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systems concepts have been used to:

facilitate problem solving and decision making for managers

the systems approach combines ____ into ____ and considers ____

separate processes/parts; a conceptual whole; the impact of internal and external environments on the organization and managing process


a collection of interrelated and dependent parts working together toward common goals

system characteristics

interdependency of parts; continuous response & adaptation to internal and external environments; hierarchy (including a larger suprasystem and smaller subsystems); flow of resources being more important than basic elements; organization's objectives supercede those of the subsystem

basic systems model

input (human, physical, operational resources required to accomplish organizational objectives) --> transformation (action or activity utilized in changing input into output) --> output (the result from transforming the input; represents achievement of the system's goal

examples of systems

solar, family, school, military, body, septic

foodservice systems model

input --> transformation --> output; controls from output & transformation influence input and transformation; memory influences transformation influence memory; feedback from output influences input; environmental factors + input influence each other

foodservice systems model: control

plans (goals/objectives, standards, policies & procedures, programs), contracts, laws and regulations (local, state, federal)

foodservice systems model: input

human (labor, skill), materials (food, supplies), facilities (space, equipment), operational (money, time, utilities, info)

foodservice systems model: transformation

functional subsystems (procurement, production, sanitation/maintenance, distribution & service), management functions (planning, organizing, staffing, leading/directing, controlling --> incl. quality control), linking processes (decision making, communication, balance/maintaining stability)

foodservice systems model: output

meals (quantity & quality), customer & employee satisfaction, financial accountability

foodservice systems model: memory

records (financial, personnel, forecasting)

a systems approach to management

keeping the organization's objectives in mind throughout the performance of all activities; requires communication networking and coordination among all parts of the organization


meeting or exceeding customer expectations; a moving target

quality: what is good enough?

strive for 100% (but it's really a personal decision)

quality standards related to the systems model

goals and objectives provide the basis for defining quality standards & are then used to develop policies and procedures for quality management improvement; continuous monitoring and evaluation; feedback mechanisms provide information on the quality of both processes and products

QA: defined + outlined (basic steps)

a procedure that defines and ensures maintenance of standards within prescribed tolerances for a product or services; (1) assign responsibilities (2) identify most important aspects of provided care (3) establish criteria for them (4) measure performance against these standards/criteria (5) evaluate and review data (6) if met: continue periodic monitoring; if not, identify problem and work to fix it

QA vs. TQM

reactive vs. proactive; meet vs. exceed; management driven vs. team-driven; checklist vs. continuous improvement

total quality management: defined + outlined (basic steps)

a management philosophy directed at improving customer satisfaction while promoting a positive change and an effective cultural environment for continuous improvement of all organizational aspects; (1) assign responsiblity (2) give reason for improvement (3) describe situation (4) analyze to get to the root of the problem (5) plan how to correct the problem (6) check results (7) prevent recurrence (8) plan for the future (plan-do-check-act)

Six Sigma

a busines method for improving quality by removing defects and their causes; achieving this means that a process cannot produce more than 3.4 defects per million opportunities; avg. U.S. is half that (3 sigma).


being open to just change; radical redesign of business processes for dramatic improvement

joint commission

the ruling body behind quality assurance amongst hospitals and long term care issues; miss = continuously improve the safety and quality of care provided to the public through the provision of healthcare accreditation and related services that support performance improvement in healthcare organizations

managerial tools for improvement efforts include:

benchmarking (compare to a standard), plan-do-check-act cycle (TQM), cause & effect diagrams (answer a question + branch off from there, aka fish bone diagrams), control charts (chart performance over time), pareto analysis (the 80-20 rule)

the 80-20 rule

most effects from from relatively few causes; 80% f sales come from 20% customers; 80% of a given outcome typically results from 20% of input.

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