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Quality Management

Quality Management - Overview

The Quality Help Community is a collaborative network of IT professionals with an interest in Quality Management and Quality Assurance based solutions in the IT industry. With collective participation, we hope to demystify Quality Management and it's effective application within the IT services and support industries.

 Our Vision at QualityHelp is to guide IT support folk in the principles and value of quality management through team involvement and sharing.


Quality Management for Work Health and Safety

When it comes to building a rigorous Work Health and Safety Management System, Quality Control takes on a far greater and more critical function than just happy customers and business success.

The health and safety of workers, customers and visitors may depend on the soundness of the system, total commitment by all staff to WHS practices and processes, and continuous monitoring of the WHS management system for both effectivenes and compliance to commitments and regulations.

Merge Quality Assurance and Document Management Teams

Larger IT companies provide a number of services and functions within the Document Management team, including technical writing, catalogue / document / record management, document control and reporting. The large numbers of documents and records managed, along with the high demand for technical writing and document support usually justifiies a separate, specialist team.

In mid-size to small business there is a strong argument to combine the functions (and teams / staff) based on the overlapping functions and processes in the Document Lifecycle. A well-disciplined lifecycle for document management should be completely in tuned with a company's policies and standards for achieving Quality Assurance objectives. Hence Document Control practices should be aligned with whatever Internal Audits processes or assessments are in place to ensure compliance to agreed standards (for both the Quality Management System and Documentation Standards).

Process for Managing Team Documents

In our previous article on Building a Document Catalogue , we gave an overview of both the catalogue, the Drupal components and using control records to integrate the catalogue with a Document Control system model.  Now we might have some fun and describe in more detail, the process for building a team catalogue and adding documents.

For our demonstration, we will use the Quality Team, and create a catalogue for their procedures. Then we will register and add a process document, in that order.  Create a control record to register the document, tag it to add to the required catalogue/s, then link the document source page/file as well as a distribution document.

It seemed most appropriate that the document we register for this example is the DCS Registration Process.

Building a Document Catalogue using Views and Control Records

The two fundamental building blocks for constructing a practical, dynamic and maintainable Document Catalogue in Drupal are Views and Control Records. By Views we mean instances of tables generated by the Drupal View module. The Control Records we refer to are created from a custom content page (appropriately named Record), which acts as a template allowing us to achieve the following objectives:

  1. Meet our organisation's Document and Quality Management standards for document and record control.
  2. Provide a consistent document entity for populating any number of linked Document Catalogues, in a consistent , managable and scaleable format.

There are other clever Drupal modules and methods we employ to make this ongoing project a fascinating exercise.

Is Quality Management Rocket Science?

Many of our IT Support colleagues continue to shy away from actively particpating in Quality Management programmes, complaining of "Rocket Science", ever changing methodologies and complex terminology.  A well planned, communicated and phased-in Quality Management system is definitely not Rocket Science.  Unfortunately, for many organisations without firm, visible and enduring commitment, Quality Management tends to becomes an "inexact science".

Without the foundation of complete, genuine staff involvement, along with a culture of relentless Continuous Improvement, Quality Management remains an "Inexact Science" in many circumstances.  Understandably, staff and even customers will relegate the company's new Quality Management programme to the category of "Rocket Science".

Building a Cloud based Document Control System

This is one of a series of articles on the subject of managing records and documents, in a cloud environment. Our approach at QualityHelp will be to provide a practical, progressive and interactive format to the articles, blog discussions and our evolving Document Control framework.  You can get involved by reviewing  the structure of the Control Records, Master Catalogue, Team Indexes and Document templates as we develop the framework and components. Then provide feedback and input - suggestions and constructive comments.

Participate in our site's Continuous Improvement objectives and become a contributor to the evolving design.

Value Stream Mapping for Health Management

Value Stream Mapping (VSM) is a versatile Lean tool in both the manufacturing and service industries. It has been successfully applied to just about every industry, including health services. It also combines very effectively with Six Sigma tools and methods to improve process capability, as well as output product quality and stability.

Unfortunately, there are many ways to apply VSM and most of us struggle to appreciate its power and versatility.  Here's a simplied approach for using a Value Stream Maps to improve individual health, (and without the taktzeit).


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