A Practical Approach to Quality

Article

Scholtes, Peter   (1987, ASQC)   Heero Hacquebord, Joiner Associates Inc., Madison, WI

41st Annual Quality Congress, May 1987, Minneapolis, MN    Vol. 41    No. 0
QICID: 3297    May 1987    pp. 202-222
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Article Abstract

When W. Edwards Deming describes an organization committed to quality, we get a compelling picture of what we should strive for and how we ought to be. But there are precious few instructions on how to begin such a transformation. This paper is an effort to fill some of that gap. What we propose here is a practical approach to becoming a quality organization. We call it "practical" because it is based on what we believe are some pragmatic realities of everyday business life: that change is very difficult; the resistance to change is frequently strong and persistent; that no matter how much a company might want to transform itself to some new order, it must continue doing business and for the time being, do so in the way it knows best. Transformation, therefore, involves a sort of adolescence: a period of inelegance when we shift from one way of being to a new way of being. We also call these approaches practical because they work. Contained here are things we have learned from decades of helping many and diverse organizations grow and improve.In Part I of our presentation we step back and review some basics. First we discuss some basic guidelines regarding quality. These provide the basis for the new order of business, the goal toward which we strive. The second basic we present is the new way of viewing the organization. We contrast this with the conventional image of the organization and explain why the new view is essential in a quality organization. Third, we present some basic guidelines for organizational change. Whereas the previous points describe the characteristics of the journey. When these basics are combined, they form the foundation for Part II: Some strategies for transformation. Part II is the heart of our message: several initiatives to take in order to convert a company from where it is now to an organization dominated by quality. Part II describes six interrelated areas of activity, six general approaches that adhere to the basics and seek to transform the organization in various ways at multiple levels. Each of the six strategies has been proven to be a very important part of the successful transformation of both large and small companies in both the manufacturing and in the service areas.Part I Some "Basics": The Foundation, Purpose and Context of TransformationIt seems bold for someone to describe the basics in a field for which there do not seem to be many time-tested fundamentals. But we believe that there are some basics ready to be described as such. We have divided these fundamentals into three categories: A. Basic guidelines regarding quality; B. The new concetp of an organization; and C. Basic guidelines regarding transformation and change.

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