Future of Quality – Part 3 (final)

How then can a good shared level of understanding be achieved and sustained across the functions and processes? We are talking about knowledge management here. “Knowledge in this context includes technology and systems applied to achieve strategic objectives, including customer satisfaction, competitive advantage and, ultimately, financial return.” The primary tool to manage knowledge is an operating system to ensure top-down goal alignment;

Example of a BMS operating system

Example of a BMS operating system

From the vision to the objectives/targets. At the base of the operating system are teams that carry out the strategic improvement activities. And at the centre of it is a KPI (Key Performance Indicator) review mechanism that translate customer expectations and competitive benchmarks to measurable results vice versa. KPIs are identified and spelled out across functions/processes, monitored against targets and communicated on a monthly or quarterly basis using KPI review processes and platforms.

‘How can the quality function facilitate?’ The roles of the quality function would naturally be to:

  • Establish the processes to capture, analyze, understand and communicate external requirements viz product/process/system requirements and capabilities, failure analysis, benchmarking
  • Develop and deploy the process knowledge viz analysis and improvement methods
  • Conduct internal audit

Quality methods and systems are applied in an increasingly border-less manner. “The quality function is uniquely suited to facilitate the development, implementation, assessment and continual improvement of the system. It can guide the expansion of the scope and application of the system to processes not traditionally found within an ISO 9000 based system, including:
– Staffing and competency management processes (as opposed to training)
– Supply chain management and procurement processes (as opposed to purchasing)
– Sales and business development processes (as opposed to contract review)
– Integrated program management, product development and launch processes (as opposed to quality planning)”

Reference: Reflections on the Future of Quality by Dave Watkins

See also:

A point to add, at the core of the system, a good ICT platform is pivotal.

As I write this, the business landscape has changed. People are talking about the Future of Competition.

Suggested reading: New Age of Innovation by CK Prahalad and MS Krishnan

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