A PARABLE TO TQM

"WHILE QUALITY IS EVERYONEíS JOB MANAGEMENT MUST LEAD THE EFFORT"
- A PARABLE TO TQM.

ROZEIA MUSTAFA

TEXTILE MBA

E- MAIL: Rozeia@hotmail.com


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The topic under study has the title:

"WHILE QUALITY IS EVERY ONEíS JOB, MANAGEMENT MUST LEAD THE EFFORT"
-A PARABLE TO TQM.

The above phrase is actually the statement of Dr. Deming who may be called the father of TQM philosophy. As the title depicts, this study represents an overall analysis of an organizational culture where ISO 9000 (now ISO 9000:2000) has been implemented. The scene is representing the situation in such a way that will clearly show the managementís attitude toward implementing ISO 9000:2000. Additionally this study also represents the environmental situations of small and medium size entrepreneurs regarding managerial attitude towards effective progress. Since the basic study emphasizes the implementation of ISO 9000:2000, all relevant evidence will be treated as a personal experience of the author.

Almost all TQM philosophers argue that ISO 9000:2000 can only be implemented successfully when the top management is fully committed to implement it. If there is an ambiguity in the vision of top management then there is no guarantee of its successful implementation. There are certain live examples, which prove the fact that only the top managementís strong commitment towards implementing the certificate will assures its success. It is also important to mention here that managementís responsibility of implementing ISO 9000:2000 is also the 1st element of ISO standards series.

The second most important variable in organizational culture is the effective communication channels. If everyone in an organization is aware of the quality policy and mission of the organization and is determined to follow the objectives, only then we can say that the organization will successfully implement the certificate and will continuously improve.

In the view of many quality consultants ISO 9000:2000 is the stepping-stone towards TQM. ISO 9000:2000 does not itself impose a system on any organization; rather it leaves the company to its own and only obliged it to regularly follow the set procedures and standard operations.

So we can say that ISO 9000:2000 is not itself a technological system, but it provides assistance to design a system to work according to the required standards. This can only be achieved when every member of an organization is determined to follow all those standard operations which are necessary for implementing ISO 9000:2000.

This study will be helpful to those organizations which are planning to start ISO 9000:2000 from scratch, where there is still the need to develop the ground for ISO 9000:2000. This study basically represents the situations right at the start of the process initiation. I have been working as a quality consultant for a textile-manufacturing unit, entirely an export oriented concern. All the business is carried out through a third party i.e. a buying house. The facts and figures are based on this personal experience. The situation somehow depicts how people are a sort of afraid of implementing ISO 9000:2000 as a threat to their authority. It also relates how organizations tend to respond towards ISO 9000;2000. The study does not suggest the way to implement the standard, but provides only tips to effectively implement the standard.

ISO 9000:2000 is the stepping-stone to total quality management (TQM). Pakistan, as third world developing country, is still on the way to developing a favorable environment regarding ISO 9000:2000. Most of the organizations though are familiar with the term ISO or TQM, but unfortunately they donít understand the actual meanings of it. There may be many underlying reasons of it, but most prominent are as follows.

  1. Low literacy rate of top management.
  2. Untrustworthiness of top management towards lowers level.
  3. Non-security of jobs
  4. Less involvement of supervisory level in policies.

As far as multinational companies are concerned, they are excluded from the scope of this study, because of their different hierarchal attitude. Only medium size enterprises are being focused on in this study. Though it is somewhat satisfactory that now even small and medium sized organizations are drifting towards ISO culture, but however there is still a long way to go.

The study paper is organized in the form of questions, which are as follows.

  • What is the binding cord among the following factors of a quality system for continuously improving TQM?
    1. Commitment
    2. Strategies
    3. Teamwork
  • What are the possible effects of the following problems particularly encountered by an organization while implementing ISO 9000:2000?
    1. Management is not fully committed and reverts to meeting short-term goals.
    2. Skepticism due to lack of organizational focus on quality
    3. Loss of credibility for ISO 9000:2000 due to unclear vision about ISO 9000:2000, especially faced by quality teams.
    4. Quality improvement teams and quality circles comprise of only one department and there is no or less interaction with other departments.

    But before answering these questions it is suggested to have a look into the historical background of TQM.

    HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

    Prominent developments regarding quality issue started in 20th century. This century may have been divided into four prominent eras regarding historical evolution of total quality management.

    These can be categorized as:

    ERA

    Beginning date
    QUALITY INSPECTION (QI)  1910  
    QUALITY CONTROL (QC) 1924
    QUALITY ASSURANCE (QA)  1950
    TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT (TQM) 1980

    What is ISO 9000?

    Here is the basic definition of ISO 9000:2000 based on 1994 revision standards.

    DEVELOPMENTAL TRENDS IN PAKISTAN

    With the passage of time the concept of ISO 9000:2000 spread throughout the industrial sector in Pakistan. The number of companies that acquire the certification crosses into double digits. More then 80 countries have officially adopted these standards in their national standards. It is important that Pakistani companies realized its importance and implement it. The development of total quality management is divided into 5 eras.

    1947-60ís

    Craftsmanship, where quality was built into products but was successful only in low production.

    1960-70ís

    Mass production started and big industries were set up. Quality control took the shape of inspection activity.

    1970-80ís

    Introduction of statistical quality / process control in few key industries.

    1980-90ís

    Introduction of quality circles.

    1990ís onward

    Introduction of TQM and ISO 9000.

    By the courtesy of: Practical guide to ISO 9000 by Kamran Moosa.

    The developmental trend shown in the above table reveals the complete developmental history of ISO 9000 in Pakistan, quite similar to the general development trend, but a bit slow in pace. The reason was the low literacy rate, economic conditions at the birth of the country, and no availability or less developed resources.

    1. What is the binding cord among the following factors of a quality system for continuously improving TQM?

    i. Commitment

    Commitment shown at the canopy of the tree shows the importance of this management team in the quality process. Only a strong commitment towards the implementation of the standard can guarantee its successful completion and continuous improvement. Sometimes it is assumed that to appoint a quality consultant or to fill the quality representative position is the sole responsibility of the supreme authority. This assumption is totally wrong, only a strong and committed boss will drive its company on the way to TQM.

     

     

     

    FLOWCHART OF A QUALITY DRIVE

    The management representative is the head of an organization  pursuing quality, and infects every member of that organization who is the least concerned with quality procedures. The management representative is himself responsible for the smooth running of the system. Management is like a brain and all members act as the parts of body, if even a single part does not work properly it will affect the procedure of the whole system. The personnel at the conversion stage are the real factors of success of the system. So the commitment to quality should be enrooted deeply in the quality system organization. Motivation in this regard will help a lot to achieve the ultimate target (quality motivation).

    The next step in pursuing the quality objective is to develop strategies. The most common procedure is to develop quality policies and quality plans.

    Well thatís exactly the right way to do the things, but remember only creating the quality policy and making quality plans is not enough. It will be effective only when this quality policy is communicated at every level of the organization. The quality policy should be stated in the most simple way so that every individual can understand it. In case of organizations having employees from different linguistic levels, its suggested to translate the quality policy into their languages, this will help to communicate the concept deep in the organization.

    Quality plans are also of core value in a quality system, but it has been observed that for some individuals the term is confusing. Most often it is thought that separate planning should be done in order to carry out the process. The fact is that this assumption is wrong. Planning can be categorized in many ways; there may be long-term planning, medium term planning, and short-term planning. Every level of planning should be considered separately in the quality system. The short term planning should always be in the view of long term planning, short-term plans may be daily plans or weekly plans or even monthly plans, but they do affect the long-term strategies of the organization.

    iii. Teamwork

    The most significant part of the quality system is the teamwork. The single individual cannot achieve the goal in its real sense. Quality teams and quality circles are two basic techniques used most often in quality management. Quality circle is synonymous to management by objectives (MBO) in managementís terminology. Quality circles were first of all evolved in Japan as a productivity improvement technique, but now this term is used in a much more elaborate scope. People are grouped from the same organizational area and a leader is appointed in order to monitor the objectives, these teams are self motivated and thoroughly trained to achieve the specific objective. In this way participation of every member is assured by assigning specific tasks. One thing that might be important in teamwork is the rotation of the job, in order to ensure the smooth running of the process even in the absence of any member. This is also the dilemma of many organizations that responsibilities are not rotated among coworkers, which might be the major cause of slow progress of organizations.

    CONCLUSION

    At the end it is concluded that all the three stages are important constituent of the quality system. A strong Communication Channel is the bridge between these three stages. In the absence of this bridge it would be a dream to develop a successful quality management system.

    2. What type of problems are particularly encountered by an organization while implementing ISO 9000:2000?

    As it has been mentioned earlier that only a strong commitment and a clear vision to TQM is required along with the effective communication channels to establish a quality management system. There are many problems encountered by organizations while implementing ISO 9000:2000.

    i. Management is not fully committed and reverts to meeting short-term goals.

    One of the basic factors responsible for the effective implementation of ISO 9000:2000 is the Quality Management and its strong commitment towards the process. In case of facing certain conditions requiring short term planning, such objectives might have been defined which are totally the reversal of quality policy. These scapegoats really affect the quality policies. It shows the lack of management's commitment towards the quality goals. When Quality is compromised with the timely benefits, it definitely increases the failure cost and the massive drain of resources. The failure cost thus lead to decelerate the market share and future revenues.

    Quality management deals with the elimination of quality losses. The major cost imparted due to these quality losses is the product failure cost. This cost may be categorized as shown in the table.

    Type of product failure cost

    Percentage Of Cost

    Scrap

    35%

    Rework

    15%

    Customer returns

    10%

    In addition to the above tangible quality losses, the greatest quality loss is the decline in the market share and loss of loyal customers. A glimpse of the above situation shows how fundamental quality management is.

    The situation can be improved by applying various quality improvement techniques like quality circles, statistical quality control, reengineering,  design of experiments, group technology, seven basic and seven advance quality tools, quality function deployment, etc.

    ii. Skepticism due to lack of organizational focus on quality.

    A clear vision about the quality system is also the core factor for implementing ISO 9000:2000. While top management commitment is of vital importance, everybody in an organization, from top to bottom, must be committed to quality. Most of the organizations fail to achieve the desired objective even in the presence of the most sophisticated organization structure, only because of vague and unclear visions about the quality objectives. Any ambiguous idea about the quality system may lead to its disruption. This cynicism may be at any level of the organization. In most of the organizations the process of quality improvement is carried only at the upper level and the process is not deployed down into the organization, thus creating a mist among other hierarchal levels. This particular situation of cynicism is the outcome of non-directional behavior of the management towards quality objectives and a peculiar centralized system of organization. The results of this problem may even be harder to think about, in extreme cases this results in to the rivalry among organizational factors and the quality system, some may even be assumed as threats to some authorities at any level of the organization.

    The quality policies and objectives so designed must be streamlined to all directions in an organization, otherwise no one will be clear where to go. In this regard communication acts as the central nerve system by educating every member of the organization about the quality system.

    iii. Loss of credibility for ISO 9000:2000 due to unclear vision about ISO 9000:2000, especially faced by quality teams.

    Another big problem faced especially by the quality teams is the loss of credibility for ISO 9000:2000, the basic reason is also mentioned earlier is due to unclear vision about ISO 9000:2000. The situation is worst when external consultants are hired at fairly large remunerations. The basic problem is faced while extracting information from different levels in order to streamline the system according to the quality standards. In those organizations where job descriptions and work instructions are not clearly mentioned, the problem is immense, because even the line staff and in some cases managers never know to what extents they are responsible for any non conformity that might occur in the process. The situation is even worse when the ISO 9000:2000 standard has lost credibility itself. Then only a complete overhaul process might resume the conditions which is even more difficult. To avoid the problem, care should be taken at the initial stages of launching the idea; an extensive introduction campaign should be planned. It must be announced at every level in order to reach a consensus. There should be group discussions of every level with the quality consultants in order to familiarize the idea. The basic reason behind the situation is the potential employment criteria of a candidate regarding pre-requisite information about ISO 9000:2000. In Pakistan, the "the hikmat (wisdom)" and "the basirat (insight)" are essential for developing expertise, an extensive exposure is still required to introduce the elements of quality systems among the people here.

    iv. Quality improvement teams and quality circles comprised of only one department and there is little  or no interaction with other departments.

    The task which has been stated needs a winning combination of quality experts and functional experts from all over the organization, lead by brainpower as the quality management representative. The contribution from the whole organization means representatives from almost all departments if possible, but it is not necessary. The people here must be familiar with the organizationís whole processes in order to carry forward the quality proceedings in a functional way. The coordination between the quality team and all departments of the organization is necessary otherwise it will create a bottleneck condition in the quality proceedings.

    THE FINAL WORDS . . .

    Finally we can conclude that only a strong organizational culture with determined management and a controlled feedback mechanism will ensure the effective implementation of the quality system as required by the total quality management philosophy, stated as the topic of the study which is the wording of Dr. Deming, the father of quality management. The ultimate purpose of the whole effort leads to the customersí satisfaction, i.e. the customer oriented management system in the company, closer cooperation among company departments, and the development of value added products.


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