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What is a process? What are the process characteristics? Why to we need to continuously improve our business processes? Identify and document a process of your choose with the aid of a flow chart. How could this process be improved to make it simpler and/or more efficient or effective? How might you collectively develop an improved process?

  • 1.0 What is a process? A process is a collection of interrelated work tasks initiated in response to an event that achieves a specific result for the customer of the process. Adding more specific detail to that general definition:

that achieves a specific result:



must deliver a specific result


this result must be individually identifiable and countable


a good process name clearly indicates the result or end state of the process

for the customer of the process:



a customer receives the result or is the beneficiary of it


the customer can be a person or an organization


customer can be identified and can pass judgment on the result and


process customer point of view helps identify and name the process accurately

initiated in response to a specific event:



the process must be initiated in response to a specific event


multiple events can initiate a process

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having an event AND a result allows the tracing of the sequence of tasks that turns the event into the result

work tasks:



a collection of actions, activities, steps or tasks make up a business


process a step in the initial workflow will probably be divided into more detailed steps later

a collection of interrelated:


the process steps must relate to each other


interrelationship is through sequence and flow


completion of


one step leads to (flows into) the initiation of the next step also interrelated by dealing with the same work item


steps related by being traceable back to the same initiation event

According to Joel E.Ross & Vincent K.Omachonu (2004), a process is a series of activities or steps used to transform inputs into outputs. An input or output may exist or occur in the form of data, information, raw material, partially finished units, purchased parts, a product or service, or the environment. It is the steps used by an individual or a group to perform work or complete a task. It is sometimes referred to as a technique, method, or procedure. In order to do it right the first time and do the right things right, processes must be effectively managed. When processes are not adequately managed, quality will regress to mediocrity. An organization is a collection of sub-processes. A customer is affected by one or more processes at any given time. Every process has customers those who depend on it or are affected by it and suppliers who provide the necessary input for that process.

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According to Prof Dr.Jegak’s note, process is a bound set of interrelated work

activities, each having prescribed inputs and outputs. Can be material, equipment,

other tangible objects, or various kinds of information, are converted by a series of

activities into an output provided to a recipient. According to him, recipient, can be

either an external or internal customer. An external customer is a person or

organization that pays for the service or products received. He also explain that an

internal customer is can be a department, a group such as in case of an internal

operation, or some other processing equipment and machinery. According to Prof Dr

Jegak, recipient also can be a location where the process’s outputs are stored for

future use such as a warehouse.





Diagram 1 : Transformation Model (Slack, 2005)

The diagram above inserted to explain process in detail. Operations managers manage

transformation processes, with inputs and output. If the above process managed

effectively below listed advantages could be achieved

Minimizing cost

Maximizing revenue

Avoiding excess investment

Developing capabilities for future innovation

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  • 2.0 What are the process characteristics?


Whether a process involves transformations of a physical, locational, or

transactional nature, it has 10 common characteristics.

  • 2.1 Clearly defined ownership Traditionally, the ownership of physical and locational processes has been clear and explicit. The process owner was the departmental manager. Understood the organizational mission and the process’s output & had personal responsibility and accountability for the process and its output. The manager’s performance was judged by quantifiable standards, such as cost, schedule and quality. Recently, process ownership has gradually shifted towards empowered work groups and self directed work teams. And in these teams, employees are assuming some traditional roles of management. The basic ideas remain the same. The process owner, whether an individual or a team, is responsible for yield, cost, quality, and schedule. The process owner must manage the process to the target set on this standard. The process owner has the authority to change the process to maintain its desired outputs.

  • 2.2 Boundaries Boundaries are the beginning and end of a process. Physical and locational processes have clearly defined boundaries. The final output from and the inputs required by these processes are clear and unambiguous. However, the boundaries of transactional processes are harder to identify. Further, output specifications for transactional processes may not truly reflect customer requirements, and input specifications may not achieve the desired output specifications with the existing processes. A lack of understanding about the input specifications and the output specifications is common in many business processes. But in a well managed transactional process, specification problems

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are minimized through conscious effort aimed at classifying the work product

as it proceeds from one operation to another. Thus, the boundaries of a well

managed process are well defined and controlled.

  • 2.3 Capacity Capacity is the output rate of the process. Capacity is usually expressed in terms of design, or theoretical, capacity and effective capacity. Thus, design capacity is stated without consideration for such matters as equipment reliability, maintenance, or personnel factors such as learning curves, absenteeism, illness, and so on. These consideration, when allowed for, enable effective capacity to be calculated.

  • 2.4 Documentation A detailed record of work flow in a processes. Can be written in great detail, or it can be a collection of various bits of data. Provides a permanent record of the physical transformation taking place in a production process. Provides a reference point from which the repeatability of a process can be measured, and it provides a baseline from which any changes can be measured. Serves as both a training and reference aid for the personnel involved in the process. Typical documents include process flowcharts, assembly drawings, and routings. Process flowcharts graphically describe the sequence of operations in the process. Assembly drawings show how a product is constructed. Routing describe operational steps that accompany the process flowchart.

  • 2.5 Control points Regulate the quality of work or provide feedback. Established to manage the natural variation that occurs in physical processes.

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  • 2.6 Effectiveness


It measures feedback against process goals. Effectiveness is best assessed by

measurement, both internal and external. External effectiveness measures must

reflect customer requirements. Internal effectiveness measurements must

reflect both external and internal customer requirements. It should proceed

from the external boundary to the starting boundary of the process. Integrated

flow diagrams that reflect established requirements are useful for measuring

effectiveness. Ineffectiveness is often easier to identify than effectiveness.

These are some symptoms that suggest an ineffective process; customer

complaints, inconsistent output quality, lack of awareness of output quality,

absence of a corrective action system, lack of interest in the customer and long

response times in correcting problems.

  • 2.7 Efficiency Efficiency as a measure of the output against the resources required to achieve that output. It reflects how productive the internal operations are and how effectively resources are used in the process. A traditional measure of efficiency is the ratio of output to the capacity of a process. Inefficiency is easier to identify than efficiency. These are some symptoms of inefficiency, multiple off-line inspections, redundant, unnecessary, or nonvalue-added activities, corrective actions such as rework and reconciliation, supplier problems e.g poor quality or late deliveries, Excessive costs of value-added activities e.g high production costs.

  • 2.8 Adaptability Adaptability is the ability of the process to adjust to change either technological or output changes. A process responses to changing conditions such as output requirements, internal constraints, and input quality. A process

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is adaptable if it can be changed to meet new requirements without significant

modifications. May require some work flow, personnel, and equipment

changes when a process change is needed, but the process should remain

largely intact. Processes that lack adaptability tend to be limited in nature

equipment capability capacity, throughout, & cycle times or human aspects

skills, flexibility, resistance to change & other human factors.



Measurement is a statistical basis for controlling the flow or work and

managing variation @ provide a basis for feedback. Continuous measurements

are inherent in any well managed process meet specifications. Process adapt to

the natural variations that occur. Relied only on end of line measurements, or

final quality controls approach costly in terms of scrap and rework. Statistical

techniques e.g Pareto analysis and variation charts, are useful for managing

repetitive operations. Need to measure products against the requirements of

the process without removing the product from the process.

  • 2.10 Corrective action an input-output phenomenon. Corrective action is eliminating the problems that caused of non-conformance in a process input-output phenomenon. According Peter Merrill (1997), in its simplest form, it may just be two people agreeing to a missing requirement in their day to day transaction. At its most complex, it may be multidisciplinary team involving people from inside and outside the organization working on a problem that effects a wide range of processes. Either way, corrective action is removing the root cause of a problem, and not just applying the quick fixes with which the fast guns.

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  • 3.0 Why do we need to continuously improve our business processes?

A standardized process improvement methodology allows us to look at how

we perform work. When all of the major players are involved in process

improvement, they can collectively focus on eliminating waste of money,

people, materials, time, quicker, easier and most importantly is safer. A

teamwork approach is intrinsic to life in the Navy. Using total quality tools

and methods reinforces teamwork. Using team members collective knowledge,

experiences, and efforts is a powerful approach to improving processes.

Through teamwork, the whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts.

(Refer Balanced score card website).

According to Carol, Dale, Glen and Mary (2003), quality based organizations

should strive to achieve perfection by continuously improving the business

and production process. This is of course, perfection is impossible because the

race is never over, however, we must continually strive for its attainment.

That is why we need to continuously improve our business processes.

  • 4.0 Identify and document a process of your choose with the aid of a flow chart. To identify and document a process we are commonly used the tool for describing the process. Using tool we are enable to perform for improving activities which that we can identify the participants in the process, either by name, by position, or by organization. Using tool, enable us to provide all the participants in the process with a common understanding both of all steps in the process and of their individual roles. Through tools, we enable to identifying inefficient, wasteful and redundant steps. Further from of these step by step will be offer us a framework for defining the process measurement.

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DCE 5131 GROUP ASSIGNMENT The tools we will be using here to show the process which

The tools we will be using here to show the process which that can explain the

improving activities, are flowcharts. Flowcharts are graphical representations

of a process which detail the sequencing of the materials, machinery, and

operations that make up that process. They are an excellent means of

documenting what is going on in a process and communicating that

information to everyone. Below are the flowchart of a business unit of an

organizations which where I am working currently. The flowchart shown are

the activity that should be done by the business leaders as a team, and they

need to agree on who owns which process.

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5.0 How could this process be improved to make it simpler and / or more

efficient or effective?

There are three different approaches for improving the efficiency or

effectiveness of a process to make it simpler.

  • 5.1 Continuous improvement

According to Carol, Dale, Glen and Mary (2003), continuous improvement is

a ladder and used step by step approach, also know as Kaizen. As we known,

Kaizen is a Japanese word that defines management’s role in continuously

encouraging and implementing small improvements involving everyone. It is

the process of continuous improvement in small increments that make the

process more efficient, effective, under control, and adaptable. It focuses on

simplification by breaking down complex processes into their sub-processes

and then improving them.



According to Joel (1999), the process is more than a mean of gathering data on

how well company performs against others both in and outside the industry. It

is a method of identifying news ideas and new ways of improving processes

and hence meeting customer expectations. Cycle time reduction and cost

cutting are but two process improvements that can result. The ultimate

objective is process improvement that meets the attributes of customer

expectation. This improvement, of course, should meet both strategic and

operational needs. Also search for and emulate the best available practices and


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5.3 Reengineering


According to Hammer and Champy in , Dale, Glen and Mary (2003),

reengineering is the fundamental rethinking and radical redesign of business

processes to achieve dramatic improvements in critical, contemporary

measures of performance, such as cost, quality, service and speed. According

to James & Michael (1993), reengineering a company means tossing, aside old

systems and starting over. It involves going back to the beginning and

inventing a better way of doing work.

The first key word of fundamental which that explain in doing

reengineering, business people must ask the most basic questions about their

companies and how they operate. Why do we do what we do? And why do we

do it the way we do? Asking these fundamental questions forces people to

look at the tacit rules and assumptions that underlie the way they conduct their

businesses. Reengineering first determines what a company must do, then how

to do it.

The second key word of radical redesign means getting to the root of things:

not making superficial changes or fiddling with what is already in place, but

throwing away the old. In reengineering, radical redesign means disregarding

all existing structures and procedures and inventing completely new ways of

accomplishing work.

The third key word of dramatic means reengineering about achieving quantum

leaps in performance. Reengineering should be brought in only when a needs

exists for heavy blasting. Marginal improvement requires fine tuning; dramatic

improvement demands blowing up the old and replacing it with something


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The fourth key word of processes is most important. Business process as a

collection of activities that takes one or more kinds of input and creates an

output that is of value to the customer.

  • 6.0 How might you collectively develop an improved process? Process could be improved through three components, planning, control and improvement, this is what Dr. Joseph Juran said in Juran Trilogy in Carol, Dale, Glen and Mary (2003). 6.1 Planning Through planning component begins with external customer. Once quality goals are established, marketing determines the external customers, and all organizational personnel determine the internal customers. Once the customers are determined, their needs are discovered. This activity requires the customers to state needs in their own words and from their own viewpoint. The next step in the planning process is to develop product and/or service features that respond to customer needs, meet the needs of the organization and its suppliers, are competitive, and optimize the costs of all stakeholders. Develop the processes also enable the product and/or service features. Activities include determining the necessary facilities, training, and operation, control, and maintenance of facilities. Of particular concern will be the scaling up from the laboratory or prototype environment to the real process environment. additional activities include process capability evaluation and process control type and location.

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6.2 Control


Secondly, is control, which that used by operating to help meet the product,

process, and service requirements. It uses the feedback loop and consist of the

following steps:

Determine items/subjects to be controlled and their units of measure.

Set goals for the controls and determine what sensors need to be put in

place to measure the product, process, or service.

Measure actual performance.

Compare actual performance to goals.

Act on the difference.

6.3 Improvement

Finally, the third component is improvement. This is the higher level from the

two components has discussed. Process improvement begin with the

establishment of an effective infrastructure as following duties;

Develop, with input from all personnel, the core values, vision statement,

mission statement, and quality policy statement.

Develop the strategic long term plan with goals and the annual quality

improvement program with objectives.

Create the total education and training plan.

Determine end continually monitor the cost of poor quality.

Determine the performance measures for the organization, approve those

for the functional areas, and monitor them.

Continually determine those projects that improve the processes,

particularly those that affect external and internal customer satisfaction.

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Establish multifunctional project and departmental or work group teams

and monitor their progress.

Establish or revise the recognition and reward system to account for the

new way of doing business.



A process is rather abstract. It describes the essentials of the purpose,

structure, rationale, roles and timing, leaving plenty of implementation

freedom. The power of a process is its abstraction, which enables its

application in a wide range of applications, by tailoring its implementation to

the specific application. A process can be tailored and elaborated in one or

more procedures that describe cookbook-like what needs to be done when and

by whom. The why in a procedure has often disappeared, to be replaced by

practical information for the execution. The implementation of a procedure

can be supported by tools, notations, templates and other means. In practice

managers and employees ask for tools (means) and procedures (what and

how). However, without understanding of the thinking behind the procedure

(why), as given in the process, these tools and procedures can be meaningless.

The process captures the rationale behind procedures, tools, notations,

templates, and other means.


Carol Besterfield-Michna, Dale H.Besterfield, Glen.H.Besterfield, Mary Besterfield-Sacre (2003), Total Quality Management, Third Edition, Prentice Hall.

Joel E.Ross, Vincent K. Omachonu (2004), Principles of Total Quality, Third Edition, Boca Raton, London, New York Washington D.C.LLC. CRC Press

Joel E.Ross (1999), Total Quality Management, Text, Cases and Readings, Third Edition. CRC Press LLC.

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Thomson, South-Western.

Prof. Dr. Jegak Uli’s Module / Notes.

Peter Merrill (1997), Do It Right, The Second Time Benchmarking Best Practices in The Quality Change Process. Productivity Press.

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Choose a quality guru and summarize his or her key contributions to modern

quality thinking especially quality philosophies and principles



DCE 5131 GROUP ASSIGNMENT QUESTION 3 (ASSIGNMENT 2) Choose a quality guru and summarize his or

Philip Crosby

Philip Bayard Crosby was born June 18, 1926 in Wheeling, West Virginia. His

parents were Mary and Dr. Edward K. Crosby. His father was a Podiatrist. He had

one brother, David. He attended public schools in Wheeling, graduating from

Triadelphia High School in 1944. He joined the Navy and became a hospital


In the fall of 1946 Mr. Crosby entered the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine in

Cleveland. After graduation he returned to Wheeling and practiced podiatry with his

father. He soon discovered this was not his field. He was recalled to military service

during the Korean conflict, this time he served as a Marine Medical Corpsman. In

1952 Mr. Crosby went to work for the Crosley Corporation, (Richmond, Indiana) as a

junior electronic test technician. He was asked to join the American Society for

Quality Control, the Richmond section, and this is where his early concepts

concerning "quality" began to form.

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In 1955 he moved to South Bend, Indiana, and went to work for Bendix Corporation

as a reliability technician. Bendix and the U.S. Navy were developing and testing the

TALOS missile. As a quality engineer, Mr. Crosby was to investigate defects found

by the testers and inspectors. In 1957 he was offered a job as a senior quality

engineer with Martin Marietta Company in Orlando, Florida. During his eight years

with Martin Marietta Mr. Crosby developed his "Zero Defects" concepts, began

writing articles for various journals, and started his speaking career.

In 1965 ITT, International Telephone and Telegraph, hired Mr. Crosby as a vice

president in charge of corporate quality. During the fourteen years with ITT Mr.

Crosby worked with many of the world's largest industrial and service companies,

implementing his pragmatic management philosophy, and found that it worked.

In 1979 he founded Philip Crosby Associates, Inc., with headquarters in Winter Park,

Florida. Over the next ten years it grew into a publicly traded corporation with 300

employees around the world and $80 million dollars in revenue. Philip Crosby

Associates taught management how to establish a preventive culture to get things

done right the first time.General Motors, Chrysler, Motorola, Xerox, many hospitals,

and hundreds of corporations worldwide came to Philip Crosby Associates to

understand quality management.

In 1991 he retired from Philip Crosby Associates and founded Career IV, Inc., a

company that provided lectures and seminars aimed at helping current and

prospective executives grow. In 1997 he purchased the assets of Philip Crosby

Associates and established Philip Crosby Associates II, Inc. with offices at 1954

Howell Branch Road, Winter Park, Florida.Philip B. Crosby died August 18, 2001.

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Zero Defects began in the aerospace and defense industry, started at Martin Marietta

in the 1960s, thirty years later it was regenerated in the automotive world. During the

1990s, large companies in the automotive industry tried to cut costs by reducing their

quality inspection processes and demanding that their suppliers dramatically improve

the quality of their supplies. This eventually resulted in demands for the "Zero

Defects" standard. It is implemented all over the world. Zero defects” doesn’t mean

mistakes never happen, rather that there is no allowable number of errors built into a

product or process and that you get it right first time.

Philip Crosby believes management should take prime responsibility for quality, and

workers only follow their managers’ example. He defined the Four Absolutes of

Quality Management.

The Four Absolutes of Quality Management

Quality is conformance to requirements

Quality prevention is preferable to quality inspection

Zero defects is the quality performance standard

Quality is measured in monetary terms – the price of non-conformance

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1. Quality is conformance to requirements


Every product or service has a requirement: a description of what the customer needs.

When a particular product meets that requirement, it has achieved quality, provided

that the requirement accurately describes what the enterprise and the customer

actually need. This technical sense should not be confused with more common usages

that indicate weight or goodness or precious materials or some absolute idealized

standard. In common parlance, an inexpensive disposable pen is a lower-quality item

than a gold-plated fountain pen. In the technical sense of Zero Defects, the

inexpensive disposable pen is a quality product if it meets requirements: it writes,

does not skip nor clog under normal use, and lasts the time specified.

2. Defect prevention is preferable to quality inspection and correction

The second principle is based on the observation that it is nearly always less

troublesome, more certain and less expensive to prevent defects than to discover and

correct them.

3. Zero Defects is the quality standard

The third is based on the normative nature of requirements: if a requirement expresses

what is genuinely needed, then any unit that does not meet requirements will not

satisfy the need and is no good. If units that do not meet requirements actually do

satisfy the need, then the requirement should be changed to reflect reality.

4. Quality is measured in monetary terms – the Price of Nonconformance


The fourth principle is key to the methodology. Phil Crosby believes that every defect

represents a cost, which is often hidden. These costs include inspection time, rework,

wasted material and labor, lost revenue and the cost of customer dissatisfaction. When

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properly identified and accounted for, the magnitude of these costs can be made

apparent, which has three advantages. First, it provides a cost-justification for steps to

improve quality. The title of the book, "Quality is free," expresses the belief that

improvements in quality will return savings more than equal to the costs. Second, it

provides a way to measure progress, which is essential to maintaining management

commitment and to rewarding employees. Third, by making the goal measurable,

actions can be made concrete and decisions can be made on the basis of relative



Quality Guru Philip Crosby has developed 14 steps for an organization to follow in

building an effective quality program:

  • 1. Management is committed to quality – and this is clear to all

  • 2. Create quality improvement teams – with (senior) representatives from all departments.

  • 3. Measure processes to determine current and potential quality issues.

  • 4. Calculate the cost of (poor) quality

  • 5. Raise quality awareness of all employees

  • 6. Take action to correct quality issues

  • 7. Monitor progress of quality improvement – establish a zero defects committee.

  • 8. Train supervisors in quality improvement

  • 9. Hold “zero defects” days

    • 10. Encourage employees to create their own quality improvement goals

    • 11. Encourage employee communication with management about obstacles to quality

    • 12. Recognise participants’ effort

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  • 13. Create quality councils


  • 14. Do it all over again – quality improvement does not end

14 steps in details

  • 1. Management is committed to quality – and this is clear to all: Clarify where

management stands on quality. It is necessary to consistently produce conforming

products and services at the optimum price. The device to accomplish this is the use

of defect prevention techniques in the operating departments:

  • - Engineering

  • - Manufacturing

  • - Quality Control

  • - Purchasing

  • - Sales and others.

    • 2. Create quality improvement teams – with representatives from all workgroups

and functions: These teams run the quality improvement program. Since every

function of an operation contributes to defect levels, every function must participate

in the quality improvement effort. The degree of participation is best determined by

the particular situation that exists. However, everyone has the opportunity to improve.

  • 3. Measure processes to determine current and potential quality issues:

Communicate current and potential nonconformance problems in a manner that

permits objective evaluation and corrective action. Basic quality measurement data is

obtained from the inspection and test reports, which are broken down by operating

areas of the plant. By comparing the rejection data with the input data, it is possible to

know the rejection rates. Since most companies have such systems, it is not necessary

to go into them in detail. It should be mentioned

that unless this data is reported

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properly, it is useless. After all, their only purpose is to warn management of serious

situations. They should be used to identify specific problems needing corrective

action, and the quality department should report them.

  • 4. Calculate the cost of (poor) quality: Define the ingredients of the COQ and

explain its use as a management tool.

  • 5. Raise quality awareness of all employees: Provide a method of raising the

personal concern felt by all personnel in the company toward the conformance of the

product or service and the quality reputation of the company. By the time a company

is ready for the quality awareness step, they should have a good idea of the types and

expense of the problems being faced. The quality measurement and COQ steps will

have revealed them.

  • 6. Take actions to correct quality issues:






permanently resolving the problems that are identified through previous action steps.

Problems that are identified during the acceptance operation or by some other means

must be documented and then resolved formally.

  • 7. Monitor progress of quality improvement – establish a zero defects committee:

Examine the various activities that must be conducted in preparation for formally

launching the Zero Defects program - The quality improvement task team should list

all the individual action steps that build up to Zero Defects day in order to make the

most meaningful presentation of the concept and action plan to personnel of the

company. These steps, placed on a schedule and assigned to members of the team for

execution, will provide a clean energy flow into an organization-wide Zero Defects

commitment. Since it is a natural step, it is not difficult, but because of the

significance of it, management must make sure it is conducted properly.

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8. Train supervisors in quality improvement: Define the type of training

supervisors need in order to actively carry out their part of the quality improvement

program. The supervisor, from the board chairman down, is the key to achieving

improvement goals. The supervisor gives the individual employees their attitudes and

work standards, whether in engineering, sales, computer programming, or wherever.

Therefore, the supervisor must be given primary consideration when laying out the

program. The departmental representatives on the task team will be able to

communicate much of the planning and concepts to the supervisors, but individual

classes are essential to make sure that they properly understand and can implement

the program.

9. Hold zero defects days: Create an event that will let all employees realize through

personal experience, that there has been a change. Zero Defects is a revelation to all

involved that they are embarking on a new way of corporate life. Working under this

discipline requires personal commitments and understanding. Therefore, it is

necessary that all members of the company participate in an experience that will make

them aware of this change.

10. Encourage employees to create their own quality improvement goals: Turn

pledges and commitments into action by encouraging individuals to establish

improvement goals for themselves and their groups. About a week after Zero Defects

day, individual supervisors should ask their people what kind of goals they should set

for themselves. Try to get two goals from each area. These goals should be specific

and measurable.

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11. Encourage employee communication with management about obstacles to

quality (Error-Cause Removal): Give the individual employee a method of

communicating to management the situations that make it difficult for the employee

to fulfill the pledge to improve. One of the most difficult problems employees face is

their inability to communicate problems to management. Sometimes they just put up

with problems because they do not consider them important enough to bother the

supervisor. Sometimes supervisors don’t listen anyway. Suggestion programs are

some help, but in a suggestion program the worker is required to know the problem

and also propose a solution. Error-cause removal (ECR) is set up on the basis that the

worker need only recognize the problem. When the worker has stated the problem, the

proper department in the plant can look into it. Studies of ECR programs show that

over 90% of the items submitted are acted upon, and fully 75% can be handled at the

first level of supervision. The number of ECRs that save money is extremely high,

since the worker generates savings every time the job is done better or quicker.

12. Recognize participants’ effort: Appreciate those who participate. People really

don’t work for money. They go to work for it, but once the salary has been

established, their concern is appreciation. Recognize their contribution publicly and

noisily, but don’t demean them by applying a price tag to everything.

13. Create quality councils: Bring together the professional quality people for

planned communication on a regular basis. It is vital for the professional quality

people of an organization to meet regularly just to share their problems, feelings, and

experiences, with each other.

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Primarily concerned with measurement and reporting, isolated even in the midst of

many fellow workers, it is easy for them to become influenced by the urgency of

activity in their work areas.

Consistency of attitude and purpose is the essential personal characteristic of one

who evaluates another’s work. This is not only because of the importance of the work

itself but because those who submit work unconsciously draw a great deal of their

performance standard from the professional evaluator.

14. Do it all over again – quality improvement does not end: Emphasize that the

quality improvement program never ends. There is always a great sign of relief when

goals are reached. If care is not taken, the entire program will end at that moment. It is

necessary to construct a new quality improvement team, and to let them begin again

and create their own communications.

According to Crosby, five characteristics of an highly successful organisations are:

  • - People routinely do things right first time

  • - Change is anticipated and used to advantage

  • - Growth is consistent and profitable

  • - New products and services appear when needed

  • - Everyone is happy to work there

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Crosby's "Quality Management Maturity Grid" consists of five stages of management

maturity (Uncertainty, Awakening, Enlightenment, Wisdom, and Certainty),

measured against six dimensions, to complete the matrix:

  • 1. Management understanding and attitude [towards quality management]

  • 2. Quality organization status

  • 3. Problem handling experience

  • 4. Cost of quality as a percentage of sales

  • 5. Quality improvement actions

  • 6. Summation of company quality posture

Crosby suggests the model does not require inordinate management sophistication. He

recommends the Grid measurement be used in two ways: (1) a comparison tool, i.e.,

where an organization is, where it was, and where it wants to be; (2) a directional

compass, always pointing (and motivating) the organization in the right direction.

The grid is a simple 6 x 6 matrix that shows different stages of maturity of the

company’s quality management against six different quality management categories

(management understanding of quality, problem handling, cost of quality, etc).

The lowest stage of maturity is called ‘Uncertainty’ – the organisation is

inexperienced, quality management is a low priority and reactive, etc – then as quality

management matures it goes through the stages of ‘Awakening’, ‘Enlightenment’,

‘Wisdom’, then the highest level, ‘Certainty’.

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He was an author of thirteen (13) best selling books. In this total update of his classic,

quality guru Philip Crosby revisits and ultimately reaffirms the thinking he introduced

in the tradition-shattering Quality is Free. In that volume, he took quality precepts

learned at ITT and adapted in his great entrepreneurial experiment, Philip Crosby

Associates (PCA), and rolled them out for the business world's lasting benefit. Now,

after 16 years of intense change in one of the hottest areas of business, he shares his

current thoughts on some of his most enduring contributions.

Philip Crosby's Essays and Writings

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Some of the original articles are embedded in Appendix


Crosby, Philip (1994). Completeness: Quality for the 21st Century. Plume. ISBN 0-452-27024-3.

Crosby, Philip (1995). Philip Crosby's Reflections on Quality. McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-014525-3.

Crosby, Philip (1996). Quality is still free: Making Quality Certain in Uncertain Times. McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-014532-6.

Crosby, Philip (1997). The Absolutes of Leadership (Warren Bennis Executive Briefing). Jossey-Bass. ISBN 0-7879-0942-4.

Crosby, Philip (1999). Quality and Me: Lessons from an Evolving Life. Jossey-Bass. ISBN 0-7879-4702-4.


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Give the various definitions of quality. Explain why a single definition does

not suffice. Discuss why quality is important to an organization. Discuss also

the various dimensions of either product quality or service quality and

illustrate your answers with appropriate examples


Quality has a variety of interpretations and uses. It also has different

perspectives of definitions. In describing and jotting down definitions of quality, it

is just like the tale of three blind men describing an elephant - One of them

confidently described this jumbo as a forest of trees because he had only touched

the elephant’s legs. The second blind man was shocked to find out that the elephant

was like a snake ( the trunk ) but it was opposed by the last person because he found

that the elephant was like a rope ( the tail ). Of course , all of the descriptions given

by those three men were correct based on what they had experienced, but as we

already knew, none had a complete description of the elephant ( Richard:1999).

We are facing the same experience with the definitions of “ QUALITY ” .

Certain groups of people define quality as a statistical process control. Others view

quality as conformance to requirements ( Crosby:1984) or freedom from

deficiency ( Juran :1988) . There are some who believe that quality only applies to

manufacturing processes and inspection (Winder :1993). All of these definitions are

correct in their own perspectives but by themselves are not complete.

Incomplete understanding of quality, leads to lack of leadership in quality

implementation and absence of the sustaining power that will keep continuous

improvement as a central focus of the organization.

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Based on the linear model Quality is defined as a set of components

which comprised of statistical process control, systems thinking, human resource

management, leadership and customer satisfaction. These components are pieced

together to form a quality system. Hence, these components can be planned,

controlled and improved in the same manner as a firm’s finances are planned,

controlled and improved ( Juran :1988).

American National Standard ( 1987 ) has defined “Quality” as the totality

of features and characteristics of a product or service that bear on its ability to

satisfy stated or implied needs. On the other hand, Winder (1993) stated that it is a

dimension of process which illustrates its systemic nature. In other words, the quality

is “ Doing the right thing correctly, on time, every time.”

In order to complete the understanding of quality, we need to look into the

dynamic definition of quality which describes it as “ the process of moving

people and organization from a state of limitation, punishment, captivity or

victimization to a state of liberation, participation, captivation or actualization.”.

This is done through the anticipation and fuflfillment of stated or implied needs of

the individual or organization ( Winder:1993).

This dynamic definition of quality is clearly stated and can be best

understood through the paperwork “ Fulfilling Quality’s Five Dimensions” prepared

by Winder (1993). The first dimension of quality is experienced. He stressed

that the quality of product or service will not exist until it is translated into experience

which has primary and secondary impact. The primary impact is known for its

ability to translate the vision of the quality into reality. It is the actualization of the

vision which provides the basis determining whether a system is or is not

accomplishing its intended mission. ( Winder :1993)

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The secondary impact of experience is the learning it provides. Organizations

are considered successful if they can utilize their experience and learn from it

( Byrne:1992). It is supported by Peter Senge (1990) in his new perspective on the

value of experience as the source of learning in an organization.

The second dimension of quality introduced by Winder (1993) is

“Measurement”. It gives quality the first of its multidimensional characteristics. It

also provides the ability to determine the performance of the system using statistical

measures to understand operational processes of the quality (Deming: 1986).

According to Deming ( 1986), any improvement in quality must come from

changes to the systems which is made by the management itself, rather than from

operator changes. Examples of statistical tools that provide us with knowledge of

the system and permit us to the greatest efficiency are the check sheets, the Pareto

Chart, histogram, the run chart and the control chart ( Winder :1993).

The third dimension on defining quality is relationship and systems

thinking. Deming (1986) has classified the systems thinking into two types – static

and dynamic. The earlier type captures the flow process or system of goods or

services at one point to another. Static methods include flow charting and

“fishbone” cause-effect diagram .

The flow chart indentifies physical components of a system by showing how

the system is working at each point in the process. On the other hand, the cause-effect

diagram indentifies the logical points in a system by assisting and determining the

root cause of a problem in a system. It also indentifies the various parts of the system

that might account for the result achieved and shows those in relationship to the other

parts of the system (Winder : 1993).

Dynamic systems thinking, on the contrary, captures the relationship among

all parts of the system as they dynamically interact

with one another in their own

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environment. These interrelations generate underlying forces which provides us with

knowledge about the underlying paradigms or rules or frames of reference in which

the system is operating (Senge:1990).

As the first three dimensions thinking give us the ability to establish a

system, measure the results of relationships among various parts of the system and

last but not least modify the systems in order to produce the desired results, the

fourth dimension suggested by Winder (1993) provides the underlying logic

and also the inter-connectivity of the system.

It provides us the ability to look beyond those three dimensions thinking to

the inter-connectivity of all systems and processes. By using this ability, it gives us

the power to comprehend the paradigm, set of rules or guidance that system is based.

Baker (1992) in his book titled – A Future Edge, noted that, when a system reaches

the point at overwhelming inconsistencies, we begin to search for a new paradigm

which will explain our current understanding of the system, account for

inconsistencies and resolve the unresolvable problems of the system. In the simple

explaination, inconsistency in a system represent less quality produced by the


The fifth dimension of quality introduced by Winder (1993) is “Value

Sharing”. This dimension is founded on a long-term relationship between the parties

in which they are willing to share and accept the value from both side.

According to Winder (1993), in quality, value sharing is expressed in the

phrase – “ Delight the customer ”. In other words, the organization is willing to give

the customer more than the customer is paying for. Thus it increases the relationship

with the customer.

The strength of relationships can be gauged through the willingness of

participants to share resources with other participants.

The level of sharing among

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the participants is reflected by three measures of willingness by the participant to

( Senge :1990 ) :-

  • a. give more than is required;

  • b. become a long-term membership of the organization such as through long-term employment or repeating purchases; and

  • c. invite others to participate in the business.

Winder (1993) stressed that, the five dimensions that we have just discussed are best

practiced with the integration and fulfillment of all parties.

Eventhough we have come out with lengthy explaination in defining quality, it

is still considered unfinished business if we do not include the Five Approaches in

definingquality by David Garvin (1988). The approaches are – transcendent,

product based, user based, manufacturing based and value based.

Product based perspective

According to this perspective, quality is viewed as a quantifiable or

measurable characteristic or attribute that can be measured to indicate higher

quality. Differences in quality reflect differences in quantity of some product

attributes (Evans & Lindsay:2005). For example, the number of stitches per inch on a

shirt or the number of cylinders in an engine.

It is also agreed by Ashok, Farshad, Ismael, John, Lawrence, Phyllis and

Robert (1996) in their Total Quality Management Journal – Quality is referred to a

durability or reliability of a product and it can be measured for instance, leather

upholstery for car seats is considered higher quality than vinyl, the lack of blemishes

in gems viewed using a 10X magnifying glass indicates a higher quality. In other

words, Quality is determined objectively. Although this approach has many benefits,

it has limitations as well. Disadvantage of this approach is without physical

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appearance of an attributes or characteristics of the product, it is considered low

quality (Evans & Lindsay:2005).

User based perspective

Second definition of quality is based on the presumption that the user

determines the quality of the goods. As individuals have different wants and

needs, and of course with a different standard of quality, so the quality can best be

defined as fitness for intended use or how well the product performs its intended

function (Evan & Lindsay:2005).

The product or service that best satisfies the user is the higher quality of

product. According to Juran in Ashok, Farshad, Ismael, John, Lawrence, Phyllis,

Robert (1996) the user based approach as fitness for use. It implies learning how the

user plans to use the product and making the product to fit that need. The user based

definition equates customers satisfaction with quality. Customer satisfaction reflects

the attitudes of the consumer.

An organization adopting this view of quality needs to accurately identify the

target market, ferret out its needs, and then design, construct, and deliver the

appropriate product. For success, all of the functions contributing to the value of the

product have to be involved. The ability to satisfy the customers requirement,

expectations, or wants is the sole criterion by which quality is determined.

Take the example from a US appliance company whose stoves and

refrigerators were admired by Japanese buyers. Unfortunately, due to the smaller

living quarters of majority Japanese home, there were not enough space in to

accommodate US stoves and refrigerators eventhough the products’ performance

were high standard.

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Value based perspective


This approach indicates that , quality is based on the relationship of

usefulness or satisfaction to price (Evans and Lindsay:2005). It is the degree of

excellence at an acceptable price and the control of variability at an acceptable cost.

In this definition, one attribute of value is quality. Thus, the customer’s purchase

decision is based on quality at an acceptable price.

From this perspective, a quality product is one that is as useful as competing

products and is sold at a lower price, or one that offers greater usefulness or

satisfaction at a comparable price. Thus, one might purchase a generic product, rather

than a brand name one, if it performs as well as the brand-name product at a lower


One of good example of this perspective in practice is evident in a comparison

of the U.S and Japanese automobile markets. Leading Japanese brand - Toyota and

Honda – do not have to offer a huge incentives in marketing their cars compare to

their U.S. competitors – General Motor, Ford and Crysler – because of their good

reputation for long-term durability ( Taylor : 2002) in Evans and William (2005).

Manufacturing based perspective

Through this approach, the quality is defined in engineering and

manufacturing practices and uses the universal definition of “conformance to

requirement.” Requirements, or specifications, are established by design, and

any deviation implies a reduction in quality. The concept applies to services as well

as products.

According to Evans and Lindsay in their book - “The Management and

Control of Quality” (2005), quality is defined as the desirable outcome of engineering

and manufacturing practice or conformance to specifications. Specifications are

targets and tolerances determined by designers of products and services. Targets are

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the ideal values for which production is to strive but tolerances are specified because

designers recognize that it is impossible to meet targets all of the time in


An example for this approach (Evans & Lindsay:2005) - a target dimension or

the ideal value of part produce by manufacturer might be 0.236 centimetres, the

allowable variation is +/- 0.003 centimetres from the target. Thus, any dimension in

the range of 0.233 to 0.239 centimetres is still acceptable and is assumed conform to

specification, hence is considered good quality product.

Transcendent perspective

Transcendent means


to rise above or extend notably beyond ordinary

limits. Walter Shewhart (1931) in Evans & Lindsay (2005) first defined quality as

the goodness of a product. He pointed out that, quality is absolute and

universally recognizable which means it is uncompromising standard and high

achievement. In other words, you just know it when you see it.

Extended definition related to this perspective was mentioned by Barbara

Tuchman’s (1980) in Ashok, Farshad, Ismael, John, Lawrence, Phyllis, Robert

(1996), as - a condition of excellence implying fine quality as distinct from poor

quality…Quality is achieving or reaching for the highest standard as against being

satisfied with the sloppy or the fraudulent.

However, as the concept of excellence is abstract and too subjective, the

standards of excellence may vary considerably among individuals. So, this

perspective has less practical value compare to the rest of perspectives mentioned


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What is continuous improvement? Why continuous improvement is important to

an organization? Explain the three principles of continuous improvement. Discuss

briefly the various improvement strategies and methods/approaches.

“… It must be considered that there is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more

doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, than to initiate a new order of

things. For the reformer has enemies in all those who profit by the old order, and

only lukewarm defenders in all those who would profit by the new order, this

lukewarmness arising partly from fear of their adversaries, who have the laws in

their favor; and partly from the incredulity of mankind, who do not truly believe in

any thing new, until they have had actual experience of it. Thus it arises that on

every opportunity for attacking the reformer, his opponents do so with the seal of

partisans, the others only defend him half-heartedly, so that between them be runs

great danger…”

  • - Machieavelli, The Prince. in (Burill & Ledolter:1998)

1.0 What is continuous improvement?

A continuous improvement process (CIP or CI) is an ongoing effort to

improve products, services, or processes. These efforts can seek "incremental"

improvement over time or "breakthrough" improvement all at once i . Delivery

(customer valued) processes are constantly evaluated and improved in the light of

their efficiency, effectiveness and flexibility.

According to Ashok, Farshad, Ismael, John, Lawrence, Phyllis, Robert (1996),

Continuous Improvement is the quality of work that can always be improved, and

this can be done gradually or through breakthroughs. This view is shared by Burill &

Ledolter ( 1998 ) in their book – Achieving Quality Through Continual

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Improvement – Continual Improvement can bring tangible results, such as reduce

defect rates, a lower cost of quality, and an improved financial picture, as well as

intangible results, such as pride, esprit de corp and satisfaction.

Unions, professionals, health-care providers, academics and other groups

have been receptive to using continual improvement as the name for their quality


Continuous improvement according to ASQ (2010), is an ongoing effort to

improve products, services or processes. These efforts can seek “incremental”

improvement over time or “breakthrough” improvement all at once.

W. Edwards Deming (1992) in his book – Out Of the Crisis – had

differentiated between continuous improvement and continual improvement which

are frequently used interchangeably.




a broader term refers

to general

processes of

improvement and encompassing “discontinuous” improvements—that is, many

different approaches, covering different areas. Whereas, Continuous improvement is

a subset of continual improvement, with a more specific focus on linear, incremental

improvement within an existing process. Some practitioners also associate continuous

improvement more closely with techniques of statistical process control.

Some successful implementations use the approach known as Kaizen (the

translation of kai (“change”) zen (“good”) is “improvement”). KAIZEN means

ongoing improvement involving everyone, including both manager and workers. The

KAIZEN philosophy assumes that our way of life be it our working life, our social

life, or our home life deserves to be constantly improved. (Masaaki Imai :1986) in

Ashok, Farshad, Ismael, John, Lawrence, Robert & Phyllis (1996). Everyone in the

organization has to be looking for a better way, but traditionally, this has often been

done in isolation by a few individuals. A quality organization has people working

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together, and not making unilateral changes that will affect others in a negative

fashion. The goal is for people to accept a change generated elsewhere because they

organize it to the benefit of everyone. The desire to continuously improve is a

fundamental value in all quality organizations( Peter Merrill :1997).

The core principle of Continuous Improvement Process is the (self) reflection

of processes – feedback or response the organization should obtain after certain

action taken in the process.

The purpose of Continuous Improvement Process is to identify the level of

efficiency of certain procedures taken in the organization so that any weaknesses or

less important steps in the process can be reduced or eliminated. Thus, Continuous

Improvement Process emphasises on incremental, continuous steps rather than giant

leaps (ASQ :2010).

As for Carol, Dale, Glen and Mary (1995), the term continuous improvement

needs to be embedded in the way the organization functions. Being embedded means,

improvement is part of the daily work of all work units; improvement processes seek

to eliminate problems at their source; improvement is driven by opportunities to do

better as well as by problems that must be corrected.

They are also believed that to be succeeded in implementing continuous

improvement in any organization, these four major sources must be always in the

highest consideration - employee ideas, research and development, customer input,

and benchmarking or other comparative information on processes and performance.

( Carol, Dale, Glen & Mary :1995)

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  • 2.0 Why continuous improvement is important to an organization? Continuous improvement is important to an organization because it will

enhance the value to customers through new and improved products and services

(Carol, Dale, Glen and Mary : 1995). Organization that implementing the continuous

improvement in production or services will produce high quality outcomes and

automatically minimize errors, defects, and waste.

By having continuous improvement, any organization inculcates a high level

of confidence in itself, and the willingness to inspire individuals to be fearless and

constructively critical of everything they, and others, do. Continuous improvement is

a process of continually trying to achieve a better way eventhough not every attempt

will be a winner, the large number of attempts will result in plenty of successes

( Deming :1992 )

One thing is certain. Whether you use a consultant to guide you, or do it

yourself, applying the Continuous Improvement methodology is not an option. It's a

requirement for business survival. Get going, or get out of the way.

Last but not least, continuous improvement practices in any organization will

develop responsiveness and cycle time performance, strengthen the organization’s

performance and leadership position in fulfilling its public responsibilities and serving

as a role model corporate citizenship.

KAIZEN philosophy also has its points of view regarding the importance of

continuous improvement to the organization. According to Masaaki Imai (1986) in

his book Kaizen: The Key to Japan's Competitive Success, CI Process is important

because it easier to be implemented because the ideas to improve are initiate by the

workers themselves – they identify the problem, discuss the remedies or steps to

overcome the problems arise and they execute the improvement according

to their

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working condition and of course with the approval from the management. Making

small improvement, it will require less capital investment, thus less burden to the

organization itself.

Kaizen approach also gives the opportunity to their employees to continually

seeking ways to improve their own performance and helps to encourage workers to

take ownership for their work, and can help reinforce team working, thereby

improving worker motivation.

  • 3.0 Explain the three principles of continuous improvement. The three principles of continuous improvement are - customer focus, process

improvement and finally, total involvement.

3.1 Customer focus

It means that, the value of the work done is determined by the

customer ( Ashok, Farshad, Ismael, John, Lawrence, Phyllis, Robert : 1996).

According to Richard S. Johnson (1997), customers focus requires that both

internal and external customer needs be met. External needs of customers

won’t be achieved if internal needs are neglected. Employees tend to treat

customers exactly as their organization treats them. If they are ignored, they

will ignore their customers, if they are treated with hostility, they will be

hostiled toward their customers, if their needs are neglected, they will neglect

the customer, and if the internal system does not provide quality services, they

will not provide customers with quality services.

On the whole, every department and operation within an organization

must be engaged in the journey to excellence or results will be mediocre at

best. Workers whose pay or medical benefits are mixed up will not be excited

about providing superior customer service, at least not during the period of

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their personal problems. Instead, they will focus on attaining their needs to the

exclusion of both internal and external customers.

Several considerations are important in the evolution to a customer

focused environment (Johnson :1997):-


Define expectations - the determination must be made as to what the

customer expects in the way of products and services. Several

factors will be on most customers lists: quality, competitive costs,

timelines, convenience, variety, pleasant and supporting attitudes.


Define needs - need and expectations are not always the same. The

customer might expect one product, but, need something quite

different. The provider must know what is expected and needed and

then assists the customer in fulfilling both areas.


Define the product and/or service - this definition should be

mutually arrived at and agreed on by provider and customer.


Define quality standards - zero defects is a great goal but is not

easily attained. Six sigma or 3.4 defects per million is the current

goal of many organizations such as Motorola and IBM. The word

current is used because quality is a moving target continually

adjusted upward with continues improvement successes over time.


Provide products and customer services - products and services

must meet or exceed expectations and they must be constantly

improving. Solid customers relations will convey the provider’s

efforts to customers so that they know how important they are.

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3.2 Process improvement


There are four stages of process improvement. ( Merrill : 1997) -

process ownership, measurement, cost of quality and finally corrective


  • 3.2.1 Process ownership

Process ownership is the first activity that is overlooked by so

many who have entered the quality arena. This has to be done, first at

the business level, and then down into the departmental and

operational levels. In doing this, you will unearth many orphaned

processes, and just assigning owners will produce dramatic

improvements. You may find over half of your processes lack clear


  • 3.2.2 Measurement

It is the process in which owners can start agreeing on

requirements with their internal customers and suppliers, and flushing

out the requirements that are not being met. These nonconforming

requirements can then be measured. Too often, we can see the

companies that start measurement without doing the critical

foundation work of process ownership. Measurement must be

done by the owner of the process, who may well need the support of

the internal customer in collecting measurement data. This is where

we see the importance of the soft skills in enabling the

communication here to work freely and to cut finger pointing.

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3.2.3 Cost of quality


This is where the owner rectifies the root cause of the process

problems. Once the measurement data tells us the magnitude of the

process problems, cost of quality comes into play. Cost of quality

enables you to translate your measurement data into the common

language of business, and so to prioritize which process problems

should be the focus of your very finite business resources. Cost

quality is the language of business, and it is also a communication


3.2.4 Corrective action

This final stage is useful in order to trouble shoot the problems

as we go through previous stages of process improvement, and we

will then be left with a core of problems that typically run across the

different functions of our organization. This is where a systemized

approach to corrective action will be needed.

Using cost of quality to drive your corrective action system will

make it operate much more easily, and at the end of a corrective

action project, the team that tackled a problem will see the dollar

reward for their effort.

3.3 Total involvement








The organization’s

success in improving depends increasingly upon the skills and motivation of

its work force. Employees’ success depends increasingly upon having

meaningful opportunities to learn and to practice new skills.

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Organizations need to invest in the development of the work force

through education, training, and creating opportunities for continuing

growth. Increasingly, training, development, and work organization need to

be tailored to a more diverse work force and to more flexible, high

performance work environments (Carol, Dale, Glen and Mary : 1995).

4.0 Various Improvement Strategies And Methods/Approaches.

4.1 Benchmarking

It is the process of identifying "best practice" in relation to both

products (including) and the processes by which those products are created and

delivered. The search for "best practice" can taker place both inside a particular

industry, and also in other industries (for example - are there lessons to be

learned from other industries?)

( t :2010)

According to Michael, Raymond and Robin (1993), benchmarking is

the process of determining industry or world best practices and then studying

them to identify areas for improvement within our organization. For example,

Xerox Corporation benchmarked the warehousing operations of L.L. Bean as

part of the effort to improve their distribution of Xerox products.

The objective of benchmarking is to understand and evaluate the

current position of a business or organisation in relation to "best practice" and

to identify areas and means of performance improvement.

Benchmarking can help identify specific practices that need

improvement. After identifying these practices, an organization can provide this

information to employees to solicit specific ideas for improvements via the

EDIS. Benchmarking is a six step process involving such as set up the team,

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clarify the benchmarking’s objective, find the targets to benchmark, identify

the performance gap, develop and implement the action (Improvement) plan and

evaluate and adjust.

According to Carol, Dale, Glen and Mary (2003), benchmarking is a

systematic method by which organizations can measure themselves against the

best industry practices. It promotes superior performance by providing an

organized framework through which organizations learn how the best in class

do things, understand how these best practices differ from their own, and

implement change to close the gap.

The essence of benchmarking is the process of borrowing ideas and

adapting them to gain competitive advantage. In other words, benchmarking is

the systematic search for best practices, innovative ideas, and highly effective

operating procedures.

Benchmarking also considers the experience of

others and uses it. Indeed, it is the common sense proposition to learn from

others what they do right and then imitate it to avoid reinventing the wheel.

Benchmarking is a tool to achieve business and competitive objectives.

It is powerful and extremely effective when used for the right reasons and

aligned with organization strategy. It helps organizations to develop strengths

and reduce weaknesses. It will also notify the organization if it has fallen

behind the competition or failed to take advantage of important operating

improvements developed elsewhere. Can inspire managers and organizations to


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4.2 Re-engineering


Re-engineering is the "fundamental rethinking and radical redesign of

business processes to achieve dramatic improvements in critical, contemporary

measure of performance, such as cost, quality, service and speed," (Hammer

and Champy :1993). They have also extended their statement – re-engineering a

company means putting aside old system and starting over with a new one. It

involves turning back to the beginning and inventing a better way of doing

work. Reengineering has contained four key words, fundamental, radical,

dramatic and business processes ( Hammer & Champy :1993) in .J.C. White


Fundamental means that it has to determine the very basic step what

the organization must do and how they are going to operate. In other words :- “

Why have we done that? ”, “ What have we done? ”, and “ Why do we do it

the way we do?” Asking these fundamental questions forces people to look at

the unspoken rules and assumptions that trigger the way they conduct their


Radical means getting to the root of things: not making superficial

changes or fiddling with what is already in place, but throwing away the old. In

reengineering, radical redesign means disregarding all existing structures and

procedures and inventing completely new ways of accomplishing work.

Dramatic means reengineering about achieving quantum leaps in

performance. Reengineering should be brought in only when a need exists for

heavy blasting. Marginal improvement requires fine tuning; dramatic

improvement demands blowing up the old and replacing it with something new.

Finally, business processes - Reengineering evolves around business

processes – not tasks, job descriptions, people or structures. A business process

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takes an input or inputs and generates an output which is of value to the

customer. A business process only works if it generates added value, not

internal activity.

Hammer & Champs (2000) in have in length

elaboration on the concepts of re-engineering in order to make the readers

understand better about this concept.

They stressed the readers not to be confused re-engineering with

automation, since doing the wrong things more efficiently will only make few,

if any, improvements to a business.

Re-engineering also is not restructuring or downsizing -- since

reengineering seeks to achieve more with less rather than scaling back what’s

being done. So our point of view, retrenchment of workers is not the option in

practicing re-engineering. It is also different from an attempt to

‘‘flatten’’ an organization – since the problems facing companies are deeper,

process based rather than superficial, organizational problems. Re-engineering

allows fragmented processes to be brought together -- thereby eliminating the

need for a business bureaucracy.

It also differs fundamentally from total quality management (TQM) or

similar programs -- since TQM seeks to enhance and improve the existing

processes through ongoing, incremental improvements whereas reengineering

seeks to discard existing processes entirely and replace them with break-

through processes delivering leaps in performance (Summaries.Com :.2000)

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The main goal of kaizen is to eliminate waste. This strategy is similar

to lean manufacturing, with a few differences. The kaizen approach focuses on

continuous improvement in all aspects of life. For a business; the kaizen

approach works at continually improving all the functions of a company from

the CEO down to the assembly line of workers. ( :

2003 – 2010 )

Masaaki Imai - Founder & Chairman, Kaizen Institute, Switzerland

writes in his article - The Kaizen approach to Quality, - Kaizen as everyday

improvement, everybody improvement and everywhere improvement.

Everyday improvement is a state of mind which is not satisfied with

the status quo and believes that things must be improved everyday. The

conventional interpretation of kaizen has been continual improvement but

everyday improvement brings to mind far more disciplined approach to


Everybody improvement means that every one from top management

to the rank and file must be involved. Lastly, Everywhere improvement means

that Kaizen is cross-functional activities carried out not only on the shop floor,

but also in all managerial functions.

Kaizen has 3 main principles that must be implemented if it is to

operate properly. ii

Firstly, we must consider the process and the results. The process

and results will surface the actions needed to achieve the correct results. The

Toyota Production System is known for using kaizen. Within Toyota, all

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personnel is expected to stop moving production lines if there is any slight

notification of abnormalities.

Secondly, you must have a systematic thinking of the entire process

instead of just the immediate problems. This is simply to avoid creating or

missing problems in other parts of the process. Toyota has several small groups

work at improving their area for productivity and overall efficiency. The group

is overseen by a line supervisor who reports to upper management. Within

Toyota kaizen delivers small improvements that add up to make larger

improvements. This is why kaizen is called a "continuous process

improvement" system or a "continual improvement".

Lastly, you need to approach kaizen with a non-judgmental, non-

blaming, and learning method. This allows for the re-examination of

assumptions that were part of the current process. In Toyota Production System,

employee is expected to suggest an improvement to resolve the abnormality

(this initiates kaizen) if there is anything goes wrong in the production lines.

  • 4.4 PDCA Cycle

Deming (1992) generalized the PDCA cycle to any type of

improvement activity and made it an integral part of quality improvement.

According to him, the PDCA cycle as a model for Improvement and as a

procedure for finding special causes of variation.

It emphasises and demonstrates that improvement programs must start

with careful planning, must result-in effective action, and must move on

again to careful planning in a continuous cycle.

The detail explanations about the PDCA ( Plan-Do-Check-Action)

Cycle are as follows ( Paul Arveson :2010 ) :-

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Plan to improve your operations first by finding out what

things are going wrong (that is identify the problems faced), and come

up with ideas for solving these problems.

Do changes designed to solve the problems on a small or

experimental scale first. This minimises disruption to routine activity

while testing whether the changes will work or not.

Check whether the small scale or experimental changes are

achieving the desired result or not. Also, continuously Check

nominated key activities (regardless of any experimentation going on)

to ensure that you know what the quality of the output is at all times to

identify any new problems when they crop up.

Act to implement changes on a larger scale if the experiment is

successful. This means making the changes a routine part of your

activity. Also Act to involve other persons (other departments,

suppliers, or customers) affected by the changes and whose

cooperation you need to implement them on a larger scale, or those

who may simply benefit from what you have learned (you may, of

course, already have involved these people in the Do or trial stage).

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DCE 5131 GROUP ASSIGNMENT The Japanese Union of Scientists and Engineers expanded it into the seven

The Japanese Union of Scientists and Engineers expanded it into the seven

step method. The PDCA cycle and the seven step method correspond as follows:

(P) Plan


Step 1 - select a problem and describe it clearly

Step 2 - study the present system

Step 3 - identify possible causes.

(D) Do


Step 4 - plan and implement a solution.

  • (C) Check :-

Step 5 - Evaluate effects

  • (A) Action :-

Step 6 - standardize any effective solutions

Step 7 - Reflect on process and develop future plans.

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The detail explanations of the seven steps method / approach for continuous

improvement are as follow:-

  • i. Step 1 - Select a problem and describe it clearly.

The problem is defined in terms of a gap between what is

currently happening and what would be happening under ideal

circumstances. The importance and relevance of the problems are

underscored. Preliminary data relevant to the problem are put forth.

Metrics that will be used to measure progress are determined.

Necessary operational definitions are developed. Goals are set, a team

is formed, a leader is chosen, and a schedule is developed.


Step 2 - Study the present system.

The present system is flowcharted. Data are collected on how

the current system operates, including data on the metrics that were

selected for measuring progress. Variables that may be related to the

problem are identified, and data are collected on those variables. All

data are examined to find any relevant relationships.


Step 3 - Identify possible causes

Potential causes for the problem are identified through

brainstorming by workers familiar with the process. A cause and effect

diagram is developed. Most likely causes are singled out by those same

experienced workers.

iv.Step 4 - Plan and implement a solution.

A list of possible solutions is developed, also through

brainstorming. The solutions are evaluated. One or more solutions are

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selected for implementation. The implementation is planned and the

solutions are implemented.

v.Step 5 - Evaluate effects

Data on the metrics selected for measuring progress are

collected again. Other relevant data are also collected. The data are

analyzed, and a determination is made on the effectiveness of the

solutions that have been implemented.

vi.Step 6 - Standardize any effective solutions.

Solutions that proved effective are adopted permanently. They

are made part of standard operating procedures. The possibility of

instituting those better methods elsewhere is considered and analyzed.


Step 7 - Reflect on process and develop future plans.

The completed problem solving effort is reviewed in order to

draw as many useful general conclusions as possible. A summary is

made of what has been learned. A decision is made on whether further

improvement is needed on the problem that was just tackled. If not,

other problems on which work is needed are identified.

4.5 The Breakthrough (Juran’s Improvement Program)

Joseph Juran emphasized the importance of developing a habit of making

annual improvements in quality and annual reductions in quality related costs. Juran

defined breakthrough as the accomplishment of any improvement that takes an

organization to unprecedented levels of performance. Breakthrough attacks chronic

losses or, in Deming’s terminology, common causes of variation. All breakthroughs

follow a common sense sequence of discovery, organization, diagnosis, corrective

action, and control. These breakthrough sequences are summarized below :-

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  • i. Proof of need


Juran (Bateman, Jesus, Troult : 1995) emphasizes the need to

convince top management of the importance, in financial terms if

possible, of quality improvement process. Managers, especially top

managers, need to be convinced that quality improvements are simply

good economics.

Through data collection efforts, information on poor quality,

low productivity or poor service can be translated into the language of

money – the universal language of top management – to justify a

request for resources to implement a quality improvement program.


Project identification

All breakthroughs are achieved project by project, and in no

other way. By taking a project approach, management provides a

forum for converting an atmosphere of defensiveness or blame into one

of constructive action. Participation in a project increases the

likelihood that the participant will act on the results.


Organization for breakthrough

Organization for improvement requires a clear responsibility

for guiding the project. The responsibility for the project may be as

broad as an entire division with formal committee structures or as

narrow as a small group of workers at one production operation. These

groups provide the definition and agreement as to the specific arms of

the project, the authority to conduct experiments, and implementation


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The path from problem to solution consists of two journeys :

One from symptom to cause (the diagnostic journey) and the other

from cause to remedy (the remedial journey), which must be performed

by different individuals with the appropriate skills.

  • a. Diagnostic journey

Diagnosticians skilled in data collection, statistics, and

other problem solving tools are needed at this stage. Some

projects will require full-time, specialized experts while others

can be performed by the work force. Management controllable

and operator controllable problems require different methods of

diagnosis and remedy.

  • b. Remedial journey

The remedial journey consists of several phases of

alternatives that optimize total cost (similar to one of Deming

implementing remedial action, and dealing with resistance to



Holding the gains

This final step involves establishing the new standards and

procedures, training the work force and instituting controls so that the

breakthrough will not fade over time.

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5.0 Conclusion

As a conclusion, Continuous Improvement ( CI ) is the quality of work

that can always be improved either doing it gradually or by breakthrough.

Scholars have given their different points of views regarding Continuous

Improvement but they are all sharing the basic idea about it – CI is the tool to

achieve perfection. Although no one can be perfect, perfection should be

the target - not just "satisfactory".

The combination of ideas contributed by – organization, employees

and of course customers – will develop the best synergy in achieving

improvement through continuous effort and it will not fade away through the

years to come.

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6.0 Bibliography

  • ii Ashok Rao, Farshad Raffi, Ismael Dambolena, John Martin, Lawrence P. Carr, Phyllis Finemann Schlesinger, Robert J. Kopp (1996), Total Quality Management, A cross Functional Perspective John Wiley & Sons Inc.

ASQ (American Society for Quality): Learn About Quality —

Burrill, Claude W., and Ledolter, Johannes., (1998). Acieving Quality Through Continual

Improvement, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. New York. (2003-2010),Continuous Process Improvement- The Kaizen Approach:

Extended Entry

Carol Besterfield –Michna, Dale H.Besterfield, Glen H. Besterfield, Mary Besterfield-Sacre (1995),

Total Quality Management, Prentice Hall

Carol Besterfield-Michna, Dale H. Besterfield, Glen H. Besterfield, Mary Besterfield-Sacre (2003),

Total Quality Management, Third Edition, Prentice Hall.

Deming, W. Edwards., (1992) . Out Of the Crisis, MIT Press

D.N.Bateman, Jesus A.Ponce De Leo, MD. Troult (1995), The Interplay Between Quality

Improvement Principles and The Employee Communication Process. Benchmarking: An

International Journal; Volume: 2 Issue 4. Research Paper.

Imai, Masaaki (1986). Kaizen: The Key to Japan's Competitive Success. New York, NY, USA:

Random House.

Imai, Masaaki . The Kaizen approach to Quality ( 1986). Kaizen Institute, Switzerland.

James Champy, Michael Hammer (1993), Reengineering The Corporation. A Manifesto for

Business Revolution, Nicholas Brealey, Publishing London.

Michael R. Beauregard, Raymond J. Mikulak, Robin E.McDermott (1993), Employee Driven

Quality. Releasing the Creative Spirit of Your Organization Through Suggestion Systems.

Quality Resources Engineering Inc.

Paul Arveson (2010), Balanced Scorecard Institute, a Strategy Management Group company

Peter Merrill (1997), Do It Right, The second time, Benchmarking best practices in the quality

change process, Productivity Press a division of productivity Inc.

Richard S. Johnson (1997), TQM: Management Processes for Quality Operations. Volume II of the

ASQC Total Quality Management Series Business Information Press.


What is customer satisfaction? Why does an organization measure customer satisfaction?

How to measure customer satisfaction? And why do many customer satisfaction efforts



What is customer satisfaction?

Satisfaction is the end result the customer experiences when we have done all that is necessary to

meet and exceed their expectations in a timely, responsible fashion, on a consistent basis. It is

ultimately the experience our customer has, that defines their level of satisfaction (Prof Dr. Jegak’s


The definition of customer satisfaction has been widely debated as organizations

increasingly attempt to measure it. Customer satisfaction can be experienced in a variety of

situations and connected to both goods and services. It is a highly personal assessment that is

greatly affected by customer expectations. Satisfaction also is based on the customer’s experience

of both contact with the organization and personal outcomes. Some definitions are based on the

observation that customer satisfaction or dissatisfaction results from either the confirmation or

disconfirmation of individual expectations regarding a service or product (Refer website CSSP).

Customer satisfaction is the state of mind that customers have about a company when their

expectations have been met or exceeded over the lifetime of the product or service. The

achievement of customer satisfaction leads to company loyalty and product repurchase. (Kevin

Cacioppo, refer to website

According to Richard S.Johnson (1997), satisfaction is monitored as an ongoing process in terms of

progress toward goal through satisfied customers internal and external to the organization. (Carol,

Dale, Glen and Mary, 1995), an external customer exist outside the organization and buys its

products or services. Every employee in the business must know how their job effects and /or

enhances the total satisfaction of the external customer.

According to James and William (2005), measure of customer satisfaction allow a business to do

the following;

  • a. Discover customer perceptions of how well the business is doing in meeting customer needs, and identify causes of dissatisfaction and failed expectations as well as drivers of delight.

  • b. Compare the company’s performance relative to competitors to support planning and better strategic initiatives.

  • c. Discovers areas for improvement in the design and delivery of products and services, as well as for training and coaching of employees.

  • d. Track trends to determine whether changes actually result in improvements.

According to Joel E.Ross (1999), an organization measuring customer satisfaction is to have

maintained a consistently high level of customer satisfaction in the areas important to the

customers. The target measures such as product quality, on time delivery, ease of access, index

price have been achieved in all cases and have exceeded the best of competitors. He also explained,

for example, leadership reviewed the 1991 survey results and identified responsiveness and

customer relationships as

opportunities for improvement. Programs were initiated in 1992 to improve these areas. In 1992,

customers reported improvements in customer partnerships, responsiveness, understanding of

customer requirements, and sales representatives. These improvements are also reflected in the

competitive comparison. He said, each of our specialty products businesses asked customers to rate

our year to year progress in overall performance in the areas of products, service, marketing

representative, and general business. Ninety four percent of the customers who rated us believe we

are performing better than or the same as we were last year. Clearly, why does an organization

measure customer satisfaction this is because to maintained a consistently high level of customer


(Refer Assoc Prof Dr. Jegak’s notes/module), measuring customer satisfaction allowed a business

to discover customer perceptions of how well the business is doing in meeting customers needs.

Discover areas for improvement, both in the design and delivery of products and services. Track

trends to determine if changes actually result in improvements. An effective customer satisfaction

measurement system results in reliable information about customer ratings of specific product and

service features and about the relationship between these ratings and the customers likely future

market behaviour. Customer service standards form the basis of customer satisfaction measures.

Customer satisfaction measures may include product attributes such as product quality, product

performance , usability, and maintainability; service attributes such as attitude, lead time, on time

delivery, exception handling, accountability, and technical support; image attributes such as

reliability and price; and overall satisfaction measures.

3.0 How to measure customer satisfaction?

According to James and William (2005), surveys should be designed to clearly provide the users of

the survey results with the information they need to make decisions. From survey as a example

buyers, buyers provide feedback on their perceptions of the sales processes, managers provide input

on billing and other administrative processes, and users provide feedback on product performance

and technical support. They also said, formal written surveys are the most common means of

measuring customers satisfaction, although others techniques, such as face to face interviews,

telephone interviews and focus groups. They also has mentioned that the company assigns to an

employee or group of employees the responsibility and accountability for developing improvement

plans based on customer satisfaction results. For example, tie managers annual bonuses to customer

satisfaction results, this practice acts as an incentive for managers and a direction for their efforts.

According to Joel E.Ross (1999), some firms use the squeaky wheel or if it ain’t broke,

don’t fix it” approach and measure customer satisfaction based on the level of complaints. First,

it focuses on the negative aspects by measuring dissatisfaction rather than satisfaction. Second, the

measure is based on the complaints of a vocal few and may cause costly or un-needed changes

in a process.

There are two basic step how to measure customer satisfaction. Firstly, develop key indicators

that drive customer satisfaction. Secondly, collect data regarding the perceptions of quality

received by customers.

Firstly, key indicators of customer satisfaction are what the company has chosen to represent

quality in its products and services and the way in which these are delivered. The building blocks

that the system is design to track are expectations of the customer and company perceptions of

customer expectations.

Secondly, companies use a variety of methods, or listening posts, to collect information about

customer needs and expectations, their importance, and customer satisfaction with the company’s

performance to measure customer satisfaction. (Refer Assoc Prof Dr. Jegak Uli notes/module).

According to Prof Dr. Jegak’s note, comment cards and formal surveys are easy ways to solicit

customer information. These approaches typically concentrate on measuring customer satisfaction.

Formal surveys can be designed to scientifically sample a customer base. This survey asks

customers what they want from a supplier and covers areas of service, price, delivery, quality and


Measuring via focus group such as interview, a focus group is a panel of individuals which

customers or non-customers who answer questions about a company’s products and services as well

as those of competitors. This interview approach allows a company to carefully select the

composition of the panel and probe panel members about important issues, such as comparing

experiences with expectations, in depth. The key questions that companies ask include: what do you

like about the product or service? What pleases or delights you? What do you dislike? What

problems have you encountered? If you had the ability, how would you change the product or


Measuring via direct customer contact; in customer driven companies, top executives commonly

visit with customers personally. Hearing issues and complaints firsthand is often and eye-opening


Measuring via field intelligence: any employee who comes in direct contact with customers, such

as sales people, repair technicians, telephone operators, and receptionists, can obtain useful

information simply by engaging in conversation and listening to customers. The effectiveness of

this method depends upon a culture that encourages open communication with superiors. As

another approach, employees simply observe customer behaviour.

Measuring via study complaints; complaints, although undesirable from a service point of view,

can be a key source customer information. Complaints allow an organization to learn about product

failures and service problems, particularly the gaps between expectations and performance. Studies

indicate that approximately one out of 25 customers complains. Thus to take full advantage of

complaints, companies must make it easy for customers to complain.

Why do many customer satisfaction efforts fail?

A.Blanton Godfrey in James R.Evans and William M.Lindsay (2005) suggested, there are several

reasons why customer satisfaction efforts fail;

Poor measurement schemes

Just tracking the percentage of satisfied and very satisfied customers on a 5 point Likert scale

provides little actionable information. Many surveys provide biased results because few dissatisfied

customers respond, or the surveys lack adequate sample sizes or randomization. Survey designers

need appropriate understanding of statistical concepts.

Failure to identify appropriate quality dimensions

Many surveys address issues the company thinks are important, not what customers think. This

error results from a lack of capturing reliable information about customer needs and expectations.

Failure to weight dimensions appropriately

Even if organizations measure the right things, they may not understand which dimensions are

important. As a result, they spend too much effort on dimensions with the lowest scores that may

not be important to the customers.

Lack of comparison with leading competitors

Quality and perception of quality is relative. Without appropriate comparative data, competitors

may be improving much faster than an organization realizes.

Failure to measure potential and former customers

Without an understanding of why non-customers do not do business with a company, or more

importantly, why customers leave, an organization risks losing market share to competitors and may

be headed for demise.

Confusing loyalty with satisfaction

Customer retention and loyalty provide an indication of the organization’s future.

According to Peter Merrill (1997), why customer satisfaction efforts fail, this is because poor

communication, unclear and changing requirements, lack of senior management commitment,

employee cynicism and poor morale, lack of training, bad suppliers, not sticking to procedures,

quick fixes, lack of time, lack of process ownership. These are in no special order, and will differ in

priority between companies. It is worth mentioning, though, that poor communication usually

comes at the top of the list. However, they all lead to wasted time and wasted cost that get in the

way of success. Any form of internal waste means you’re asking the customer to pay for something

they don’t want, and that you are paying for something you don’t want.


Carol Besterfield-Michna, Dale H.Besterfield, Glen H.Besterfield, Mary Besterfield Sacre (1995), Total Quality Management, Prentice Hall, New Jersey.

Dr.Jegak Uli (Assoc Prof), Note/Module.

James R.Evans, William M.Lindsay (2005), The Management and Control of Quality, 6 Edition, Thomson, South - Western

Joel E.Ross (1999), Total Quality Management, Text, Cases and Readings, Third Edition CRC Press LLC USA.

Peter Merril (1997), Do It Right, The Second Time Benchmarking Best Practices in The Quality Change Process, Productivity Press a Division of Productivity Inc.

Richard S.Johnson (1997), TQM – Management Processes for Quality Operations. Volume II of the ASQC, Total Quality Management Series Business Information Press.


Why leadership is important for successful implementation of a quality improvement

program or initiative. Discuss what does it takes (or do you need to do) to be an effective

leader for a successful implementation of a quality improvement program or initiative.

Why leadership is important for successful implementation of a quality improvement

program or initiative.

James and William’s book (2006) has explained that strong leadership, especially from senior

managers, is absolutely necessary to develop and sustain a total quality culture. Leaders may seek to

motivate employees and develop enthusiasm for quality with rhetoric, but actions often speak

louder than words. Leaders create clear and visible quality values, and integrate these values into

the organization’s strategy. Strategies is the pattern of decisions that determines and reveals a

company’s goal, policies, and plans to meet the needs of its stakeholders. Through an effective

strategy a business creates a sustainable competitive advantage. The principle role of strategic

planning is to align work processes with strategic directions, thereby ensuring that improvement

and learning reinforce organizational priorities. In today’s business environment, quality is a key

element of strategic planning.

Conclusion, leadership is the ability to positively influence people and systems under one’s

authority to have a meaningful impact and achieve important results. Strategic planning is the

process of envisioning the organization’s future and developing the necessary goals, objectives, and

action plans to achieve that future. Here clearly, there was why the leadership is important for

successful implementation of a quality improvement program.

According to Roslina (2006), most quality expects agree that strong leadership is absolutely

necessary to develop and sustain a total quality culture. Leadership is the ability to positively

influence people and systems under one’s authority, which can have a meaningful impact and

achieve important results. Leaders create clear and visible quality values and integrate them into the

organization’s strategy. According to Evans and Lindsay (2005), leadership is the driver of the

quality system.

According to Armand V. Feigenbaum in Joel & Vincent (2004), getting quality results is not a short

term, instant pudding way to improve competitiveness; implementing total quality management

requires hands-on, continuous leadership.

With reference to Baldrige Award statement (1999) in Joel (1999), the concept of the leadership

system is summarized as follows, leadership system refers to how leadership is exercised, formally

and informally, throughout a company, the basis for and the way that key decisions are made,

communicated, and carried out. It includes structures and mechanisms for decision making,

selection and development of leaders and managers, and reinforcing values, practices and


According to Joel (1999), an effective leadership creates clear values that respect the capabilities

and requirements of employees and other company stakeholders and sets high expectations for

performance and performance improvement. It builds loyalties and teamwork based upon the values

and the pursuit of shared purposes. It encourages and supports initiative and risk taking,

subordinates organization to purpose and function, and avoids chains of command that require long

decision paths. An effective leadership includes mechanisms for the leaders, self examination,

receipt of feedback, and improvement.

According to James and William (2005), goods leader should to lead for quality, that is they should

ensure that the principles of TQ are adopted and used throughout their organizations. Some might

include the following;

  • a. Gathering data before expressing an opinion and backing up actions with facts.

  • b. Being aware that quality is defined by customers and acting on that awareness.

  • c. Using quality tools when appropriate and making their benefits visible to all.

  • d. Expecting and driving commitment and accountability throughout the organization.

According to Armand V. Feigenbaum in Joel & Vincent (2004), the passion is in living and

working in the spirit of a quality ethic which means having a deep belief that what you do to make

quality better makes everything in the organizations better.

According to James and William (2005), there are various elements why leadership is important

for successful implementation of a quality improvement.

They focus on creating and balancing value for customers and other stakeholders that serves as a

basis for setting business directions and performance expectations at all levels of the organization.

An organization;s vision and values emanates from senior leaders, and should revolve around

customers, both external and internal. For example, Fedex’s concise motto of People, Service,

Profits conveys that commitment to the people the employees of Fedex come first. If employees are

treated with respect and have empathetic leaders, they will provide exceptional service to

customers, and profits will follow. A three pronged approach to business excellence: a pervasive

customer focus, strong associate focus, and its internal quality management philosophy called the

“BI Way”. This philosophy, which includes training, problem solving techniques, process

improvement, incentives and a focus on results.

They create and sustain a leadership system and environment for empowerment, innovation, agility

and organizational learning.

Leaders provide an environment with few bureaucratic rules and procedures. Such an environment

encourages managers to experiment and take risks, permits employees to talk openly about

problems, supports teamwork and promotes employees understanding of their responsibilities for


They set high expectations and demonstrate substantial personal commitment and involvement in

quality, often with a missionary like enthusiasm.

A leader can inspire people to do things they do not believe they can do. The leader for today and

the future will be focused on how to develop quality, character, mind-set, values, principles and

courage. Leaders serve as a role models for the whole organization.

They integrate quality values into daily leadership and management and communicate extensively

through the leadership structure and to all employees.

Successful leaders continually promote their vision throughout the organization using many forms

of communications; personal interaction, talks, newsletters, seminars, e-mail, and video.

They review organizational performance including their own performance as leaders to assess

organizational success and progress, and translate review findings into priorities for improvement

and opportunities for innovation for the organization as a whole as well as their own leadership


To maintain a commitment to improvement, leaders must maintain a sense of the organizations

energy level. This awareness requires a process for reviewing performance measure and using the

results to drive improvements. Review help to build consistency behind goals and allocation of


They create an environment that fosters legal and ethical behaviour, and a governance system that

addresses management and fiscal accountability and protection of stockholder and stakeholder


They integrate public responsibilities and community support into their business practices.

Leadership responsibilities include the protection of public health, safety, and the environment that

may be affected by a company’s products and services. Support of key communities, such as

educations, health care, professional organizations, and community services, are important roles for

companies and a leadership responsibility.

Here, clearly, leadership is important for successful implementation of a quality improvement.

Leadership is the driver of the entire quality system. Without leadership, a total quality initiative

simply becomes the flavour of the month, which is the major reason that total quality efforts fail in

many organizations.

Discuss what does it takes (or do you need to do) to be an effective leader for a successful

implementation of a quality improvement program or initiative.

Creating the leadership system

According to James and William’s book (2005) to make successful implementation of a quality

improvement , creating the leadership system. The leadership system is refer to how leadership is

exercised, formally and informally, throughout an organization. These elements include how key

decisions are made, communicated, and carried out at all levels. They include structures and

mechanisms for decision making, selection and development of leaders and managers, and

reinforcement of values, directions, and performance expectations. It builds loyalties and teamwork

based upon shared values, encourages initiative and risk taking, and subordinates organization to

purpose and function. An effective leadership system also includes mechanisms for leaders self

examination and improvement.

Strategic planning

According to them, through strategic planning, leaders hold an organization’s future and manage

change by focusing on an ideal vision of what the organization should and could be three, five, or

more year in the future. The objective of strategic planning is to build a posture that is so strong in

selective ways that the organization can achieve its goals despite unforeseeable external forces.

A strategy is a pattern or plan that integrates an organization’s major goals, policies, and action

sequences into a cohesive whole. A well formulated strategy helps to marshal and allocate an

organization’s resources into a unique and viable posture based on its relative internal competencies

and shortcomings, anticipated changes in the environment, and contingent moves by intelligent


A focus on both customer driven quality and operational performance excellence, as opposed to

traditional financial and marketing goals, is essential to an effective strategy. To be competitive and

profitable, an organization must focus on the drivers of customer satisfaction, customer retention,

and market share and build operational capability, including speed, responsiveness, and flexibility,

to contribute to short and longer term productivity growth and cost competitiveness.

They also said, the effective leader was required five core leadership skills for a successful

implementation of a quality improvement. These core skills are vision, empowerment, intuition,

self-understanding and value congruence.


Leaders are visionaries, they manage for the future, not the past. Vision is crucial at every level

during times of change. Leaders recognize the radical organizational changes taking place today as

opportunities to move closer to total quality. Visionary leaders create mental and verbal pictures of

desirable future states and share these visions with their organizational partners, including

customers, suppliers, and employees.


Leaders empower employees to assume ownership of problems or opportunities and to be proactive

in implementing improvements and making decisions in the best interest of the organization. For

example, at my company GS Paper & Packaging currently which I worked, every department has

participative management process team consisting of 8-12 members who set objectives to support

corporate goals. Individual employees develop goals and plans, track progress, and receive bonuses

based on successful and timely achievement of goals. Empowerment threatens many managers who

are accustomed to wielding their power , often coercively through fear of punishment or sanctions.

True power is not based upon formal position and authority, but rather aids in spreading power

downward and outward and developing leadership at lower levels of the organization.


Leaders are not afraid to follow their intuition. Even in the face of uncertainty and change, they

must anticipate the future and must be prepared to make difficult decisions that will help the

organization to be successful. For example, David Kearns from Fuji Xerox company, when he was

appointed as a CEO, he had already witnessed firsthand the implemented of TQM at Fuji Xerox. On

his return from Japan, he had begun listing the factors that made the Japanese better than American

counterparts. After eliminating those factors he felt were insignificant, three elements remained:

cost, quality and expectations. His intuition in this case led him to develop the leadership through

quality initiative at Fuji Xerox.


Self-understanding requires the ability to look at one’s self and then identify relationships with

employees and within the organization. It requires an examination of one self’s weaknesses as well

as strength. An example, one manager told the chairman and CEO of GS Paper & Packaging,

“There are only five managers in this room who know how to listen.” The Chairman recognized the

need to do something. At the end of the meeting, the chairman stood up on a banquet chair, and

raising his right arm, asked all of the assembled executives to repeat after him:”I will listen. I will

not shoot the messenger. I recognize that management is the problem.” Many leaders have an

insatiable appetite for knowledge and self-learning as well as a drive to develop their skills and use

them effectively.

Value congruence

Value congruence occurs when leaders integrate their values into the company’s management

system. Values are basic assumptions and beliefs about the nature of the business, mission, people,

and relationships of an organization. Specifically, values include trust and respect for individuals,

openness, teamwork, integrity, and commitment to quality. They become standards by which

choices are made and create an organizational structure in which quality is a routine part of

activities and decisions throughout the organization.


Evans, J.R and Lindsay, W.M (2005), The Management and Control of Quality, fifth Edition, International Thomson Publishing.

James R.Evans, William M.Lindsay (2005), The Management and Control of Quality, Sixth Edition, Thomson South-Western.

Joel E.Ross, Vincent K.Omachonu (2004), Principles of Total Quality, Third Edition, CRC Press LLC USA.

Joel E.Ross (1999), Total Quality Management, Text Cases, and Readings, Third Edition, CRC Press LLC USA





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