1A (TCO A) Compare and contrast the evolution of quality and the role it played in the management of U.S. and Japanese business firms from the 1950s to the present.
Answer: Japan’s quality improvement in the 1950s-1970s was oriented toward a structured approach to quality improvement and management commitment. Lower U.S. priority on quality during this period ultimately resulted in the competitive superiority of many Japanese product categories by the end of the 1970s. The subsequent domestic concern with U.S. industrial competitiveness triggered a renewed emphasis on quality management in the 1980s. By the 1990s U.S. products and services met or exceeded foreign offerings in many ...view middle of the document...
Leadership: Leadership from senior management ensures that the time, money and staff resources needed for a successful Six Sigma implementation are available. Management commitment also facilitates the restructuring and cultural change necessary for incorporating quality in every process step.
Project Selection: Six Sigma implementation is effective when projects aligned with a company's strategic objectives are selected. Project size is also an important factor. The selected project should be large enough to make a measurable impact, especially on the profit margin, but small enough to be manageable. The selected project should also be a fit with Six Sigma's DMAIC approach, meaning it should have defects that can be measured, analyzed and reduced. Infrastructure: A well-trained human resources infrastructure is needed for successful Six Sigma implementation. A separate group or department, consisting of members from various business units, should be responsible for coordinating all Six Sigma activities in an organization. This group should include senior managers who understand Six Sigma principles and serve as guides for the practitioners; personnel with extensive training in the technical aspects of Six Sigma who act as teachers and mentors; financial analysts, who quantify the bottom-line results; and external consultants, who provide technical expertise and training services. Change Management: Successful Six Sigma implementation requires a fundamental change in culture. As with all change management initiatives, there will be organizational resistance. Management leadership will play an important part in communicating the importance of Six Sigma initiatives to the organization's strategic objectives.
3A (TCO A) Explain the three core principles of total quality.
The three principles of total quality are:
1) Customer Focus: In a TQM approach, organizations must understand who their current customers are (and are not), noting their key needs and requirements and keep these expectations at the forefront of their strategy and processes. This principle should extend to internal clients, as well, treating coworkers as customers and satisfying their demands.
2) Staff Involvement: As leaders set and communicate customer-focused strategy, they become smarter in acquiring and keeping quality staff. Selecting, training and motivating staff to work together, particularly in cross-functional teams, enables faster problem identification and resolution, process execution and overall productivity.
3) Process Approach: In TQM, a well-informed staff, with a keener sense of what the customer expects, can help develop a proactive process that builds quality into each stage as they design and deliver products, rather than trying to catch flaws during post-production inspection, which wastes resources on potentially defective products.
* Customer focus should extend beyond the consumer and internal customer relationships. It should...