Friday, October 18, 2013

Quality Beyond Manufacturing

As we all know quality control and quality assurance concepts first started in manufacturing sector. In recent times, those concepts have been broadened under a quality management umbrella. From the U.S. Baldrige Performance Excellence Framework, there are some basic tenets which are equally applicable to manufacturing and other non-manufacturing sectors.
These tenets are:  

  1. Enlightened leadership to guide and set directions for an organization
  2. Strategic planning to achieve organizational objectives
  3. Singular focus on customer delight
  4. Effective information and knowledge management
  5. Employee engagement
  6. Continuous process improvement
  7. Sustainable results through streamlined processes
There are several non-manufacturing sectors which can be best served by the above tenets. These sectors include:
  • Service (e.g., banking, insurance, retail, auto dealership, etc.)
  • Education (e.g., Prekindergarten, K-12, undergraduate, graduate, postgraduate, etc.)
  • Healthcare (e.g., hospitals, physicians, nurses, health research laboratory, etc.)
  • Government (e.g., local, state, federal)
  • Non-profits (e.g., foundations - charitable and social)
  • Socially Responsible Organizations
Many of the quality control and quality management tools used in the manufacturing sector are equally applicable in non-manufacturing sector listed above. Some of these tools are:
  • Good Governance - Leadership Excellence
  • SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunity, and threat) analysis - Strategic Planning
  • Balanced Scorecard - Strategic Planning
  • Voice of the Customer (surveys, interviews, focus groups, report cards, market research, etc.) - Customer Delight
  • Benchmarking - learning from the best-of-the-best
  • Teamwork - employee engagement
  • Meeting Management - employee involvement
  • Recognition - employee motivation
  • Process Mapping - SIPOC (supplier, input, process, output, customer) - Continuous Improvement
  • Tree Diagram - decision making - Problem Identification
  • PDSA - Plan, Do, Study, Act - Deming Cycle - Continuous Improvement
  • Pareto Diagram - Prioritization
  • Cause-and-Effect Analysis (Ishikawa Diagram) - root-cause analysis - Problem Solving 
  • Project Management - initiate, plan, execute, control, and hand-off - Change Management
  • Risk Management - risk identification, prioritization, risk response, mitigation strategies - Change Management
  • Organization Assessment - ISO, Baldrige Performance Excellence Award, State & National Quality Awards, etc.
For sustainable results, an organization need to delight the customers, take care of employees, and continuously improve processes. They should be ingrained in the DNA of the organization.

I look forward to your views on Quality in Fields "Beyond" Quality and other applicable quality tools and techniques.

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