The application of Quality to a business makes absolute sense. If understanding how the term 'Quality' and 'Quality Management System' applies to your organisation then the following may help.
Philip B Crosby is known for the concepts of “Quality is Free” and “Zero Defects”, and his quality improvement process is based on his four absolutes of quality: • Quality is conformance to requirements • The system of quality is prevention • The performance standard is zero defect • The measurement of quality is the price of non-conformance
His fourteen steps to quality improvement are: • Management is committed to a formalised quality policy • Form a management level quality improvement team (QIT) with responsibility for quality improvement process planning and administration • Determine where current and potential quality problems lie • Evaluate the cost of quality and explain its use as a management tool to measure waste • Raise quality awareness and personal concern for quality amongst all employees • Take corrective actions, using established formal systems to remove the root causes of problems • Establish a zero defects committee and programme • Train all employees in quality improvement • Hold a Zero Defects Day to broadcast the change and as a management recommitment and employee commitment • Encourage individuals and groups to set improvement goals • Encourage employees to communicate to management any obstacles they face in attaining their improvement goals • Give formal recognition to all participants • Establish quality councils for quality management information sharing • Do it all over again – form a new quality improvement team
Tom Peters identiﬁed leadership as being central to the quality improvement process, discarding the word “Management” for “Leadership”. The new role is of a facilitator, and the basis is “Managing by walking about” (MBWA), enabling the leader to keep in touch with customers, innovation and people, the three main areas in the pursuit of excellence. He believes that, as the effective leader walks, at least 3 major activities are happening: • Listening suggests caring • Teaching values are transmitted • Facilitating able to give on-the-spot help
Having researched successful American organisations, he concluded that any intelligent approach to organising had to encompass, and treat as interdependent, seven variables, in what became known as the McKinsey 7-S Framework, designed to force explicit thought about both the hardware and software of an organisation.