Continuous Quality Improvment CQI
What is Quality?
'What is Quality?' this is not a question we hear very often, but we wish more people would ask. It is relatively easier to understand the concept of quality in respect of the production, where components and products are manufactured and, the defects are visible, but quality applies to the output of each process in any organization. Quality means that correct data are entered, stocks are accurately managed, suppliers are paid in time and, customers are kept satisfied. Everyone from front office employers to general managers, each stakeholder, including customers, investors, employees, and societies are responsible for the quality outputs with an effect on them.
What are the Basic Principles of Continuous Quality Improvement?
Each organization shapes their approach to the CQI, but there are also some guiding principles shared among most people:
• Quality means that the expectations of internal and external customers are met or exceeded.
• Most of the problems are with not the people but the procedures. CQI is about seeking issues and accusing people, but searching for solutions and delivering the best results.
• Standardization is required to avoid differences in the results. Processes are applied to the standard until improvement opportunities are identified and acted upon.
• Improvement is possible by means of incremental changes based on scientific methods.
• Improvement should be a natural part of the organizational culture and the way people do their daily routines.
How is the CQI Implemented?
The basic steps to implement improvement by using the philosophy of CQI are as follows:
• Select a team with knowledge about the process or system to be improved. Those who will do the job should take place in this team together with other employees and relevant experts:
• Define the problem and the effect thereof.
• Document valid actions.
• Document the requirements of those who will take the process outputs.
• Define success and identify how to measure it.
• Brainstorm for potential improvements.
• Implement selected changes.
• Collect data about Key Performance Indicators (KPI).
• Tune out the changes.
• Adjust the standard accordingly if the changes have resulted in desired outcomes. Repeat the action, if not.
Which Tools and Techniques are Used for Continuous Quality Improvement?
Some various tools and techniques may help bring order into and make remindful the way of improvement. These are;
Improvement Management Software: A central system intended to document improvement efforts and collect information for positive changes helping accelerate the efforts for improvement. It delivers a standard way and makes the cooperation possible to measure the effect of progress. The most efficient solutions are those with a built-in workflow containing warnings and notices intended to accelerate change.
Standard Working: Standard working is that the best practices for any action or task are documented. Standard working underlies the concept of improvement.
PDSA: PDSA stands for Plan, Do, Study, Act. It is also known as the Deming Cycle. The opportunity for improvement proceeds with documents that are formed in each step. When the cycle is completed, it is restarted with a new improvement plan.
Value Stream Mapping-VSM: Value Stream Mapping is a CQI method intended to document and analyze each step of the process through which a service or product is requested and then delivered to customers. It helps identify such opportunities to eliminate steps with no added-value and enhance the quality of outputs from any type of action.
Catchball (Hoshin Kanri Method): Catchball is a technique where an idea is produced by a person and shared with another. This person sends this idea to another person for feedback and action. This idea is transferred forwardly, backwardly, upwardly, and downwardly among several people required to apply an improvement.
A continuous quality improvement program is intended to ensure that all the team members, employees, managers, and other stakeholders continuously feel strengthened to improve efforts and results. Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) is a praiseworthy objective that could be accepted by any leader. However, it is not a process that appears by itself. To attain this objective, successful goals need to identify, implement, and maintain certain principles and techniques.
Quality Assurance Manager