Evidence-based decision making

Decision making is the forming of a causal argument that a chosen alternative will result a certain future outcome. The quality of a decision is largely dependent on the accuracy and relevance of the information on which it is based – as well as being free from subjective bias in reflecting the true needs. When poor quality or biased evidence is used for decision making, the proposed alternative will risk producing an ineffective or adverse outcome. Standards, such as ISO 9001 on quality management and ISO 16355 on QFD, therefore calls for factual decision information. Continue reading “Evidence-based decision making”

People in systems

People are a particularly dynamic resource. Firstly, they are extremely flexible and adaptable, compared to a machine. Secondly, the individual person has an independent mind, which is sensitive to its environment. People’s abilities, concentrations and commitments vary continually. People need to be equipped with the skills, knowledge, support and motivation necessary to perform their functions within the system well. People also need to be aware of the organisation’s values and objectives, and understand how they themselves contribute to meeting these. Continue reading “People in systems”

Management system leadership

Leadership in the quality management context is about driving the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle across the system. The organisation’s objectives are met when its leaders maintain conditions that secure the right amounts of momentum, cohesion, creativity and decisions. Think of the PDCA as a wheel that needs turning, in the right direction and without stoppages. Continue reading “Management system leadership”

Quality Creation vs Quality Assurance

Quality practitioners now-a-days tend to treat the term quality assurance as being too narrow for purpose. They prefer instead to talk about quality management or quality systems. History shows that over-emphasis on the term ‘assurance’ can drive a limited kind of quality, which would not necessarily guarantee satisfaction. Continue reading “Quality Creation vs Quality Assurance”

How much dissatisfaction will customers tolerate?

Ideally, quality is naturally inherent in the product, in a way that dissatisfaction is simply never an issue. In the real world, however, organisations and their operating environments are dynamically complex. Everything that interacts has variability. The provision of a product or service will rely on hundreds, if not thousands, of small interactions Continue reading “How much dissatisfaction will customers tolerate?”

Documenting an IMS

The integrated management system should define processes that can affect the planning, operation and control of all of the system standards that the organisation has adopted. The process definition should describe what, who and how well something is to be done, which in standards terms are inputs, outputs, responsibility and criteria. Do not define processes for Continue reading “Documenting an IMS”