Total Quality Management (TQM) is the practice of continuously and thoroughly working on improving the proficiency and excellence of the product or service so that it exceeds customer expectations. TQM involves the involvement of anyone associated with the product / service - management, workforce, suppliers, and customers -- in order to ensure its continued excellence.
In its essence, TQM would be defined as a management approach to product excellence in order to achieve customer satisfaction.
Enterprise risk management (ERM)
Enterprise risk management is the sector that deals with recognizing possible risks within the operation of the enterprise, assessing possibility and magnitude of these risks, controlling these risks, preventing other risks from occurring, and monitoring occurrence and reiteration of these partial risks.
Quality assurance is the act of analyzing processes and monitoring operations to ensure that high quality standards are being met at all times. In contrast to 'quality control'; which is focused on output, quality assurance is the process of monitoring and continuous surveillance of product / service in order to assure quality.
Time management (™)
The act or process of planning how to manage time in the most effective way by eliminating unessential tasks and making the most of time to accomplish one's priorities. A large range of skills, tools, and techniques can help one accomplish TM including setting goals, keeping calendars, establishing incentives, monitoring use of one's time and so forth.
Time management is essential for nay project since it determines length and scope of the project as wells as helping people decide how to accomplish project within the most expedient amount of time.
ResCare Workforce Services Inc. is a company that specializes in social work, and provides human services and skills to people of all ages in order to make their lives more independent. ResCare (2012) states the firm serves more than a million people each year with its nearly 50,000 employees at thousands of locations in the U.S. And all over the world. In San Diego, CA, the company operates four offices with a total of four thousand low income clients who are aided by San Diego County's Welfare-to-Work (WTW) under the California Work and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) Program. The company has a Quality Assurance Department that conducts monthly audits at all four of the offices to assure that all clients' cases are following the County Program Guide (CPG). Further, QA needs to ensure that the program participants are receiving their aid in a timely manner. After auditing those cases and analyzing where the highest area of errors are located, the QA department provides training to the staff in order to correct those errors, avoid any repetition in the same area, and improve the quality of the provided services. The process between conducting the QA audit, identifying the errors and providing training is not consistent. It does not follow a specified timeframe; and these issues have negatively affected the auditing process affecting the quality of the services provided to the customers. In addition, it has affected the company employees' performance and resulted in repetition of errors and inadequate training.
The problem with the audit is that training is not provided till long after the audit is conducted. This creates an inconsistency with the timeframes and training preparations. In addition, it leads to continuous repetition of errors which results in poor performance and low quality of work below the company's expectations. As a result, this dilemma has negatively affected the provided services to the clients and the company's contract with the County of San Diego.
This thesis recommends that using a time management methodology will reduce the timeframe between the internal audit and consequnet training resulting in an improvement in the time and cost of the auditing process at ResCare.
Research questions are:
How can time management improve the QA auditing timeframe?
What is the most time consuming step in the QA auditing process?
How will the process improvement impact the QA audit timeline?
The most popular types of time management are the following: The ABC analysis, Pareto analysis, The Eisenhower Method, and the POSEC method. Each have their advanrtages and disadvatages.
Another stertegy that QA can use is Quality assurance which is the act of analyzing processes and monitoring operations to ensure that high quality standards are being met at all times.
Statistical tools are part of Quality assurance and they can also be used as part of a more comprehensive Total Quality Management (TQM) approach which can be another strategy that QA can employ.
Another factor that can be considered is training effectiveness where, with the right training program in place, the organization can optimize its training effectiveness. Finally, enterprise risk management (ERM), which investigates and controls risks, is one supplementary program that QA could use to improve the QA auditing timeframe.
Limitations of Methodology
There are practical concerns of TM methods such as difficulty in deciding which tasks to prioritize, particularly since QA has a huge amount of tasks. All could be equally important. Given the many details involved in TM, it may be difficult to connect it to the audit- training program gap and to enhancing the process between conducting the QA audit, identifying the errors and providing training.
Furthermore, Claesens, BJ et al. (2007) discovered that not all TM instruments are reliable or valid. This means that whilst some of the strategies may have been helpful in some other context they may not be necessarily helpful here. Job and organizational factors paly a huge part in effectuating the success for the strategy. The personality of the auditors and the motivation of the trainees are all included as well as many other factors. None of these necessitate that he TM strategies will necessarily work. In fact, Chron.com showed that job and organizational factors often determine the success of TM strategies helping some succeed whilst prompting others to fail. Some TM strategies too are more useful for some organizations than for others and some work characteristics may enhance or hinder positive results. Failure of the TM in this case, therefore, may simply be due to unreliability of instrument. Due to the fact that so many variables are involved in effectuating success, it may be difficult to single out which viable is at fault and even to single out variables in the first place in order to have the program work.
Other problems can be simply the huge amount of work required to make sure that each and every one of the participants keeps to the TM schedule. This would require that each participant keep lists regularly and structure goals consistently as well as write their goals in the required manner but this would be difficult to monitor as well as it would require a huge amount of trust on the part of the manager to ensure that each participant is actually keeping to his requirements.
There may be a conflict too in prioritizing with different factors believing that stress of priority should be placed on different tasks. This may create some dissension with using the TM strategies and reluctance on the part of some participants to follow through and to utilize these strategies to the best of their capacities.
A certain timeline, too, should be set to implement the various TM techniques, but the timeline required may be too long causing distractions to too easily intervene and to corrupt results.
Members may procrastinate or may take on too many tasks -- other factors which would disrupt positive outcome and study investigations, but these may be hard to discover since, in the first lace, participants may be unwilling to admit that they have procrastinated whilst in the second individuals may be unaware of the fact that they have overly increased their work burden.
The trainers too have to learn how to effectively set the task in a way that each of the participants will be satisfied. This may take time to experiment with causing errors and disconnect in the meantime.
Finally, although not exclusively, the TM strategies may fail in that they may impose too much pressure on the participants who are unused to having their time regulated. This may cause conflict and dissension in the workplace not only sabotaging study but also rendering the experiment harmful for QA (MindTools.com). The same can occur in regards to the TQM training or the training in general which, if done in an ineffective way, can lead to resistance causing lower morale and productivity.
There are limitations with ERM too which can technically be expanded to TM strategies in general. Limitations with ERM include the fact that managers can accord all their attention to ensuring that potential risks are evaluated and prevented that other aspects of the organization go to the wayside and are overlooked. Prioritizing the TM plans or ERM strategies too highly -- or working too long and thoroughly on the plans in order to cover all details -- can prevent the organization from ever completing the audit or even…