The success of implementing the best quality management systems rests in our understanding of how to design and deliver quality management systems (QMS). Indeed, poorly designed quality processes are bound to generate errors and quality issues for organizations, while carefully designed implementation processes are bound to deliver desirable quality management outcomes (Rocha-Luna, Garza-Reyes, & Kumar, 2013). Based on this observation, there is an important need to understand the critical success factors of implementing quality management systems. These critical success factors highlight the business components that need to stay current for wholesome success in quality management to be achieved (Hall, 2016). This paper outlines and explains some of the most important business components that need to remain the same when implementing QMS through change management.
Although different organizations choose to embrace different process flows to align with the need to adapt to external market pressures, the need for effective communication remains unchanged. However, some managers fail to realize this fact and instead choose to engage in developing elegant and complex organizational design processes without a proper understanding of the feelings, or views, of the people who would implement them (Hall, 2016). As such, they miss the point of engaging in successful change management processes. Consequently, their organizations fail to realize their true potential because of the lack of employee buy-in. Based on this analysis, it is important to engage employees in the implementation of the QMS through effective communication. In line with this assertion, Hall (2016) says,
“It is less about the structure you choose than about the integrity of the process you use to get there. Involve employees in shaping the future of the company, and you will unleash the energy and investment that will bring your design to life” (p. 12).
In the course of a business lifecycle, there comes a time when the cost of staying the same outweighs the cost of adopting organizational changes (Hall, 2016; Jones, Aguirre, & Calderone, 2004). When such times come, managers need not resist change as it could lead to the death of their organizations; instead, they need to spearhead it to absorb new processes and systems that would align an organization’s internal environment with its external environment. Many researchers who have highlighted the importance of leadership in driving organizational change have explored the importance of a strong and effective leader in the management of organizational activities (Anderson & Anderson, 2015).
The same is true in the implementation of quality management processes because studies have highlighted the need to have an adept and decisive leadership when implementing quality management systems (Jones et al., 2004). This need is essential because organizations need to have leaders who can make instant and effective decisions for the successful implementation of the QMS. Indeed, as Rocha-Luna et al. (2013) observe, the failure to do so could jeopardize the implementation of the QMS process.
Culture that Supports Continuous Improvement
The need to have a culture that supports continuous improvement is at the center of organizational change and effective QMS implementation. According to Hinkle (2006), culture embodies the beliefs, values, systems, and assumptions that drive employee activities in an organization. The world has seen numerous examples of business pioneers who have achieved tremendous success by simply having a culture of success. For example, Apple became one of the world’s most recognizable brands because of Steve Job’s embrace of a culture of innovation (Rocha-Luna et al., 2013). Jack Welsh also adopted a culture of quality improvement, which is largely responsible for the success of General Electric (GE) (Rocha-Luna et al., 2013). Although the importance of having a culture of success is essential in QMS implementation, it is important for managers to acknowledge that some employees could resist such cultural alignments if they do not understand their value.
Motivated and Committed Labor Force
According to Rocha-Luna et al. (2013), teamwork is an important factor to consider in the implementation of successful quality improvement initiatives. Indeed, unless organizations work as a cohesive team, it would be difficult for them to realize their goals of quality improvement. This observation means that all levels of employees are useful when implementing quality management initiatives (Viviano, 2015). Stated differently, top managers and bottom-level employees are equal in importance when implementing quality management systems.
Managers must set an example of the type of motivation they expect from their employees when implementing QMS initiatives because employees learn about the enthusiasm that they should accord such processes from their superiors. Research evidence has demonstrated that most organizations that have succeeded in this regard have developed employee appraisal programs, promotions, and recognition programs that are supposed to improve the mood of their employees when implementing QMS processes (Rocha-Luna et al., 2013). Generally, such programs create a “feel good” effect among all cadres of employees, which is essential in the implementation of QMS processes.
A process-oriented focus is important in the realization of QMS goals because QMS implementation often depends on how well organizations implement their business processes. Relative to this assertion, Hall (2016) says poor process design strategies and the poor execution of process strategies are the main challenges of QMS implementation. Research has proved that most organizations, which have a strongly rooted process-oriented culture, are bound to perform well in terms of QMS implementation (Rocha-Luna et al., 2013). More importantly, leaders should evaluate their process management activities to eliminate non-value added activities and improve the efficiency of QMS implementation. Therefore, businesses should improve processes that are essential to the delivery of outputs to realize improved QMS outcomes. Comprehensively, the critical success factors identified in this report interact to create a successful QMS implementation plan. The diagram below shows the nature of their interaction.
This paper has explained the different critical success factors needed in the implementation of successful quality management systems. In order of appearance, we have identified proper communication, effective leadership, a culture that supports continuous improvement, a committed and motivated labor force, and a process-oriented focus as the main business components that should drive QMS implementation processes. In other words, these critical success factors highlight the business components that need to stay current for organizations to achieve wholesome success in quality management. Although they are equal in importance, different organizations may rank them differently, based on the nature of their businesses. Organizations that fail to realize their potential, or roles, in influencing positive changes in the implementation of quality management objectives are likely to fail to realize their quality management goals because of quality management errors that would often emerge from the poor execution of QMS strategies.
Anderson, L., & Anderson, D. (2015). Building Your Change Strategy: How to Ensure that Your Effort Is on the Right Track. Web.
Hall, M. (2016). 7 Components for Successfully Designing Your Organization. Web.
Hinkle, S. (2006). Take a Quality Ride: The Realities of Implementing a Quality Management System. New York, NY: iUniverse.
Jones, J., Aguirre, D., & Calderone, M. (2004). 10 Principles of Change Management. Web.
Rocha-Luna, L., Garza-Reyes, J.A., & Kumar, V. (2013). Building quality management systems: Selecting the right methods and tools. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.
Viviano, G. (2015). How to Create and Implement Your Quality Management System. Web.