Whether building an organization or society, manufacturing a coordinate measuring machine, or using that CMM to ensure only the highest-quality products leave your plant, being organized is key. It may seem obvious, but the idea of getting organized is actually inherent in the word organization when we use it to mean company or entity.

The definition of an organization is “a social unit of people that is structured and managed to meet a need or to pursue collective goals.” The definition goes on to say that “all organizations have a management structure that determines relationships between the different activities and the members, and subdivides and assigns roles, responsibilities, and authority to carry out different tasks. Organizations are open systems—they affect and are affected by their environment.”

In fact, getting organized is given priority in the definition of organizational management—“the process of organizing, planning, leading and controlling resources within an entity with the overall aim of achieving its objectives.”

The importance of being organized is underscored by the proliferation of books and articles on the subject. A simple Google search on the subject will return resources on everything from organizing your closet to organizing your work and home life.

The 1960s radical organizer Abbie Hoffman once said, “The key to organizing an alternative society is to organize people around what they can do, and more importantly, what they want to do.”

Take any good zombie movie, for instance. One of the first things the survivors of a zombie attack do—after running like mad to get away from the zombies, or course—is to organize. Figure out the best shelter and how the group will protect itself, decide who should go on the hunt, or who should prepare and tend to a vegetable garden, all based on the individual skills in the group. Much like starting a business.

Again, being, or getting, organized may seem pretty straight forward. Just a quick perusal of some of those tips and articles from our Google search could lead you to think it is all somewhat obvious. But good advice on getting organized is never a bad idea, particularly if it is specific to the task, as is the case in the quality industry.

In this month’s measurement feature, author Kenneth L. Sheehan asks us to “imagine having a complete toolbox in your garage—one of those big red rolling toolboxes with drawers and compartments everywhere. Every wrench and ratchet, screwdriver and socket is neatly organized and available to be used. Just the right tool for every task.” Sheehan’s description of the big red toolbox is an analogy for “the world of modern multisensor measurement.”

So, check out “A New Paradigm for Multisensor Metrology” in the pages of this month’s Quality. And if you consider yourself an “old dog” whose Post-It® notes and Rolodex have kept you sufficiently organized, read Mark Nash’s “Quality Management for the Future” and find out that “old dogs can learn new tricks.”

 Enjoy and thanks for reading!