Changing the Culture of an organisation where quality is a dirty word

L

Laura - 2003

#1
Changing a culture

How do you change the culture of an organisatin where quality is a dirty word?

I'm introducing quality induction courses for new starters as well as refresher courses...outlining the benefits etc.

I'm launching a quality newsletter.

Upgrading the quality software.

And, soon I will have to start introducing ISO 9001:2000...I want them to see what the 2000 std can do, but I don't want them to go in with these pre-conceived ideas about quality. How do I change their minds about quality?
 
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D

David Mullins

#3
A ZILLION ANSWERS

1. Know what you want the culture to look like.
2. Measure where your culture is at.
3. Give employees the opportunity to air (yet again) their thoughts on what needs to be changed.
4. Make those changes happen.
5. Wear low cut tops or short skirts (not both). Women have a distinct advantage in business - use it.
6. Don't identify a company newsletter (which you hopefully have approval and commitment for) with quality, just subtly slip the quality stuff into it. You want people to read this, right?
7. when you've made a number of changes re-measure the culture. This is a great way to quantify the benefits of the improvments you have made/initiated/championed.

And the other Zillion things....
 
A

Al Dyer

#4
My experience leads me to believe that the only way to change corporate culture is to directly interface with the owner or the next highest honcho. If they don't buy in, nobody will.

I think in our positions we have to prove it to them with results before they will accept a total buy-in.

MHO
 
L

Laura - 2003

#5
Thanks

Cheers everybody,

Al, I agree and I'm trying as hard as I can to get buy-in but how do you know it's not just lip service?

We are already accredited to 1994, and it seems to me that its taken for granted that the system will just run itself. As 2000 will require much more committment I need buy-in sooner. Also, I have been asked to get involved in EFQM for the entire organisation (only one part of our org. is covered by ISO). I thought I'd go for the approach that if we're looking at achieving business excellence then we can use ISO as a tool. They're based on more or less the same principles....what do you think?

David, Thanks for all your advice, not sure about the low cut tops or short skirts, it is winter over here you know! As for the company newsletter, our organisation is divided up into 'chunks' only one of which is accredited. The other areas don't really recognise ISO as part of their ways of working, so it's not likely they'll put 'our' quality in the org. newlsetter. Also, the quality
newsletter is web-based with lots of interactive 'things' going on!!

Jim, Thanks for the link.....very handy!!
 
G

Greg Mack

#6
Forget 'Quality'

Hi Laura,

In some of our Business Units, we have a culture problem where it is 'quality' this and 'quality' that! What a bore!

The whole point is that nearly every company that has acheived certification has not had to change too much from what they do already.

I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to start from scratch with a company of ours overseas. 'Quality' has never been mentioned!

The "Procedure" Manual is actually called "....The Way We Do Things". Keeping it relevant to the employees and their processes.

When you start referring to 'Quality', all of a sudden you provide management and employees with an excuse to dump unwanted problems. Nobody knows what 'quality' or 'QA' actually means but they use it all the time!!

Just talk in their language and keep it simple. For example, I know of a procedure that deals with factory workers that don't have a high acceptance of 'formalised' procedures. One example says this, and I quote...."Get the signed 'xyz' form from your supervisor - if you havent' got it by 2.00pm, ask him where the bloody hell it is!"....

I know this is not probably what you were looking for but it works for them and is a great example of how the system needs to be relevant to the employee and their needs.

Good luck! Although sometimes it can be a bit of...:frust:
 
L

Laura - 2003

#7
You have helped!

Thanks Greg,

That has helped b/c it has confirmed my belief that we need to take the quality out of quality I suppose!

I'm in the process of simplifying a qms where even the assessor agreed that there were far too many procedures. With the advent of ISO Y2K I am hoping that this review will be met with a positive attitude which could then lead comfortably into the transition stage.

My main problem is, everyone feels the need to document everything they do right down to how they clean the toilet (exagerration but you know what I mean). They are confusing work instructions with procedures so I am finding myself combing out the detail and trying to create procedures which are useful and relevant. The reason people aren't using the system at the moment is b/c there is too much information.

With ISO 2K I can make the system more process based and make people look at what they do and how it fits into the big picture.

The only issue is, is that they all want to write everything down including aspirations and when I try to explain that what they are writing in their procedures is subject to audit and therefore non-conformances they look at me as if I was barking !!

:frust: :frust: :frust:
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#8
Re: You have helped!

Originally posted by Laura

My main problem is, everyone feels the need to document everything they do right down to how they clean the toilet (exagerration but you know what I mean). They are confusing work instructions with procedures so I am finding myself combing out the detail and trying to create procedures which are useful and relevant. The reason people aren't using the system at the moment is b/c there is too much information.

With ISO 2K I can make the system more process based and make people look at what they do and how it fits into the big picture.

The only issue is, is that they all want to write everything down including aspirations and when I try to explain that what they are writing in their procedures is subject to audit and therefore non-conformances they look at me as if I was barking !!

:frust: :frust: :frust: [/B]
Just a word of caution... Remember that a procedure is a way of doing something - written or not. ISO 9001:2000 is being heralded as a 'relief' from documentation, but that's mostly a smokescreen.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a documentation proponent. I have cited in many threads where clients were in large part impressed that going through implementation didn't produce the documentation avalanche expected. From one client:

--> You're advice was extremely important. Especially important,
--> at least in my opinion, was your help in determining where we did
--> not need to document every last thing (by using training, etc.). I
--> think that without this input, we would have spent a lot more time
--> writing things that we did not need and wasted a lot of peoples'
--> time. We were able to get the audit done in a year while we are
--> achieving record sales and profits. Who can argue with that?

That said, whether a procedure is documented or not is irrelevant with respect to the fact that if it's un-documented it will still be checked by sampling people.

Most people are focused on their area and other areas which it most interfaces with. If you have a distributed documentation control system (departments can originate and control their own documentation - particularly level 3 documents) much of this becomes moot. Let them write and control what they believe should be documented above and beyond QMS requirements if they feel more comfortable having a procedure documented.

> They are confusing work instructions with procedures

Part of the problem is also how one differentiates between what a work instructions is and what a procedure is. Have you defined this anywhere - possibly in writing? I remember auditors who refused to accept flow charts as procedures not so many years ago and even auditors that defined a procedure only as a text document - if it wasn't written it wasn't a procedure. I know there are a number of threads here that discuss this issue because part of the problem is that what in your company you call a procedure in another they call it something else.

All this said, whether a procedure is written or 'trained', the details still have to be known and understood and followed.

> The only issue is, is that they all want to write
> everything down including aspirations and when I try to
> explain that what they are writing in their procedures is
> subject to audit and therefore non-conformances they look
> at me as if I was barking !!

If this is the case, then you need to bring the managers together and discuss the issue. It may be a good idea to give them a training session on procedures as your company defines them.

One large client I worked with started out with training for all managers in flow charting. This eventually led to their departmental process mapping. During this training the issue of how much detail to include was discussed as was the documentation system in general (the level II's were discussed and 'dissected' - especially document control and their respoonsibilities in their distributed control system). We basically held 4 sessions. The first was flow charting basics, next was review of existing level 2 flow charts, then came a Map Your Department (top level) exercise, and then they were set loose for a month and we had the 4th meeting where we discussed what they had written and what was not being written and why.

As a last word, it sounds like you're still using text procedures. Think flow charts and you'll see a serious shrinkage in the size, detail and often the number of documents. :thedeal:
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#9
Re: Changing a culture

Originally posted by Laura

How do you change the culture of an organisation where quality is a dirty word? How do I change their minds about quality?
I prefer cattle prods - but they do leave telltale marks... Get the rechargabled kind - they'll save you on the cost of dry cell batteries! :thedeal:
 
T

tfish

#10
You must give the responsibility of the procedures to the people who perform them. They are responsible for the content, it describes what they do.

If the procedure is correct (whatever level of detail that is needed to do the job), then they will not have any problems from management for following it. It is their "out" when things go wrong. Deming said 90 % of problems come from system problems, not performance problems.

Get operators to rely on the quality system is the easiest way to get "buy in"
 
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