Quality management is the set of planned and systematic activities to direct and control an organization regarding quality. Top management also commits to ensuring that product or service quality is maintained at the desired level of performance. Quality Management defines how a business plan, directs, and controls rates through three main processes – strategic planning, process improvement, and performance measurement. Internally, these processes define customer requirements, set standards for measuring performance, and provide feedback about improvement areas.
The seven principles are:
1. Engagement of people: For keeping up the high metrics of quality, one needs to get the whole team invested in the reach for that kind of excellence.
2. Customer focus: You would want to remind the team how important it is for the organization to retain and gain customers, which is best done by consistently delivering on quality.
3. Leadership: to make sure that everything goes smoothly, all roles are understood, and there are no hindrances in quality management execution.
4. Process approach: To ensure that the effectiveness and efficiency of the processes will lead to the improvement in the product quality.
5. Improvement: Constantly improving quality plans to strive for consistent and frequent improvement measures.
6. Evidence-based decision-making: To ensure that all improvement parameters and quality assurance metrics come from calculated changes.
7. Relationship management: To ensure that there are no kinks in the change and that everything runs smoothly, making way for excellence in quality.
One of the most famous cases of quality management was when Toyota introduced Kanban into their production process to deliver high-quality products just in time for delivery with all the safety and quality measures.
The purpose of quality management is to enhance the efficiency of the production process and delivery system. Quality management has four goals:
Ease the processes of production. Make the workflow more efficient. Ensure a quick and airtight delivery mechanism. Significantly improve the quality of deliverables (both service and product).
Quality management should also ensure that all these goals are being met as they can be at every step of the way.
Quality management aims to ensure that a company’s products and services are built with care, which is why it’s called quality management rather than, say, efficiency management or delivery management.
It is intended to improve its bottom line by reducing costs and sustainably increasing sales. Improving quality will almost always reduce waste and therefore increase productivity, which should lead to an increase in profits for the company.
Each stage is an independent process that aids the entire quality management process. Each stage has its utility and need.
The four stages of quality management are:
Stage 1: Identify a baseline for the company-wide goals and targets. Establish resources and define the quality metrics for the same.
Stage 2: Training, documentation, policies, workflows, and procedures to support the steps of quality management.
Stage 3: Monitor everything being done and the results that bring in, identify areas that need polishing, processes that need improvement.
Stage 4: Review the findings, the progression trends, and more, only to do it all over again.