What are the most significant issues in quality management for large organizations? – 2023 Edition

|

Said

Every company faces challenges regardless of its size or revenue, but what are the most significant issues in quality management for large organizations? 

In this article, I will try to answer this question and give some tips on what companies can do to overcome these challenges.

What are examples of quality issues in an organization?

A quality issue is anything that challenges the expectations of a product or service when a customer receives it.

It doesn’t need to be the end customer. If, for example, a part moves from task A to task B in a way we can’t complete task B, that’s a quality issue.

Similarly, if you require some information from a colleague to deliver a service that is incorrect or unclear enough, that’s another quality issue.

What are the emerging issues in quality management?

I have broken the issues in quality management down into nine different types:

  1. Culture
  2. Bureaucracy
  3. Communication
  4. Priorities
  5. Lack of vision
  6. Lack of processes
  7. Lack of responsibilities
  8. Lack of investment in new technology
  9. Training and development

Culture

One of the things that amaze me in some large organizations is the ability of senior management not to be able to lead their companies.

As an example, old school companies have decided to bring people back to the office after Covid.

They are ultimately challenging the lifestyle created for many employees in the last two and a half years and damaging their relationships. 

Companies and people evolve. Life events or technological developments shape them.

If your employees are not happy working for you, how can they best serve your clients? 

Develop a culture that people want to part and be proud of.

Bureaucracy

Speed can be your best ally or your demise.

Large organizations suffer from organizational overload. When many departments and people need to contribute, review, and approve a task, document, or deliverable, they lose valuable time.

Remove waste from your processes and the input from unnecessary teams to achieve organizational excellence. 

Smaller companies have a significant advantage over large ones in this case. If you leverage them well enough, speed and quality can make your company skyrocket in just a few months.

bureaucracy shown with huge amounts of paperwork

Communication

Lack of communication affects large and small companies in an equal manner.

Teams tend to work in isolation in large organizations, leaving stakeholders outside crucial processes. 

The last thing we want to see is two different teams working on the same task. 

Establish a clear flow of information, upwards and downwards. If everybody knows what needs to happen, we will increase our chances of delivering right-first-time.

phones signalling communication

Priorities

In manufacturing, I have seen companies define their values as:

  1. Safety
  2. Quality
  3. Delivery

Safety is a must. We want everybody to come to work and leave work healthy and fit to live their lives.

Quality is all about ensuring we produce with a zero-defect policy in mind.

Delivery is all about making sure a customer receives a product on time.

The reality, in my experience, is that safety shares number one with sales. Companies want to sell as many products as possible and think the quality is a given.

If you push for sales and think quality will be there regardless, you leave money on the table. The processes won’t be there to support the volumes and will eventually have issues.

Scale from the bottom, not from the top. Create processes to allow you to stay at the top safely.

prioritise scrabble

Lack of vision

I have seen this both in large and small organizations. When the vision isn’t clear, people don’t know what they are trying to achieve.

When setting goals, we must define them so that everybody understands the outcome.

Large organizations jeopardize their culture if everybody is not aligned toward the same goal.

Set the vision and stick to it.

Vision in the form of a lense

Lack of processes

We must lay the steps to accomplish that if we have a clear vision.

I have seen processes lack critical steps in large organizations, or they might not be regularly updated.

The reality is that there are many different ways to achieve the same thing. If we compound the lack of communication with the lack of processes, we create a recipe for disaster.

Invest always in defining processes, and we will always have a clear goal in front of us.

Lack of responsibilities

Who does what and when? This question is not even straightforward in some of the best organizations.

The sole purpose of job descriptions is to define what a role needs to deliver. Spend time describing them, don’t just copy something from Google.

I have often seen people getting stuck with tasks irrelevant to their roles. It could be when a company is undergoing a restructuring or when they don’t have enough resources.

In large organizations, managers and leaders must ensure that everybody does what they need to do.

Regardless of size, we need to communicate our expectations for a role. Hence, there are no surprises for our employees or us.

Responsibilities

Lack of technology

Technology has made our lives easier.

The same thing applies to work. A few paragraphs above, I talked about speed and removing waste to achieve more.

Technology is here to help us automate tasks, avoid simple mistakes, and increase output. We must embrace it.

A cost-benefit analysis might be helpful to determine whether the investment is worth it or not.

I have seen companies throw money at tools without fully understanding the requirements first. Just because there is money doesn’t mean we can do whatever we want with it.

Leverage technology to achieve more, plan, and strive for your vision.

Lack of training

If we have leveraged technology, we must ensure everybody knows how to use it.

If we want our workforce to use the newer tools, we need to train them on how to use them.

Large companies have not invested in some of their elder team members. People want to feel they matter regardless of age, and investing in people can do wonders for our company and culture.

We need to develop people, and we also need to invest in ourselves so we can best serve our employees.

Nobody is the final product, and every day is a school day. If we train people and feel we care for them, they will care for us.

training

How can quality management be improved?

It is not easy, but defining a QMS is the first step toward that goal.

To reduce issues in quality management and improve overall, we must address the above-mentioned issues and continuously review our processes and procedures.

The continuous improvement cycle has no end. Our competition also aims to deliver more.

continuous improvement cycle transformero

Before you go…

The most significant issues in large organizations’ quality management are people and leadership. Some tips to improve them are below.

Ensure your employees are proud to work for you. People want to be part of a culture that resembles their values.

Remove waste and bureaucracy from processes to increase your speed.

Establish clear communication channels up and down the company. Communication is crucial to keep the workforce engaged.

Define the vision and stick to it. People want to know where they are going.

Get your priorities in check. If not, you run the risk of developing the wrong culture.

Invest in processes early on. Things are much more manageable when everything is clear and broken down into small steps.

Clearly define people’s responsibilities. Otherwise, we run the risk of many people working on the same task or nobody at all.

Leverage technology to accomplish more, and always try to simplify tasks.

Develop and train your workforce. If you care for your employees, they will care for you.

A quality management system could work wonders for your company, regardless of size.

Related posts

Leave a Comment