What thoughts do you have about best ways of reducing variation in a business process?
Variations in a business process can be done away with, factoring in the context, through actions to correct the variations such as re-looking at the procedures and training staff. Business processes are designed with controls that can be used to change the process mean, and hence increase the accuracy of the process. Reducing the amount of process variation is more difficult. Evans stipulates that, a clear understanding of the cause of the variations will enable one determine how to reduce the variation in a business process (23). The main source of the variations is the environment which introduces changing conditions.
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Where individuals insist on retaining the business processes as they are, one may get poor performance. An example would be a company hedging its fuel prices in times of economic or political change. This will result to reduced variations between the budgeted and actual costs. To achieve this, an entity will have to relook at its procurement process to factor in the changes. Further one can also use the Six Sigma – DMAIC approach which entails a set of processes summarized as follows; definition of the problem, measurement of the outcome, analyzing what is driving or causing the problem, improving the process by acting on the information and confirming the outcome and finally controlling the adjusted process to retain the gain.
Think of a team that you are on, or have been on recently. How does it stack up against the criteria for quality teamwork? What specific steps could be used to improve the performance of your team? How could TQ techniques be used to improve team processes?
I am currently in a team engaging in small time investments in different projects. Quality team work is gauged on considering various factors amongst these effective communication and common goals. I would gauge my team as doing very well in terms of quality team work due to the levels of communication amongst team members and the common understanding of the group goals.
Considering the nature of our group goals, the performance of my team can be improved through activities that will lead to a better understanding of each group member to create a better group cohesion. This will also enable the team members to understand each individual’s expectations and work to assist each other achieve both the group and individual objectives. TQ techniques can be used to improve my teams processes as they will assist in managing our decision making process resulting to desirable results of the decisions we make as a group. As an investment group the decisions we make impact on the returns we make as a group. Using TQ techniques we will be able to achieve participation from each member which will lead to better decision making and even motivation for the group members.
Managers can enforce rules about what people do and say at work. But can they enforce a culture? If yes, how can they do it? If no, what does this say about the limits of managers’ ability to ensure quality?
Culture is defined as a set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution, organization or group. Managers can influence an organisations culture. Culture plays a major role in whether an organization can be successful in meeting its objectives or not. Managers need to keep in mind that the work place culture are a conglomerate of diverse cultures. Culture in the work place is made up various cultures from the various individuals in the work place. A manager being part of the work place can influence the culture of the work place. A manager can influence culture by spelling out what attributes of the work place culture needs to change and why.
This can be achieved by integrating the culture change in the human resource processes at the work place. Further, a manager can influence the work place culture by demonstrating to other employees the benefits of the new culture in line with achieving the organisations goals. Manager’s can also influence culture through continuous trainings and evaluations on progress. A clear understanding of the need to change a work place culture will greatly impact on the success of a manager’s influence on culture. This can be achieved through trainings.
Evans, Johm.Managing for Quality and Performance Excellence, South Western publishers, 2012. Print.