Re-Energizing a Culture of Quality

T

thbohnsack

#1
Hello,

I am looking for ways to re-enegize, re-introduce the meaning of what quality means to our manufacturing staff and supervisors. We are trending poorly with far too many non-conformances and customer credits for the last 18-20 months.

I would like to start with the supervisors - perhaps give them a simple questionaire at the next supervisor meeting to get them to think a little deeper, past just filling out the next NCR form.

I was thinking of simply asking them what is their perception of quality, do they think the system works - why or why not, also get them to comment on where they think their guys are on quality.

Any suggestions, any thing exist that could help me generate a simple short questionaire?

:thanks:
 
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R

Reg Morrison

#2
I was thinking of simply asking them what is their perception of quality, do they think the system works - why or why not, also get them to comment on where they think their guys are on quality.

Any suggestions, any thing exist that could help me generate a simple short questionaire?
Sorry if I sound negative and deflating, but do you REALLY think you can change a corporate culture with a questionnaire? Organizational culture is something that takes a long time to change and ONLY happens if the people at the top want it to change. In my experience, people's perception of and support of "quality" just reflects what top management of the organization thinks of the subject.

Unless you tackle this issue at the highest level of the organization, don't bother with the underlings.

Good luck.
 
P

PaulJSmith

#4
Reg makes a valid point regarding top management, but I'll disagree with his conclusion. I've found it very important to know the thoughts and ideas of "the underlings." They are, in fact the very people responsible for the quality of the products and services received by the customer. They're the front line of Quality. Knowing their concerns is a good place to start. Give them the tools to succeed, and most people will excel at whatever they do. Find out what tools they need, and go from there.
 

ScottK

Not out of the crisis
Staff member
Super Moderator
#5
While it does really have to flow from the top down for ultimate culture change I have had success in getting buy-in from middle management and supervision through training and always being there to talk with them when there is a problem... that communication can then infect the more senior people when they start seeing the results, especially to the bottom line.

A survey or interview is a good start to gather their perceptions and what they feel their roadblocks are. I can't overstate how important perception is when it comes to people resisting change.

Then get permission (if you need it) to form up some improvement teams - start small, show success with low hanging fruit, and expand. Next thing you know this will be reported at management review and senior leadership will see the good that is happening.

Sometimes you have to "manage up". That's how it worked where I am now and now the owner is a believer and in full support of the QMS and CI program.
 
L

lk2012

#6
I agree with ScottK there. It's the people who directly affect Quality who really make the difference.

I'd tag on another question to the same topic:
What are you favourite methods to get buy-in for Quality from other areas? How do you persuade other departments that it's not just a Quality thing for a few dorks in the corner?

:thanks:
 

John Broomfield

Staff member
Super Moderator
#7
Hello,

I am looking for ways to re-enegize, re-introduce the meaning of what quality means to our manufacturing staff and supervisors. We are trending poorly with far too many non-conformances and customer credits for the last 18-20 months.

I would like to start with the supervisors - perhaps give them a simple questionaire at the next supervisor meeting to get them to think a little deeper, past just filling out the next NCR form.

I was thinking of simply asking them what is their perception of quality, do they think the system works - why or why not, also get them to comment on where they think their guys are on quality.

Any suggestions, any thing exist that could help me generate a simple short questionaire?

:thanks:
A questionnaire to diagnose what is right or wrong with your management system:

To be completed anonymously by all operators and supervisors

  1. Which is more important, quality or cost?
  2. Is top management committed to quality?
  3. How does top management show its commitment?
  4. Are you helped to prevent problems?
  5. How are you helped to prevent problems?
  6. Or does your employer mainly react to problems?
  7. In solving problems are you involved?
  8. How are you involved?
  9. Do the problems come back after they are solved?
  10. Are people blamed for any of the problems?
  11. How do you react when blamed for a problem?
  12. Should your boss help you to get your work right the first time?
  13. How does your boss help you?
  14. Are you committed to quality?
  15. Describe how you are committed to quality?
  16. Does it cost less to get work right the first time?
Discreetly mark the forms going to supervisors so you can see the differences in response.

You may then analyze the responses to see what needs to be improved in your management system.

John
 

Chennaiite

Never-say-die
Trusted Information Resource
#8
Hello,

I am looking for ways to re-enegize, re-introduce the meaning of what quality means to our manufacturing staff and supervisors. We are trending poorly with far too many non-conformances and customer credits for the last 18-20 months.

I would like to start with the supervisors - perhaps give them a simple questionaire at the next supervisor meeting to get them to think a little deeper, past just filling out the next NCR form.

I was thinking of simply asking them what is their perception of quality, do they think the system works - why or why not, also get them to comment on where they think their guys are on quality.

Any suggestions, any thing exist that could help me generate a simple short questionaire?

:thanks:
If I were on the other side of the table, I would expect a conversation which I can easily connect with. Just to be little cautious, increased problems is not necessarily a testimonial for deteriorating Quality culture. I would rather listen to the voice of the system rather than people.
 
K

kbryde

#9
Hi there,

I have had good experiences with informal training sessions with the people in production, sharing the complaints/responses from end users. Often they can relate to this and for some it is an eye-opening experience to understand that a "small" quality issue to them could mean a lot of discomfort and inconvenience to the end user. I agree that you need management to be on board, by while they have to "talk the talk", people who actually handle the product need to understand the potential consequence of poor quality - don?t underestimate the "underlings" :)

/kbryde
 

Steve Prevette

Deming Disciple
Staff member
Super Moderator
#10
I would suggest it still may be worth doing some combination of structured interview / written survey, but across all employees. No, I would not expect this action to CHANGE the culture, but it could help to find out where some of the culture high points and low points may be.

I've run a lot of safety culture surveys, and several of them with a few word tweaks would suffice for quality.

One of the most successful questions I've used is "Senior Management (above your manager) visits your place of work". Sounds innocuous, but it turned out to be a very good cultural indicator.

Here is an interesting model from the Department of Energy on safety culture, but many of the same principles could be used for quality

https://hsspublic.energy.gov/deprep/2013/AttachedFile/TB13S30A_EM-ID-Assessment.pdf

Appendix E has a number of lines of inquiry questions. A simple global replace of "safety" with "quality" might give you some good ideas.

Then once you've identified the issues, you can work on improving the culture. Yes, senior management support will be needed, and they most likely are a source of the problem
 
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