An introduction to Quality Circle
What is Quality Circle....?Quality Circle is one of the employee participation methods. It implies the development of skills, capabilities, confidence and creativity of the people through cumulative process of education, training, work experience and participation. It also implies the creation of facilitative conditions and environment of work, which creates and sustains their motivation and commitment towards work excellence.
The ConceptThe concept of Quality Circle is primarily based upon recognition of the value of the worker as a human being, as someone who willingly activates his job, his wisdom, intelligence, experience, attitude and feelings. It is based upon the human resource management considered as one of the key factors in the improvement of product quality &productivity. Quality Circle concept has three major attributes: Quality Circle is a form of participation management. Quality Circle is a human resource development technique. Quality Circle is a problem solving technique.
The ObjectivesThe objectives of Quality Circles are multi-faced.
A ) Change in AttitudeFrom "I don't care" to "I do care" Continuous improvement in quality of work life through humanization of work.
B) Self DevelopmentBring out Hidden Potential of people.
C) Development of Team SpiritIndividual Vs Team "I could not do but we did it" Eliminate inter departmental conflicts.
D) Improved Organizational CulturePositive working environment. Total involvement of people at all levels. Higher motivational level. Participate in Management process.
Characteristics of QC Small group of employees optimum of 8-10 members Members are from same work area or doing similar type of job Membership is voluntary Meet regularly for an hour every week They meet to identify, analyze, and resolve work related problems Resolve work related problems, leading improvement in their total performance QC enrich the work life of the employees
The Principles of Quality Circles The Voluntary Principle Treating Members as Responsible Persons Living in the real world Win/win Enjoy It!!
Training for QC
Training is an important aspect of quality circle activity. In their enthusiasm to launch quality circles without delay, many organizations often skip the training. The major objectives of imparting training for quality circles are:
Training for QCTo clarify many misconceptions that exists with regard to the concept of quality Circle. To translate philosophy of QC To solve problems systematically To improve communication capabilities To develop leadership qualities
Dealing with problems in the circleWith the best will in the world it is unlikely that every quality circle will avoid having problems itself. Occasionally circles have stopped meeting because they have been unable to resolve their own problems. Each quality circle in its early meetings should be allocated someone who will be available to sit in circle meetings and give any help, the circle needs. This person is usually known as facilitator. It is not his job to run the circle not to do all the work but to help group to stand on their feet.
Two main tasks first to give any help that the members require. Secondly, he can be involved in the circle for as long as he is needed, but his main task is to help the circle become independent.
To whom the training is imparted
Over a period of time, everyone in the organization must be familiar with the philosophy of quality circles and working of the concept.
Top management and senior executiveSome officers should be able to grasp the essence of the Philosophy and should understand their role in Ensuring that quality circles functions successfully And effectively
The topics to be stressed at the orientation Concept and structure in brief Relevance of the need for excellence Tangible and intangible impact. Role of management. Methodical launching and institutionalizing. Segment of TQM
Aspects of quality circle's operation
concept/structure Impact on their own effectiveness as managers. Motivational factors What quality circles are not. Role of middle management How to launch and nurture.
Although facilitator is not a member of the quality circle, the effectiveness operation of the quality circle on the capability and understanding displayed by the facilitator.
Facilitator/Coordinator Genesis and concept of quality circle. Structure of quality circles including the role of leaders, deputy leaders and facilitators. Simple problem solving techniques. Case studies. Motivational aspects of quality circles. Guarding against pitfalls. What quality circles are not. How to launch and institutionalize quality circles.
Leaders/deputy leaders & membersThe natural process of development of circle members needs to be augmented by certain and self-confidence. The leaders may be given formal training on various operations of quality circles or regular training program in local language for members and leaders for the benefit of all interested persons.
Genesis and concept of quality circles. Structure of quality circles, including the role of leaders/deputy leaders and facilitators. Simple problem solving techniques. Audio-visual. Guideline for the operation of a quality circle and group working. Case studies. Motivational aspects of quality circles- what is in it for me? Mode quality meeting/syndicate exercise. Quality circle quiz and discussions.
Structure of Quality Circle
Top management Steering committee Leader Coordinator Facilitator Member
Types of Quality CirclesThere are different quality circle tools, namely: The Ishikawa or fishbone diagram- which shows hierarchies of causes contributing to a problem The Pareto Chart- which analyses different causes by frequency to illustrate the vital cause, Process Mapping, Data gathering tools such as Check Sheets and graphical tools such as histograms, frequency diagrams, spot charts and pie charts
Process of operations used in Quality CirclesThe operation of quality circles involves a set of sequential steps as under: 1 .Problem identification: Identify a number of problems. 2 .Problem selections: Decide the priority and selectthe problem to be taken up first. 3 . Problem Analysis: Problem is clarified and analyzedby basic problem solving methods. 4 .Generate alternative solutions: Identify and evaluatecauses and generate number of possiblealternative solutions 5 .Select the most appropriate solution: Discuss andevaluate the alternative solutions bycomparison in terms of investment and returnfrom the investment. This enables to select themost appropriate solution. 6.Prepare plan of action: Prepare plan of action forconverting the solution into reality which Includes the considerations "who, what, when,where, why and how" of solving problems. 7.Present solution to management circle memberspresent solution to management fore approval. 8.Implementation of solution: The managementevaluates the recommended solution. Then it istested and if successful, implemented on a fullscale
Basic problem solving technique The following techniques are most commonly used to analyze and solve work related problems 1. Brain storming 2 . Pareto Diagrams 3 . Cause & Effect Analysis 4. Data Collection 5 . Data Analysis The tools used for data analysis are : 1 Tables 2.Bar Charts 3 Histograms 4 Circle graphs 5 Line graphs 6 Scatter grams 7 Control Charts The Quality Circles also are expected to develop internal leadership, reinforce workermorale and motivation, and encourage a strong sense of teamwork in an organization. A variety of benefits have been attributed to Quality Circles, including higher
quality,improved productivity, greater upward flow of information, broader improved workerattitudes, job enrichment, and greater teamwork.
Roles and Responsibilities Top management: the success of the quality circles depends solely on the attitude of the top management and plays an important role to ensure the success of implementation of QC in the organization Steering Committee: called middle management consist of chief executive heads of different division or a coordinator plays a positive role in QC activities for the success of the efforts Coordinator: also acts as facilitators is an individual responsible for coordinating and directing the QC activities within an organization and carries out such functions
Facilitator: acts as a catalyst, innovator, promoter and teacher and is nominated by the management Leader: of the quality circles is chosen by the members among themselves and they may decide to have a leader by rotation since the members are the basic elements of the structure of the QC Member: of the QC are the small group of people from the same work area or the similar type of work whereas non-members are those who are not the members of QC but may be involved in the circle recommendation
The Impact of Quality Circle Improvement of human relation and work place morale Promotion of work culture Enhancement of job interest Effective team work Reducing defects and improving quality Improvement of productivity Enhancing problem solving capacity Improving communication and interaction Catalyzing attitude change Promotion of personal and leadership development
Organizations implementing QC BHEL -1980 Mr. S.R. Udapa (GM Operations) 1st Indian to start quality circle Hero Honda motors Sunrise Quality circle Lucas TVS, Chennai honey bee quality circle Tata Refectories (located in Orissa) Niharika quality Circle(saved Rs.4000 Crore p.a) Kudhremukh Iron Ore Plant (located in Karnataka) Soorthy Quality Circle in 2001 Samsung India has bagged award in the