What are the chances of Quality Management Survival?
I saw this question posed in a forum and decided to put together my ideas in it. I wondered first of all how I would evaluate it and decided to approach the topic using a SWOT analysis: looking at the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and the Threats posed to its continuation.
· The Strengths are many. For one, it is a formally recognized discipline in itself.
· Many systematic approaches to Quality Management and Quality Management Tools are commonly available. It is easy enough to set up within a company in comparison to some discipline that is new.
· Quality Management is very expansive: covering many areas and many various functions as well as Industry sectors.
· A great strength came to Quality Management when the ISO9000 Certification standard adopted the Business Process Management approach. This gave Quality Management Survival a real chance as it is now combined with another discipline which is easier to show success in: quicker adoption, ease of showing results, etc
· Reputation: Past experience with Quality Management, in particular the overbearing approach often adopted by implementers of the early ISO9000 Standards. Quality Personnel were often viewed as the policemen in the company and were often viewed as the nuisance function.
· Quality Personnel are often paid a lot less than those in different functions such as Purchasing, R&D, HR etc. This doesn't induce people with higher grade skills to work in Quality.
· Quality Management by nature requires much documentation, delayed approvals, preventative work and lack of spontaneity. Work will often be stopped until all paperwork and approvals are available. This leads to Quality being a time-consuming and costly discipline.
· The major threat to quality Management is the ever-increasing speed in technology developments. This poses far greater difficulties for traditional Quality management system where aspects such as signing off, visibility of errors, confidentiality, traceability to name only some issues, are concerned.
· Staff Turnover: Jobs are no longer seen to be an opportunity to start a career in a company where staff learn as they go along. No, nowadays, jobs are viewed as short-term springboards to other companies. This will strain the Quality management system which requires a lot of training and skills to function properly.
· Changing management trends towards cellular units and one-cap-fits-all multitasking. The emphasis and culture within organisations are changing so that the old structures supporting Quality management implementation are made more difficult.
· I see great opportunities for Quality Management Survival if Quality addresses more pressing topics which were under-emphasized in the past, topics such as Risk management, Cost issues, Contingency Planning,
· I feel the role of Quality Management should veer away from the policing role and over towards a more supportive problem-solving and opportunity-maker.
Quality Management Survival is a no-brainer. Yes, it will survive, but the real question is how. Is integrating Quality Management directly into the responsibilities of other functions the answer?
I feel that, at the very least, by addressing the issues given above, by converting the threats and weaknesses and making strengths out of them, the quality of the survival will be far higher – and far more pleasant for all working in the discipline!
Should Quality Management Survive? Should It Be Replaced? What Will Affect It's Survival?
What Are Your Opinions On The Matter?
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Martha and the Business Online Learning Team
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