Quality Management is a method for ensuring that all the
activities necessary to design, develop and implement a product or service are
effective and efficient. All to often,
quality is viewed as simplistic with the simple attitude of putting some
quality standards in place and assign people to make sure they’re
observed. This is the wrong attitude,
as quality, in any aspect of business, should be considered critically
important. The attitude within the
entire company should be that of accepting nothing but superior quality. Customer loyalty and superior quality go
hand-in-hand. Loyalty is a direct result
of customer satisfaction. Value is
created for the customer, which also results in employee satisfaction. Customers will be less price sensitive and
are more likely to recommend your company’s products or services. Most of all, with customer loyalty due to
superior quality comes higher profit and growth for the company.
Quality management can be considered to have three main
control - also known as QC and IQC (incoming quality control) which is
designed to meet or exceed customer requirements. An example would be a goal of no more
than a 2% failure rate, based on random inspection, on the cosmetic look
of a phone. The goal is to find
ways to lower that percentage without increasing costs.
assurance - also known as QA, which refers to planned and systematic
production and testing processes to ensure proper performance of the
product, to minimize defects, and ensure a high degree of quality. An example of a QA goal based on a
software release would be a less than 2% trouble ticket rate based on a
bug associated with the release.
improvement - there are many methods and organizations for quality
improvement. The bottom line is
that they all strive for continuous quality improvement. Three basic rules for managing quality
management must be completely involved and committed to excellence, not
just supporting it. They should
be willing to allow for independent assessment, accept the findings, and
act on them.
quality focus must be incorporated throughout the entire company, not
just a group or two.
improvement must be measured both on quality specific terms and the
impact it has towards business goals.
Here are six of the most common quality methods and
organizations used towards quality improvement:
Sigma - identifies and removes the causes of defects and errors in
manufacturing and business processes.
It uses a set of quality management methods, including statistical
methods, and creates a special infrastructure of people within the organization
who are experts in these methods.
These experts are considered Green Belts & Black Belts. Six Sigma has two key methods:
DMAIC - which is used to improve
an existing business process:
Define process improvement goals that are
consistent with customer demands and the enterprise strategy.
Measure key aspects of the current process and
collect relevant data.
Analyze the data to verify cause-and-effect
relationships. Determine what the
relationships are, and attempt to ensure that all factors have been considered.
Improve or optimize the process based upon data
analysis using techniques like “Design of experiments.”
Control to ensure that any deviations from the
target are corrected before they result in defects. Set up pilot runs to establish process capability, move on to
production, set up control mechanisms, and continuously monitor the process.
DMADV is used to create new
product or process designs:
Define design goals that are consistent with
customer demands and the enterprise strategy.
Measure and identify CTQ’s (characteristics that
are “Critical To Quality”), product capabilities, production process
capability, and risks.
Analyze to develop and design alternatives,
create a high-level design, and evaluate design capability to select the best
Design details, optimize the design, and plan
for design verification. This phase may require simulations.
Verify the design, set up pilot runs, implement
the production process, and hand it over to the process owners.
9000 - is a family of standards for quality management systems. ISO 9000 is maintained by ISO, the
International Organization for Standardization and is administered by
accreditation and certification bodies.
There are eight ISO 9000 2000 quality management principles:
Focus on your customers
Involve your people
Use a process approach
Take a systems approach
Encourage continual improvement
Get the facts before making decisions
Work with your suppliers
– Total Quality Management is a management approach to long-term success
through customer satisfaction. All
members of an organization participate in improving processes, products,
services and the culture in which they work.
– looks at eliminating waste from the business and production process,
thus improving production and reducing costs without much of a monetary
- is the process of measuring an organization's internal processes, then
identifying, understanding, and adapting outstanding practices from other
organizations considered to be best-in-class.
Cost, Delivery (QCD) – offers a straightforward method of measuring
processes while being applicable to both simple and complicated business
processes. It also represents a
basis for comparing businesses.
QCD, as used in lean manufacturing, measures a businesses activity
and develops key performance indicators.
QCD analysis often forms a part of continuous improvement programs.