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Culture and the Quality Management System

May/June 2015
This online-only article is a supplement to the May/June 2015 print edition of Home Energy Magazine.
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March 31, 2015
The first and most fundamental step of quality management system (QMS) design is to establish guiding principles. “We hold these truths to be self evident,” as in the Declaration of Independence, came over ten years before the Constitution. We need to secure our guiding principles before we focus on our QMS. The guiding principles for our country go on to say that “all men are created equal.” In a QMS, this guiding principle is of great importance. Quality is a system—a whole that derives its characteristics (good and bad) from the interaction of the essential parts. Management and workers are both essential parts. It is their interactions that assure a product or service of lasting quality. All are equal and each has its responsibilities. It is never what each part is doing separately that ensures that the system will work well. It is the interactions among those parts. Often I hear, “We would have quality if only the workers would do their work right” or “It’s management’s fault. If they would give us more resources, these problems would go away.” This is focusing on the parts ...

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