On the wish list of many companies is to inculcate a culture of quality and excellence, involving all employees and all processes.
But this is, of course, easier said than done. Where should we begin? And how do we sustain this, once established?
We talked to Michael Sibayan, our resource person on quality management, for some tips on getting started on our quality journey:
Start with the basics
As you decide to establish a culture of operational excellence in your organization, you need to ensure that all are aligned in the definition and understanding of some key terms: Quality and Customer. For example, how do we define quality in the organization? And who exactly are our customers? In most cases, if you ask these two questions to your employees, you may end up having different answers. But how could you offer a “quality service” if you are not aligned on how this is defined? How could you “delight” your customers if you don’t know their expectations are?
Once the company comes to a consensus on these two definitions, start with some basic quality or problem solving tools, such as flowcharts, fishbone and other graphical tools.
Assign a quality champion
For a culture of operational excellence to work, quality should be the responsibility of everybody. However, it is also important that there is somebody from top management that will champion all related quality initiatives/programs/projects to ensure success. This can be a specific role in the company or can be the President or any of the Executive/Management Committee Members. Without a strong support mechanism, there is a chance that the process and quality improvement journey will end sooner than later. The assigned quality champion shall be the key ambassador who will influence the culture of quality and operational excellence in the organization.
Decide using data
When the company pushes for quality in the workplace, we need to make sure that our actions and decisions follow the quality standards and culture that we want to propagate. Start by having the discipline to decide based on data. Ensure that you have sufficient data and perform the corresponding analysis before making a decision. Also, make sure you address the root cause and not the symptom, for a more effective and sustainable impact.
Sibayan will facilitate a workshop titled “The Basic Quality Toolkit: Apply the 8 Tools Used to Improve Productivity, Efficiency and Effectiveness” on Nov. 13, 2017 at the Inquirer Academy.
The workshop aims to guide professionals from various departments to the use of the simple yet effective tools to improve their problem identification and solving skills to quality-related issues in the organization.