Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited
With so many competing management techniques and theories being developed and evangelised many managers did believe TQM was "just another fad".
So it is gratifying to see new research finding eight out of ten UK managers predicting increased emphasis on quality in their organization within the next three years.
The survey highlights good and bad practices: managers recognise that quality is everybody's responsibility, not just that of a small team of quality specialists, and the main measure of success is customer satisfaction. But programmes often suffer due to lack of top-level commitment, cost and time constraints and a short-term outlook.
Various initiatives are used to assist the quality programme, including Investors in People, ISO 9001 and 14001 and the business excellence model. The last two were particularly highly rated.
The survey also found the Internet is becoming an increasingly important resource for managers – nearly half said it was their favoured source.
The survey was carried out by the Institute of Management and the British Quality Foundation. Joe Goasdoue, chief executive of the British Quality Foundation, said: "There has been a step-change in attitudes to quality and performance improvement amongst managers in the public, private and voluntary sectors. For the first time, we have evidence that a majority of management teams have embraced quality, in one form or another. It's not all good news, however. A number of managers still see quality as too costly, and it appears that a significant minority of top management teams continue to show a marked lack of commitment to quality."
The report, "A question of quality? A survey of performance improvement initiatives", is available for £40 from: Cara Rodwell, Public Relations Department, Institute of Management, Tel: +44 (0)20 7421 2704.
The Year 2000 revisions to the ISO 9000 series of standards are nearing completion. The changes, detailed earlier in Managing Business Excellence, are designed to increase stakeholder orientation, emphasise continual improvement, make efforts process-based, and increase user friendliness.
Following intense scrutiny by many international organizations and representative bodies, and extensive revisions, it is anticipated the Final Draft International Standard will be published in September. There will be a two-month ballot by the organization's national member institutes. If 75 per cent of the votes cast are in favour, then the proposed final drafts will become International Standards.
The ISO admits deadlines are tight but believes it will be on course to finally publish the new standards in November 2000. It does not expect to change the final draft before eventual publication.
ISO/TC 176 Chairman, Dr Pierre Caillibot, commented: "The new ISO 9000, ISO 9001 and ISO 9004 standards will be more user friendly and more relevant in style and content to all types and sizes of organizations in all industry/economic sectors. ISO/TC 176 is also committed to exploring ways of further facilitating developing countries' participation."
The material is posted on the ISO Web site (http://www.iso.ch) and will be updated and completed over the coming months. Readers should bookmark the site to keep themseves informed.