Mark Twain wrote, "the art of prophecy is very difficult, especially with respect to future".
It is difficult to predict the future of any person, entity, system or anything on earth. But we can only try to gauge the likely trends.
Quality Management is also no exception and it also faces the rigmarole of change. Changes in standards, legislations, regulations and pace of technology may trigger disruptions in quality management.
Here are five key trends in quality management which are going to impact any industry. Quality practitioners need to watch out for what's trending in this space. This helps them to identify the weak links and align themselves to these changes.
Quality touches every industry. Quality management is no more restricted to few organizations of manufacturing & Software industry as it is being practiced in all leading public & private sectors.
Quality workshops, seminars, conferences find participation from all imaginable industries. Organizations are encouraging employees to go for Quality Certifications. The trend of acquiring quality certifications is catching up very fast.
Quality policy is more like a philosophy of any organization. Unless it is implemented, it is of no value. Quality policy is like a recipe book with a list of ingredients but no cooking instructions. Thus, any quality initiative needs to be managed as a project. A quality product project can use various tools, techniques, methodologies of project management. The success of a quality program depends the way it has been implemented.
Steps in Project Management
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Quality planning is integrated with the vision, mission, organizational strategy. This integration helps organization is become more competitive and quality focused. Management by policy(MBP) is the new fad for implementing quality as a competitive weapon. In today's time, quality managers want to create values of strategic importance. Quality programs seek to use quality to influence organizational strategy also.
Process efficiency, quality metrics, reduced waste etc. have started fascinating Sustainability practitioners nowadays. Sustainability teams are undergoing training & certifications to make themselves conversant with quality management. They are keen to use various tools & techniques of quality management in sustainability.
Seven Quality Control Tools
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Like Quality, Sustainability also has a strong focus on people. It takes into account quality of working life and employee satisfaction also. ISO 26000 makes a more deliberate connection between people and quality management systems. Quality management is going to create value in Sustainability space in a big way. Thus, the trend of convergence between quality management and Sustainability in the offing.
Every industry is SMACked. The bug of Social Media, Mobility, Analytics & Cloud has bitten every conceivable industry. Every industry, every organization has been disrupted or getting ready to get disrupted.
In today’s world, nobody can escape Social Media unless someone chooses to ignore it. Social media is full of data. But, organizations are not aware of how to derive meaningful information out of them. Organizations need to mine social media data and make use of them to fine tune the products. Social media data can also be used to have a relook at the existing process. They help design team to improve the existing product and meet customer specifications. Several companies are taking advantages of this data source.
The future trend lies in broad-banding the scope for use of social media. Social media is going to be used in quality initiatives in coming days in a big way.
Mobile technologies enable multi-channel communications anytime, anywhere. It also allows real time system access and instant communications from any location. Internet of Things
(IoT) creates an integration of myriad applications. It forms an smart, interconnected network of various devices, sensors, services through Web.
IoT facilitates real-time communication across many locations. All this happen in a seamless fashion. Quality manager need to harness them in their day to day routines and tasks. For a quality manager, this is a boon. This has the potential to give significant time and cost efficiency.
It’s data, data everywhere but challenge is how to make sense out of billion gigabytes of data. We have different forms of information such as textual, audio, video, contextual etc. Information exists everywhere, but they are incomplete & incoherent. Analytics bring meaning to the often chaotic deluge of information.
Data Analytics is the study of raw data by applying algorithm. It attempts to find patterns in data and derive insights into the data. The purpose of data analytics is draw meaningful conclusions. In 2018, quality managers will use more and more analytical tools. This trend will help quality managers to manage process performance in a better way. The trend has already set in.
Cloud has opened up a new vista across all organizations covering all industries. Organizations don't need to spend huge capital expenditures in IT infrastructure anymore. Organizations
can host their Quality Management System (QMS) on private or public cloud. They can even go for SaaS (Software as a Service) on a multi –tenant or dedicated model. It gives the
advantage of having a minimal on-premises infrastructure, less capital expenditure. Cloud also offers easy scalability, increased business agility and security. Cloud based QMS helps
organizations manage quality program from anywhere & anytime.
Benefits of Cloud based QMS
Image source: Verse Solutions
To wrap up:
Quality is the new buzzword. It is going to be the mantra across all organizations covering all industries.
Quality initiatives will apply various standard tools, techniques & methodologies of project management.
Quality is not going to remain restricted to process and product improvement. It is rather going to influence strategic decisions as well.
With the roll out of ISO 26000 guidance, sustainability is going to get integrated with quality.
Impact of SMAC is going to felt in areas of quality management in a big way.
A modern quality management system is going to give edge to any organization. This is going to differentiate industry leaders from followers & laggards as well.