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Quality Management Ghostbusters

Do you want to get rid of the demons in your quality management system?  Who you gonna call? You've just seen the monthly customer feedback reports, and they are not pretty. Furthermore, two more clients have flagged their intentions to drop your services.

In times of need these days, most organisations would keep the phone number of their corporate Six Sigma Black Belt guru handy (magnetic tag on the staff room fridge maybe). But wait a minute, do you really need another analytical deep dive into your problem tickets, financial data or other performance metrics.

Maybe the real demons are with your quality management system.

By all means, if you can afford a dedicated  Lean Six Sigma team (and haven't sacked them all yet), then get them on the case.  Sometimes however, when the dust has settled on the customer reports, and the revamped  Service Improvement Plan has been presented to staff and clients, you might want to go back and review some of the fundamentals of your Quality Management System.

In fact, do you have a Quality Management System at all.  Here's a quick test.  Ask any of your managers or team leaders where your QMS is defined. What standards and methodologies are used?  Where is your quality manual documented?  Are all your processes, procedures, work instructions,  job descriptions and training guides documented and catalogued? Are they all current, complete and accurate?  Who owns them and are they readily available by all who needs to use them?

If you answered no to any of these questions then your management needs to seriously review both your QMS and your genuine commitment to quality customer service.  Consider re-aligning your quality system to the ISO 9000 standards, and particularly how you manage documentation and internal audits (Lean Six Sigma does a pretty good job on defect and waste management).

You can start by having a look at our latest Community SmartGuide on the ISO 9000 Process Flowchart in our Guides section. Also consider (if you haven't already), integrating ISO 9000 standards with your LEAN Six Sigma (or TQM) tools and corporate disciplines.

Alternatively (to borrow and twist another classic film maxim) "when the corporate going gets tough", you can always just reshuffle the management deck chairs (yet again).

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