This investigation intended to establish the relevance and usefulness of quality improvement (QI) in various organizations. The assessment uses a qualitative research design through a literature review to attain this objective. The author defines quality improvement and offers insight into its essence in an organization. The investigation further outlines three models of QI that are six sigma, total quality management, and continuous quality improvement. These methodologies offer different enterprises an excellent opportunity of using QI according to the one that fits the needs of the entity. The assessment provides various strategic approaches that companies can use to achieve an effective adoption of QI. The strategies include the identification of needs and objectives, aligning organizational culture, frequent process assessments, and decentralization of managerial activities. These moves are necessary to facilitate sustainable implementations of QI methodologies as they encompass various agents of an entity. The analysis concludes that it is crucial for an organization to adopt a quality improvement philosophy as it enhances performance.
Every organization, regardless of its industrial affiliation, is seeking to implement methodologies that can enhance the products and services that it offers (Evans and Lindsay 2). These actions have primarily focused on the management of processes with the aim of bettering the performance of the entities. Quality improvement is one of the approaches that various institutes utilize to achieve the objectives of better products and services (Goetsch and Davis 30). This investigation intends to outline the different aspects of this concept to facilitate a clear comprehension of its applications. Some of the attributes of quality include measurability and the engagement of management and other departments in the appropriate objectives (Hanefeld, Powell-Jackson, and Balabanova 368). This study aims at providing insight on all those aspects and enable a better understanding of their relevance to process capacity in an organization. More importantly, this account intends to show that quality improvement can create positive impacts on the processing capacity of an enterprise.
2- Literature Review
Defining Quality Improvement and its Need in an Organization
Quality improvement (QI) encompasses the formative approaches an organization uses to analyze its performance and propose methodologies to achieve a systematic enhancement (Bukstein 26). While most entities will focus on products in this sense, QI allows the enterprise to focus holistically on its people and processes as well as service delivery (Chung et al. 460). QI enables the organization to assess all its functions to determine how it needs to improve all these aspects. Implementing QI strategies offers multiple opportunities to the entity that make it an essential component of the processes that body undertakes.
One of the benefits that arise from utilizing QI is that it facilitates transitions when the company needs to implement a change (Gershengorn, Kocher, and Factor par. 12). QI also plays a crucial role in reducing process errors in different activities because it focuses on strategies that enhance the capacity of the workers and the whole organization (McFadden, Stock, and Gowen 24). The concept also improves the morale and motivation of employees since it provides methodologies that those individuals use to empower the skills and knowledge (Kohler et al. 192). All these factors have a significant contribution to an increase in the productivity of the organization. There are different models of implementation that an entity can choose from according to the requirements that they have in their operations.
Models of Quality Improvement
Six Sigma is a production philosophy that entails discipline and data-driven methodology of minimizing process errors and defects in an organization (Allawi 1013). The method was previous prominent in reducing defects in the manufacturing process, and its application has grown immensely to other areas of organizational activity. The primary objective of the approach is to minimize variability in business processes using a set of statistical methods with a focus on both people and products (Pyzdek and Keller 5). Six Sigma emphasizes on a regular assessment of operations using measurable indicators. Six Sigma uses the two sub-methodologies of DMAIC and DMADV to outline the implementation strategy. DMAIC is the acronym for the words Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control that are the activities an organization completes in that order (Conger 129). DMADV stands for Define-Measure-Analyze-Design-Verify as the respective operations that an entity will undertake (Ang 24).
Total quality management (TQM) is another QI model that refers to objectives that seek to outline customer satisfaction through long-term objectives of process success (Sallis 24). The goals of TQM derive from different tenets of the organization that include the undertakings of the employees. The concept encompasses a consumer-based endeavor of integrating various systems in the entity to develop products and services that adequately meet and exceed the expectations of the customers. TQM derives decision from data analytics that reflects the current position of the organization and the areas that need improvement (Oakland 33). It encompasses the continuous improvement of organizational culture and employee engagement to provide the best products and services. TQM encompasses various departments and processes in an organization in a systematic manner of implementation as is in figure 1 below.
Figure 1: Steps of Implementing TQM
Continuous quality improvement (CQI) is a managerial philosophy that focuses on organizational culture and processes to create a system of continual enhancement (Lewis 88). The model aims at increasing accountability, creating a collaborative workspace, and continuous assessment through effective management and input from all stakeholders. The approach seeks to minimize defects and errors in processes as well as enhancing the satisfaction of both internal and external stakeholders. The objective of the model is to provide superior designs of work methodologies that would possibly eliminate erroneous incidents in the organization (Kronick et al. 405). The approach allows for the decentralization of quality management of operations as a means of offering more effective responses to phenomena. This move encourages employee autonomy that leads to development and satisfaction. The model operates on the assumption that a workforce with high levels of motivation will lead to customer gratification as well. Figure 2 below highlights some of the conventional steps of Implementing CQI in an organization.
Figure 2: Steps of Implementing CQI
Strategic Approaches to Quality Improvement
The organization has to identify the areas that it needs to improve and outline them as the goals that it seeks to achieve (Mahmood, Qadeer, and Ahmed 664). The entity will then establish a strategic methodology for achieving these objectives by determining a prioritization according to the urgent requirements (Sahin, Rodoplu, and Uslu 34). It is then vital to communicate these goals to the stakeholders in a precise manner to ensure each of them understands their role in the QI plan. This objective can be the initial venture the organization takes before engaging in a quality improvement program. The move offers the entity an opportunity to perform a needs assessment that reveals the requirements it has to put in place for better performance. The stakeholders can utilize various tools to measure their current position and then use that information to set the objectives that will guide their QI operations.
Organization culture is an influential factor in the performance of an enterprise as it encompasses the methodologies individuals use in their undertakings (Gimenez-Espin, Jimenez-Jimenez, and Martinez-Costa 679). It also constitutes a primary factor that leads to the successful implementation of QI in an entity. The organization needs to promote a culture that emphasizes on quality and endeavors to improve it more often (Bortolotti, Boscari, and Danese 183). The entity should facilitate its workforce in integrating QI objectives into their regular operations. The aim is to enhance the willingness to implement changes that improve quality continuously. This move ensures that the employees will engage in activities that allow them to provide better services in their workstations. The workers will also be able to acquire relevant skills and knowledge to improve their practice continuously.
Regular assessments are necessary for a strategic implementation of QI as they provide information about the current positioning and progress of the processes (Zakoscielna, Parmelee, and Lichtenstein 132). The organization also needs to set up measurable indicators that it uses to examine its operations (Margolius 478). The ability to measure and assess processes regularly allows the enterprise an excellent opportunity to monitor the levels of quality and establish the areas that need improvement. The organization needs to put data collection strategies in place to satisfy the needs of a regular examination of processes. That move will allow for more accurate decision-making by ensuring optimal implementations to improve the operations of an entity. It is also vital to communicate the result of these examinations to all stakeholders to facilitate a collaborative system.
Decentralizing management and decision-making operations in an organization offer various benefits (Hecker 14). This move is equally useful for the successful implementation of quality improvement activities in the entity. Decentralization of processes allows most sections of an enterprise to act autonomously in pursuing solutions to the challenges that arise (Hecker 14). It also reduces dependency on top-level management to intervene when issues emerge. A decentralized system allows the employees to assess, detect, and solve problems more promptly than when they rely on central figures to handle those activities. This move is useful for enhancing the implementation of QI as it allows the employees to undertake the relevant processes urgently.
This investigation will use a qualitative research approach to outline the relevant concepts. A qualitative analysis involves systematic inquisitions into various phenomena in the area of interest (Tesch 9). This study will employ a critical review of research literature as the source of information that will inform the decision. There are various motivations for the selection of a qualitative approach to this investigation. The fundamental reason is that the design allows the researcher to focus on broader aspects of a concept rather than holding a singular that they seek to approve or disapprove (Bazeley and Jackson 26). This account aims at performing an extensive investigation into the idea of quality improvements by looking at the merits and demerits. A qualitative analysis is essential for facilitating the breadth of this objective. It also assists in undertaking studies when there are no particular measures available for the concept of interest (Neuman and Robson 188). These factors make a qualitative design the most suitable choice for this investigation.
This assessment finds that quality improvement (QI) is an essential component of various organizational processes regardless of the industry. It offers multiple benefits that enhance the performance of an entity by encompassing both people and processes. One of the factors that encourage its adoption in businesses is the many models of implementation that are available for individuals to choose. This assessment focuses on fives methodologies of QI whose application is flexible for multiple industrial sectors. The strategic approaches to effective adoptions are also useful perspectives for improving other aspects of an organization. The recommendation is for an entity to choose a QI model that is most suitable for their operations and use it.
This investigation has provided a low-down on the concept of quality improvement and its usefulness in most organizations. QI focuses on both the processes and people of an entity as essential instruments of enhancing the quality of the products and services of an enterprise. After defining the concept, the investigator heads on to provide various models of implementing QI in an organization that includes six sigma, total quality management (TQM), As well as continuous quality improvement (CQI). The report further outlines the strategic approaches to implementing QI. The strategies encompass the aspects of organizational culture, regular assessment of activities, clear communication of objectives, and the decentralization of decision-making. The conclusion is that QI will provide positive outcomes for its implementers.
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