Wednesday 14 November 2018

Quality circles

Quality control circle (CCC) practice or technique used in the management of organizations in which a volunteer work group meets to seek solutions to problems identified in their respective areas of work performance, or to improve some aspect that characterizes his post.


Some time ago we saw a very interesting post in which we treat about the ISO 9001 certificate of quality and, on the other hand, we have dedicated several posts to talk about the Japanese production system in this corner.

Today we return to the fascinating topic of the quality through one of its most important instruments: quality control circles.


In short, the quality circle is a small group of employees who perform equal or similar work in the same Department, and work for the same supervisor, who meet voluntarily and periodically, and are trained to identify, select and analyze problems and opportunities for improvement related to his work, recommend solutions and submitted to the address, and, if it approves it, carry out its implementation.

The CCC are an instrument that uses the address when your philosophy is participatory and believes in the concept of "total quality", i.e., on the idea that quality is improved constantly in the workplace.

The CCC are groups of workers who meet voluntarily so regular, in order to identify and resolve work-related problems and to implement appropriate solutions, with the due consent of the direction.

They operate in a cultural context in which the concept of enterprise attributed to economic and social interests that take into account the human creativity, the possibility of man to participate in common objectives of the group.

As we have already said, quality circles were born in Japan after World War II, at the end of which this country found its products were known in the world with the seal of low price, but also of poor quality; and between 1955-60 began to systematically apply the quality control.

Focal points of the CCC are:

  • The quality. It can be considered as the Grand objective of circles; markets are increasingly competitive and customers have a higher level of education and demand which causes the quality to be a central concern for most companies.

  • Productivity. Circles can work together to increase productivity in a broader sense and in all areas of the company. It comes to be the result of the correct application of the set of resources of the company, a reliable index that all resources are well targeted and administered.

  • Improvement of costs. Knowledge of costs avoids waste and mismanagement of resources. Quality circles can collaborate decisively in reducing the costs of all kinds: administrative, commercial, transport, etc.

  • The motivation. Thanks to quality circles you can get a constantly motivate workers, offering them opportunities to participate in the company's objectives, and be appreciated for a job well done.

  • The integration. Quality circles provide the rupture of the watertight compartments, and make its members aware of the work of others and better understand your needs and problems.

  • The reorganization. When the reorganization can be slow at the time, and they aren't necessary drastic and urgent decisions, it is a good alternative to instruct circles for the study of this reorganization.


Characteristics of the quality circles.

Some of the most outstanding characteristics of quality circles are the following:

  • Participation in CCC is voluntary.

  • They are small groups of 4 to 6 people in small workshops, from 6 to 10 in medium-sized workshops with 8 to 12 in large workshops.

  • Members of the circle of quality carried out the same work or work logically related, i.e., tend to be part of a team that has common goals and working in the same Department.

  • The CCC meet regularly to discuss and resolve problems that they themselves discover or which are proposed him to his boss.

  • Each CCC has a boss who is responsible for the operation of the circle. The head is usually a supervisor who receives special training relating to the activities of the circle.

  • The Board of Governors of the direction sets the objectives, policy and guidelines for the activities of quality circles, and supports system of the circles through adequate resources and the interest of the address.

  • Everyone who participates in a program of quality circles receives training or information in accordance with the degree of involvement that has in the system.

  • They should be involved different job categories.

  • Quality circle has no hierarchical relationship of authority and dependence, members are equal.

  • The goal is the common desire to improve the technique of the work, solving common problems.

  • The leader is elected by the members and can be changed according to the group.

You should begin with simple programs, which provide the familiarity of the members with the techniques and new environment of the circle which are not used. The main and basic techniques that are used in this context are:

  • "Brainstorming" or spontaneous generation of ideas. This is a technique where seeks participants to give the maximum number of ideas about a topic, matter not of the same quality but its quantity, and ensuring that ideas are original and creative.

  • Techniques of recording of information, mainly using the registration form and the sampling.

  • Techniques of analysis of information, where we include tables summarize information, different types of graphs (bar, linear, circular) and Pareto analysis with which will be able to obtain the data in a format visually attractive. This strong emphasis on the visual is one of the basic principles of quality control.

  • Technical analysis of problems, where the diagram stands out cause and effect. This diagram is a graphical representation of the relationship between the potential causes of a problem and the problem or effect, same effect.

The role of quality circles.

Be a member of a group of quality is something strictly voluntary. The success of quality circles lies in the fact that employees regard them as his own, and not something instituted simply to keep satisfied the address.

The role of quality circles is to identify problems, select the most important problem, investigate such problems, find solutions and make a presentation of the problems and possible solutions to address.


Benefits of the quality circles.

The quality circles generated in people a sense of satisfaction and can provide them with the recognition of their achievements. These are due to three reasons:

  • A greater awareness of teamwork.

  • Increase in the participation of individuals.

  • Improvements in how to perform tasks and, therefore, the increase of the quality.

The promotion of the spirit of equipment through quality circles may have an extraordinary effect in the environment of the entire organization. The communication also improves greatly with quality circles. Naturally improves communication between members of the group, but also benefits the horizontal communication between different dedicated to labor camps circles and vertical communication between the factory and the address.

At the level of workers, quality circles can be joined together to people who, although they have been working on the same branch, have just come to know; with the help of the circle, not only discuss things together, but they also work by mutual agreement.

And in terms of vertical communication, quality circles make a major contribution in favour of compensation by the management of the staff. Managers are often surprised at the enthusiasm and knowledge of its employees, and employees enjoy the opportunity to use their abilities and show makes good use of them.


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