March 16, 2013

Reflection on QRM Seminar

For me the seminar week began with refreshing my learning on Statistical Process Control (SPC) during PIUSS module. An advantage of SPC over other methods of quality control, such as "inspection", is that it emphasizes early detection and prevention of problems, rather than the correction of problems after they have occurred. Therefore is help in reducing or eliminating process waste. This, in turn, eliminates the need for the process step of post-manufacture inspection. The success of SPC relies not only on the skill with which it is applied, but also on how suitable or responsive the process is to SPC.

The case of Greenway Garage reminded me of the quality issues that my company faced due to poor layout and low employee morale. I was glad to be a part of restructuring team where we used Deming’s philosophy and the process requirements to create a suitable layout in the given constraints. We gave more importance to the following points of Deming :-

6.Institute training on the job.

7.Adopt and institute leadership.

8.Drive out fear.

12.Remove barriers that rob people of pride of workmanship, and eliminate the annual rating or merit system.

13.Institute a vigorous program of education and self-improvement for everyone.

14.Put everybody in the company to work accomplishing the transformation.

The airplane crash made me realise the need for quality reliability and maintenance. I would recommend this case to the companies which I feel don’t realise the need for quality reliability and maintenance. The case study on the Textile Company was also interesting. This case study helped me to know how to get to the root cause of any problem with the help of Fish-bone diagram or Flow-Chart. These tools can not only be used to solve business issues but can also be used to solve personal ort social issues.

I thoroughly enjoyed the seminars as it helped me develop both a theoretical and practical understanding of the subjects of quality, reliability and maintenance. I actually felt I knew something in QRM when I could apply the tools to practically evaluate the cases.

March 13, 2013

Reflection on QRM Lecture Week

Reflection on QRM Lecture week

Before the lecture week started many of my friends told me that this module was very boring and depressing and I had done majority of the topics in my under graduation; so even I thought this would be very boring go through the same thing all over again. So when went in class on the first day I expected it to be very boring and dull. But video on Deming philosophy, where fixing the root cause was so critical in case of white beads mixed with red beads. This video had changed my perception of looking at this module. It just made me more inquisitive, which led me to asking frequent questions during the lectures.

Further in the lecture week we were introduced to Economics of quality (sounded interesting). It focussed on POC, PONC, failure and prevention was important. This also compelled me to call my technical director to speak to him on this topic relating to the business as we were facing a lot of quality issues, we knew that it was a cost to us but never felt the need to analyse it. Steve’s insight on the importance of quality was very good, in relation to the manufacturing of submarine for the military. Lecture on Six Sigma was very much repetition of what I had done in PIUSS module. The following day the German high speed train crash made me realise the importance and impact of failure in design of reliability. Unfortunately, due to my visa appointment I could not attend the maintenance lecture, but what I understand from the notes is how it in spite of being a cost to the company but still helps in maximising profits.

The lecture week had a lot a case study that gave a practical approach in understanding the concept. The pre-notion of this module being boring was totally whipped out. In fact this module became very fascinating when the theory was being applied in real life situations with the help of case study; this changed my perception of QRM and made realise the importance of it in the business.

Reflection on QRM Mini–Project

Reflection of QRM Mini-Project

Once I got the topic of the mini-project on comparing and contrasting Six Sigma and EFQM, at first I was very relieved because I had studied Six Sigma in detail in PIUSS module but EFQM was totally new to me. During the first meeting on Wednesday we decide the areas that need to be covered in the presentation. We decided to discuss features and process of EFQM & Six Sigma, and then discuss the similarities and differences of these approaches. We also looked at the integration and the confrontation matrix. After speaking to Dr. Jane we realised that we need to focus more on EFQM because it was relatively a newer concept for everyone.

In the beginning I thought it was very easy but when I went about researching for the topic I realised that it wasn’t that easy that I thought it would be. This was mainly because I was looking at the similarities, differences and confrontation matrix of EFQM and Six Sigma.

During the research I learned that EFQM was mainly an excellence model that looked at the entire business as a whole. I think EFQM can easily identify the strengths and weakness of the business and use these in the strategic decision making. Six Sigma has a total different approach in comparison to EFQM. Six Sigma is generally looked at as a tool to problem solving in the business processes by reducing the variation in that process. The major drawback of Six Sigma is that it does not include the people on the process. Six Sigma focuses on a particular project and EFQM looks at the business as a whole. Therefore as these tools have focus on different levels and areas, they can actually be integrated. In the process of integration both the will complement each other and try to cover each other’s weakness. In fact EFQM will set the conditions right in order to implement Six Sigma.

The presentations made by other groups were really interesting and enlightening on how different quality management approaches could be implemented in a business simultaneously. But after this presentation session I was compelled to think upon the latest approach of Lean Six Sigma and integration of this with EFQM, because it would be like implement 3 quality improvements approaches at one time. Another issue would be the time and investment required in the implementation. But I am still not sure if this would be possible.

This topic has made me very curious to see the benefits on Six Sigma & EFQM in a real business rather than theory itself.

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