Whether it’s reducing errors in data management, improving customer satisfaction, managing maintenance schedules, or fine-tuning production, companies need to know how to effectively solve quality management problems. The most crucial reason to problem solve is that it helps improve quality management compliance. However, organizations are likely to reap several other benefits including profit increases, improved employee job satisfaction and a reduction in error and unnecessary loss.
Where to Start
Before you can effectively solve a problem, you have to determine what the problem is. This is best done through data collection. Gather information on any area or department that may be struggling with compliance. Analyze it, and then come up with some solutions. Remember, no idea is too crazy or far-fetched! In fact, the more solutions you have, the better your chances are at finding an effective one. Once you have a pool of them, start narrowing them down to a handful that seem the most plausible as far as cost, resources and efficacy.
Moving On to the Nitty Gritty
Once you have a handful of possible solutions, it’s time to test them with a pilot test. Look at the pros and cons of each. Consider which one is most likely to help your organization reach its end goal. Then set a time-frame to test it. Remember that while you don’t want to head down the wrong path for too long, you do still have to give each possible solution a chance to work.
The Importance of Measuring and Monitoring
Measuring and monitoring are probably the most important elements of the pilot testing phase. It is through this process that your organization will determine if a new process, function, policy, or program is working. For this reason, some steps to making the measurement and monitoring phase should be taken:
- Assign a key person to the monitoring and measuring process
- Check in regularly with the person responsible for monitoring and measuring
- Ask about barriers to success in the measuring and monitoring process
- Listen to concerns and attempt to eliminate barriers, if at all possible
Solution Failure or Success
Once you have your measurements in hand, it’s time to determine if the solution was a success or failure. Compare results to the data gathered prior to the pilot test. Is there a measurable improvement in the applications, processes, policies, or procedures tested? What evidence is there to support that improvement? Has your organization moved closer to its end goal? If not, is there a need for more testing time, should a new solution be tested, or can the existing one be altered to fit the organization’s needs?
Moving Toward Continual Improvement
Whether a new solution is needed, or a corrective action must be done to fine-tune the existing one, the main goal should be continual improvement. It is through this process that organizations have the best chance at achieving their end goals. But before it can be an integral part of everyday business, planning must be done and meetings must be held. A blueprint must be made. And conscious steps must be made to ensure that every part of the organization is on board.
Are you looking for a way to boost quality management compliance through continual improvement? Check out this blog about increasing QMS compliance, and the blog 10 Easy Steps to Meeting Quality Management System Requirements. For other questions and assistance, click here to contact us.