4 principles for successfull quality work in the organization
How can your company work systematically so that the work processes get a little bit better every day? Having a well-thought-out quality system is key. A good quality system facilitates everyone in the company to work systematically on improving the routines.
But how do you get started? We will explain this in this article.
The tips in this article come from Linda Sunde, who has extensive experience in implementing quality routines in the accounting industry and goods manufacturing sectors.
4 key factors to work better with quality routines in the organization
Creating a continuously learning company is not done overnight, and it requires effort from everyone in the organization.
The four most important factors to succeed in achieving quality in the work throughout the company are:
A) The quality system must be adapted to the users, not the other way around
B) Take small steps to get a little better all the time
C) Everyone in the organization must agree to use the quality system, and ensure that all levels have ownership
D) Use deviation control as a tool for structured learning
We will now go into detail on each of the factors.
The quality system must be adapted to how the users work - not the other way around
The work processes and tools you use in the organization must be laid out according to how the users work, not how the managers or the system designer think it should be, or what is easiest to control afterward.
Everyone will choose the easiest way when carrying out a task and is important to keep this in mind when designing the processes.
The goal when defining and designing the work processes is that it should be easy for those who will actually work according to the processes. If that makes it more challenging for those who design the system, so be it.
- You shouldn't put up with manual little things
Linda says that it is easy to think that the small, manual things that the employees spend a little extra time on every day don't have much to say:
"Many managers think that the employees have to put up with making a few extra clicks in the system, or entering information manually in several places. But they shouldn't necessarily have to put up with that", she asserts. When employees see that something is irrational, the managers and the system designer must take it into account.
- Do not use the same recipe for all processes
The processes must be designed in such a way that they create flow in the work, and be designed according to how people work. "Do not fall for the temptation to use the same recipe for all the processes - what is correct in one work process may be cumbersome in another setting," urges Linda.
Take small steps: Many small improvements have a big effect overall
The driving force in quality work is that all the small things that can be improved have a big overall effect. Looking at the totality of the business is essential, according to Linda: "In a learning organization, it's about making daily, small changes often, rather than major disruptive upheavals." Little by little, bit by bit, work processes will improve. When you gradually look at several of the small changes together, you see that together they have great value.
"The key to being a learning organization is that all employees work in a structured way to get a little better every single day," explains Linda. "It's okay to make mistakes, but you don't want to make the same mistakes multiple times. The quality system must facilitate this."
You can easily measure the effect of doing a small task in a smarter way: If you e.g. can save 5 minutes on a task that is done by 32 employees 50 times a year, the total will result in big savings.
Would you like to know more about what opportunities exist to optimize the quality work in your projects? Read about quality assurance in Moment.
Quality work must be a natural part of everyone's everyday life
In order to succeed with quality work in the organization, it is absolutely essential to make quality a natural part of everyday life for everyone in the organization. It is not just one person who deals with quality, everyone must agree that quality is important in all the work you do.
Everyone must use the same quality tool
In order to achieve quality in the work processes everyone in the company must use the tool for quality assurance in the same way. This gives a synergy effect.
Quality must be achieved all the time
Quality is not something that should be checked after the work has been completed, it should be a natural part of the whole project.
To achieve this, all employees must have access to continuously updated information about the work processes. When there is a change in a routine, everyone must be notified. Make it possible for the employee to go in and update task descriptions themselves so that it is even easier to understand what to do the next time the task is to be carried out.
Also work actively with checklists - both joint checklists for the whole company, and separate checklists for each project. This way, it is easy to follow what has been done and when it was done.
A well-designed quality system provides security
The whole purpose of creating good quality routines and system value is that you have the security that the work processes are at the foundation of the organization. If you fall ill or are on holiday, the routine descriptions and the quality system make sure you don't need to stress about the work tasks while you're absent. You will be confident that someone else can take over the work for you when you are not there.
Deviation control - a good tool for learning
Deviation control is about collecting and structuring feedback about things that have failed, gone wrong, or been forgotten. It is important to state that deviation control is a tool for learning from the mistakes you make, it's not meant to hang someone who has done something wrong out to dry.
Collecting information about deviations provides a unique opportunity to address areas for improvement. This is an important tool for coordinating the organization, to really become a learning organization.
We will go into more detail about deviation management in a later blog post. Sign up for our email list to be notified of new blog posts. In the meantime, you can take a look at the free guides from Moment, if you want to learn something new today.