Quality Management

Satisfying Stated or Implied Needs

 

Global Planning Group (GPG) ensures that your organization’s products and services are consistent while helping to improve your operational efficiency and customer satisfaction.  GPG standards ensure that your business is practicing quality business management and the means to achieve it.  We focus on five major components in quality management:

  1. Planning
  2. Assurance
  3. Control
  4. Improvement
  5. and Anticipation

GPG’s comprehensive approach consists of organization-wide efforts to install and make permanent a climate in which an organization continuously improves its ability to deliver high-quality products and services to customers. While there is no widely agreed-upon approach, GPG’s efforts typically draw heavily on the field proven developed tools and techniques of quality management with respect to ISO 9000+ and Lean 6 Sigma.

GPG has sought to improve build upon these approaches as we apply them for small, medium and large businesses alike.  Over time we have improved these approaches and methods met with success but also with failures.  Some of the common differentiators between success and failure include commitment, knowledge and expertise to guide improvement, scope of change/improvement desired (Big Bang type changes tend to fail more often compared to smaller changes) and adaption to enterprise cultures.

Its always important not to underestimate the people factors, such as culture, in selecting a quality improvement approach. Any improvement (change) takes time to implement, gain acceptance and stabilize as accepted practice. Improvement must allow pauses between implementing new changes so that the change is stabilized and assessed as a real improvement, before the next improvement is made.

Improvements that change the culture take longer as they have to overcome greater resistance to change. It is easier and often more effective to work within the existing cultural boundaries and make small improvements (that is Kaizen) than to make major transformational changes. We know that well organized quality improvement programs take all these factors into account when selecting the quality improvement methods.

 

The Ultimate Customer Experience is the backbone of GPG programs.  Our quality culture focuses upon knowledge management and the role of leadership in promoting and achieving high quality. Disciplines like systems thinking are bringing more holistic approaches to quality so that people, process and products are considered together rather than independent factors in quality management.

The influence of quality thinking has spread to non-traditional applications outside of walls of manufacturing, extending into service sectors and into areas such as sales, marketing, networking and customer services.  The International Standard for Quality management ISO 9000+ adopts a number of management principles, that can be used by top management to guide their organizations towards improved performance.

Customer Focus:  The primary focus of quality management is to meet customer requirements and to strive to exceed customer expectations.  Sustained success is achieved when an organization attracts and retains the confidence of customers and other interested parties on whom it depends. Every aspect of customer interaction provides an opportunity to create more value for the customer. Understanding current and future needs of customers and other interested parties contributes to sustained success of an organization

Leadership:  Leaders at all levels establish unity of purpose and direction and create conditions in which people are engaged in achieving the organization’s quality objectives.  Creation of unity of purpose and direction and engagement of people enable an organization to align its strategies, policies, processes and resources to achieve its objectives.

Engagement:  Empowered and engaged people at all levels throughout the organization are essential to enhance its capability to create and deliver value.  To manage an organization effectively and efficiently, it is important to involve all people at all levels and to respect them as individuals. Recognition, empowerment and enhancement of competence facilitate the engagement of people in achieving the organization’s quality objectives.

Process Improvement:  Consistent and predictable results are achieved more effectively and efficiently when activities are understood and managed as interrelated processes that function as a coherent system.  The quality management system consists of interrelated processes. Understanding how results are produced by this system enables an organization to optimize the system and its performance.  Successful organizations have an ongoing focus on improvement.  Improvement is essential for an organization to maintain current levels of performance, to react to changes in its internal and external conditions and to create new opportunities.

 

Quality Management can be summarized as a management system for a customer-focused organization that involves all employees in continual improvement. It uses strategy, data, and effective communications to integrate the quality discipline into the culture and activities of the organization.  Here are the 8 principles of quality management:

1. Customer-focused

The customer ultimately determines the level of quality. No matter what an organization does to foster quality improvement—training employees, integrating quality into the design process, upgrading computers or software, or buying new measuring tools—the customer determines whether the efforts were worthwhile.

2. Total employee involvement

All employees participate in working toward common goals. Total employee commitment can only be obtained after fear has been driven from the workplace, when empowerment has occurred, and management has provided the proper environment. High-performance work systems integrate continuous improvement efforts with normal business operations. Self-managed work teams are one form of empowerment.

3. Process-centered

A fundamental part of TQM is a focus on process thinking. A process is a series of steps that take inputs from suppliers (internal or external) and transforms them into outputs that are delivered to customers (again, either internal or external). The steps required to carry out the process are defined, and performance measures are continuously monitored in order to detect unexpected variation.

4. Integrated system

Although an organization may consist of many different functional specialties often organized into vertically structured departments, it is the horizontal processes interconnecting these functions that are the focus.

5. Strategic and systematic approach

A critical part of the management of quality is the strategic and systematic approach to achieving an organization’s vision, mission, and goals. This process, called strategic planning or strategic management, includes the formulation of a strategic plan that integrates quality as a core component.

6. Continual improvement

A major thrust of TQM is continual process improvement. Continual improvement drives an organization to be both analytical and creative in finding ways to become more competitive and more effective at meeting stakeholder expectations.

7. Fact-based decision making

In order to know how well an organization is performing, data on performance measures are necessary. TQM requires that an organization continually collect and analyze data in order to improve decision making accuracy, achieve consensus, and allow prediction based on past history.

8. Communications

During times of organizational change, as well as part of day-to-day operation, effective communications plays a large part in maintaining morale and in motivating employees at all levels. Communications involve strategies, method, and timeliness.

 

International Organization for Quality Standardization

The ISO established a global approach to quality standards.  They were the ISO 9000:1987 series of standards comprising ISO 9001:1987, ISO 9002:1987 and ISO 9003:1987; which were applicable in different types of industries, based on the type of activity or process: designing, production or service delivery.

The standards are reviewed every few years by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). The version in 1994 was called the ISO 9000:1994 series; consisting of the ISO 9001:1994, 9002:1994 and 9003:1994 versions.

The last major revision was in the year 2000 and the series was called the ISO 9000:2000 series. The ISO 9002 and 9003 standards were integrated into one single certifiable standard: ISO 9001:2000. After December 2003, organizations holding ISO 9002 or 9003 standards had to complete a transition to the new standard.

ISO released a minor revision, ISO 9001:2008 on 14 October 2008. It contains no new requirements. Many of the changes were to improve consistency in grammar, facilitating translation of the standard into other languages for use by over 950,000 certified organization in the 175 countries (as at Dec 2007) that use the standard.

The ISO 9004:2009 document gives guidelines for performance improvement over and above the basic standard (ISO 9001:2000). This standard provides a measurement framework for improved quality management, similar to and based upon the measurement framework for process assessment.

The Quality Management System standards created by ISO are meant to certify the processes and the system of an organization, not the product or service itself. ISO 9000 standards do not certify the quality of the product or service.