How have the ideas of constant improvement such as TQM, Six Sigma and other improvement processes affected the overall strategy of organizations?
The ideas of constant improvement, using TQM, Six Sigma and other improvement processes has had significant effects of the strategies of organizations; due possible to the perceived failure of Taylor’s scientific management philosophy which had place emphasis on production first and people second at the turn of the century.
According to Walnock (1993), the process left a legacy of declining production and quality dissatisfaction with work, loss of pride in workmanship and a complete loss of organizational pride. This necessitated the need for fresh ideas in order for a change in organizational strategies if there are going to be restorations of what has been lost. .
Total Quality Management (TQM), according to Ross (1993), is an integrated management philosophy that places emphasis among other things on continuous improvement , meeting customers’ requirements, increasing employee involvement, team work, process designs, team based problem solving, constant measuring of results, competitive benchmarking and establishing closer relationship with suppliers.
These ideas came about due to introspective thinking by organizations that have embraced TQM in their strategic approach to ensure every stage and personnel involved in their operations are examined and evaluated to see how they impact on the quality of products and services delivered to customers. The end result was that quality was built into manufacturing processes and was continually monitored to ensure conformance.
Organizations, by plotting strategies to dominate markets will be able to have maximum confidence in their offering to the public as well as to hold their positions with little threat to their public images.
Six sigma and Lean systems are also used to improve measurable results and identify and eliminate sources of waste and activities that do not add value to the creation of maximum productivity, according to the University of California-Irvine (2012), and organizations that embrace it as well as TQM are sure to achieve win//win results in terms of profit, production, productivity and low prices, especially if the continually maintain these programs at all stages.
Health Care Institutions are not to be left out, in terms of how the ideas of constant monitoring, using quality systems have affected their organizational strategies, as according to Hughes (2008), they have been a surge in the measuring and reporting on performance in health care systems.
The rationale behind this strategic approach according to Hughes (2008) was the commonly held belief among organizational leaders in the industry that good performance reflects good quality practice, and by comparing performance among providers, organizations will be encouraged to better their performance.
Hughes (2008), went further to mention that institutions has utilized Six Sigma, Lean TQM, and the Plan- Do-Study-Act quality systems in their strategies to ensure quality performances are clinically delivered to customers.
The attitude therefore of constant monitoring, using the tried and proven quality assurance ideas such as mentioned by Hughes (2008), the University of California-Irvine (2012), Walnock (1993) and Ross (1993) has come as a result of the desire of organizations to survive and prosper in the different industrial environment, where poor products can be detrimental to their continuity. The trend no doubt will continue going forward.
Hughes, R.G., (2008). Tool and Strategies for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Chapter 44 www.ahrq.gov/qual/nurseshdbk/docs/HughesR_QMBMM.pdf , 01/12/12
Ross, J. (1993). Total Quality Management: Text Cases and Readings St. Luce Press Delray Beach FL.
University of California-Irving, (2012). Six Sigma Lean The Gold Standard of Product and Process Excellence www.unex.uci.edu/certificate/businessmgmt/leansix_sigma/ , 01/12/12
Walnock, D.S., (1993). Organizational Behavior www.statpac.org/walnock/organizational-theory.htm/ , 01/12/12