Quality management has certainly evolved a great deal over the years, going from something of a buzzword to a tried-and-tested method to boost continuous improvement. Companies of all sizes, working across various industries have all embraced the move towards simpler, smarter processes. Tools that enable more effective management of these processes have also become more accessible, which in turn brings quality management principles to an even broader audience. As quality becomes a core focus in everyday strategies, what other trends lie ahead that will benefit companies even more in the years ahead?
What Lies Ahead for Quality Management Systems?
From knowledge to supply chains; planning to job roles, what trends will we be seeing in the quality management world in the not too distant future? Here are just some possibilities…
1. The evolution of quality. The management of quality has evolved plenty already, and will continue to evolve. It has become a part of everyday life in a huge number of businesses – infused into processes, people and products. It is closely linked with innovation, as well as the implementation of myriad tasks. It’s a core component of project management too, and goes hand in hand with broader outcomes that govern the future of companies at the same time. This evolution will make quality a living breathing feature in the companies of today and those of tomorrow.
2. Integrated knowledge across each department. Rather than separate principles for projects and quality, knowledge will become more of an integrated system. Integrated knowledge means that each facet of the company plays a vital role in the overall outcomes – production, marketing, IT, sales and project management all share the same goals, and are no longer seen as isolated elements. Quality goals are applied to every job role in every department; and training brings in these measures into every project, task and learning opportunity.
3. Investment in supplier quality levels Another trend to look out for is one that ups the standards of the supply chain. Smart companies know that they can’t afford the risks of poor supplier standards. Even beyond ISO qualifications, quality standards are starting to be governed by company-specific goals. Requirements will therefore start to become more streamlined and stringent, in order to partner only with suppliers who are able to meet quality management goals and sail through audits.
4. Quality standards and job roles Already quality standards are included in work processes. These will also become the norm for job roles too, ensuring that every employee has a clear idea of their requirements as well as the standards that govern their specific role. These standards will go hand in hand with assessments and training, providing a new benchmark for performance within the workplace.
5. The rise of strategic planning Those running quality systems will need to show how there are helping the bottom line through their programmes – be it ISO or any other systems that may be in place. Accountability is becoming more important at all levels of the company, which means that managers running quality strategies should be able to demonstrate the effectiveness of their strategies to show the value. All strategies also need to be linked to performance indicators, with solid plans in place to show progress at each stage. It’s always a good move to be aware of the changes and opportunities that arise as quality management evolves – ignore these however, and you may miss out on valuable insight into improvement.