GENESIS: HOW TO TAKE OUR QUALITY JOURNEY FORWARD?
In February 2010, a team from our Finance and Accounting (F&A) Center of Excellence (COE) sat down to review reported issues with various programs. During this process, client program teams were also involved in generating a multitude of ideas through internal Lean workshops to understand/define what constituted “defects”.
Our task was simple and straightforward, or so we thought. How do we take these issues and solutions to logical conclusions through championing their execution? But as we started ideating on the probable “root causes” of each issue, it become increasingly clear that:
- Irrespective of the process and the business vertical, the root causes were common for many issues and indicated systemic symptoms.
- We could be missing the wood for the trees if we were to simply complete projects or deploy improvements that came up through such collections of ideas. Successful projects by themselves are good achievements, but we knew that there was potentially a much larger gain in addressing issues systematically as well.
- Most known issues have known solutions (we termed this KIKS!). But the amount of wasteful re-invention happening could be very high. The most important thing to do was to simply make existing knowledge available seamlessly, and thus educate and empower our associates to apply solutions effortlessly
STRATEGY: HARNESS ISO 9001 FOR DEEPER, SUSTAINABLE DELIVERY OF EXCELLENCE
By extending the KIKS thought process, one of the “known solutions” that we agreed to embrace quickly was based on our ISO 9001:2008 quality management system (QMS). We were already into our seventh year (and third audit cycle) of successful certification under ISO, with a fairly mature system already established!
So what did we need to change now? In a nutshell, our objective was to achieve higher degrees of excellence from existing organizational initiatives to build a strong foundation for true breakthrough improvements in the future with strategies like Six Sigma and Lean. We set these out as broad objectives to bring about a paradigm shift in the way we comply with the ISO standard to directly drive delivery performance and hence, business results for our clients.
||Taking ISO 9001 to Another Level
IMPLEMENTATION: A NEW WAY TO BENEFIT MOST FROM ISO
The COE thus began building an objective, measurable, audit-driven, transparent rating mechanism. We called that the Q-Score, an innovative tool to help us benchmark the maturity of our ISO 9001-based QMS.
||Measurement of Effectiveness and Sustained Improvement:
How Q-Score Rating Improved Across Client Engagements Since Its Introduction.
Q-Score has since proven to be not just a tool to tap into benefits from our QMS framework, but is also a strong enabler for setting up and stabilizing any F&A process before pushing for higher efficiencies and innovation. Its beauty also lies in the way it was conceived from the Voice of the Process (VOP).
In my next post I intend to discuss how Q-Score helped prove that one of the pillars of a strong transformational framework is necessarily a platform that enables free flow of ideas from the staff that are closest to the process.
Editor’s Note: The author wishes to acknowledge with thanks the help and valuable contributions of Nilesh Ghorpade-Quality Manager and Selvaraj Daniel-Quality Manager from the F&A Centre of Excellence.
Do you use the Voice of the Process effectively to identify transformational changes required in your quality system and process excellence framework? Do you frequently evaluate your existing quality management system to see if you are deriving maximum value? Does your existing ISO internal audit report work as an effective MIS tool to measure and monitor quality system performance? Share your views with us!