In manufacturing as well as the service industry, among the critical success factors includes building in addition to sustaining high performance in organizations. If an organization implements an effective quality management strategy, there is a significant likelihood that the organizational success will be underpinned.
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Contemporary organizations have realized the significant number of benefits presented by incorporating an aspect of quality management. The profitability as well as the competitiveness associated with the modern organizations can be largely attributed to quality management.
Antony, Escamilla and Caine (2003, p. 40) identifies quality management as an approach whose main focus is to improve, not only quality but performance as well in an effort towards meeting or even exceeding the expectations of the customers. Generally, quality assurance entails four major aspects, which include quality assurance, quality control, quality planning in addition to quality improvement.
An organization that employs quality management tends to focus on quality and the way in which the quality can be achieved. Therefore, in quality management, not all the four aspects are utilized. Instead, only quality assurance and quality control are emphasized on (Antony, Escamilla & Caine 2003, p. 41).
The purpose of this paper is to review the manner in which quality management frameworks can generally contribute to the success of an organization. In addition to this, the paper will also focus on identifying and analysing critically how quality management frameworks are applied in an organization.
This analysis will be based on management as well as technical systems. Further, the paper will access both the benefits as well as the problems that are likely to be encountered by an organization with application of six-sigma quality management in the future.
How quality management framework facilitates the success of an organization
Foremost, in order to understand how this success comes around, the top management of the organization must ensure that they understand this concept fully. As such, quality management framework is a term commonly used in total quality management to refer to a tool used to facilitate the successful delivery of both products as well as services across the enterprise.
Guided by the quality management framework, an organization that has implemented total quality management in its system usually operates to its full capacity. On the other hand, an organization that has not yet realized the necessity of quality management does not operate to its full potential (Shenawy, Baker & Lemak, 2007 p. 442). Below are some of the ways in which quality management frameworks facilitate success to an organization.
Standardization of processes
An organization employing the aspect of total quality management is known to standardize the internal in addition to the external processes. This implies that quality management frameworks provide an allowance of increased efficiencies, that is, faster processes in addition to fewer costs, with regards to introducing new products to the customers.
Further, the standardized processes add up to strengthen the techniques used in the supplier management. Moreover, standardized processes, through quality management, enable an organization to effectively control the robust costs. This implies that the overall profits of the organization will be greatly improved.
PCI and security compliance
In their research, Shenawy, Baker and Lemak (2007, p. 460) found out that quality management framework, when implemented, serves as a key success factor. The reason for this is that through it, an organization is able to ensure that the PCI in addition to security across the lifecycle of a project is entirely complied with.
Defining the Lifecycle of a project to be undertaken by an entity helps in coming up with the most viable framework and as such; it helps greatly in implementing the robust security policy. This in turn guarantees success to an organization. When quality management framework is adopted by an entity while making use of artefacts, which have been designed specifically for robust security policy, it follows that there will be an achievement of meaningful improvements in the organization and this implies continued success.
Fit for purpose processes
Organizations implement quality management frameworks to ensure that the both the internal as well as the external processes are fit for use. The essence of quality management is continuous improvement of processes. This involves continuous checking of the processes and thereby identifying the cause of any flaw within the processes. Through this continuous checking, it implies that the processes will always be free from flaws and this in turn ensures that the processes are always fit for purpose.
When an organization’s processes are always fit for purpose, there is no instance where questionable quality of products or under productivity will be reported and this guarantees success in addition to maintaining the competitive advantage of the organization.
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Sufficiently robust processes
Implementation of quality management frameworks ensures that the internal as well as the external processes of an organization are sufficiently robust. This means that the scope or the coverage of the production processes is extensive thus the organization is able to capitalize on any opportunities while identifying problems.
Further, robust processes utilize the full capacity and potential of the organization while observing the quality and thus maximization of returns. This in turn helps the organization to establish itself among the most financially stable and hence attracting investors at the same time consolidating its credit worthiness status to the financiers.
An organization that has not realized the usefulness of quality management in most cases succumbs due to unproductiveness, inadequate quality as well as constant losses owing to burdensome processes. However, implementing quality management process minimizes or entirely wipes these burdens and hence restoring the competitiveness of an organization.
How quality management frameworks are applied in an organization
Quality management frameworks, when applied in an organization, entirely focus on the satisfaction of the expectations of the customers, detection of problems, commitment building in addition to promoting contribution of ideas from the employees for the purpose of decision making.
Quality management frameworks applies several analytical tools including check sheets as well as statistical chards with an aim of collecting data regarding the activities practiced within the organization. Several techniques are used and these include; brainstorming, nominal groupings in addition to forming of consensus in an effort towards facilitating both the decision making process as well as the communication process (Juran 1995, p. 87).
Several organizations have been practicing quality management framework application since it was discovered. However, this has been limitedly done. The process of integrating quality management frameworks not only do it enhance but complements the methodologies used in standard program and assessment model as well. These methodologies are indeed vital as they are considered as mechanisms necessary to establish the strategic directions for an organization.
With model standards available, an organization is therefore provided with a rational method in which it can assess its stipulated goals in addition to its potentials with regards to products or service outcomes.
An organization that applies quality management frameworks tends to put its entire focus on work processes. In this kind of a focus, several techniques are applied with an aim of improving the production process of the organization and these include both behavioural as well as analytical techniques. Application of quality management frameworks involve use of a series of flow diagrams and therefore aiding in identifying the steps followed in the production process of an organization.
Further, the factors perceived to be the chief contributor to delays in the process are also identified. Apart from this, application of quality management frameworks allows an organization to not only identify but try various steps to improve the production process in addition to monitoring the results in an effort towards the attainment of improvements, which is continuous in nature.
In this kind of an application, there is a fundamental challenge surfaced and this concerns the utilization of internal standards of performan and Lemak (2007, p. 471) established that, while the utilization of standards of performance is considered to be the initial point of total quality management, quality management process, which is continuous a continuous process, surpasses the conformity to standards of management.
Application of quality management frameworks requires the top management conduct a systematic analysis of the entire work performed by the employees in and for the organization. During this analysis, the emphasis point should be the horizontal integration of both the services as well as products across the present program areas in the organization.
The process improvement is usually based not only on processes but outcomes as well. An organization must exhibit that it has the capabilities of improving the problem solving capacity in a constant manner while making use of leverages such as performance standards during the process of improvement (Henderson & Evans, 2000, p. 260).
Application of quality management frameworks requires that the intended change be based on both the needs as well as the desires of the organization’s customers as in addition to the needs of the employees involved in the entire organizational process. The application also requires that all personnel levels participate actively.
Particularly, the application of these frameworks in an organization requires the top management respond to the ideas suggested by the participating personnel quite rapidly and in a thoughtful manner.
The quality management framework’s application requires that the participating personnel have a clear in addition to precise understanding of the process of the work involved as well as how it relates to the larger system. It is necessary that there be an analysis of the process and it should be done in a rigorous manner.
Also, evaluation of each and every activity should be done provided that the organizational process is ongoing. The application of the framework further requires the recognition in addition to application of all the underlying psycho-social principles which, according to the findings of Wyper & Harrison (2000, p. 720), affects individuals as well as groups in an organization.
Quality management frameworks require the acceptance of the fundamental assumption that most problems faced in organizations does not arise out of errors by employees but due to the inability of the system, which the entire personnel of the organization must function within, to perform sufficiently.
While model standards put strategic production outcomes objectives as the major focus in addition to stakeholders as the ultimate organization clients, quality management frameworks are used to examine each and every link in the production process involved in order to attain production objectives (Sila 2007, p. 100).
In the application of quality management frameworks, the main challenge to the top management team is to spend both time as well as energy extensively rather than assuring adherence to stipulated performance standards in an effort towards facilitation in addition to assurance of continued improvements with regard to the various interrelated production processes that are the duties of the various departments in the organization (Henderson & Evans, 2000, p. 275).
Six-sigma approach to quality management
Six-sigma, as used in quality management, is used to describe a measure of quality known to drive an organization to reach near perfection state. Usually, it is an approach, which is disciplined in addition to being data driven. Further, it entails methodologies through which defects and flaws in a process are eliminated.
Wyper & Harrison (2000, p. 727) acknowledged that six-sigma approach to quality management involves an aspect of quality management that is project driven in an effort towards improving both the products as well as the services of an organization in addition to processes used in producing them. The approach focuses entirely on reducing the defects in an organization in a continuous manner.
It is referred by many analysts as a business strategy that advocates the improvement of understanding of all the customer requirements. Further, the approach also tends to focus on improvement of a business system, the productivity of the business and the performance especially the financial performance.
Benefits, obstacles, and future of six sigma application
The benefits of applying six-sigma approach to quality management vary with different sectors.
Application of six-sigma approach to quality management causes both savings as well as reduction of defects in several processes. For instance, it causes a great reduction of defect levels in the manufacturing process. With regard to aircraft integration systems, the time allocated for the maintenance of the depot is also ideally reduced.
In organizations involved with leasing business, the turnaround time spent at repair facilities are also reduced significantly (Lin 2007, p. 315). For businesses involved with shipments, the time for concept-to-shipment cycle is also reduced.
For businesses in the financial sector, application of six-sigma quality management leads to increased savings (Lin 2007, p. 320).
The principles of six sigma approach to quality management match absolutely well with health care service. This is because; health care encompasses an aspect of zero tolerance with regard to mistakes as well as medical errors.
Engineering and construction field
Implementation of six-sigma approach to management leads to savings in this sector. These savings are realized due to the effective identification as well as prevention of reworks and defects in each and every construction process ranging from designing to on-time delivery of the payrolls to the employees (Gloet 2006, p. 405).
Research and development
In the research and development sector, the goals mainly focused include reduction of costs and speed to market increase in addition to the improvement of research and development processes. In order to identify the degree of the effectiveness of six-sigma, it is necessary that the organization puts a focus on reviews, which are data driven, as well as integration of research and development into the stipulated work processes among other focus aspects.
There are several problems associated with implementation of six sigma approach to quality management.
Problems in strategy
For a considerable time, six-sigma has been under criticism and subject to controversies. Indeed, some critics call it Quality management on steroids. Critics argue that there is nothing innovative new ideas advanced by the approach. Instead, it is only a rendition of traditional techniques associated with quality.
Indeed, this kind of an approach is not really the answer to the entire diverse issues that face a business. In order to ensure that the approach is sustainable for a considerable period of time going into the future, an organization must not only analyse the approach’s strengths and weaknesses but accept them as well.
Problems in the culture of an organization
Rather than just concentrating on monitoring quality at the manufacturing phase, there is a need to embed quality concept into the designing phase. In quality management, change of organizational culture is the most important point to consider since it waylays quality into planning (Evans & Lindsay, 1995, p. 59). There is no point of addressing only those issues that can be easily corrected and then claim that six-sigma approach to quality management is viable. Indeed, this is a clear deception.
There is a big likelihood of failure for those organizations whose management has not fully understood the problems of the approach. A strong commitment in addition to support as well as leadership exhibited by the top management team are among the vital considerations to effectively deal with cultural differences or issues, which are largely associated with the implementation of the six-sigma approach (Evans & Lindsay, 1995, p. 55).
Issues evident in training
In the implementation of this approach to quality management, training serves as an essential aspect. Indeed, it should be incorporated as part of an integrated approach during the implementation process. The training program ought to be customized in order to have both the managerial as well as economic benefits incorporated.
According to the findings of a research conducted by Johnson & Swisher (2003, p. 12), it was established that challenges that surface during the implementation of six-sigma projects are responsible for the selection of employees identified by having less capabilities.
From this analysis, it is evidently clear that the aspect of quality management, if implemented in an organization, plays a significant role in ensuring that the organization maintains its competitive nature while enjoying superior returns on investments, that is, profits.
In order to comprehensively in addition to successfully implement quality management so that the underlain benefits can be realized, the organization should be centered on the customer while accepting the fact that employees are not a means to an end but rather assets to the company. Focus on the customers can only be done through ensuring improvements throughout the organization and therefore deriving quality which a customer desires (Antony, Escamilla & Caine 2003, p. 42).
Quality management entails improvement of the production process. As such, according to this analysis and as Johnson & Swisher (2003, p. 15) found out, it is only through detection of flaws in the production process that improvements can be made. He further assets that the detection of problems should be a continuous process and ultimately, a great deal of quality will have been ensured and the benefits of quality management will have surfaced.
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