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Monday, February 7, 2011

Human Resource Management role to enabling Total Quality Management

Quality Management in Software organizations is a considerable expense and consists of approximately 30-40% resource utilization. We discuss key aspects of Quality Management that can be integrated by Human Resource Management department to ensure a easy deployment and senior management support from a organization-wide initiative.

The goal of TQM is to have zero defects in the production system and service delivery. Quality Engineers who support the product development and customer support executives are responsible for product quality delivery can undertake regular training and development and adapting as a part of the company culture. In addition TQM require that all employees subscribe to the philosophy hence it's necessary for HR department to adopt certain practices to ensure smooth implementation of various initiatives undertaken by TQM. Let's call this a customer oriented service of HRM.

TQM require following principles to be adhered:

1. Focus on customer needs.
2. Focus on problem prevention.
3. Make continuous process improvements.
4. First time right and timely delivery.
5. Be flexible in the constantly changing requirements

Quality improvement initiatives require that team is of more important than individual. HR needs to provides the following:

1. Providing the resources who have the right capability.
2. Training the resources.
3. Managing the progress in achieving the quality goals.
3. Measuring the continuous improvement of individual and team.

To ensure this HR can develop a systemic approach rather than a role/function approach. The tools and techniques that can be used are:

1. Recruiting people who adhere and promote the TQM philosophy at middle and senior management level.
2. Value driven Team development using training, group exercise and quality awareness training.
3. Development of survey and employee feedback instruments for basic adherence to systems and procedures.
4. Ensuring smooth operations of self-managing teams by identifying and rectifying bottlenecks related to performance.
5. Measures of reward system to boast morale.
6. 360-degree feedback on a continual basis in addition to performance appraisal periods.

Special consideration need to be taken up for team formation. A Personality type assessment is needed to setup a 100% self-managed team and will surely be a key to success. For a stable organization further six sigma projects need to be undertaken to reduce the overhead and ensure better quality and these maybe from the Human resource department in addition to the other production specific areas.