Creating a Culture of Quality

ASQ Global State of Quality 2016

Question

I was introduced to Quality Management (& ISO 9001:2015) recently. The culture of the organization that I am concerned with has not embraced Quality Management, and it is often the subject of outright and unprofessional antagonism. I seek direction in order to arm myself with greater knowledge or qualifications as well as change attitudes toward Quality Management at all levels within the organization. I thought that ASQ would be a good resource. Since there are so many channels, a plethora of literature, and various certifications and conferences, I am a bit overwhelmed. I need to focus my efforts, and I hope to be able to do so with some direction from a professional who can relate to such growing pains. Thank you.

Answer 1

Thank you for your question.  I can certainly to relate to you and your plight – I was in a similar circumstance early in my career.   If you were introduced to ISO 9001 this year, I have to assume that your company is not yet registered.   Most manufacturing companies are required by their customers to have registration, but if you are not in that situation, you have to sell Quality Management on its own merit.  The bad news is, that if your senior management doesn’t want a Quality Management System, there is nothing you can do about that.  Now, that being said, you can begin by examining some of the “pain points” in your organization and showing how quality tools can help to solve them.  Management will never embrace quality until they see what is in it for them.   You can start with an analysis of the Cost of Poor Quality.  When your leadership sees the cost of nonconformance, they will be keen to bring those costs down.  COPQ typically includes the cost of external customer complaints, replacing products, late deliveries, and internal costs such as scrap, rework, re-makes etc.  If there has ever been a problem that traces back to not properly understanding a customer’s needs, that is a text-book example of how Quality Management can help.  Start with that.   Look at the costs of poor quality, and sell the idea of using quality tools to bring those costs down.  You will have no chance of selling your management on quality until they can see what’s in it for them.  Good Luck!

Denis J. Devos, P.Eng
A Fellow of the American Society for Quality
Devos Associates Inc.
(519) 476-8951
www.DevosAssociates.com

Answer 2

it sounds like this company needs a culture change. This change can happen only at the direction of the company’s leadership.
Here’s some suggestions:

  1. Each department head has to establish three (3) measurable goals on how his/her department is improving on the quality of their department’s output/work.  These are to be reported at each executive monthly meeting.  Department manager’s must be held accountable for lack of quality improvements.
  1. Every individual’s performance review must include “quality performance.”  This also needs to be measurable (less than last year, improved customer satisfaction from surveys, reduced ‘cost-of-quality’, reduced audit nonconformance observations, etc.)
  1. If the company has a bonus program, individuals/departments bonus is tied into quality performance.  ISO observation means 10% or more cut in bonus.
  1. Have top executives hold meetings on the need for quality and it’s everyone’s responsibility – not just the QA department.  If employees don’t like it they are welcomed to find employment elsewhere.

Jim

Jim Werner
Voting member to the U.S. TAG to ISO TC 176 Quality Management and Quality Assurance
Medical Device Quality Compliance (MDQC), LLC.
ASQ Senior Member
ASQ CQE, CQA, RABQSA Lead QMS Assessor

What title do you most associate with a quality department?

For this post, I invite subscribers to give their feedback regarding a recent question that came through today.  We have an industry member that is looking into the possibility of changing his department from Quality Improvement to… that is the question.  When you think of a quality department, what title do you associate with it?  Quality Management?  Quality Assurance?  Quality Improvement?  Something else?

Resources about Quality Culture

ASQ Global State of Quality 2016

Q: I am a senior member of ASQ.  I plan on giving a two to three hour workshop on quality culture at my company.  Do you have any audiovisual materials and/or examples from other successful companies that I could use for my slide presentation?  I would really appreciate it if you could provide me with more informaton on creating a quality culture.

A: According to The Quality Improvement Glossary by Donald L. Siebels, quality culture “consists of employee opinions, beliefs, traditions, and practices concerning quality within an organization”.

ASQ has over 200 books and articles on the topic of quality culture.  I have included links to a number of different resources, including webcasts and case studies, that contain content that I believe pertains most to your question regarding quality culture.

Case Studies:

“Quality Culture in Small Business: Four Case Studies”: http://asq.org/data/subscriptions/qp/2001/0101/41watson_jan2001.html

“Building a Culture of Quality”: http://rube.asq.org/2010/08/certification/culture-of-quality.pdf

“Quality Engrained in Culture at Iowa Hospital”:
http://asq.org/2009/05/continuous-improvement/quality-engrained-in-culture-at-iowa-hospital.html

“R. L. Polk & Co.: Making Every Issue the Only Issue”: http://asq.org/2009/02/customer-satisfaction-and-value/polk-making-every-issue-the-only-issue.html

“Celsius Australia: BEST PRACTICES, Reach for the STARS”: http://asq.org/quality-progress/2007/05/leadership/reach-for-the-stars.html

Articles/Conference Papers:

“A Framework for Organizational Quality Culture”: http://asq.org/data/subscriptions/qmj_open/1999/october/qmjv6i4cameron.html

“A Nontraditional Approach to Creating a Quality Culture”:
http://asq.org/world-conference/2011/six-sigma/creating-quality-culture.html

“Creating a Quality Driven Culture…Breaking Through the Culture Wall”:
http://asq.org/data/subscriptions/jqp_open/1994/march/jqpv17i2sirota.html

“Creating a Culture of Success Is a Team Effort”: http://asq.org/members/news/aqc/54_2000/14107.html

“The Modern Noah’s Ark”: http://asq.org/world-conference/2011/quality-management/culture-of-quality-cruise-ship.html

Webcasts:

“Creating a Quality Culture Webcast”: http://asq.org/2011/10/creating-a-quality-culture-webcast.html

“Juran’s Quality Handbook: The Complete Guide to Performance Excellence Webcast”: http://asq.org/2011/09/basic-quality/jurans-quality-handbook-webcast.html

“Executive Insight Webcast Interview with Mark Laney of Heartland Health”: http://asq.org/2011/04/baldrige-national-quality-program/executive-insight-webcast-interview-with-mark-laney-of-heartland-health.html

(discusses how they built a culture of high performance in their organization)

These videos are from ASQ’s blog, “A View from the Q”.  The videos are located at the end of the blog posts:

“Coca-Cola’s Quality Culture”: http://asq.org/blog/2011/11/coca-colas-quality-culture/

“Four Questions: Creating a Culture of Quality with Dr. J.J. Irani”: http://asq.org/blog/2011/07/four-questions-creating-a-culture-of-quality-with-dr-j-j-irani/

“The Ps and Qs of the new General Motors”: http://asq.org/blog/2011/09/the-ps-and-qs-of-the-new-general-motors/

“Four Questions: Talking Quality with Ford Motor Company”: http://asq.org/blog/2011/06/four-questions-talking-quality-with-ford-motor-company/

2011 ASQ World Conference on Quality and Improvement On-Demand Recordings (Available for purchase): http://wcqi.asq.org/2011/virtual/index.html

Includes the topics “Building a Quality Culture” and “Organizational Excellence”

E-Books:

“Quality Makes Money: How to Involve Every Person on the Payroll in a Complete Quality Process (CQP)”:
http://asq.org/quality-press/display-item/index.html?item=E1241&xvl=76081302

“The Progressive Audit: A Toolkit for Improving Your Organizational Quality Culture”:
http://asq.org/quality-press/display-item/index.html?item=E1268&xvl=76081291

I hope that this information helps.  If you are interested in doing some more searching on your own, you can search for articles and books in the ASQ Knowledge Center: http://asq.org/knowledge-center/index.html.

If you are interested in using any of these resources in your presentation, please contact ASQ’s Quality Information Center for more information on using and reprinting ASQ resources or see the following link on ASQ’s copyright permission policies: http://asq.org/copyright/.

Best regards,

ASQ Research Librarian
Milwaukee, WI