Quality management is a management methodology. We often forget the basic management functions and principles, while adopting and implementing quality management system in an organization. Basic functions of management include goal setting, organizing, staffing, planning, coordinating, monitoring and controlling.

Quality Management system

Effective managerial leadership process also involves supervising and directing, motivating, problem solving and communicating with employees for ensuring that the company accomplishes the planned objectives and goals.

Planning and coordinating to ensure quality

The planning function creates process, activity and task schedules, along with resource allocation such as manpower as well as equipment, information and knowledge support, enabling the organization to operate successfully, for achieving its goals. What is often forgotten is the need to update and modify plans based on changes in customer requirements, changes in environment, progress in plan implementation and new constraints on resources?

The coordinating function has to interface with planning, organizing, as well as controlling functions, in line with goals of the organization which are driven by customer requirements. Coordinating is usually a weak link in the quality system and higher management must constantly monitor the coordination function.

Organizing and staffing

?Organizing involves allocating responsibilities and tasks to teams and individuals based on specific skill sets needed to complete the tasks. Agile organizations are able to respond fast to changing customer demands. Organizing also involves reporting and line of command. Organizing and staffing together involves complete talent management function involving sourcing and retention of talent and performance management. Non availability of the necessary skills in time can mean risks to the output of the processes and outcome of businesses. This aspect is normally neglected in quality system. Development of skills and monitoring of skill development could be a critical success factor for business organizations.

Motivating teams and involving people in improvement activities are other critical factors related to organizing and staffing.

Strategy for fulfilling quality objectives: role of ISO 9001 consultants

Organization?s strategic plans must take into account resources needed, including expertise, knowledge, updated information and skill requirements, and how to source the critical resources. Sourcing strategy for the critical resources is a major challenge for every organization. But this aspect is usually neglected and companies are often operating in the firefighting mode. ISO 9001 consultants can help you solve such issues and put in place the strategies for sourcing critical resources.?

Evaluating, Controlling and monitoring

The monitoring and controlling function acts as eye and ears of the management. This is to ensure that all the necessary functions of the business organization are operating as planned. Controls are exercised on the basis of process control criteria and other standards of performance and targets set for teams. Any deviations from control criteria must be investigated and risks to final outcome of the company must be evaluated. Measurement of process parameters and product and service characteristics must be utilized for statistical analysis to obtain trends of non-conformity. Impact of non-conformity on other related processes must be analyzed. Necessary corrective actions must be planned across the entire organization, so that learning action from failure can be initiated.

Based on the changes in customer expectations, as well as regulatory changes, ??the process acceptance criteria must be changed and process owners trained on the new criteria.

Evaluating and controlling includes monitoring the status and measuring the attributes of a process as well as the output (product or service) and taking appropriate actions based on data and observations. Manager?s wakeup to the need to monitor only when there is a crisis.? If ?process evaluation ?is done even ??when everything appears to be running smoothly, sales are growing along with profits, customers are happy,? then you are going to prevent an impending crisis due to customer complaints, by taking preventive actions.

Voice of the customer

?Top managements of the companies are unable to respond quickly to the changes in customer requirements and latest customer perceptions about company?s products and services. Employees as well as managers across the organization must listen directly to the voice of the customer. Changes in resources and processes required ??to meet new expectations of customers and other interested parties, must be analyzed and evaluated. New strategic plans should incorporate necessary changes in processes and process criteria based on changes in customer needs. Risks and opportunities arising out of the voice of the customer must be assessed regularly.? Changes in market place occurring due to competitors coming up with new offerings of products and services need to be assessed.

Thus by following some of the management principles and functions, and listening to the voice of the customer, we can make the quality management system more effective.