Tqm Business At Its Best Essay Research — страница 2

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can do is turn them into enemies. We need, in short, to alter the way we think about customers. An unspoken underlying assumption of Total Quality Management is a reverence for people. That means starting out with the assumption that others (customers, suppliers, and subordinates included) are worthy people, both honest and competent – and treating them that way. Most people respond to trust with trust, once they get past the suspicious wariness that our normal way of managing has bred in them. Most people react to trust by behaving in honest and competent ways. A few — about three percent–will not (Rao 16). We would do well to shape our behavior for the 97 percent. What I am referring to here is transforming the organizational culture so that in all we do, the customer is

foremost in our minds. That means that our continuous improvement efforts are aimed at quality as defined by our customers, not saving money or becoming more efficient. If we stress quality, cost and efficiency take care of themselves. In a quality culture, quality (meeting the customers needs, expectations, and requirements the first time and every time) becomes a way of life, an obsession. So how do we create and institutionalize an obsession for pleasing customers? First, by treating our own subordinates as people worthy of reverence — that is, as internal customers. We must assume that they are honest and competent people whose requirements are valid. The way the people in an organization feel is the way their external customers are going to feel. Second, by asking the

customers what they want. If our customers are honest and competent people, they are perfectly capable of expressing their valid needs, although we may have to negotiate with them to translate those needs into measurable terms we can work to fulfill. We can ask customers what they want, need, and expect through surveys, focus groups, having representatives on the front line to talk to them, setting up customer hot lines, and encouraging them to write letters. Both of these steps, revering subordinates and asking for customers’ evaluation, are scary. Both are likely to make us hear things we would rather not hear. I did not say it would be easy. Once we know what the customers want and understand the gaps between their requirements and our performance, we are ready to charter

quality improvement teams to start into the improvement process. Quality improvement teams using the prescribed statistical tools are the hallmark of Total Quality Management. An organization that can boast that 10 percent of its people are on teams at any given time has successfully begun the Total Quality Management journey. An organization that has 60 to 80 percent of its people on teams at any given time has completed the cultural transformation to quality (Berk and Berk 14). A quality improvement team is a group of five to eight people drawn from across the organization (not all from one element unless the task is not cross-functional) who are the experts in the work process–that is, they are the people who actually do that work (Rao 23). They are chartered by the Quality

Council (itself a quality improvement team made up of the top five to eight people in the organization) to solve a particular problem or improve a work process. They study the work process assigned them, discover ways to improve the process, propose their improvement to the Quality Council, test their solutions, pilot their solutions, and finally implement them. Do quality improvement teams really achieve results? A team at Florida Power and Light saved the company $450,000 a year in cash flow by eliminating billing delays. A team at Xerox saved the corporation $4.4 million by streamlining construction and distribution of price lists. Also, at Motorola, a team found a way to reduce the time to fill orders from 45 days to two hours (Berk and Berk 30). It can be explained that

teams work so well for two reasons. First, when organized and managed properly, they are the best means yet discovered to solve work problems and improve work processes. Second, they cause people to take ownership of their work and take pride in their achievements. Teams are, in other words, the best way we know of to empower people (Hellriegel 226). Teams working on cross-functional processes, those that cut across the organization and involve several work units, reap the greatest benefits, at least in the beginning (Rao 6). Disproportionate shares of organizational problems lie between the cracks–at the crossover point between work units where misunderstanding, hostilities, rivalries, and everyday indifference stunt quality and make re-work a standard procedure. None of these