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WHAT IS QUALITY CIRCLEQuality Circles are (informal) groups of employees who voluntarily meet together on a regular basis to identify, define, analyze and solve work related problems.Usually the members of a particular team (quality circle) should be from the same work area or who do similar work so that the problems they select will be familiar to all of them. In addition, interdepartmental or cross functional quality circles may also be formed. An ideal size of quality circle is seven to eight members. But the number of members in a quality circle can vary. ALSO KNOWN AS Small Groups ,Action Circles, Excellence Circles, Human Resources Circles ,Productivity Circles.
HISTORY AND EXTENSION OF QUALITY CIRCLES Pioneered by Japanese.Japanese nomenclature: Quality Control Circles (QCC), generally now known as Quality Circles (QC) or some call it as Small Group Activity (SGA). 1962: First QC Circle was registered with QC Circle Head Quarters ,Japan. 1974: Lockheed Company, USA started Quality Circle movement. 1977: International Association of Quality Circles (IACC) was formed in USA. 1980: BHEL, Hyderabad first in India to start Quality Circles. 1982: Quality Circle Forum of India (QCFI) was founded. 1982: THE PROCESS OF ADOPTION GOES ON.
3 MAJOR CONCEPTS OF Q.C
OBJECTIVES OF QUALITY CIRCLES Promote job involvement Create problem solving capability Improve communication . Promote leadership qualities Promote personal development Develop a greater awareness for cleanliness Develop greater awareness for safety Improve morale through closer identity of employee objectives with organization's objectives Reduce errors. Enhance quality Inspire more effective team work Build an attitude of problem prevention Promote cost reduction Develop harmonious manager, supervisor and worker relationship Improve productivity Reduce downtime of machines and equipment Increase employee motivation
WHAT QUALITY CIRCLES ARE NOT? Quality Circles do not tackle just quality problems. Quality Circle is not a substitute or replacement for task forces, product committees, joint plant councils or works committees, quality assurance department, suggestion schemes. Quality Circles do not change the existing organizational structure or the chain of command. Quality Circles are not a forum for grievances or a spring board for demands. Quality Circles are not a means for the management to unload all their problems. Quality Circles are not just another technique. Quality Circles are not a panacea for all ills.
ELEMENTS OF Q.CTOP MANAGEMENT
ACTUAL WORKING (OPERATION)OF QUALITY CIRCLE / OPERATION1.Identification of a problem: The members of the Circle are supposed to identify the problems that are to be solved. 2. Selection of the problem: The members then decide the preferences and select the problem of apex priority. 3. Analysis of the problem: The selected problem isthen classified and analyzed by basic problem solving techniques like brain storming and Pareto analysis etc. 4. Generating alternative solutions: Identifyingvarious causes helps to generate various alternative solutions. 5. Select the most appropriate solution: The most appropriate and suitable solution is selected afterconsidering various solutions related to cost,possibility of implementation etc. 6. Preparation of action plan: The members prepare plan of action to the implemented solution likearea of implementation, date and time etc. 7. Approval of the Management: The chosen solution and the plan of action must be put forward before the management for their approval. 8. Implementation: The management evaluates the solution and examines the same before implementation. The management may consider a pilot run also.
BASIC TECHNIQUES TO IDENTIFY AND TO ANALYZE PROBLEMS Brainstorming. Pareto analysis. Cause and effect diagram (or fish bone diagram or Ishikawa diagram). Histogram. Scatter diagram Stratification Check sheet Control charts and graphs
PITFALLS AND PROBLEMS Lack of faith in and support to Quality Circle activities among management personnel Lack of interest or incompetence of leaders/facilitator Apathy, fear and misunderstanding among middle level executives Delay or non-implementation of Circle recommendations Irregularity of Quality Circle activities Non-application of simple techniques for problem solving Lack of or non-participation by some members in the Circle activities Circles running out of problems Antagonism of non-members towards Quality Circle operations Inadequate visibility of management support Complexity of problems taken up Non-maintenance of Quality Circle records Too much facilitation or too little Language difficulty in communication Communication gap between Circles and departmental head Change of management Confusing Quality Circle for another technique Resistance from trade unions
PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENTSIMPLEMENTAION OF Q.C The Public Works Department of Government of Maharashtra is responsible for the construction and maintenance of about 2.00 lakhs km. of road net work in the state and a large number of Govern.ment-owned buildings spread all over the state. The climatic and geographical features also vary from place to place in the state. The ultimate customer of the Department is the common man and it is not generally easy to satisfy the ultimate needs of this user to the fullest extent merely by taking decision at the top management level. The sub-ordinate officers and staff working in the field and who are well-acquainted with the day-to day problems in their work areas, are the best judges to decide upon the line of action. The top management in Maharashtra P.W.D. realized this need of the time and introduced the concept of Quality Circle as employee participation method in the organisation The concept of Quality Circle was launched in the Public Works Department of Govt. of Maharashtra on 18-11-1997. In a span of about a year 17 Quality Circles had been formed in Mumbai Region wherein 22 problems have been solved so far. 48 Quality Circles have been formed in Pune Region wherein, 8 problems had been solved.
PROBLEMS SOLVED BY THE QUALITY CIRCLES IN P.W.D. OF MAHARASHTRA1 Eliminating delay in issuing observation memos after inspection of site. 2 Preventing accidents on highways. 3 Reducing electricity bill in office. 4 Avoiding duplication of work .5 Removal of encroachment from Govt. land. 6 Speeding up pot-hole filling on roads during monsoon. 7 Upkeeping of service records of employees. 8 Maintaining Goverment. offices clean. 9 Stream-lining reservation system of Govt. rest houses. 10 Improvement in maintenance of Govt. Hospital at Solapur.
ROWNTREE MACKINTOSHSIMPLEMENTAION OF Q.CAn International company manufacturing range of confectionery and snack foods. PROBLEMS ENCOUNTERED Badly Formed cartons. Waste. Weight of Pastilles. Giant Tube Fillings
STEPS UNDERTAKEN BY CIRCLE MEMEBERS IN RESOLVING THE ISSUE It was caused due to sweet jamming in the mouth of the tube. Tests conducted and revealed one more additional problem. Costs evaluated to encounter the problem. Repeated trials finally helped in developing a funnel which solved all the problems. A presentation made to the management of the findings of the circle. New funnel is now used by all the departments and it has made the job easier to perform.
OTHER SUCCESS STORIESVolkswagenVolkswagen was plagued by uneven quality, uninspired styling and over employment in the 1990s. It's nearly impossible to shed workers in Germany, so Volkswagen worked with that. Factory production was divided into teams and quality circles that met regularly, encouraging the flow of ideas and suggestions from the bottom up. Flexible working hours for salaried staff within the fourday work week were arranged so that workers could work longer hours on some days and shorter on others. City Montessory School, Lucknow, India Worlds first Quality Circle by school children Quality Circle Jai Jagat was formed with five students. The QC prepared a case study How to excel in examinations under the supervision of Mr. P.C. Bihari, a QC expert working for Indian Railways
XEROX Concept of recycling. UNITED AIRLINES Reducing number of absentees and increasing productivityTATA STEEL
ShraddhaThe Quality Control initiative of Tata Steel medical department solved the problem to improve the management of solid biomedical wastes from central hospital of West Bokaro
MAHINDRA AND MAHINDRA -Development of tractors. HERO HONDASunrise" quality circle of Hero Honda. An interesting problem arising out of customer complaint of the field failure of the lock was taken up and solved successfully through application of QC techniques. Solutions included even a changed design of a punch used for making the parts.