The various quality approaches and systems are the Deming philosophy, the Juran approach, the Crosby system, six sigma and other approaches. These are the various philosophies that are available to an operations manager in assessing the quality and suitability of systems in an organization that can be applied for increasing efficiency and gains .The various quality approaches are briefly explained as under:
Deming Philosophy: Based in improving the products and services by reducing uncertainty and variability in the design and manufacturing processes. Variation is considered the only reason for poor quality. Variations in parts of pieces in manufacturing leads to wear and premature failure. Better quality leads to less rework, fewer delays and better use of factor inputs. It includes profound knowledge consisting of four stages -appreciation for a system, some knowledge of theory of variation, theory of knowledge and psychology. Based on these four aspects Deming had devised 14 points of quality management. (Chambers, Johnston, & Slack, 2007)
Juran philosophy: The Juran philosophy is based upon the company’s current strategic planning and minimum risk in rejections. He states in his quality management program that different employees at different levels of the organization hold different factors as priority – top management holds money as important and speaks in money terms, workers hold things as important and mid management holds both the things and money as important and can speak for in money as well as things terms. His method of quality management focuses on the interdependencies of functions of manufacturing, process control, testing and feedbacks and that the quality system needs to be continuous and never ending. The three aspects of quality called quality trilogy are important -quality planning, quality control and quality improvement. (Greasley, 2007)
Crosby philosophy: Crosby philosophy on quality management is based upon the absolutes of quality management and basic elements of improvement .The absolutes of quality management are: quality is conformance to requirements not elegance, there is no such thing as a quality problem, no such thing as economics of quality, the only performance measure is cost of quality, the only performance standard is zero defects , and the basic elements of improvement include determination, education and implementation.
Six Sigma: It is a quality improvement approach which is a statistical tool and stands for the six standard deviations from the mean .It provides the techniques and tools for improving capability and reducing defects in the industry.
Benchmarking: It is a process of measurement of internal processes and then the identification, understanding and adaptation of outstanding practices from the best companies in the industry.
ISO 9000:US based quality standards called the Q9000-1994 series were recognized by about 100 countries and also by Japan .These standards were to define quality system that guide a company’s performance of specified requirements in areas of design, development, production, installation and service.
Continuous improvement: implies that the organization and its efforts are directed in a incremental and breakthrough improvement which is continuous at the sametime. These activities should be a part of daily regular part of daily work, seek to eliminate problems at their source and be driven by opportunities to do better and rectify problems that are needed to be corrected. (Krajewski, Malhotra, & Ritzman, 2006)
Thus when the regular cycles of planning, execution and evaluation are being conducted a quantifiable measure of continuous improvement needs to be assessed.
Kaizen system: It is a system for quality improvement from internal sources and within the firm rather than from outside sources. It means in Japanese “change for better”. It is also continuous and ongoing improvement.
TQM: Total quality management is a description of the culture, attitude and organization of the company that requires quality in all aspects of the operations with things being done right the first time and defects eliminated or eradicated from operations completely.
Comparison and Contrast: The various quality philosophies and approaches determine quality to be achieved by the organization in respect of various aspects of quality in an organization and not necessarily dependent on any one approach or philosophy. The philosophy of Deming is a 14 point programme for evaluating and implementing quality and philosophy of Juran emphasizes the importance of quality training for reduction in failure costs, higher productivity and emphasizes data collection and analysis. Whereas the Crosby philosophy implies the behavioral aspects in quality, more emphasis is on management processes for changing culture and attitudes than relying on statistical techniques. But it does not provide finer details on quality management and bases itself on management thinking instead. Thus Crosby approach is more easily fit into the company and does not have implementation problems faced in implementing Deming philosophy but it has issues of being not acceptable worldwide or being that popular.
Many issues exist in being able to interpret what ISO 9000 exactly is and its definition whereas few others suggest that its usefulness is questionable considering the high implementation costs in many small and medium sized companies. Although it is being implemented in successful companies by majority and is hugely popular measure/approach. (Shim et al., 1999)
In Kaizen approach the human processes are important, processes evolve by gradual changes; improvement is based on statistical and quantitative performance measurement, requires trust between managers and employees.
In Six Sigma approach the process of measuring variation is important .It is a statistical tool, quite effective and hugely popular.
Benchmarking as a quality approach is a one off exercise not necessarily continuous helps the organization strategically and is outward looking into the industry and market the company serves.
Continuous improvement is a learning paradigm which involves learning enhancement by continuous changes in the organization.
TQM is an integrated approach to quality, with total resource deployment and no exceptions to quality as a standard.
Thus in contrast whereas one of the approaches is a statistical tool other approaches are basic principles on effective management and whereby they take advantage in being specific and distinct from the others at the sametime they lose more on grounds of effectiveness .But many of such approaches do implement successful quality improvements in organizations leading to becoming more popular. For example six sigma was applied in Motorola, benchmarking was started by Xerox etc. (Reid & Sanders, 2004)
Whereas the kaizen approach involves greater trust from managers and employees alike the stress from TQM is on integration and involvement .On the other hand the continuous improvement is a management paradigm for continuously implementing changes the benchmarking is a standalone exercise in quality assessment and improvement. Thus similar comparisons can be drawn from the quality approaches and philosophies and further analysis can be made.
Analyze the differences and evaluate the impact of these differences on innovation, change and competitiveness.
The differences of various quality approaches and philosophies indicate that the quality can be measurable from various standpoints and tools of statistics, from various aspects of processes in organization, from output and inputs and from productivity of factor inputs .There is a wide manner of employing quality in an organization and many concepts in management can be applicable here. The most important differences are in being either traditional method, in being a one off measure, an integrated approach, statistical tool, based on manager relations and trust, continuous change and a standard acceptable by the authorities.
The impact of these differences on change, innovation and competitiveness can be gauged from various standpoints. The impacts for various change management techniques can be assessed and
Realized on these aspects as enumerated below: (Schroeder, 2005)
The impact on change of the differences among the quality approaches and philosophies:
The change in an organization due to quality approaches is evident from the fact that without continuous change and improvement the quality programme would be rendered ineffective. The quality programmes are initiated and lead to changes in organization because of following reasons:
I. The change in customer perceptions is ongoing and therefore when an organization accepts the product design and development the first year the changes in preference and buying behavior the next year might suggest that there would indeed be more than the demand for the specific product or service. Therefore the change in demand pattern requires that the company be involved in redesigning of the product afresh and this is costly and time consuming. Hence due to changes in customer perceptions the changes in product design from quality perspective becomes apparent .The various approaches and their differences impact the assurance and reliability of specific approaches for quality programme selection in that the benchmarking approach which is one off is reliable since it can be initiated in few days and can be carried out any time of the year. An integrated approach like TQM on the other hand can address most of changes in demand by being able to be integrated from before the perceptions of consumer start changing. Kaizen can be applicable but trust and interpersonal relations effectiveness cannot be built in a year and therefore the quality programme and its impact on change in organizations effectiveness might lead to further issues .The statistical tool of Six Sigma is a healthier alternative by being cost effective and easy to implement although both six sigma and ISO 9000 have problems in being interpreted and understood properly. (Schroeder, 1993)
II Competition is continuous in the environment or market place implying that for the organization to keep ahead it needs to change implement continuously .Although the market is dynamic the organization faces constraints in time and cost .The impact of various quality programmes is effective for few approaches only like the approach of TQM which is integrative of all the factors in management and organization ,also the approach of Crosby is effective since it is based on the quality standards and thinking style which needs to be effective for management thinking in an organization facing highly competitive market. The approach of Deming and Juran impact if applied only when the organization is ready to implement such programmes due to their traditional nature and the impact takes longer time to predict as both the philosophies have implementation problems. The approach of six sigma, continuous improvement is more applicable and worthwhile when the change becomes highly impacted in short period of time and in lesser costs than for other approaches. (Stevenson, 2001)
III The change in organizations is also impacted specifically when it is acknowledged that the change in systems and processes however sensibly designed would become obsolete after a time period and the complicacy involved adds to further changes being impacted. The philosophy of Juran and Crosby if implemented have lesser impacts since by then a change managed mindset has evolved as also in TQM and continuous improvement approaches. Whereas for implementing the Deming programme in quality the implementation and successful change management might take few years but once set there could be huge successes .The processes and management thinking if are accepting six sigma and ISO9000 standards then the quality philosophy would impact greatly the change in the structure, processes, culture of the organization and bring simplified answers to complex measurement and qualitative aspects.
The differences in philosophies also impact greatly the competitiveness of the organization in different ways .The various philosophies and their impact on the organization with regard to competitiveness is in the following ways:
Cost reduction :The Deming, Juran and Crosby approaches imply greater reduction in costs and lead to higher cost efficiencies and scale of operations if applied for few years and having overcome the initial implementation issues. The continuous improvement, Six sigma and ISO9000 standards of quality also improve the effectiveness in costs if applied and interpreted correctly .The kaizen philosophy does not indicate costs reduction that easily since it takes time for trust and long term effectiveness to materialize .The benchmarking process indicates the slack areas pretty quickly and if applied continuously the results can be successful in bringing more competitiveness.
Productivity :Out of the given approaches the Crosby and Juran approach lead to greater increase in productivity than the Deming philosophy in short term only whereas the continuous improvement philosophy implies that the competitiveness increases in much lesser time duration and lesser costs .Six sigma and ISO9000 would tend to be better in estimating the level of competitiveness and productivity for the organization .The benchmarking and Continuous improvement approach are also highly recommended for enhancing the productivity and competitiveness in the company. Kaizen philosophy has more than required impact on enhancing competitiveness and productivity as it involves each and every manager and as well as employee.
Differentiation: The effect of these quality approaches on product design differentiation is more marked .The product can be classified as custom, option oriented and standard in designs. The design differentiation is applicable for Juran and Crosby philosophy which indicate better results when their impact on implementation for changing custom and option oriented product designs are better than the standard products. Also the Continuous improvement, Kaizen and benchmarking are highly effective in determining the best changes in design for the market is ever changing and the competitiveness based on differentiation strategy could be the marked presence for competing companies. The six sigma and ISO9000 can deliver better if they are combined with a strategic perspective rather being utilized in a standalone environment.
The competitiveness and increase in number of industries competing for market share has increased in the past decade. This has been leading the companies fighting in the market place scenario for developing innovative products and inventions through rigorous research and development programs .The innovations and inventions enhance credibility in a fast changing environment .The philosophy of Juran and Crosby are highly effective whereas Deming philosophy takes time to implement .The six sigma and ISO 9000 have been highly appreciated as being successful programs in delivering innovations and building needs for greater enhancement in quality from new products and services. Whereas the Kaizen philosophy has impacted innovations to a great extent yet the problem of long term applicability from human relations perspective has lessened its applicability. The continuous improvement and benchmarking have found to be effective in developing the new products directly rather than approaching issue from other standpoints. (Stevenson, 2008)
Recommend actions that organizations might take to improve its existing quality approach with respect to their impact on innovation, change and competitiveness, and identify any areas that need further analysis.
The various approaches and quality programmes have been able to deliver their impact on change, competitiveness and innovation .The Company and organizations ability to enhance the quality is stemming from the various issues and situations that the company would necessarily be facing in the real time. Thus for the company and organization to evaluate the different approaches impact and selecting the right combination of strategies would be important. The varied approaches and scenarios would then be based upon following factors:
life cycle study of organization,
size of organization,
Time period for implementation.
Quality programme will be implemented that best suites the organization and its level of management culture and involvement. Thus the Kaizen philosophy which is highly cost effective and has a thinking style would be appreciated if it is applied in an organization which is small to medium size, with sensible budget, has time for evaluating quality responses internally, has an independent and welcoming culture .The programme for Deming philosophy would be best applicable in a large organization with higher budget, greater requirement for innovations and change management and greater time for application .If the culture is appreciable then the quality programme would also be greatly and easily applicable. The benchmarking can be effective along with continuous improvement in the organizations where budgets are limited, highly competitive environment and change is crucial for survival. The Juran and Crosby philosophies are applicable for those companies and organizations where the need for implementing change as cultural factor is important, which have bigger budgets with medium time and conflicts in culture are more marked. The approach of ISO9000 and six sigma are also applicable to firms which have innovation and change management in highly competitive environment, whose budgets are smaller and need for growth is large .The application of TQM is only applicable when it is started early on in an organization since the total quality approach requires greater integration and applicability of the respective quality approach in an organization which is facing budget costs, need for innovation continuously and requires change management as well. It could be a large or small company with limited or unlimited budget.
The areas needing further analysis and work in quality improvement in organizations are huge and great in number. One can enumerate few aspects which need to be cleared in the meantime like – benchmarking with respect to innovation and cost reduction ,reengineering processes ,measurement of quality from better scales, quality team building and management, quality circles in different organizations, evaluations of quality programmes with respect to availability of data on sales and revenues from including change management and other strategies. This area of research where the availability of multitude of factors impinge upon the given quality level therefore is a growing area of management and developing work in this area would lead to further benefits. (Waters, 1999)
Due to the nature of quality management as being a latest phenomenon of the 20th century it is a highly unorthodox concept which needs to be evaluated in the light of current changes and improvements in market behavior of suppliers and buyers both at the same time as also the increase in competitiveness and innovativeness in organizations along with increases in change management styles .therefore the study has been important in highlighting the need for quality approach for a particular company from the required abilities and situations .The realization of benefits of the quality programme have been therefore been found as applicable to the organizations operations management which have been able to implement such programmes with success. Success in implementation further depends upon the quality of selection of programme with respect to situation and scenario analysis.Expert advice and comments with the organizations is not available in easy way and has high costs and fees. Thus it is expected that the firm or organization which would be intending to have quality programme for effectiveness in operations would ascertain the applicability of the programme and then buy the programme from a suitable expert or develop one internally.
The learning from the quality approaches and philosophies has been greater in recognizing the worth of quality in managing organizations and that is started early onwards quality improvement and correct estimation could lead to better results in long term and strategically positioning the company. The ability of the company in being able to ascertain competitiveness, change management and innovations is highly likely to grow with the years to come as research gathers pace in this area. At the moment the respective situation analysis and proper utilization of correct quality programme is the only actionable criteria.
From the above quality study I have gathered that as a manager for a given organization the quality improvement guidelines that I have come across are highly important in making me discover the respective ability and impact on the organization and management. The level of quality improvements and future work that would be applicable would be the concern areas which I would be intending to study as part of my efforts in gaining further knowledge and learning in other disciplines. Although the study has been highly informative and guided through the process I would be of opinion that a larger study on quality management and its imperatives for operations management is further possible.
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