The PMI Orange County chapter’s January Industry Affinity Groups webinar was very informative. It was an excellent opportunity to meet people from different professions, share experiences, and learn about other companies’ practices to measure quality and plan strategies for continuous improvements.
In this virtual webinar, our Guest Speaker, Harry Rever, discussed tips to promote quality management and leadership within an organization and suggested what leaders should do to promote quality and help make quality and process thinking part of the business culture.
Harry Rever (MBA, CSSMBB, CSSBB, CSQP, CQM, CQC, PMP) has over twenty years of experience in the field of process improvement, Lean Six Sigma, Project Management, project coaching, and training. Harry loves to talk about the importance of quality in the business. As per Harry, companies should consider quality the number one priority if they want their business to succeed. Harry shared a different way to focus on continuous improvement, managing change, and incorporating the culture of quality at work.
How to promote quality management and leadership within an organization?
Any company can be successful if they have good quality. It’s one of the core competencies of the business. What is quality? It’s a mindset, a way to manage processes and performance. It is essential to emphasize quality improvement to meet and exceed customer and employee expectations. The company can grow continuously with a structured approach to address and focus on quality.
What are the challenges in quality measurement?
- Company doesn’t have enough or has too much data to measure quality.
- Company needs instant results due to pressure to meet the project schedule.
- Lack of training about the use of quality tools.
- Lack of understanding of the quality improvement process.
- Not making quality measurement part of the corporate culture.
As per Harry, we need to have a good long-term vision, develop and create a quality culture where people think about measuring the right things, understand the concept of variation, use quality measuring tools, and not skip steps to follow quality. Leaders at all levels need to consider quality as a priority. Leaders need to understand the process of improving the process. Leaders need to take an interest in understanding the quality tools, quality process, and what road map to use to maintain quality.
Ideas for leaders to promote quality.
Project managers and leaders working on quality efforts can involve the external customer in their project and evaluate how the improvements, projects, and actions they are trying to make will benefit the external customer. Think about how we can measure external customer satisfaction while we are doing the task.
Harry says it’s essential to challenge leaders positively. Leaders challenge their employees to make their employees better and get the best results from them. Leaders at any level need to lead by example, build people, show personal involvement, and acknowledge and remove roadblocks for their employees. People trust you if you lead by example; they will support your vision and understand that you care about continuous improvement. Organizations need leaders who understand their responsibility towards quality; they need to perform actions to gain the trust of their employees that their leader is helping them in continuous improvement.
We can make quality measurement easy, but there are many resistances. When we think of variability in the process, the goal is to reduce variation while measuring quality. There will always be variations in the project process. When there is too much variation in the project execution process, the leader must learn how to manage, lead, or inform the customer about the project. For example, if you want higher sales and implement some strategy, you would like to know if that strategy worked. When you have more variation, it’s hard to see if you have improved.
Below are some of the most frequently used Quality tools
- Process maps
- Error proofing
- Control charts and run charts
- Scatter plots
- Pareto charts
- Hypothesis tests
- Regression analysis
- Box plots
Leadership support in quality and continuous project improvement.
Leaders need good training in quality and process improvement. Sometimes leaders are trained on all types of certifications, and in the end, they realize that it isn’t related to their work. Some people might need more detailed training. Business leaders should also attend the same training the employee attends for continuous improvement. Having everyone on the same page with process improvement.
- Best practices Project teams can adopt for quality management and continuous improvement
- Base the decisions on the facts of the outcomes.
- 2. Use various quality tools to measure quality.
- 3. Discuss with the team what was learned from the tool or technique.
- Example: What went well and what didn’t go well?
- 4. Show project progress at each monthly quality meeting.
Key points to consider from the webinar
- Quality requires a continuous improvement mindset.
- 2. Quality thinking should be part of daily operations management.
- 3. Quality and process improvement projects are vital elements in improving quality.
- 4. Leaders play a vital role in quality management and continuous improvements. They should lead by example, focus on the customer needs, take charge, show personal involvement in project quality, and acknowledge and remove roadblocks for their employees.