Quality management for macro processes is carried out by use of the Juran Trilogy, which basically consists of three steps- Quality Planning, Quality Control and Quality Improvement. Let us understand the main activities and the relation between the three phases of the Juran Trilogy.
Quality Planning: The quality planning phase is the activity of developing products and processes to meet customers' needs. It deals with setting goals and establishing the means required to reach the goals. The various steps in the quality planning process are as below:
Establishing quality goals
Identify the customers- those who will be impacted by the efforts to meet the goals
Determine the customer’s needs
Develop processes that are able to produce those product features
Establish process controls, and transfer the resulting plans to the operating forces
Quality Control: This process deals with the execution of plans and it includes monitoring operations so as to detect differences between actual performance and goals. It consists of three steps:
1. Evaluate actual quality performance
2. Compare actual performance to quality goals
3. Act on the difference
Quality Improvement: The process is for obtaining breakthrough in quality performance, and it consists of several steps:
1. Establish the infrastructure needed to secure annual quality improvement
2. Identify the specific needs for improvement- the improvement projects
3. Establish project teams with clear responsibility for bringing the project to a successful conclusion
4. Provide the resources, motivation, and training needed by the teams to- Diagnose the cause, Stimulate establishment of remedies, and Establish controls to hold the gains.
In most organizations there is a great focus on the Quality Control process, with little or no emphasis on the other two processes; however the well established and customer focused organizations do have clearly defined and robust process for all aspects of the Juan Trilogy. In my previous article on "Quality of Design" we discussed the importance of Quality Planning and its significance in the development of products and processes. Quality Control is an operational activity and the control part becomes easy if the planning process is robust, else the control process will remain only a firefighting exercise. In the control phase, statistical tools can be used to monitor and improve the processes involved. Some examples of control items are defects in products, response time to customers, billing accuracy etc. The Improvement process may typically call for cross functional teams at a macro process level and departmental teams at the micro level. The improvements could be reduction of rework or Cycle time reduction or elimination of any chronic quality issues.
The Juran Trilogy Diagram: The three processes of the trilogy are indicated in the diagram, which is a graph with time on the horizontal axis and cost of poor quality on the vertical axis. The planners are responsible for the product and process design to meet the customer needs; and the job of the operating forces is to run the process and produce the products. . We will see that the process cannot achieve 100 percent quality and 20 percent rework has to be carried out. Quality control prevents from the situation getting worse and also putting off the fires such as the sporadic spike. In due course we will see that the chronic problems have come down by the application of the quality improvement process.
The Alligator Analogy: The distinction between Quality Planning and Quality Improvement is brought out by the alligator analogy. This is a fable of a manager who is up to his waist in alligators; and each live alligator is a metaphor for chronic waste. Each completed quality improvement project results in a dead alligator and when all alligators are terminated the quality improvement is considered complete for the moment; but that doesn't happen as long as the quality planning process has not changed. A changed and improved planning process will only help complete improvement and sustain the same.
From the trilogy diagram and the alligator analogy it is clear that quality improvement reduces quality issues but to sustain the new level there are to be improvement in the quality planning process.
NOTE: The contents of this article and the diagram are form the book "Juran On Quality By Design" by J.M. Juran
Pradeep Kumar E.T. A Master Black Belt in Six Sigma , is the Country Manager- Operational Excellence with Tyco Electronics Corporation India Pvt Ltd. Feedback can be e- mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Issue BG94 Jan09