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QUALITY CIRCLES

By Zaipul Anwar Business & Advanced Technology Centre, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia

Overview

What are Quality Circles? Summary of History and Practices How Do Quality Circles Work? How Can They be Used in an Organization? Example and Activity Problems with Quality Circles Bibliography

Summary of History and Practices

Quality Circles were first seen in the United States in the 1950s Circles were developed by Dr, Kaoru Ishikawa in Japan in the 1960s Circles were re-exported to the US in the early 1970s

Summary of History and Practices (continue)

1980s brought Total Quality Management and a reduction in the use of Quality Circles Quality Circles can be a useful tool if used properly

Summary of History and Practices (continue)Inspection (1950s) Quality Control (1960s)

Total Quality (1980s)World ClassZero Defect, Customer Focus, Quick Response (1990s)

Quality Assurance (1970s)

2000s ?

What is a Quality Circle?

Voluntary groups of employees who work on similar tasks or share an area of responsibility They agree to meet on a regular basis to discuss & solve problems related to work. They operate on the principle that employee participation in decision-making and problem-solving improves the quality of workThe reduction, by their efforts,of the countless number of problems which impede the effectiveness of their work Encourage circles to elect their own leaders towards the end of the training period

What is a Quality Circle? (continue)

Frequency and duration of meetings is set by the group Circle should be autonomous in that it should select the problems that it wishes to solve QCCs useful for

mutual-self-development and process control and improvement within their workshop. Utilising basic 7 QC Tools. Japanese experience indicated that 95% of the problems in the workshop can be solved through 7 QC Tools

The Japanese description of the effectiveness of a quality circle is expressed as:It is better for one hundred people to take one step than for one person to take a hundred

The World Turned Upside Down!CONTROL

CUSTOMER FOCUSED / CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT CEO OPERATORS SNR MGT MANAGEMENT SUPERVISORS OPERATORS SUPERVISORS MANAGEMENT SNR MGT

CEOCOACH

MASS PRODUCTIVITY / SCIENTIFIC MANAGEMENT

How Do Quality Circles Work?

All members of a Circle need to receive training Members need to be empowered Members need to have the support of Senior Management CharacteristicsVolunteers Set Rules and Priorities Decisions made by Consensus Use of organized approaches to Problem-Solving

Formation of Quality Circles

Start on the Shop Floor Base Circle on Training Allow the Circle to Form Itself Do The Training Properly Support with Information Required Provide Skills and Experience

Requirements of Quality Circles

Management Support Training Recognition System

How Can They be Used in an Organization?

Increase Productivity Improve Quality Boost Employee Morale

The Premise of Quality Circles

Much of the trouble originated from the gulf between management and shop floor Operators were frequently well aware of the cause of quality problems and, with modern standards of education, often knew how to cure them

Team Exercise

Break down into teams of 6-8 people Establish a leader and rules for your Circle Have a brainstorming and problem-solving session to resolve the issue on the next slide

Team Exercise

A Collegiate class on Statistical Analysis has a total enrollment of 45 people. Average attendance is 18 students The class consists mainly of lectures How can the professor of this class improve the quality of this course and increase student involvement?

The Benefits of Quality Circles

A Direct Pay-off (cost/benefits) An Operator To Manager Dialogue (involvement, participation, communication) A Manager To Manager Dialogue (awareness) An Operator to Operator Dialogue (attitudes) A Quality Mindedness (product quality and reliability, prevention of non-conformance) The Personal Development of the Participants

Reasons for failure of Quality Circles

Inadequate Training Unsure of Purpose Not truly Voluntary Lack of Management Interest Quality Circles are not really empowered to make decisions.

Reasons for failure of Quality Circles (continue)

They have not had enough training They have not been given sufficient autonomy The Quality Circles have been started in isolation and not part of a wider programme of Company-wide Continuous Improvement

Bibliography

Cole, Robert E. 1999. Managing Quality Fads: How American Business Learned to Play the Quality Game. New York, NY: Oxford Press. Aubrey, Charles A. 1988. Teamwork: Involving People in Quality and Productivity Improvement. Milwaukee, WI: Quality Press. Foster, S. Thomas. 2001. Managing Quality: An Integrative Approach. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Author Unknown. 1984. Quality Circles in the Community College [online]. Available online via http://www.ed.gov/databases/ERIC_Digests/ed353008.html Author Unknown. 1994. Kaizen and Quality Circles [online]. Available online via http://sol.brunel.ac.uk/~jarvis/bola/quality/circles.html

QUALITY IMPROVEMENT TEAMS

QUALITY IMPROVEMENT TEAMS

Team formed where there is a specific problem whose solution is unlikely to reside in a single department and which is large enough to justify the establishment of a team to resolve the problem For example (the combined actions of Production, Testing, Technical Departments as well as the Supplier for persistent equipment breakdown)

CHARACTERISTICS OF QITS

Set up by management Inter-departmental Group is usually formed to resolve a problem identified by others Team is usually disbanded once the problem solved

BENEFITS OF QITS

Break Down Inter-Departmental Barriers

QIT process is part of team building and ownership of the problem optimised for corporate rather than departmental goalssolutions are sought for the corporate good rather than to shift blame create a degree of mobile expertise in problem solving within the company

Solutions Are More Global In Concept

Improved Communications

Improved Problem Solving

THE QIT PROCESS

Adequate training in appropriate skills must be provided before the QIT starts work To deny the team the problem-solving tools it needs to carry out the task is inviting failure which will affect not only the issue under consideration but the credibility of the QIT process itself

THE QIT PROCESS

Identify the Project And Form The Team Define The Problem Accurately Identify And Verify Root Causes Plan And Implement Corrective Action Standardise And Seek Other Applications Conduct A Review Of The Project