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1.1 Critically assess organisational approaches to quality management in relation to different perspectives and schools of thought

609 Leading Quality Management

  • Ofqual unit number M/617/4465
  • RQF level 6
  • Guided learning hours 25
  • Total unit time 70
  • Credits 7

  • Aims of unit: Effective quality management is critical to meeting stakeholder needs and expectations, developing trust and reputation. It impacts on profitability, processes and procedures and the achievement of strategic objectives. Quality is not something that occurs by chance. It is reliant on strategic and operational planning and the commitment and drive by professional managers, leaders, teams and individuals to make it a success.

    The aim of this unit is to enable professional managers and leaders to understand the rationale and approaches to quality management. Critically, the unit focuses on how quality and continuous improvement can be instilled into all aspects of working practice.

  • Keywords: Quality management, stakeholders, structures, principles, continuous improvement, purpose, procedures, strategic objectives.

Learning outcome 1

Understand the factors which influence organisational approaches to quality management

Assessment criteria

1.1 Critically assess organisational approaches to quality management in relation to different perspectives and schools of thought

1.2 Appraise the impact of multi-dimensional issues on quality management within organisational contexts

Indicative content

1.1 Approaches to quality management (people centred or mechanistic): Continuous improvement. Six Sigma (Motorola, 1986). Statistical Process Control ‘SPC’ (Shewhart, 1920), Deming/PDCA Cycle (Deming, 1950s). LEAN methods (Krafcik, 1988; FW Taylor, 1911; Lillian Gilbreth, 1920; Tsuneo Ono, 1929). Total Quality Management ‘TQM’ (Feigenbaum et al., circa 1980). Public/Third Sector approaches (e.g. PQASSO, Investing in Volunteers ‘ViM’).

Different perspectives and schools of thought: Short term improvements to quality management: Reactive, dramatic improvement, involving a select few (Kaizen Blitz). Long term improvements to quality management: Long lasting, slow small steps, incremental, applied to everybody (Kairyo, Kaizen/Ba, circa 1960). Continuous self-development to achieve leadership potential.

1.2 Multi-dimensional issues: barriers, enablers, constraints, cultural issues.

Organisational contexts: Purpose, governance (e.g. public, private, third sector). Legal status of the organisation. Organisational structure. Organisational culture. Type (operational, local, international, global, project/programme based, departmental and strategic business unit). Levels of organisational maturity (Carnegie Mellon Maturity Index ‘CMMI’, 1990).

Internal and external factors such as current business environment, customer needs. Organisational requirements for quality management (e.g. industry norms, regulations, requirements for governance). Organisational requirements for new quantitative and qualitative outcomes. Management and leadership styles.

Learning outcome 2

Know how to lead quality management to achieve strategic objectives

Assessment criteria

2.1 Discuss how quality management can be developed to achieve strategic objectives in an organisational context

2.2 Develop a proposal to lead quality management at an operational level

2.3 Consider how individuals and teams can be supported to instil the principles of quality and continuous improvement into all aspects of working practice

Indicative content

2.1 The development of quality management may include but is not limited to: Establishing aims and objectives (e.g. strategic, operational, departmental, functional). Critical Success Factors (Daniel / McKinsey & Co., 1961). Critical Decisions, Critical Assumptions, Assumption Based Planning (ABP) (Rand Corporation, circa 1960). Key Performance Indicators ‘KPIs’. Gain stakeholder buy-in (e.g. individuals, teams, managers, leaders, senior managers, board members; external: customers, pressure groups, government agencies; connected: suppliers, partners, contractors). Balance of power, value, impact, power/interest, stakeholder analysis (Freeman, 1984; Eden and Ackerman, 1998).

2.2 Proposal in relation to either a new or existing operational activity to include:

  • Business planning – overarching business plan for quality management: Identify opportunities for short and long-term improvements (e.g. build on success, respond to a problem, support customer need). Identify long-term goals and objectives. Manage stakeholder involvement. Seek perspectives on priorities and strategies. Identify and manage risk. Set measurable objectives (e.g. KPIs). Develop high-level improvement implementation plan (key milestones and dates) and strategy (e.g. prototyping, parallel operations, big bang or pilot project). Plan to manage, lead, monitor and evaluate outcomes of improvements.
  • Operational planning (including an evaluation of options): To introduce or improve quality management.
  • Selection of approaches to training, learning and development (e.g. formal, informal): Online learning, secondments and temporary promotion/role change, job shadowing, benchmarking against other industry sectors, quality circles.
  • Selection of tools and techniques for quality management (quality controls and assurance): Assurance: International Organization for Standardization: ISO 9001: 2015.
  • Diagnostic techniques (e.g. influence diagrams). Rational Decision Making (Kepner and Tregoe, 1965). Soft Systems Methodology ‘SSM’ (Checkland, circa 1970). Appreciative Enquiry (Cooperrider and Srivastva, circa 1980). Multi Voting/ Delphi Technique (Rand Corporation, Helmer et al., c.1960). Mind mapping (Buzan et al., c.1950)
  • Analytical techniques: Failure Mode and Criticality Analysis (FMECA). SWOT analysis. Six Thinking Hats (De Bono, 1986). Root Cause Analysis. 5 Whys. Fishbone Analysis (Ishikawa, 1968). Design of Experiments ‘DoE’. The Seven Wastes (7 Mudas, Toyota, circa 1950). Pareto analysis. Quality Functional Deployment ‘QFD’ (1966, Japan). Deming/PDCA Cycle (Deming, 1950s). Kano Model (Kano, 1980). Six Sigma (Motorola, c. 1986). Rapid Improvement Workshop. Voice of the Customer.
  • Analysis and presentation of results: Histograms, bar charts, variance analysis, data analysis and visualisation. Statistical methods (e.g. Statistical Process Control ‘SPC’), Cost of Poor Quality ‘CoPQ’ (IBM et al., 1987).
  •  Manufacturing techniques: Fit, finish, tolerances, parts and assemblies, tool room metrology, mistake proofing. Value engineering. Overall Equipment Effectiveness ‘OEE’. Design for Manufacturing and Assembly Techniques ‘DFMA’. Visual management. KANBAN boards.
  • Plan for implementation: Scope, objectives, actions, stages, milestones, resources, timescales, responsibilities, key performance indicators, communications, risk, quality, human resources, and team development. Standard project management approaches such as PRINCE2. PMI (Project Management Institute). APM (Association of Project Managers). PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge). Use of Gantt Charts and Critical Path Analysis. Plan for use of national and international standards (e.g. ISO 9001: 2015, API, DIN, AFNOR).
  •  Select implementation strategy for quality management: Big bang strategy (out with the old and in with the new). Prototyping. Development of a pilot. Parallel operations (running new and existing operations for a time period).
  • Plan for monitoring and review: Identify qualitative and quantitative methods (e.g. Periodic reporting, surveys and questionnaires, interviews, benchmarking activities, scorecards, data and metrics, audits, targets, observation, conversations. Performance Improvement Reviews ‘PIR’).
2.3 Strategies to instil the principles of quality and continuous improvement: Communities of practice, subject matter experts, self and directed learning, technical training, motivational techniques, reward and recognition, expectations of role and requirements. Recognise enablers and blockers. Force Field Analysis (Lewin, c. 1940). Collaborative working, coaching and mentoring, role modelling. Winning hearts and minds (challenging assumptions and beliefs, influencing, overcoming barriers and conflict). Adapt management and leadership styles to individual and team needs.

Recommendations for assessment

Learners may approach the assessment in a number of ways. All assessment criteria must be met. The following opportunities are recommendations for guidance purposes only.

  1.  The learner may be asked to write a report or reflective account on the factors which influence organisational approaches to quality management.
  2.  The learner may be asked to write a report or proposal on how to lead quality management to achieve strategic objectives.
  3. The learner may present work-based evidence accompanied by reports/reflective accounts to meet each of the assessment criteria.
Further guidance
It is not a requirement for the learner to cover all aspects of the indicative content when completing the assessment. The learner is encouraged to select and present well-chosen information and examples to evidence they sufficiently understand the assessment criteria.
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