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Quality management system or the way to create higher quality products

Problem

As a engineer, I see that the  common problem that an engineer usually meet in his software project is about time/schedule/ technical issues.
“ You must keep schedule”, “It’s harder than I think”, “This issue is so complicated”.
We tend to satisfy requirement of customers/project leaders then think that’s ok for quality.

But customers usually dont have/need to have any understanding about quality. If they tried it without any problems, they said the quality is good. In other case , they can judge the quality is bad. Project Leaders mainly focus on leading team to finish scope of the project in time. So what’s behind quality of a project/product? Who and how to assure quality if members already tried their best but the product output is casehard to be judged ?
It’s common problem that a startup can run well at beginning, then when the size ‘s bigger, they face with a lot of quality issue.

The answer is clear if we have some background about quality management, and we can build a quality management system (QMS).

Quality management system

 * what is quality?

The definition of quality usually differs from the view of each stakeholder ( people with some stake or concern in the process). So we should share a common definition:

 Quality is the degree to which a commodity meets the requirements of the customer at the start of its life. (ISO 9000)

I feel this definition’s even a bit obsoleted now (“start of its life” is not needed with current development methodology in Agile   )..  But the key concept is un-changed. They’re implied in this definition:

  • A degree of excellence
  • Conformance to requirements
  • Totality of characteristics which act to satisfy a need
  • Fitness for use
  • Fitness for purpose
  • Freedom from defects
  • Delighting customers

* What is a  Quality Management System?

A quality management system (QMS) is a collection of business processes focused on achieving your quality policy and quality objectives (Wikipedia)

As the definition, QMS is the tool to help us  archive a high quality output! It’s a total solution for quality policy, quality assurance, quality controlling, quality improvement.

Quality Management System (iso)


* How to

QMS is a  concrete way to manage & improve quality in your company. We can refer to some starndard or guidlines to implement it: CMMi, ISO9000, TQM, six-sigma, lean. At project level, I ‘m fond of Lean’s way: try it first, measure it then improve:

Lean Aproach (lean.st)



When you build it in any way, There’re 3 wel-known key elements of that you must concern for the balance: People, Product, Process.

People: they’re the key to success in any modern organization. They need to be helped/guided to understand about quality, practice quality process, join to improve quality,Improve their self. It needs to build a working environment focusing on quality where people can feel proud to join in the processes to create higher quality products. So the answer for Who will help us increasing quality is all people in a company. But before all can join to improve quality, QMS ‘s need.
Process: define the way we work together to archive our goal. PMP even build a processes framework to help managers to manage their projects.Process is so important, but to many processes will let people work like a robot & kill their creativeness! And trainning members about process is also important. About processes, I think “Improvement/Update” processes are one of the most important thing. So we should constantly audit the process: brainstorming period like meaning of “retrospective meeting” in SCRUM
Product: high quality products/services are the goal of any producer/service provider. QMS should help us monitoring product quality to increase/improve it. That’s why measurement is important.

  Relationship of three Ps:

I found this good knowledge from Mr. Dwayne Phillips:

People Process Product Relation



Figure 1 shows one relationship among people, process, and product. The regions depict the difficulty of a product, with products near the origin.

Figures 2 through 4 show that the added capability needed to build a more difficult product can come through different combinations of improving people, process, or both. In each of these figures, the product moves from a difficulty of 1 to 2.

References

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quality_management_system
http://www.lifetime-reliability.com/free-articles/work-quality-assurance/what-is-quality.html
http://www.iso.org/iso/qmp_2012.pdf
http://lean.st/
http://dwaynephillips.net/CutterPapers/ppp/ppp.htm