Quality management is one of the important aspects of the managerial system; it predetermines the high level of performance within an organization in order to achieve positive results. Quality management uses approaches and tools which target the performance of employees, improving their skills and abilities to do more difficult tasks. Nevertheless, the main function of quality management is to create an environment in which individual’s and team’s perspectives will be targeted for the improvement of work performance and the general quality of the organization’s service.
Definitions of Basic Quality Management Terms
Quality management is a widespread term in management; it may refer to different aspects of the managerial system and be implemented in various processes. According to this fact, there is no single definition of quality management. One uses a certain term of quality management, when talking about a particular aspect of management. According to this fact, one outlines four basic quality management terms:
The process of analyzing all tasks that are necessary to improve in order to receive the desired results.
The approach to quality assurance to estimate the issue of quality from different perspectives.
A philosophy that unites all systems and processes in order to improve the quality of performance in the entire organization.
The process to achieve the highest level of customer satisfaction applying the lowest level of organization’s cost during the continuous improvement process.
Concepts of Quality Management
Quality management consists of such concepts as continuous improvement, customer focus, and employee empowerment. Continuous improvement predetermines that an organization provides regular improvements in order to increase the performance level of its employees, conditions of work, clients’ satisfaction and, as a consequence, achieve better results. Customer focus means that an organization meets all customers’ needs and demands (Nash, 2014). The range of customers’ needs always changes; thus, an organization should develop a strategy that will help to determine the changes in the clients’ needs and satisfy them. Finally, employee empowerment predetermines motivating employees to identify the problems and search for appropriate ways of their solutions. Earlier, employees did not do this work alone or according to their initiative; they were afraid that they would be reprimanded. However, today the image of quality management has changed, and an organization often inspires its employees to take part in such process of their personal free will. In other words, an organization empowers its employees to be responsible for the processes within an organization and take measures to fix any problems or challenges.
Principles of Quality Management
Among the quality management principles, one may outline the following three ones. The first principle is leadership that establishes the unity of the entire organization. The goal of the leadership principle is to make all employees and employers work as a team, where every member knows what one should do. The leadership principle creates a necessary environment for positive work which improves the quality of performance and, as a result, leads to further improvements.
The second principle is involvement of people. Employees at all levels are the essential part of any organization; one should use all them in order to achieve the necessary result. People always search for an opportunity to demonstrate their abilities, knowledge and skills. Thus, it is necessary to give them an opportunity to show what they can do; it will bring benefits both to a person and an organization.
The third principle is an effective decision making. The effectiveness of the decision-making process depends on the analysis of information and data. Thus, the quality management is an ability to analyze the experience and define which actions were beneficial to an organization and which ones are better to avoid in the future.
Quality Management Tools and Techniques
Quality management defines seven basic tools; however, the most significant of them are the following three. The first tool is histogram that shows the frequency of distribution. Histogram is used to analyze whether the customers’ needs were satisfied and to estimate the effectiveness of this process. The second tool is stratification that is applied before data collection. Quality management also refers to such means as staff duties and workflow analysis (Ruževičius, 2014). The analysis of staff’s duties helps to identify which obligations every employee should perform. In this way, when all tasks are distributed among employees, there will be less unexpected problems or gaps that decrease the quality of work. The third technique is brainstorming ideas. All employees are the members of one team; thus, they have, and they should introduce their thoughts, even those which seem to be very unordinary. This technique helps to create a chain of ideas that will finally lead to one which will force the efforts.
Quality Management in Practice
First and foremost, customer focus gives quality management an opportunity to improve customer satisfaction. Secondly, continual improvement plays a great role in decreasing processes of defects, waste, rework, and risk. It also improves the quality, safety and, as a result, customer satisfaction as well. Besides, continual improvement creates more new opportunities for an organization. Thirdly, leadership is a very powerful aspect of quality management. The reason is that leaders establish direction and unity of purpose. Obviously, if a working process is organized properly by experienced and skillful leaders, the quality of an organization will rise and improve in terms of risk, defects, waste, rework, customer satisfaction, etc.
As a conclusion, it can be said that the goal of quality management is to increase the productivity of employees by the means of various tools, techniques and approaches which are targeted on the improvement of quality within an organization and on the improvements of an organization itself. Quality management is not solely a process that is provided from top to the bottom of the hierarchy ladder, but it is a process in which every employee of a particular organization should participate.