Healing factors for the Quality Management System
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Healing factors

Healing factors for the Quality Management System

Healing factors for the Quality Management System

Any Quality Management System should contain certain pre-requisites to reap the benefits of a successful implementation. For the same reason, many Quality Management System. Systems fail--not only due to poor implementation, but because they have not built a foundation on which to build a quality management system. Before adapting a Quality Management System one needs to prepare an organization to go for it. Here we look at some basic requirements.

This foundation is built on three pillars. The three pillars are Structure, Culture and Technology. The combination of the three will decide the robustness of the structure. The more robust the foundation, the easier it is to built a system to fit the organizations industry and ultimately get the needed results out of the Quality Management System. When we come up with an idea of implementing a formal Quality Management System we must understand that we are triggering a new process or change. Change is painful, it moves people out of their comfort zone, so there is always resistance. The fear of the unknown drives people to resist all efforts that ease their workload. In order to manage this change process, we must handle the situation in a way that causes minimum discomfort or pain to the organization, and thus we need some healing factors like culture, structure and technology, which can reduce the friction to bring it to acceptable limit. Unless we tune them to a level for easy transition, these factors will automatically become an obstruction to the process of change.

Culture

The most important factor is people. The Quality Management System defines the organizational way of life. The acceptance of the people involved becomes a crucial factor for successful implementation. An organization is a group of people which forms a culture, which is nothing but the belief, stories, routine, rituals, symbols, grapevine and controls in the organization. If culture doesnt support the business it will be difficult for people to support a Quality Management System that intervenes with their style of functioning. Effective leadership has a strong relationship with belief. If management has no belief in that systems, and they are under pressure to implement the system due to customer requirements, then the chances of getting business results from new systems will be quite low. A leader has to create a culture which encourages adaptation to the new thing, and the leader must allow flexibility in the organization, and show an enthusiasm for the important transformation thats taking place.

Structure

Another important healing factor is organization structure. Organizations looking for an improvement area like strategic success cant discover it through addition and subtraction of responsibilities or shuffling people across departments. To understand this in a better way, lets take a very common example: supplier development. This requires much more strategic planning than a mere technical upgrade. Issues like cost reduction, supply chain development and in-bound logistic controls, using strategic elements, require a review of the decision-making structure. Just assigning additional responsibilities with disregard to individual competencies makes an organization more tiered than flat. Fresh recruits are trained and equipped with high-sounding tools like FMEAs, but they have neither the knowledge of the companys objectives nor ability to influence decisions critical to supplier-customer relationships. This usually, results in failures and unwanted training etc. It can be seen that an unbalanced organizational structure is a major obstacle in achieving improvement. So, the combination of organization structure and culture are the two most important factors to be addressed by the healing organization.

Technology

Technology employed decides how much the organization will depend upon people in day to day operations. With a highly technological process, peoples availability is also high, and that can be a real asset to the company for improvement purposes. The leadership style will also be influenced by the technology ingredient and will influence the balance between a task- or people-oriented leadership focus in the organization. In most of Indian manufacturing, research work is not a focus and so most organizations have copied conventional technologies for low cost or have utilized a technology transfer. The quality of technology transfer will decide the companys knowledge and understanding of the manufacturing and design aspect. Most organizations have technical collaboration and tie-ups etc. Half of the day-to-day problem and product launch problems are due to poor technology transfer and adaptation to the Indian environment. This directly affects an organizations knowledge management. The outcome is that in the QMS process map and technology management as a process is given a back seat to other activities and is not a focus element in the organizations Quality Management System.

It is a requirement to review technological status on an ongoing basis and source the appropriate technology for the organizations business needs; in other words, a comprehensive technology management process needs to be considered. An organization trying to improve its environmental performance mustnt fail to review all of its technology that is not a cleaner technology. Today, organizations cannot exclude the design issue. Even if one is not responsible for product design, still process design responsibility can not be excluded. Similarly we cant skip the technology management process, as we require some sort of technology whether it is a manufacturing technology, product design technology, or cleaner environmental technology being utilized.

Conclusion

It is therefore understandable that if we dont make a conscious effort to strike an optimum balance among these factors as a minimum criteria for an organization, striving for System benefits and a successful implementation will remain a dream for the company.

Quality Management System

Culture, Structure and Technology factors are taken healing factors to an easy and smooth transition; and without them there will be a greater resistance to any new Quality Management System. Hence there will be a slimmer chance of success. Getting a certificate doesnt guarantee business improvements and results. A Quality Management System is not a complete system unless these factors are managed in order to establish an effective foundation.

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