martedì 26 agosto 2014

Quality/4 - Quality doesn't fit with us - true or false?

The Question I would like to analyze now is:

Is true or false that Our organization is different from the others and so Quality does not fit with our reality?

Indeed to say “ Quality doesn’t fit with our business” is a classical exception against the introduction of the Quality Management on a Company.
It seems the Quality Management is always something to be done by someone else.
So, the Quality Standard can range from   “ Standard has been developed for production industry only” to “It is not able to manage Services businesses” to “Quality cannot fit with Facilities Management” to “ It has been written for industrial organizations”.
Of course, for someone, in the above context, the Quality Statements are out of range for Shipping companies or at most are only  for Big Shipping Companies.
But in the maritime work  environment  you can also find people who are sure that the Quality Certification is mandatory to permit navigation of vessels (they mix up Quality Standard and ISM Code; the ISM code has been provided for the safe management operation of ships and for pollution prevention).
The above quoted sentences can be easily disproved reading directly from the Quality Standard. It has been written to fit all the organizational realities, regardless the sector to which they belong.
The last 2008 version of ISO 9001 clearly states (§1.2):
All requirements of this International Standard are generic and are intended to be applicable to all organizations, regardless of type, size and product provided”.

If someone has further doubts about Quality, I suggest a very simple to read and interesting web-site. of contents.html

There above concerns are better addressed and it's from there I have taken my cue.

martedì 19 agosto 2014

Quality/3 - Rules prevent the best performers: true or false?

Rules prevent the best performers from standing out.

In the contest of the Workshop Questionnaire I proposed to my collegues, the meaning of “rules” concerns the provision of  adequate internal standard, policies, guidelines, procedures, working instructions, circulars etc. to establish the structure of an organization.

The topic ties in with the previous Question related to the association between quality and bureaucracy.
The answers to the questionnaire showed the widespread awareness that working processes can be established without affecting creativity and personal competences.
Moreover, the Management System requires periodical measurements to evaluate performances of processes impartially and objectively. 
These methods shall demonstrate the ability of the processes and processors to achieve planned results.
It sounds like a good opportunity for best performers to stand out, doesn't it?

Unfortunately things are not so easy because documentation has to be, first of all, prepared and often has to be shared with other departments. Always has to be submitted for approval and updated anytime there is a change,  etc.
For sure that it’s a real  effort to be considered but in any case a clear documentation, generally speaking, supports attitudes of enterprise and improvement.

martedì 12 agosto 2014

Quality/2 Quality is bureaucracy - true of false?

Quality is bureaucracy: it bridles creativity.

What do you think about above statement?

You can agree the Quality brindles the personal creativity even if  different reasons and shading.
Or, perhaps you think that It's false: this is just an alibi for those who want to avoid rules.
At least you can assert that It depends on how Quality is interpreted and implemented.

As leader of a Quality Project you might expect me to defend all Quality Systems.
On the contrary I agree there must be a valid reason if often the perception of Quality is linked with bureaucracy.
Could be sometimes companies require and obtain the "Quality Certification" only to put the Certification Logo in their web-site and their invoice forms.
Of course, the consequence of this kind of approach can be summarized by saying that, in this case what you really do and what you have documented differ. Therefore, documentation is bureaucracy - just piece of papers.

On the other hand you can find people oriented to the formal application of rules rather than  interested in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of business processes.  

I mean, for instance, the proliferation of complex forms to be filled in without any (or with poor) consideration of resources to be used and the possible benefits. 

Another example of the wrong approach is an internal audit that becomes a wild west gunfight between the Good Guy and the Bad Guy (do you remember the western film High Noon starred by Gary Cooper and Ian MacDonald?).

So, my personal answer to the question "Is Quality just bureaucracy?" is...."It depends". 
As I said during my Workshops,  the fruit of the Quality is tasty but it can be difficult to remove the peel to get to the fruit.
For sure, in some way, you can obtain from the Certifying Body  the formal stamp of Certification, but please be careful that you are not ignoring the purposes of the Quality standards.

Indeed the responses I received  to my questionnaire are interesting because  75% of colleagues answered "No" or "it depends" against only 25% who responded that  “quality is bureaucracy”.

The result is quite good because many employees involved were approaching the Quality Management System for the first time (i.e., Accounting, Legal and ICT departments) and further investigation was provided before the training.  


martedì 5 agosto 2014

Quality /1 - provocative statements

Some months ago, 114 d’Amico Group managers and employees before attending the Quality Awareness Workshop, responded to our “Quality” Questionnaire.

During the 15 sessions, held in Rome, Genoa, Monaco, London and Dublin, involving all the ashore departments, we shared our ideas about the Integrated Management Systems and the Processes Management. 

We also focused on Continuous Improvement through the PDCA  (Plan-Do-Check-Act) methodology.

Really, our Questionnaire was just a pretext for exploring perceptions about Quality, and to establish a starting point for further exploration.
In my upcoming posts, I will discuss some provocative statements:

- Quality is bureaucracy: it bridles creativity.
- Rules prevent the best performers from standing out.
- Our organization is different from the others.
Quality does not fit with our reality.

Follow me next days...

giovedì 10 aprile 2014

A thoughtful challenge

L'anno scorso la d'Amico ha lanciato il progetto Storyboarding che rappresenta un’opportunità di “partecipazione” alla vita aziendale e un modo nuovo per darne forma attraverso la esperienza chi ci lavora.
Tutte le storie ricevute faranno parte di un e-book e vengono pubblicate, una per settimana, tramite intranet.
Questa settimana è il turno della mia.
Propongo qui la versione in inglese  e rimando alla traduzione in italiano sul link "una sfida ragionata"