November is the Global Quality Month, it’s a time to celebrate and showcase quality and continuous improvement efforts.
Do you know why November has been chosen as the World Quality Month?
The roots of quality management can be traced back to early 1910s. In 1911, Frederick W. Taylor published ‘The Principles of Scientific Management’ which provided a framework for the effective use of people in industrial organisations. One of his main ideas was to implement inspection, the first step to quality control. Then, in 1920s, statistical theory was first applied to product quality control.
What happened in Japan
Product Quality Control was further developed in Japan in the 40s. Japanese products were perceived as cheep, shoddy imitations. Japanese industrial leaders recognised this problem and aimed to produce innovative high quality products. They invited a few american quality gurus, such as Deming, Juran, and Feigenbaum to learn how to achieve this aim. Deming work was focused not only on operations, but also on the leadership role to improve operations. Workers started to get more involved and heard in respect to quality issues. The idea was to improve not only quality of the products, but also every aspect of organisational issues. That was the start of TQM, Total Quality Managament.
In the 1950s, quality control and management developed quickly and became a main theme of Japanese management. Deming made dozens of trips to Japan in the 1950s to teach and preach about quality beyond inspection and emphasize a focus on improving all organizational processes by concentrating attention on the people who used them. This contributed to a historic quality revolution in Japan. At that time, when Japan was devastated morally and economically after the war. Edwards Deming gave them a reason to continue fighting and survive no matter what. They all were inspired by quality.
In order to honor the major changes that were implemented in Japan, the Deming Award has established in 1951, sponsored by the Japanese Union of Scientis and Engineers.This award was given every November since 1950 to companies applying Deming teachings in Japan.
When the Quality Month Started
In 1960, Japan was celebrating the 10th anniversary of the National Quality Award, so they declared November the Quality Month.
By the 1970s, that quality revolution came to a head as Japanese manufacturers that had instituted so many of these quality concepts and approaches moved well ahead of their U.S. competitors in industrial sectors such as automotive and consumer electronics. When NBC introduced the American public to the works of Deming in its 1980 telecast, “If Japan Can, Why Can’t We?” it was the start of a decade-long quality revolution in the United States.
In 1988 a major step forward in quality management was made with the development of the Malcolm Baldrige Award in the United States. The model, on which the award was based, represented the first clearly defined and internationally recognized TQM model, similar to the Deming Award.
Many methodologies have been developed after TQM, such as Lean, Six Sigma, the ISO standards, design Thinking.
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What can you do
Are you struggling to take your business to the next level? Are you have customer complaints, unattended customers or your customers are running away to the competition? It is generally understood that quality has been of great advantage to large organizations, but it is not so well know that the techniques are equally valuable to concerns with as few as 100 employees. The facts is, there is nothing that did not also apply to small companies. Quality has moved to any company size and well beyond manufacturing into the services, healthcare, education, nonprofit and government sectors.
Quality is not only a matter of adding boring control points or procedures. It is an ongoing effort from each individual to do thinks a little better. We all can make the world a better place if each of our businesses are more quality focus. More efficient restaurants, more customer oriented hotels, more competitive and innovative manufacturers. Start by training your team on quality management methodologies or doing kaizen events to focus on specific processes.
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The 21st Century is going to be the century of quality, so raise your voice. Help your team improve your business, and show your customers how different you are from the competition.
So in November raise your voice for quality. Celebrate the quality month. Promote quality every day, every time.
Founder Biztorming Training & Consulting