Quality Management: The Core Components and Principles of Success

Quality Management: The Core Components and Principles of Success

Quality Management is defined as – Overseeing all activities and tasks that to be accomplished to maintain a desired level of excellence. This includes developing a quality policy, creating and implementing quality planning, facilitating quality assurance, quality control, and quality improvement.

From that description alone, quality management seems impressive and effectively thorough, but also quite daunting. The good news is that successful quality management was never intended to be only one individual’s responsibility. Good quality management aims to unite an organization’s stakeholders in a common goal, improving processes, products, and services to achieve consistent success.

The Core Components of Quality Management

Let's start with the foundational components of good quality management. There are four pillars of successful quality management, and they've already been referenced:

Quality Planning – Identifying quality standards for a process or project and determining how to meet them.

Quality Control – Consistent, meticulous actions designed to ensure a process's integrity.

Quality Assurance – Planned activities executed to support a product or service in meeting specific requirements.

Quality Improvement – Continued evaluation and alteration of processes and procedures to improve the outcomes' effectiveness, efficiency, or reliability.

By working together, stakeholders can develop the guidelines, based on these tenets, that will influence the products or services an organization creates and the standards they adhere to. If we dig deeper within each of these components, we find that there are principles that must be present for a company to truly succeed in quality management. What are these principles?

The Seven Principles of Successful Quality Management

Customer Focus – The customer or client of your organization is its lifeblood. Therefore your primary goal should always be to exceed their expectations. This can only be accomplished when your product or service quality is at its highest. That is often only attainable when your company's processes or procedures are at their most efficient.

Leadership – Almost all successful businesses have outstanding leadership in place. Strong leadership finds a way to unite and motivate its entire team, develop a healthy culture, and maximize nearly every employee's potential. When this is done right, the processes and procedures that are in place to produce top quality are upheld, and even improved upon

Engagement – In this instance, "engagement" refers to how management interacts with its workforce, internally. Are leaders encouraging and properly motivating employees to improve their skill sets and aspire for greater efficiency continually? Are they empowering them and making them feel valued in decisions that will ultimately affect them? When the answer to these questions is –"Yes", employees take pride in ownership, feel empowered, and are accountable.

Process Approach – One term referred to frequently in this article is the word "process." Having a process approach mindset is critical to achieving efficiency and effectiveness in a given organization's output. With the right processes in place, reducing costs, waste, and improvement in accuracy and quality are all likely outcomes.

Continuous Improvement – In other words, is there a plan in place within your company to improve, actively and continuously, upon what you're doing? From business flexibility to opportunity agility, organizations getting the most out of quality management are always aware of improvement possibilities.

Evidence-based Decisions – Good data and concrete facts should be the basis for all crucial business decisions. Using verifiable information to facilitate operations allows for production that reaches desired outcomes and can be justified and understood when unexpected results occur.

Relationship Management – Strengthening the bonds between and organization and its suppliers is critical, an undertaking that leads to mutually beneficial relationships. Because suppliers can affect a business's performance, when a given company can manage its relationships with its partners well, it is more likely to active collaboration and more sustained success.

Whether you're looking to improve upon your current Quality Management System, are starting from scratch in putting one together for the first time, or looking for a complete overhaul – reviewing and understanding the core components and principles behind what makes for successful quality management is important to your process. Good, consistent quality results begin with a good foundation in the quality management plan, and that comes from knowledge in where to focus and how to build.
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