house (NCRTM) evaluation of the meta-process, suggestions to RSA on how to modify the reporting process that maintains our project compliance.

Goal 5. Prepare and issue final report.

5.01 Succinct summary, analysis, and recommendations
Pending: All participants collaborate in final documentation. Disseminate with WDVR, to RSA, and publish on the NCRTM website.