The latest issue of Quality World magazine, from the Chartered Quality Institute (a UK company for quality management professionals) begins a six-part series, exploring “the challenges of ‘redefining quality’”. I was interested in this article because I do think that quality management, as a discipline, needs to expand, and that quality management professionals need to drive this change.
A lot of the points made in the article hit the mark for me—here are my top three:
1. “The quality profession may have become…synonymous with control, compliance and cost…(and) may have generated overly bureaucratic approaches” – it is easy to think that you are addressing issues by creating, or adding to, a document. But enlarging your system through documentation, without proper review structures and a simple improvement process, leads to bureaucracy which leads to apathy. We need to move away from these types of systems.
2. Needing to offer an end-to-end process view of the organisation – setting up a solid process management system or structure is so often overlooked in favour of checking off compliance to standards. But if you have process management right, compliance becomes easier.
3. “Monitoring and evaluating the progress of improvement” – I’m a bit of a broken record on this one, but I cannot advocate more strongly for quality management professionals to gain skills and increase their scope in this area. If you’re not following up on improvement actions, you’re only doing half the job.
I stand with the authors in having “a vision of quality as a strategic business management function.” I believe it’s achievable, as long as quality management professionals seek out collaborative partnerships and respectful relationships in their organisations—all the better to promote and integrate quality management into daily operations.
I look forward to reading the rest of the series!
Thanks for reading,
The Quality Nerd loves all things Quality Management and Internal Audit...too much is never enough!