Friday, December 28, 2007

There are serious problems in the prevailing quality management approaches

There are plenty of cases where established organizational quality management approaches don’t respond to the real needs of the organizations

  • Business management is not involved / committed – Quality is only a specialist issue.
  • Communication between business managers and quality experts is not effective.
  • Quality initiatives are superficial. – Typical distinct quality (management) systems are not business-centred. There are too much copied solutions without innovations. Diversity in quality realizations is endangered.
  • People don’t understand – not even experts – difference between the basic concepts of quality management (QM = organization-internal quality of management for excellence) and quality assurance (QA = external communication with stakeholders for confidence).
  • There are many different, distinct, and competing quality methodologies on which even quality experts don’t share the same opinions.
  • There are many other specialized managerial initiatives competing with quality development.
  • Quality initiatives in organizations are certification-emphasized, not for enhancing real business performance. Certification is commercialized and lost its credibility.
  • Formal documentation is highlighted instead of a comprehensive management and application of business information and knowledge.
  • Too often quality related actions are only reactive and there are very little proactive innovations in the field of quality.
  • Quality implementations don’t take effectively into account realities of the modern business environments that relate to the aspects of time, speed, agility, networking, complexity, tacit knowledge, and informal learning and innovation.

In very many cases quality development has not redeemed its promises indisputably.

Are there really any new innovations created for organizations' quality development after Deming, Ichikawa, and Juran? Is the quality profession not able to follow the general development of organizations' business development and trends of the society at large (see figure)? Is it only "Plus ca change, plus c'est la même chose “?




One may recognize the needs for change also through some factual signals:

  • There is an expanding critical discussion about the prevalent approaches of quality discipline.
  • There are many cases of coping and feeling satisfactory with certain theories, principles, techniques, methodology, etc. that are being tried / used distinctly (“one-leg approach”) and with risks (trepidation), e.g. related to ISO 9000, EFQM or SixSigma.
  • There are some new (ad hoc) initiatives also in the quality management standardization (ISO TC 176) presenting business integrated development of quality management.

New principles, tools, and infrastructures are necessary for quality management to take into account modern changed business environments. This includes new crystallized understanding of the foundations and aims of quality profession and integrated approach with multifarious means (“multi-leg approach”).

In practice the new way to organizational quality realizations consists of three key aspects:

  1. Integration: Organizations implement effective / efficient and business-relevant quality principles and methodology embedded within their normal business management activities for both strategic management and operational management. Conceptually this means change from quality management (management of quality) to quality of management.
  2. Responsiveness: Organizations enhancing abilities to adjust quickly to suddenly altered external conditions, and to resume stable operation without undue delay that is based on dynamic and flexible business management.
  3. Innovation: All quality realizations are organization-dedicated solutions. There is no single solution to organizations’ challenges. Organizations strive continuously for new organization-dedicated innovative and unique approaches. Multiple different choices for quality management are encouraged in competitive business environments. That especially emphasizes change from standard approach to organization’s own unique approach.

3 Comments:

Blogger curiouscat said...

I think there is plenty of room left to benefit from the old management ideas. We get too obsessed with only new ideas will do. Since we have often done such a poor job of even using the ideas Deming and others detailed decades ago, just adopting those will bring great improvement.

Also, in asnwer to the question of whether any new ideas have been developed since Deming et. al. I would say the answer is yes. Toyota has provided some new ideas worth adopting - lean manufacturing...

14 January, 2008 04:05  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The quality issue is a mirage. USA big cars never had quality problems. The peaceniks loved Japanese neutrality in the 1960s. When oild prices skyrocketed, US firms sold relabelled small Japanese cars, which sucked, giving the US firms a bad name. The same Japanese firms then sold their better cards direct, bait and switch. And then the declining literacy of USA repairmen made them unable to fix advanced USA cars, telling their customers to buy Japanese. And the leftist cassandras in the universities tried to get revenge on firms who didn't hire them.

15 February, 2008 20:10  
Anonymous Andrey Olyenkov said...

Since my first involvement in QM in 1998, and later, when I reached level of QMS lead auditor and tutor, during my trainings and consultancy I frequently met ignorance from the top management level. Lots of articles were issued, blaming TM for that. But let's try to understand them. If we try to look at the world from the "space", and think globally, we may realize the following: 1) resources are limited 2) consumer needs are now become limited, too. 3) Concept, underlying ISO 9000 is unlimited sustainable growth - which is not so clear now.
So my opinion is, that after the world stepped into another phase, where resource constraints are visible, quality is not a main driving force for business growth any more. And, consequently, best minds are now concentrating on the other subjects.
From the other point of view, I can say, that most of the ideas, developed by Deming and Juran, are still waiting for implementation, since most of the top managers are having slight or no awareness of them.

02 March, 2013 22:11  

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