Restructuring the Quality Program: An Organizational Perspective

Article

Taylor, Terry D.   (1987, ASQC)   Martin Marietta Energy Systems, Inc., Paducah, KY

41st Annual Quality Congress, May 1987, Minneapolis, MN    Vol. 41    No. 0
QICID: 3302    May 1987    pp. 248-252
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Article Abstract

Changing the direction of the quality program in corporations everywhere is necessary to meet changing business, customer, social, and environmental needs. Making the transition toa new way of doing business is a complex and difficult task. Martin Marietta, an operating contractor for the Department of Energy in Oak Ridge, Tennessee is undergoing such a change with remarkable results. This case is an excellent study in the dynamics of change and the impact of a wide array of variables on a diverse business.

The paper reveals the complex interworkings of managing the quality program within a corporation made up of a wide variety of energy-related activities. The Martin Marietta Energy Systems operates the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Y-12 Weapons Facility, and two Uranium Enrichment Facilities. The stimulus for a "Quality Revolution" in our company as well as in our entire nation is discussed as well as the dynamics of the change process itself. Defining organizational purpose and providing a clear and well communicated commitment to quality are absolutely essential to long-term well-being. The vehicle for making change productive and lasting simply must be the organization's people. The over-used and under-utilized phrase "...people are our most important asset, our most important resource...", must become a reality and a way of thinking. Quality professionals must understand this principle perhaps better than any other group, as a significant portion of their success depends upon effective cooperation with people. A simple plan for managing change is developed and discussed. Key elements include: focus on the future, setting effective goals, understanding simplicity, communication, recognition, and the ultimate concept in success - continuous improvement.

Keywords

Human resources (HR),Case study,Change management


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