Case studies on my course which is System Quality Management

H

Happy_man

hello all,
I'm student at uni and i have some case studies on my course which is System Quality Management
please help me if know it the answer this case study :


SQM Quality Crusader

Instructions:

The following two pages describe a not untypical quality scenario. You are required to analyze the
problems at Finex and answer the following questions:

(i) What went wrong at Finex?
(ii) How should they solve their dilemma?
The Quality Crusader


(Adapted from “The Case of the Quality Crusader” by Frank S. Leonard)

Craig McDonald poured himself another cup of coffee and walked down the corridor to Peter
Nichols’ office. He’d spent half the night agonising how to broach a problem with Peter, the
General Manager who had hired him a month ago to run Finex Electric’s software quality
assurance operation as Software Quality Assurance Manager.
Craig had always thought that anything worth making was worth making right and his high
standards had served him well at his last job, where he had been promoted several times. Finex, a
manufacturer of high-quality electrical products, had been experiencing problems with the quality
of the information systems implemented to support its business. Craig welcomed the opportunity
to turn this performance around. The hefty salary and direct reporting relationship to Peter Nichols
had persuaded him that Finex were serious about improving the quality of the information systems
it developed.
“Come in, Craig, and have a seat”, Peter began. “So, you’ve run into some trouble already; I told
you this job would be tough. What’s the problem?”
“There was a mix-up while I was away last week. I think it might happen again, so I want to
discuss it with you now. I was attending a quality seminar in Adelaide and, in my absence, Jim
Underwood was overseeing the quality control team for me. Early in the week, there were some
problems with program modules in a subsystem of the new manufacturing system; following
quality procedures, Jim sent the modules back to programming for revision. But then Jenny
Edwards got involved; she decided that the rework would take too long, so she ran some test data
through the programs and insisted that they were basically correct and could be put into
production. Now, you and I both know the risks involved in doing that.”
“Well, in theory, yes. But I don’t know how much difference it really makes. Still, I get your
point, Craig. That’s not the way it ought to be.”
“No sir, as far as I’m concerned it isn’t. I guess Jim tried to talk to Jenny about it. He knows how I
feel about quality and he was trying to do what I would expect. But Jenny took charge of the
situation. As Project Manager she outranks Jim and he finally deferred to her. Well, don’t you
know, those programs were in production on Thursday.”
“Have you discussed this with Jenny?” Peter asked.
“No, I haven’t. Jim just told me about it yesterday. I’m perfectly willing to talk to her, but I want
to make sure I’m right first. Doesn’t my department have the last word about what goes into
production?”
“Craig, we’re like every other company. We’ve got budgets, we’ve got plans. Sure, we want good
systems, but we don’t want to lose our shirts producing them. Sounds to me like you and Jenny
will have to work it out. I think you can handle it.”
Craig was disappointed by Peter’s response. After all, in the job interview Peter has assured him
that Finex was serious about the emphasis on quality. But it did not seem as if the idea had filtered
down to the shop floor – where the priorities are really set. The project team were very loyal to
jenny. According to Jim Underwood, they had often helped her rush systems into production in
order to meet implementation dates. Craig was anxious to confront her. Later that day when he
saw her in the information systems department, he made a point of starting a conversation. He did
not want to come on too strong, but he wanted to let her know that he was not happy about what
had happened last week and that he did not want it to happen again.
“Say, how did things go when I was away?” He asked.
“It was touch and go for a while, but we managed to instal the latest module of the system on
time.”
“Jim tells me we ran into problems with some of the programme modules.”
“Yes, manufacturing was leaning all over us for them. All I kept hearing all week was ‘Instal!
Instal!’”
“But some of the modules were rejected?”
“Well, they weren’t quite to standards, but we checked them out and they seemed to function OK.
So we installed them as planned.”
Craig was annoyed by jenny’s attitude, especially since he felt sure of himself on technical
matters. After all, he had been trained as a software engineer. Jenny had started as an operator and
come up through the ranks. Despite the fact that Craig had been at Finex for only a month, he was
sure Jenny did not understand systems as well as he did.
“I don’t want to make a big deal of something that’s already happened, but it’s not such a good
idea to implement programs that aren’t developed to standards. We should be putting systems
together correctly in the first place.”
“Oh boy, you won’t get any disagreement from me there. I had some contractors who started work
on Monday and were on their own coding programs in the afternoon. I barely had time to show
them where to hang their coats.”
“Don’t new employees get any training? At my old company, everyone was introduced to the
standards before they could start productive work.”
“Do you know how big our training department is? Do you know what our staff turn-over is?
We’re lucky if we have one person who knows how to do the job properly. Look Craig, I’ll do
what I can to help – I’m all for anything that will help me meet my objectives… but, do you know
that 95% of the manufacturing subsystems implemented to date have been on time. That’s a first
for Finex.”
The conversation with Jenny ended on a fairly friendly note, but Craig knew he had not won her
over. He walked back to his office to decide what to do next.
 

Marc

Fully vaccinated are you?
Leader
You will probably get some responses if you first give us your answers to the two questions. That way you will get a critique of your analysis. Many people here are hesitant to reply to posts like this unless they see the student has first put some thought into the problem.
 
L

LuMaUrFe

This is my point of view of the case.

FACTS:
1-Direction says interested in quality, but, in their words, “We’re like every other company. We’ve got budgets, we’ve got plans. Sure, we want good
systems, but we don’t want to lose our shirts producing them.”
It looks like there is a hierarchy conflict between Quality and the Direction; The Direction can kill any System.

2-Jenny and Craig:“Jim tells me we ran into problems with some of the programme modules.”
“Yes, manufacturing was leaning all over us for them. All I kept hearing all week was ‘Instal! Instal!’”
“But some of the modules were rejected?”
“Well, they weren’t quite to standards, but we checked them out and they seemed to function OK. So we installed them as planned.”
2a- The Quality Management System is not being followed;
2b- It looks like there are not evidences of the deviations took producing those products, so the risks for a product that not accomplishes with the specifications are great.

3-Finalizing Jenny and Craig: “Don’t new employees get any training? At my old company, everyone was introduced to the
standards before they could start productive work.”
“Do you know how big our training department is? Do you know what our staff turn-over is?
We’re lucky if we have one person who knows how to do the job properly. Look Craig, I’ll do
what I can to help – I’m all for anything that will help me meet my objectives… but, do you know
that 95% of the manufacturing subsystems implemented to date have been on time. That’s a first
for Finex.”
3a- Training is not a priority
3b-Productiion schedule is more important than the Control Process.

CONCLUSIONS:
1-ANY Quality Management System can be (and very offtenly are) killed by the direction. Shorted-vision, greedy, or misunderstood concepts of quality are common obstacles while a Quality Management System is implemented. The Direction must understan the following:
1a-There are Quality Costs, which have to be written down.
1b-There are Costs of Failures, whicha have to be written down also.
1c-There is an untangible damage in the company image for every bad product used by the clients, which diminishes the company´s credibility.
The Quality Costs pay by themselves when you can:
-Control your production
-Icrease your production safely, applying the proven procedures and production practices;
-Build a good image of your company, based on Quality.

2a-Manufacturing is a learning process while you are developing, not when you´re producing. It shows that this company doesn´t have a R&D department (or maybe they´re on vacation). It smells like another direction´s policy to "squeeze" the company (more common as we can think).
2b-It´s a common practice in many fields that the Production Schedule is more important than the Process Control. This is a Suicidal Tendency. A never ending cyrcle where many plants and production companies fall, chasing the money while they don´t take care how they use it to produce their goods. Some directors think (If we can say that it is a thought) that they get more money if they can "squeeze" the whole company, making it work with "few tools". We are talking again about Quality Costs. Of course you can run the company in that way, but you are generating a lot of stress in the process, everybody is in a hurry, the risk to get faulty products is huge, and everybody walks with their backs against the wall because nobody wants to be blamed when bad quality is discovered. This is not a favorable environment for a Quality Management System, since Quality Control is the last activity in their priorities.

3-Training is basic. It´s the key concept. Any Job Profile includes the basic capabilities that a person needs to have so he can cover such position. And beyond that is the way the company performs and interacts while the production process is in progress. Making people to enter the production line directly whitout any previous training is another big risk. In Jenny´s words: “Do you know how big our training department is? Do you know what our staff turn-over is? We’re lucky if we have one person who knows how to do the job properly." That is the most expansive way to hire people and put in risk the production process, while they think they are "saving" money. It is cheaper (compared with such hiring madness) to develop personnel internally, to train them, and measure their improvements. Ah, if Jenny is a manager with such thoughts and preparation, it shows that there is something really wrong in Finex Electric’s Organizational Design (Again, Direction kills the Quality System).

The company fell in a rat race, running with such system and with few resources to grow, because quality mistakes can kill it.

The Quality Crusader needs to prepare a Reengineering Plan for the company, with a financial budget projected during the Reengineering Plan application. This plan should include a careful review of the Organizational Design, Product R&D and Production Process (Pilot Tests, Sample Runs and Standard Production).

In this way, the Direction will understand (If they can):
-How much resources are needed for the process;
-ROI (maybe their eyes will shine here);
-The benefits of the Reengineering Plan.

If there is no support for it, the Quality Crusader should run away from there ASAP. We don´t need another dead hero. It´s just a job.
 
F

foiley

I don't think I would be immeidately drawn to the same opinion - i.e another dead hero etc...
Your language used is very passionate and possibly could be toned down at touch. There is often an art of terming on non-conformances, so not to unnecessary upset those involved, or your teacher... Good luck with yoru assignment...
 
H

Happy_man

Dear LuMaUrFe,

I would like to say for you thanks so much for helping me and push me to understand the case study
but i fund something slightly different from your perspective which are :

The is no system of confirming consistency in different people doing the same jobs
No training, or support or measurement on new staff.
No sponsorship from the GM
No funding available to set up, must be fixed within the existing means. So this must be procedural and managerial to minimize cost.

Evidently they do not have resources to do full training that may have been available at Craig’s old workplace
He does have the support of Jenny and GM so long as it is within the limitations of the available resources


2 fold approach.
Make it a known directive that Craig (or Craig representative ) is the authority on Quality matters and has critical stakeholder level access to halt or approve projects on based on quality matters. This could be done by producing an org chart that can be distributed and a quality guarantee goal. That has the support of the GM and upper management (and the likes of Jenny)

Resolve ongoing issues
Implement Documented work instructions for software Development and store them on a centralized repository that is available to all new and old employees
Document the required outputs that would be considered “meet quality expectations” a quality matrix
Conduct regular quality assurance compliance audits, checking a sample amount of work, ensuring that they are following the documented procedures and providing development feed back to individuals and coaching and incorporate it into the employee reviews.
Look for patterns that may be common across the department that might indicate a more wide spread issues and require more action than individual feedback such as group coaching sessions.
 
H

Happy_man

Dear foiley,

Thanks for replying and advice to me about formal way to write.
actually, this is not assignment paper but a tutorials case studies.
In fact, I couldn't understanding this case because this third week in this semester and I don't have any experience about the quality.
 

Jim Wynne

Leader
Admin
Dear LuMaUrFe,

I would like to say for you thanks so much for helping me and push me to understand the case study
but i fund something slightly different from your perspective which are :

The is no system of confirming consistency in different people doing the same jobs
No training, or support or measurement on new staff.
No sponsorship from the GM
No funding available to set up, must be fixed within the existing means. So this must be procedural and managerial to minimize cost.

This can all be answered with a three-word response: failure of leadership.

  1. Make sure that people understand what's expected;
  2. Remove ambiguous requirements and conflicting priorities;
  3. Give them the resources, responsibility and authority to make it happen;
  4. Get out of the way and let them do it.
All of these are basic responsibilities of top management and in general, people below that level are powerless to do anything about it. If a culture is designed to fail, it will.
 
H

Happy_man

Dear Jim Wynne,

Thanks for providing the most important words about this case study. it will explain what is the main point?
 
M

Martin IT

I don't think it's a money problem. It's just a problem of organization. Two problem, the first is in the R&D way to work, and the second is the role of the manufacturing support staff.

1 - The R&D department should perform their tests (verification and validation test ) at the end of the developing phase and not during the manufacturing (the time spent is the same, but in the first case the problem are lesser than the second case). If there not problems, the tests aren’t very time/money consuming and the company is (quite) sure the software will be compliant and ‘well done’. Of course is necessary that the R&D Manager schedule this activity in time and not at the last moment (or worst) because it could arise problem during the validation/verification phase and fix this problem could be time consuming.

2 – Where is the Manufacturing Manager? She/he should be involved during the developing phase with the aim to design the manufacturing process properly (stuff training, production equipment,, worksheet etc.). A good manufacturing support team should be prepared before the start of the production, to be ready to help the operator.

The R&D department shouldn’t be involve in the production phase, for two reason:
a) because they have to go on with the developing of new products;
b) because if they aren’t involved this force the manufacturing department to be ready for the production.
Good luck
 
S

Sorin

Not really an answer to the question in the OP but more like how I feel about...

My first reaction after reading the case/article is: I don't like Craig! At all...

Superior, arrogant and going to see the boss instead of trying to understand the WHY(s) of what just hapenned.

This is not how you find solutions.

C.O.M.M.U.N.I.C.A.T.I.O.N. and T.E.A.M.W.O.R.K.

Master those two principles and it's almost impossible to lose. In any given situation.

Not to mention that after only one month he feels like having ALL the right answers....



/rant over....and mea culpa :eek:
 
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