In today's marketplace, organizations must be more focused than ever on Quality and Total Customer Satisfaction. The aggressive goals being forced by competitive pressure require an increasingly sophisticated Quality System for the business. It is the Quality System (the organization's collective plans, activities, and events for quality) that ensures that products, processes, and services will satisfy given customer needs.
To provide guidance to the corporation, the Motorola Corporate Quality Council (MCQC) in 1982 began a process of Quality System Reviews (QSRs) to assess the system maturity of each division in the company. These reviews were intended to assure that the Quality System of each business is effective in achieving Total Customer Satisfaction. Over the years, the QSR procedure has been updated to keep in step with more demanding quality trends and practices.
The QSR itself is a versatile assessment vehicle by which an organization, in any industry or sector, can evaluate the continuing health of its Quality System. The QSR, with the active support and participation of senior management, defines a vision of how business should be conducted, sets a definable goal of perfection, and provides an awareness of Quality System requirements across the total organization. These reviews also provide opportunity for cross-fertilization of ideas and serve to refocus the organization on quality. Using the formally documented QSR assessment procedures, the review team is able to reflect a macro view of the subject operational unit, recognize achievements, point out shortcomings and opportunities, and offer recommendations for continuous improvement. The QSR process is designed to foster improvement and assure that the Quality System is effective in achieving Total Customer Satisfaction.
Quality System Reviews typically take a week and are conducted by a team made up of five trained Applications Consultants. The review team interviews a cross-section of the client operational team using a series of standard elements (questions) covering ten basic subsystems of the Quality System, which describe an "ideal system." These standard elements are customized to the needs of the client using an applicability rating built into the system. The results are scored and summarized into "Strengths" and "Opportunities for Improvement" which are presented to client senior management on the final day of the Review.
This process tends to "mirror" the organization's perception of itself. The results then are a combination of the operational teamís perception of its own performance against the Quality System standards of perfection, the review teamís experience, and its assessment of the operation's degree of compliance to these standards.
Since Quality Systems must be integrated into a business from the top down, the introductory QSR meeting and the final wrap-up must include top management.