Quality Management System


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InterWeave Solutions

Rocky Mountain Center for Human Development

Building Quality Competence

A Quality Management System is a way of working to assure sustained success.  

It  is a way of working that is:  

 Vision-directed

 Values-driven

 Customer-focused

 Analysis-based

 Learning-enabled

 Team-facilitated

 Process-managed

 Quality-controlled

 Results-oriented

In this process the behavioral skills that are of most importance are those skills

that encourage a set of actions to create successful outcomes even in quality-

deficient scenarios.  Managing is more about sociology than it is about


 Values define attitude

 Attitude influences behavior

 Behavior creates culture

 Culture reinforces values

In order for a Quality Management System to exist, a majority of those involved

in the system must be competent.  Competence is the ability to perform required

tasks at a “role model” level of behavior.   There are four component parts

leading to competence:  

1. Aptitude:  a person's innate ability to perform a task.  An organization

2. Skills:  a person's learned ability to perform a task.  An organization

3. Knowledge:  the conscious understanding of the theoretical principles,

must learn how to screen individuals in such a way that the innate

abilities needed to perform in that organization exist in potential


must provide appropriate training so that individuals who have the

innate abilities can learn what is needed to perform effectively.

data and its interpretation, and integrating themes for a particular

subject.  An organization and specifically its managers must provide

essential, clear and consistent information to allow members of the

organization to perform effectively.

4. Behavior:  the actions that a person takes.  The managers of a quality

management system must provide ways to measure, encourage,

evaluate and reward effective behavior.  They must do this in such a

way that everyone involved in the organization is motivated to improve

and to contribute to the overall success of the organization.


FACILITATE!  In order for competence to filter through the organization upper

management must have:

 A clear understanding of job requirements with a defined set of job

objectives and performance measures which demonstrate that customer

expectations will be met or exceeded.

 An approach to performance and performance evaluation which embodies

the values of the organization and uses methods and tools that have been

demonstrated to deliver cost-effective results to customers and makes

employees feel that they are a significant part of the process.

 An approach which has been implemented throughout the organization

and has been integrated in consistent and routine work patterns.

 An implementation strategy which consistently results in outcomes that

measurably demonstrate desired performance relative to customer


Efforts must be made to identify behavioral competencies which drive successful

performance and to create a survey instrument that permits each member of the

organization to assess their own performance and develop an improvement plan.

Members of an organization who have confidence that the managers of the

organization will give clear assignments; clear and effective feedback and regular

assistance to make improvements, will enter into a process of growth and

development which will eventually make significant contributions back to the

organization.  Members of an organization who lack this confidence will often act

out of fear (fear of displeasing upper management) which will ultimately destroy

that individual's ability to make effective contributions to the organization.  

According to Greg Watson’s research, successful organizations have all been

found to have managers who are:  

 1.  Customer-oriented:

 Express sincere gratitude (for complaining) and regret (for the problem) to

customers who report difficulties, while neither disclaiming or confirming


 Take action to research complaints and establish the limit of company


 Present examples of other companies who have been successful

because they listen and rapidly respond to the issues and concerns of

their customers.

 Follow-through in replacing faulty equipment or making other appropriate

correction of problems.

2.  A Customer advocate:

 Explicitly adopts the viewpoint of the customer.

 Acts as if the customer complaints or requests are legitimate--even when

they are not.

 Goes out of the way to meet directly with customers.

 Uses own customer visit experiences to increase the company's interest

in customer inputs.

 Insists others take customer concerns into account.

 Takes on the customer's problem as their own.

3.  Organizationally astute:

 Understands the organizational, functional, or group dynamics associated

with a particular situation.

 Acts based on knowledge of the role and significance of different internal

and/or external groups or units.

 Recognizes the strengths and limitations of existing procedures with

respect to how individuals respond.

 Identifies differences among cultures and groups in appropriate response

to policies and procedures.

4.  Influencing:

 Uses data to persuade others.

 Makes an effort to change the behavior of others.

 Uses well-chosen symbolic events or examples to persuade, motivate, or

influence others.

 Appeals to shared interests.

 Specifically aligns self with key influential others.

 Offers resources in exchange for commitment or support.


5.  Interpersonally diagnostic:

 Identifies the specific strengths and limitations of others, and of one's

positional relationship to others.

 Puts self in a specific other's position in order to identify their concerns

and interests.

 Adjusts behavior according to the reactions or concerns of specific others.

 Assesses individual motivations and takes a flexible approach to

situations in order to build consensus for actions.

6.  Goal-oriented:

 Identifies specific goals for self and others.

 Allocates resources and efforts to achieve the maximum results or impact.

 Emphasizes adherence to and acceptance of appropriate performance

measurement systems for self and others.

 Demonstrates a sense of urgency in resolving a problem or issue.

 Describes business implications of quality plan.

7.  Persistent:

 Executes plans and projects over an extended period of time.

 Follows up on issues to ensure that commitments or expectations are

being met.

 Makes repeated efforts to overcome obstacles, achieve results, or get a

message across.

 Takes special efforts to maintain long-term relationships with colleagues.

8.  Organized:

 Prioritizes own activities.

 Develops a plan of action before proceeding.

 Delegates activities to appropriate others.

 Orchestrates the activities of others.


9.  Mentoring of subordinates:

 Provides individuals with specific guidance on how to improve their


 Ensures subordinates own responsibility for their activities.

 Provides subordinates with resources needed to achieve success.

 Delegates responsibility for activities and also decisions to subordinates in

order to develop their competence.

 Encourages subordinates to assume additional challenges or


10. Collaborative:

 Adjusts own position in order to accommodate interests or concerns of


 Enlists the support of influential others before taking action.

 Actively solicits the involvement of relevant others to identify problems,

and develop or implement solutions.

 Pulls together teams or task forces quickly.

11. Initiating:

 Takes steps to address an issue before it becomes a crisis.

 Champions new approaches to improve productivity and quality of work.

 Owns responsibility for, or volunteers for, additional assignments beyond

normal responsibilities.

12. Professional:

 Aware of own strengths, limitations and growth areas and behaves


 Maintains calm when personally confronted and open to criticism.

 Assumes responsibility for the mistakes or decisions of associates.

13. Conceptual:

 Identifies key issues in complex situations.

 Identifies underlying themes, cross-cutting issues or patterns that help to

explain a situation.

 Identifies major threats and opportunities for the business.

 Uses potent metaphors and symbols to articulate a vision or describe a


14. Innovative:

 Willing to take risks.

 Identifies "new" solutions to problems.

 Responds positively to explicit challenges.

 Sets goals that go significantly beyond established standards.

 Expends an exceptional level of effort to achieve a desired goal.

15. Communicative:

 Describes a positive impact as a result of having made a presentation or

other communication.

 Tailors communications to the needs of the specific audience.

 Puts considerable effort into formulating a communication to ensure that

the "right" message comes across.

 Consciously reflects on the form, content, and impact of discussions with


16. Self-confident:

 Assumes leadership role in difficult or poorly structured situations.

 Takes a strong stand on controversial issues.

 Presents and defends a position despite unfavorable reactions from

senior managers or others.

 Treats senior managers as peers.

 Presents forceful, unambiguous description of own role.

This same research (Watson*) has also shown that a majority of organizational

failures occur due to a prevalence of "fast decisions" made by managers with the

following characteristics:  

 Usually takes the initiative to formulate and force group decisions.

 Pushes the group to make conclusions.

 Emphasizes the outcome over group process.

 Forces subordinates to follow their lead.

 Over-confident and directing of others through controlling behavioral

actions and forceful argument or administrative directives.

And a consistent practice of micromanaging which communicates a complete

Lack of trust in employees.

The requirement to improve business is a journey without end, which

necessitates that managers have both a personal desire to win, and a total

commitment to the continuous development of their competence to manage and

lead.  This commitment leads them to create an environment, which fosters a

desire to develop competence on the part of all employees and provides the

opportunities for competence to be developed.  The most powerful environment

for producing competence is one characterized by two equally linked principles:

  Goal setting and being held accountable for accomplishment of set goals

  An environment characterized by unconditional positive regard and

mutual respect.

Watson, Greg, (1994), Personal Communication of  pre publication  research

done by Greg Watson with the American Society for Quality and the International

Standards Organization.