Quality Management and Continuous Improvement Success Stories
Fisheries-dependent data programs across NOAA Fisheries and our partners have seen significant improvements to processes and outcomes after integrating quality management and continuous improvement tools into their work.
Embracing a Culture of Quality
QM/CI Training for the Alaska Region
Working with the Alaska Regional Offices Learning Team and the QM/CI PSG Education Group, the QM/CI PSG ambassador for the Alaska region developed an informal training series to teach colleagues what quality management is, and how it can apply to ensuring data quality and improving overall work processes. The structure they used can serve as a model for other regions and partners to expand the practice of QM and promote process improvements.
Advancing the Framework for Ecological Recovery
Hoshin Kanri Planning for Continued Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Restoration
When the team leading Deepwater Horizon restoration efforts out of NOAA Fisheries decided to launch its long-term strategic planning process, they kicked it off with an intensive three-day workshop hosted by the Quality Management and Continuous Improvement group. Using Hoshin Kanri tools, the team developed a series of actionable tactics and initiatives that will advance the program’s vision of a sustainable, healthy, and restored Gulf of Mexico ecosystem where abundant resources contribute to vibrant and resilient communities.
Improving Stock Assessment Processes
Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review Value Stream Mapping Workshop
The stock assessment process in NOAA Fisheries’ Southeast Region, known as Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR), brings together an enormous amount of data from a wide range of stakeholders, including regional fishery management councils, interstate marine fisheries commissions, the Southeast Fisheries Science Center (SEFSC), and the Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Management Division of NOAA Fisheries. As part of an overall goal to increase the number of stock assessments and the quality of scientific advice, the SEFSC data and assessments team worked with the Quality Management and Continuous Improvement group to conduct a Value Stream Mapping workshop with team members and data customers to identify pain points and prioritize solutions.
Northwest Observer Data Process Flow Workshop
The Northwest Fisheries Science Center’s Fisheries Resource Analysis and Monitoring Division observer team and IT staff conducted a value stream mapping workshop to illustrate the current state of data delivery from the observer to debriefers, including data inputs, outputs, key players, when handoff happens, what gear was required, and safety measures.
Value Stream Mapping for the Pacific Islands Regional Office Permits Database Improvements
The Pacific Islands Regional Office Permits Office turned to the Quality Management and Continuous Improvement group to use a Value Stream Mapping workshop to illustrate the workflow behind the permitting process for the Hawaii longline fishery. By visualizing each step in this workflow, the team was able to identify inefficiencies and opportunities to improve permit processing and transition to a new system.
Value Stream Mapping Workshop
The For-Hire Survey team used Value Stream Mapping, SIPOC, and additional visualization tools to evaluate the effectiveness and identify improvements to the entire For-Hire Survey process, with the goal of enhancing the timeliness, quality, and accuracy of recreational catch and effort estimates.