By definition, a principle is a belief, theory or rule that has an influence on the way something is operated. Quality management principles are fundamental truths, rules and values that are accepted as truth and form the basis for all quality management based standards. When forming part of the ISO Standard it is a guide to an organisation’s performance improvement. Developed and updated by a panel of international experts from various organisations and nations so that it absolutely inclusive of all the aspects of business and governance. The quality management principles are mainly seven, the scope of this article is to succinctly explain how an organisation can effectively use these principles for continual improvement of their business.
1.Customer Focus: For quality management to be ingrained into the company there is the necessity to meet customer requirements and strive to exceed customer expectations. Success occurs when an organisation attracts and retains the confidence of customers and third parties. All customer interactions provide companies with needed resources and perspective for the organisation to create more value in return. Having the foresight to see the future needs of customers and other parties will play a significant role in the success of that organisation.
- Customer Value Increases
- Customer Satisfaction Increases
- Customer Loyalty Increases
- Reputation of Organisation Increases
- Customer Base Increases
- Revenue and Market Share Increas
Actions That You Can Take
- Recognize direct and indirect customers as those who receive value from the organization.
- Understand customers’ current and future needs and expectations.
- Link the organisation’s objectives to customer’s needs and expectations
- Communicate customer needs and expectations throughout the organization.
- Plan, design, develop, produce, deliver and support goods and services to meet customer needs and expectations.
- Measure and monitor customer satisfaction and take appropriate actions.
- Determine and take actions on interested parties’ needs and expectations that can affect customer satisfaction.
- Actively manage relationships with customers to achieve sustained success.
2. Leadership: When an organisation is brought together by leadership, leadership at all levels, then that organisation will have an unity of purpose and direction and subsequently foster the creation of an atmosphere where people are engaged in the achieving the quality objectives of the organisation by aligning strategies, policies, processes and resources together
- There is greater efficiency and effectiveness in meeting the or
ganisation’s quality objectives.
- Coordination of the organisation’s process is increased.
- Better communication between levels and functions of the organisation.
- The capability of the organisation and its people to deliver desired results.
Actions that You can Take:
- Make sure that everyone knows about the company’s mission, vision, strategy, policies and processes
- Develop and sustain a framework for shared values, fairness and ethical model for behaviour at all levels of an organisation.
- Develop a culture of trust and integrity
- Encourage Trust and Commitment throughout the organisation for quality.
- Be an example for all the members of the organisation.
- You must also encourage people’s contribution so that they feel valued.
3.Engagement of People: In order to facilitate the creation of an organisation with great value in its product and delivery. The organisation must have competent, empowered and engaged people at all levels throughout. To recognize them as individuals while simultaneously giving the recognition and empowerment they deserve will help in achieving the organisation’s quality objectives.
- Improvement in the understanding of the company’s quality objectives by the people in the organisation, as well as a greater incentive to achieve them.
- Involvement of people in improvement activities, holistically.
- Encourages personal development, initiatives and creativity.
- There is greater trust and collaboration in the organisation.
- Attention to shared values and culture throughout the organization.
Actions that You Can Take:
- Make everyone feel that they are an indispensable part of the organisation’s work process.
- Encourage collaboration between different parts of the organisation.
- Create a forum for open discussion and sharing of knowledge and experience.
- Acknowledge people’s contribution, learning and improvement.
- Create a space for people so that they can do self-evaluation of their individual performances against their personal objectives.
- Organize surveys so that you can learn about people’s satisfaction and make assessment of their results and take subsequent action based on the results.
4.Process Approach: Underneath an organisation, the mechanism exists. The mechanism is interrelated processes that functions as a coherent system. The understanding of this system is the key to creating consistent and predictable results more effectively and efficiently. This is an essential part of the quality management system.
- Greater ability to put emphasis on key processes and opportunities for improvement.
- The coherent and aligned system produces consistent and predictable outcomes.
- There is enhanced performance through effective process management, efficient use of resources, and reduced cross-functional barriers.
- Makes it possible to generate confidence in the minds of the clients and other parties as to the consistency, effectiveness and efficiency of the organisation.
Actions That You Can Take:
- Concisely define the objectives of the system and the processes involved in these systems so that they can be achieved.
- For all managing purposes, the authority, responsibility and accountability should be clearly established so that there is no confusion.
- The organisation’s capabilities should be gauged and the resource constraints should be determined prior to action.
- Figure out how each process is related to the other one, and how a modification in a single one can cause a reaction in the other intertwined processes.
- The adequate information that is needed for to operate and improve the processes. There is also a requirement to monitor, analyse, and evaluate the performance of the overall system.
- Risk management of the processes and overall outcomes of the quality management system.
5. Improvement: Improvement is important for an organisation to maintain current levels of performance, to react to changes in its internal and external conditions and to create new opportunities. A successful organisation will have an on-going focus on improvement.
- There is greater process performance, improved organisational capabilities, and enhanced customer satisfaction.
- There is a better focus on root-cause investigation and determination, followed by corrective actions.
- Greater ability to anticipate and react to internal and external risks and opportunities.
- More inclusive consideration of both incremental and breakthrough improvement
- More learning and knowledge gathering for improvement.
- Greater drive for innovation.
Actions that You can Take
- Establish improvement objectives at all levels of the organisation.
- Apply education and train people at all levels so that they get to understand the basic tools and methodologies to achieve improvement objectives.
- To make sure that most people are competent to successfully promote and complete improvement projects.
- Deploy processes to implement improvement projects throughout the organization.
- Carefully oversee the planning, implementation, completion and results of improvement projects.
- Assimilate the improvement consideration into the development of new or modified goods, services and processes.
- Should recognize and acknowledge improvement.
6.Evidence-Based Decision Making: The gathering of facts, evidence and data as well as the subsequent analysis will facilitate a greater objectivity so that a sound decision can be made with confidence. The decision making process is a complicated one, and it involves some uncertainty. There are multiple, subjective interpretations from a collection of facts and there should be careful evaluation of the cause and effect relationship and potential unintended consequences. Therefore, one person should be really careful about how the facts, evidence and data are analysed with precision.
- Vastly improved decision making process
- More incisive assessment of process performance and ability to achieve objectives.
- Vastly Improved Operational Effectiveness and Efficiency
- A surge in the ability to review, challenge and change opinions and decisions.
- Greater ability to demonstrate the effectiveness of past decisions.
Actions That You Can Take
- You can determine measure and monitor key indicators to demonstrate the organisation’s performance.
- Everyone who requires data should receive it totally and quickly.
- Every bit of data and information are extremely accurate as well as being reliable and secure.
- All data must be analysed and evaluated using suitable methods.
- Make sure people are competent to analyse and evaluate data as needed.
- Decisions should be taken on the basis of evidence as well as the experience and intuition of the decision maker.
7.Relationship Management: The success of an organisation can be greatly determined by the kind of relationship that it has with the external affiliates of the organisations. This would mean partners as well as the suppliers from which the resources are purchased. If the relationship is one of mutual benefit and sustained interest, then there is a greater possibility for sustained success in the business.
- Greater performance of the organisation and for the interested parties because the opportunities and constraints are efficiently given a response.
- There is a common ground and understanding that all the interested parties can come to an understanding on. There could be several of them too.
- There is the dissemination of value for interested parties due to the sharing of resources as well as quality management of risks.
- An efficient supply chain that will provide a stable supply of goods and services.
Actions That You Can Take:
- Should determine relevant interested parties – suppliers, partners, customers, investors, employees, and society as a whole – and their relationship with the organisation.
- Should determine and prioritize interested party relationships that need to be managed.
- Relationships should be established that balances short-term gains with long-term considerations.
- Everyone should pool and share information, expertise and resources with relevant interested parties.
- Performances should be measured and feedback should be given to the interested parties appropriately so that any further improvement schemes can be enhanced.
- There should be established a collaborative development and improvement activities with suppliers, partners, and other interested parties.
- Finally, you should try and recognize the improvements and achievements by suppliers and partners so that relationship can grow and be amicable in nature.
Of course, the nature of the organisation will depend how these quality principles will be used, and each of them will have their specific type of challenges that they will face. But applying these standards will have an enormous influence on the organisation’s success.