The 3 Quality Management Processes: DMAIC, The Deming Cycle, and the Creative Problem Solving Process

PDSA Model of Quality Management

Quality management refers to the process of monitoring and managing operations to achieve the desired level of excellence in terms of quality. In any organization, quality is essential as it affects demand and customer satisfaction. To remain competition, an organization needs to oversee its activities and implement systems that are consistent with quality management.

There are 3 key quality management processes that may be implemented in any organization: DMAIC, Deming Cycle, and Creative Problem Solving processes.

1) DMAIC

DMAIC applies five improvement steps: Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control.

  • Define: The first step is to define the current situation by setting objectives and forming the project team. The manager may implement this step by appointing a project team to analyze the situation.
  • Measure: The next step is to measure. The organization should develop a way of measuring key variables and performance indicators.
  • Analyse: The third step is to analyze the data collected. This is intended to find out the positives and negatives of the system in achieving quality. The results will be used to make appropriate changes to achieve success.
  • Improve: The fourth step is to improve. This involves identifying solutions to the process problems.
  • Control: In the final step (Control), the management checks for errors and takes corrective actions to improve quality of operations, goods and services.

2) The Deming Process

The Deming cycle involves four stages: Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA). The PDSA model is an interactive approach that follows four stages to improve business process and achieve change within an organization. When implementing PDSA, it is more effective to involve internal and external stakeholders, including customers.

Stage 1 – Plan: In the plan stage, a team is created and each member is assigned roles. The problem is also identified and objectives are set to improve the process. Current situations are also described with an aim of identified gaps and issues. Various courses of action or alternative solutions are also identified in this stage.

Stage 2 – Do: This is the stage of action, where the plan is implemented. This involves collecting data to evaluate the alternatives identified in stage 1. It also involves carrying out specific activities to put the plan into action.

Stage 3 – Study: In this stage, the team conducts a review of the quality improvement processes that have been implemented to determine whether they are going according to plan. The team assesses the outcome of the actions carried out in step 2 to determine whether they are worth the investment.

Stage 4 – Act: This is a stage of reflection in which the team builds on the outcomes of the project. If the assessment in stage 3 shows that the plan was successful, then the improvement will be standardized as the norm. If the evaluation is not promising, the process restarts from stage 1 with more improvements.

Creative Problem Solving Process

This is a creative way of developing ideas or solutions to address a certain problem. If there is a problem with quality in the company, this creative problem solving process can be used to solve that problem objectively. It is a scientific step-by-step process that allows managers to develop solutions to problems experienced in the organization. The common steps involved in the problem solving process are:

Step 1 – Clarify: In this stage, the problem solving team identifies the problem, explores the vision of the organization, and sets goals to be achieved. It is a stage of clarifying goals and issues within the organization. It also involves gathering data and formulating questions to put the problem into its proper context.

Step 2 – Ideation: This is the stage used to explore ideas. It entails generating ideas to answer the problem question and/or solve the problem. This stage results in several options and ideas that could help in resolving the problem.

Step 3 – Develop: The third step of the creative problem solving process requires the decision maker to evaluate the options available in order to come up with solutions. The proposed solutions are assessed on various criteria to determine whether they are viable.

Step 4 – Implementation: The last stage of the creative problem solving process involves putting the suggested solution or solutions into actions. Once a viable solution is identified, resources should be allocated to implement it.

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