Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Challenging against quality burn-out

There is a lot of stagnation, doubts, and even frustration about quality related initiatives in many organizations, e.g. application of ISO 9000 standards and quality awards criteria has routinized into stereotypic rituals. Major reasons for this kind of harmful development obviously include lack of innovation, lack of courage to take radically new approaches, and immense busyness of business people.

What should be done for rehabilitating the whole quality professionalism and discipline?

When implementing quality management (QM), one should reform QM principles and create new effective professional methodology to be employed in a natural and innovative manner integrated with organization-specific business emphases and within contemporary management infrastructures and business environments. General ISO 9000 Quality Management Principles and Core Values and Concepts of the quality award models can be as a good starting point for this development. New business models and emergent technologies may cause problems but may also offer new challenging solutions.

When striving for competitiveness in these circumstances one could underscore the following aspects:

  • Recognizing business performance excellence instead of a narrow quality thinking
  • Striving for flexible realization of quality of management and leadership instead of distinct and vague quality management (i.e. management of quality)
  • Adopting organizational learning instead of continual improvement
  • Applying the "systematicity" (systematic approach) of the quality of leadership instead of formal and distinct quality systems
  • Using business-related principles and actions of the quality of leadership instead of formal and general quality assurance requirements only
  • Setting stretched business objectives instead of minimum standard requirements
  • Aiming at innovative and unique solutions instead of stereotyped systems
  • Relying on genuine and effective internal business performance self-assessments instead of third party audits and certifications of "artificial" quality systems
  • Getting advantage of tacit knowledge instead of only records of explicit data and information
  • Having genuine impacts on the company's quality approach and success by the behaviour of the top management.
  • Using company's own internal expertise and effective cooperation with world-wide quality experts' network instead of external consultants

Basically, effective implementing organization-dedicated business integrated QM does not call for any extra measures or investments. General information sources e.g. ISO 9000 standards and performance excellence models can still be utilized as reference materials innovatively. Experiences have proved that it is always worthwhile to improve the existing management systematicity of the organization based on a systematic methodology. For QM the organization must be always ready but never finished. Managing for sustainable business success through quality is only possible if the responsible top manager is aware and actively and practically committed in his / her personal role to get quality happen in the whole company. Additionally, it is needed a productive cooperation between business leaders and quality experts.

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