QOS/BOS, an advanced approach to TQM
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QOS/BOS (Quality Operating System/Business Operating System) is an advanced approach
to Total Quality Management, one of the milestones in implementing the TS 16949
standard. It had its genesis by virtue of a combined effort of the Ford Motor Company
and the principals at Omnex. QOS/BOS manages continuous improvement via strategic
goals based on the organizational mission, customer expectations and competitive
benchmarks. On adopting the QOS/BOS implementation technique, the Management of
a firm employs Key Performance Measurables to assess critical non-financial and
financial results as well as their process-based causes. From then on, the organization
moves to cross-functional management as a daily operating discipline. This is a
process focused; data based continuous improvement strategy. In the final analysis,
QOS/BOS creates a distinctive management approach to ensure that business plans'adopted'will
mean, business plans'implemented'.
Advantages of QOS/BOS
First, QOS/BOS takes the framework of'competitive strategy'meaning, the positioning
of the organization to compete in providing specific services to a defined market.
It assesses customer expectations and competitive benchmarking, to further establish
the quantifiable levels of performance capability required to support the organization's
strategic positioning. To some extent, the procedure is comparable to the "Balanced
Scorecard"-but QOS/BOS goes further.
In establishing these requirements for strategic positioning, QOS/BOS takes into
consideration, not only the expectations of service purchasers, but the expectations
of, service users, stakeholders, employees, government and regulatory entities as
well. As we'll see, QOS/BOS drives data management to the process level, building
a cause and effect model for performance, both financial and non-financial.
The QOS/BOS methodology usually involves management in an analysis of processes
and their impact on Key Performance Measurables. In many, if not most service organizations,
processes are not well defined and are even less well understood in terms of output,
their effect on performance, financial & other areas. Least recognized of all, are
the internal, systemic causes of variation in process outputs.
A data management system developed on this basis, measuring process variation as
compared to the simple cost effects even in traditional accounting/budgeting models,
identifies strategically critical process improvement opportunities for the management.
The data management system also measures the impact (or lack of impact) of decisions
made and actions taken (Graphic-8 panel presentation), validating decisions and
targeting opportunities for further improvement.
QOS/BOS provides a business planning methodology which is driven by "The Voice of
the Customer", supported by objective data and performance measurement. However,
beyond all this, QOS/BOS provides a methodology for managing and monitoring quality
systems (ISO 9000/TS 16949) implementation and improvement of strategic requirements,
using a cross functional, team approach.
We believe that QOS/BOS, Quality Operating System (or, Business Operating System,
if you will) developed at Ford Motor Company and deployed throughout Ford and its
supply base, manufacturing and service alike, is very effective in enhancing the
strategic impact of ISO 9000 systems, by significantly increasing competitive performance
in the service environment. It is the system through which quality, cost, delivery
and other company-critical performance characteristics are managed.
At the heart of the QOS/BOS is the Quality/Business Operating System Review, which
serves as both Management Review in the ISO context, assessing internal audit data,
corrective actions and customer concerns, and Management Review in the context of
the business operating system. QOS/BOS in this domain, assesses each month, key
indicators for cost, quality, service product introduction & development, employee
satisfaction, profitability etc. It also evaluates the impact of any action taken
to improve these indicators.