Quality Management 2.0 Blog

Quality Management 2.0: A Three-Pronged Approach

Posted by IBS America on Sep 20, 2011 @ 09:15 AM

The IBS America, Inc. blog is entitled Quality Management 2.0: but what exactly does this mean, and how does it apply to quality management?

quality management systems 4Quality Management 2.0 represents an evolutionary technology-based advance - similar to what's happened with web 2.0, or marketing 2.0. The common 2.0 “theme” is all about building community, such as web 2.0 does through social media. This enables people to work together better through communication and transparency.

For a quality manager, that can mean integrating with other systems in the organization, avoiding redundancy, information stove-piping and avoiding problems with divergent and conflicting information. The ultimate goal is to have all employees work off a single source of "truth". Quality managers are expected to implement systems to operate and manage to these goals in conjunction with the quality improvement goals of the enterprise. Here’s a three pronged approach to how you go about doing that.

1)      TECHNOLOGY

When it comes to quality management systems, utilizing appropriate internet technologies fosters connectivity and enables users to get the information that they need right from their desktops. This process is part of eliminating the “silos”, and bridging these areas with appropriate integration points. Addressing the area of quality management has diverse requirements: some examples include the handling of heavy data flows on the production floor, connectivity with multiple data points, synthesizing processes, enabling connection to an automated system, and alerting operators appropriately when metrics don't align.

At the same time, the system must be able to have people work together with workflow and procedures, while facilitating communication among the workforce. Appropriate tools and systems to manage enterprise performance provide reporting capabilities and visibility; not just for managers, but for people on the floor. This quality management software technology provides information on what workers need to be doing and how they might improve by getting more training.

2)      DATA

It can be a difficult task to leverage soft process management software 4and hard resource data. Hard data is information that is used to objectively drive metrics and analytics. Automation is a great tool that can assist the hard data collection process so that people are not involved, as data collection is based on specifically set parameters.

Soft data includes the  information coming from or guiding human interactions, such as the workflow within a document management solution, and communication with people so that they are able to absorb information effectively, such as utilizing diagrams, flowcharts, movies, etc.

These different worlds of hard and soft quality data need to work together despite their respective requirements. It is important to integrate the quality processes within the enterprise, because overlap in domains of quality and the appropriate technological data collection approach depends on the nature of the business, products, services, and determining where biggest payoffs are.

There must be a certain balance between simplification - which is the minimum needed to do - within the soft data domain against the need for more information for reporting, which can burden employees. Finding the right balance is important, and different quality management systems can be employed depending on the enterprise.

So how do you achieve this balance? It's important to have production systems aligned with quality processes, which will not burden workers. Have only one system for both, driven by the same activities and data. Doing this is not only innovative, but will make your life easier. Taking advantage of new technology available and using pilot programs to demonstrate benefits of these new technological approach to quality management may be an excellent option for your company because it's automated: you don't have to think about it.

support of your quality management system3)      SUPPORT OF THE PEOPLE

In order to successfully implement the data and tehcnology components of Quality Management 2.0, you're going to need people behind it. You'll need people who are process-oriented, customer focused, tech-savvy team players that will help leverage entire systems. You'll also need collaborative relationships across different areas of business, and will need the appropriate systems to support this. You need to drive best practices and share these best practices across the enterprise. This is especially true in a global world, where one side may not know what the other side is doing without superior systems that drive collaboration.

But with such systems in place, you can. Process management software information might be used to define measurable business results through process knowledge and the tracking of key metrics. Some examples of these quality metrics include warranty costs, scrap rates, rework, turnaround time, and order fulfillment time.

Bottom Line: Quality Management 2.0 represents the brave new world of quality management: "quality" is not a simple concept anymore, with all available tools and resources that have changed and updated. There is a great deal of complex information that needs to be managed, and by looking holistically at the data, processes, and people you can orchestrate a solution that works best for you.

-Stephen Cummings, Vice President at IBS America, Inc.

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Topics: Quality Management Systems, Document Management Solution, Quality Management Software, Process Management Software, Stephen Cummings

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