I’m often asked, ‘why are you so keen on quality’, and my answer is generally along the lines of, ‘well, without quality, we don’t have customers, and without customers we don’t have a business, which is why I’m so keen!’.
OK, but how do you improve ‘quality’?
Well, quality means many different things to different people. Here’s just a few definitions:
I could go on, because the list is never-ending! And there is no right or wrong definition. But, at the end of the day, organisations exist to meet the needs of customers. Therefore, we all, no matter what we do, and in whatever industry we work in, have to understand and meet our customer’s requirements. Oh, and whilst doing that, it’s a good idea to do it in a productive and efficient way, otherwise we won’t make any money!
So, to improve quality in any organisation, I focus on 4 key areas:
Processes are how work gets done. They are the link that ‘binds’ other elements of a business together, such as people, resources, technology etc. If you define and understand your processes, you have a much better chance of achieving whatever it is that your organisations exists to achieve. So, every company consists of processes, but whether they are effective is another matter. To be ‘effective’ they must deliver their purpose or objective. How they deliver that, depends on how productive they are. By documenting processes we can establish where the improvements need to take place, to maximise time, money, space, etc, and create more profit. When processes interact and talk to each other, we create systems. Sometimes systems are created without the understanding of the proceses that enable them. For instance, you may deliver a project for a client, but if the ‘system’ for invoicing doesn’t trigger at completion, your cashflow might start to scream. Finally, standards define so many things in an organisation, such as culture, values, the performance of processes and systems, and whether we are deemed good enough as a company to meet the requirements of an industry or management system standard (such as the popular ISO 9001). Standards exist for a reason – to do things right, which is a no-brainer for any company.
So, in a nutshell, that is essentially how I work, on a project basis, to help my clients improve performance and generate growth.
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