CQI is not fully delegable

Vital Few - Qimpro

Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) in manufacturing and service industries, in India, has not become a way of life.  Although, as we all know, CQI is  a guaranteed strategy for improving the bottom line of an organization. Please note, CQI reduces chronic waste. As a result, it reduces the Cost Of Poor Quality (COPQ).

CQI has failed in most industries. Why? Because CQI is usually delegated to the Quality Control Department. The existence of the Quality Control Department is based on the existence of recurring failures. Why commit Hara-Kiri? Remember, in Quality Control we treat the symptom of a problem. On the other hand, in Quality Improvement we treat the root cause of a problem.

CQI is not fully delegable. There is a distinct strategic role to be played by the top management of an organization. Namely, that of nominating and selecting chronic problems, to be solved by appropriate cross-functional teams.  The Pareto Principle applies. 20% of the chronic problems account for 80% of the COPQ. These are the vital few problems. They must be solved by a cross-functional teams of vital few managers.

The balance 80% of chronic problems are delegable. Perhaps (yes, perhaps), the Quality Control Department can facilitate solving of these small problems. But be prepared for hyper activity with meagre results.

Random Thoughts:

  1. CQI adds to the knowledge of an organization
  2. Successful CQI projects create motivation for members of cross-functional teams
  3. CQI project teams can earn internal and public recognition by participating in events such as, QualTech Prize Competition (www.qimpro.com/qualtech)
  4. COPQ in any organization is at least 20% of total costs
  5. Check out organizations that have gained by making CQI a way of life: Mahindra, Tata, Aditya Birla, Reliance, Godrej, L&T, Marico, Bajaj, HDFC…….

My wish list for CQI adoption: Municipalities. Can you think of any more?


21 thoughts on “CQI is not fully delegable”

  • Should CQI not be the role of every business manager. How can Indian organisations promote this requirements in job descriptions and performance appraisals. How do you suggest government promote CQI amongst public servants.

    • CQI should be part of Job Design, Performance Appraisal and Promotion Policy.

      Upper management should have CQI as top of the agenda at every meeting. The rest will follow. People are not stupid.

      Government is a BIG WORD. As a first step, the CEO of the Government should create a Quality Ministry. Thereafter, the CEO should have only five Heads on Ministries reporting directly to the CEO: Defense, Education, Healthcare, Finance, and Quality,

    • In business, get the CEO to be the first to work on a Quality Improvement Project. The rest will follow….job design, performance appraisal.

      The same logic applies to government.

      No campaign is needed. Just let the Leader walk his CQI talk.

  • For the successful implementation of solution culture change is important. If we go forward of any approach wether DMAIC or PDCA sustaining the gains the the Herculean task.

    • Based of my practical experience as a facilitator of CQI, I would recommend that you speak the language of upper management – MONEY. In other words, COPQ. The C from the PDCA cycle will happen – led by upper management. Culture will change. People align with what is important for upper management.

  • Yes indeed Sir!!!
    Municipal corporation is a very ambitious target which needs a consent of an elected representative!!!

  • Amazingly put, what a crisp description of Pareto and CQI… and how it impacts COPQ..
    Mr. LULLA like always this time as well your simplicity and crispness in writing amazes me.

  • Suresh Lulla is so right when he wish to take quality at grass root, that is municipal level. Same we need to do at Gram Panchayat level. This will lay foundation for Quality India. Thanks Suresh for innovative thought process

    • Dear Dr Gyani,
      Thank you for your encouragement. As we both know, CQI is the oxygen for an effective implementation of any Quality Management System.
      Yes, unless we have Quality India, “Make in India’will remain a dream.
      Warm regards,
      Suresh Lulla

  • Yes.
    The so called quality department often only looks at the production processes. Sales, marketing, engineering, shipment, field services are often missed in toto. And there is big productivity improvement opportunities there using quality, as seen by customer, thinking.

    • You are absolutely right Vinay.

      An organization, as is the human body, is made up of multiple systems and processes. Customer delight is earned when they perform as an orchestra!

  • Pearls of wisdom from a practical, revered Quality Guru…..

    In this new age of doctored information, it starts with acceptance of poor quality within leaders sphere of influence. Sometimes missing…

    How I wish all leaders spare some “upgrade time” by reading this and participate in free WebEx that crystallize quality and actions for quality.

    Thank you Sir!

    • OMG.
      Bhavesh, I have for 30 years been “sermonizing” about chronic waste and COPQ. The few (very few) organizations that have embraced CQI as a Habit have one feature in common: Reviews of QI projects by the Head of Finance and Head of HR!!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *