Saturday, November 27, 2010

Measures/indicators and measuring in quality management

Quality management calls for appropriate and systematic tracking of appropriately selected performance measures and indicators. Such measures are used to describe important phenomena of the business. Measurements serve organizational management in business direction, including control, continual improvement, transformations and quality assurance.

Measurements form a basis for effective communications and implementing strategies into practice. A measure/indicator is a directly measurable factor, or a combination of these that is used to determine the current value of the thing being measured in singular instances. A measure may indicate directly the phenomenon or factor (e.g. market share) in interest or be a measure that depicts or anticipates such (e.g. number of complaints).

Measurement means (i.e. meters) should be specified clearly in order to facilitate correct measurements and to prevent risks of mislead.

Measurement issues are often in disarray due to historical reasons. There also may be the divorce between factual information and praxis of management. Concerning strategic measures and indicators, a good approach is to apply the methodology of strategy card, e.g. a balanced scorecard, e.g. in order to prevent increasing productivity measures at the expense of satisfaction amongst major customers.

ls our set of measures a "flea market"? Do we measure results by inputs? What can I do?

  • I am aware of what phenomena our measures concern. I will distinguish strategic and operative information from one another.
  • I will use really correct measurement data in management.
  • I will make sure that I won't use ad hoc noise data for management. Measures pertaining to random phenomena, such as system availability, are difficult to manage.
  • I know what the quality of our process data is.


Blogger Joshua said...

Such measures will "motivate" the employees into performing better. If these measures are to be patterned from an international standard, let's say the ISO certification 9001 standard, then their compliance will improve the output of the company. Having gone through ISO registration makes a company compliant with the global standards. A company shouldn't be hindered by the absence of an ISO certification to improve quality management. Just simple "measures" would do the trick to assure quality.

30 December, 2010 04:17  
Blogger Juhani Anttila said...

Quality management system certification or registration by third parties is very artificial or even harmful activity from the real business management point of view. Business measurements must start from the real needs of organizations.
Neither they motivate employees in a genuine way. As Dr. Deming said people rewarding based on quantitative measurements may be harmful. According to his deadly disease #3 of leadership:
“Evaluation of performance, merit rating, or annual review nourish short-term performance, annihilates long-term planning, builds fear, demolishes teamwork, nourishes rivalry and politics. It leaves people bitter, crushed, bruised, battered, desolate, despondent, dejected, feeling inferior, some even depressed, unfit for work for weeks after receipt of rating, unable to comprehend why they are inferior. It is unfair, as it ascribes to the people in a group differences that may be caused totally by the system that they work in.”

30 December, 2010 07:27  

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