Although may companies have devoted much time to quality improvement - perhaps through accreditation to relevant bodies or internal improvements - it’s an area that’s requires continuous monitoring to meet the evolving marketplace.
The following is a list of main areas for possible improvements:
- Number one is starting from what the customer wants, and how the customer sees and experiences your organization. This isn’t a one-off operation. It requires constant vigilance by all personnel.
- Think of your company as a system and process. Once you can map the system it soon becomes evident where any problems lie.
- Beware of hierarchy. This is where the old command and control method of management fails quality. As soon as an issue moves away from the people on the frontline it loses urgency and tends to be passed up the chain rather than by being dealt with.
- Remove the temptation to be always measuring output. The only way that you can get a better output is by paying attention to the process and the people in it.
- Improve the process first and the document second.
- Constant improvements in quality are the goal. Focusing on outputs takes your eye off a goal.
- Critically, the people on the frontline have to be empowered to make the changes they need to deliver the quality that the customer wants. This is probably the greatest challenge to existing management thinking, and will produce the greatest change in management structure.
Companies and managers need to be aware that the manager’s role will change significantly under this system. They will become much more involved with the process helping people iron out the snags and empowering them to take responsibility, together with the action that is needed to change.