Volume 7 · Issue 1 · January 2002
Quality Improvement Comes From Systems, Not Programs
Stewart Anderson writes that managers cannot effectively
pursue continual improvement of their QMSs if they do not
know what the systems ultimate goal is, where they currently
stand in relation to that goal and what change or improvement
is necessary to move the system closer to attaining its goal.
It is therefore important to adopt a systems approach to improvement.
Anderson explores Goldratts Theory of Constraints and
shows how, under TOC, improvement is obtained by identifying
the weakest link in the system and "elevating" or
eliminating it until it no longer prevents the system from
attaining its goal. He examines the Five Focusing Steps and
a set of Thinking Processes that TOC provides, along with
measurement concepts, to be used for identifying, managing
and "breaking" constraints. Anderson then shows
how TOC can be deployed within an ISO 9001:2000-conforming
QMS to support continual improvement.