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Practice Areas: Healthcare, Quality
Quality Enhancement Project

Dear PM fellow,

I was just assigned to a project aiming to enhance the "quality mindset" of an organization. We are not talking about manufacturing and level of quality of the deliverable, but more to appliance on defined processes.

As there are no real way to measure a "quality mindest", I was just wondering if you would have any recommendation or ideas.

Many thanks in advance!
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Quality Mindset is a mid to long term sustainable process and may employ more time for providing results, and in current global scenario where instant results are the expectations, employee life cycle in an organisation are getting short, product life cycles are getting short, and market forces pressure on the bottom line is increasing. Most organisations do not look to commit for long term and would like to seek quicker results.Quality mindset development is commitment to a slow and sustainable long term initiative.

Quality mindset can be created when quality statement of an organisation supports its vision. However, the above can be achieved only when there is consistent awareness and monitoring. Consistent awareness refers to active participation by management in the entire process of quality. Management needs to realise that investment in processes of quality will not lead to immediate returns or profitability. It is a process which needs to be nurtured and which will eventually result in better customer satisfaction, superior quality of products,enhanced trust of customers,higher brand equity,reduced costs on warranty,reduced wastage and,reduced grievances in the long run.

The leadership of the company should provide sufficient resources to employees to give quality output. Employees need to take ownership of the output. Next aspect of quality is constant monitoring. It is important that the processes are fixed and the entire organisation conforms to processes. Management needs to identify and appoint competent people to regularly monitor processes. Quality mindset reboots the organisation culture towards a strategic mindset by a strong leadership committed to change.

Thank you Abhishek, but I was more seaking for some pratical tips to implement my project than a lesson on quality mindset...

You have to understand the environment and set your measures accordingly in order to enhance the mindset.

You may wish to consider the culture of the organization (or people working on a project). Generally there are nine principles that describe a culture committed to excellence. You can take a 5 minute teaser assessment here and receive a feedback report. I hope this is helpful to you.

how about: define (preferably select from existing) process metrics which can be related to "quality / quality mindset". generate specific performance reports which are reviewed at the appropriate leadership level. Consistently doing this makes importance of "quality" as "part of normal thinking". Obviously you could start this with a "assessment of as-is situation" and then get a consensus on targets.

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Those are the crazy projects usually assigned to me and where at the very begining I prefer do not take. Usually this type of names are assigned for a top level management person after they wake up and the first image of your dream come to her/his head. What I first make is to perform some elicitation activities trying to discover which is the problem to solve, why the actual quality mindset is a problem, all this trying to discover what does mean "quality mindset". Usually, because problem is the difference between perceived reality and desire reality you will act over the perception, the desire or the gap. But first of all, try to clarify what "quality mindset" mean.

You might need to take point on defining what "done" looks like. Quality mindset is highly subjective and unless you want a project that dies a slow death try to write down how you'll know that the project is done, then review with your management to see if they agree or disagree. In any event, be clear on what "done" looks like.

One possible approach is to select one product and document the product lifecycle, working with experts in each area. Once complete, evaluate each phase of the product lifecycle to determine if, and how, quality can be improved. Establish projects to improve quality, based on your findings. Repeat, as needed, for additional products. One example of a quality improvement might be implementing automated testing.

This may not be the best approach, but starting small can be easier than tackling rolling out Lean Six Sigma or Theory of Constraints (or some other quality initiative) across your entire organization.

Is your company ready for top down, organizational change? Or would a grass roots/bottom up approach be more effective at your company?

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