Quality Control - a constant improvement.
Having followed the guidelines mentioned previously (lesson 21), the enterprise is just one step behind from counting with a complete total quality system. We have defined the strategies we need to follow, restructuring the organization and its processes and we know how to lead, motivate, and qualify the entire personnel to achieve the quality objectives. Now, the only thing missing is a control for the implemented system. We need to know if it is functioning properly and we need to implement a feedback process which corrects system variables to result in constant improvement.
James states that it is important to be able to tell the difference between three constituting components in a quality control system, (James 1997):
• a standard to reach.
• different measures to evaluate execution.
• a comparison process between real results against planned results.
The importance of documenting: quality handbooks.
The International Organization for Standardization ISO states that a quality handbook must contain the quality policy and the description of the quality system for internal use of the enterprise (ISO 1999). The quality handbook becomes the central document for the quality system and it performs a main role in the process of certification. The importance also lies in the fact that these handbooks - being the written form of the system - cover and link every point described in previous lessons.
As a result, (for the process of quality control) we find in these handbooks every piece of necessary information to control in an effective way: if a process, semi-product or product reaches the defined standard; how to measure it and what to do in case of variations. The next four lessons will cover these aspects.