Quality Improvement Story

Quality Improvement Story

Abstract
Quality Improvement story allows teams and organizations to handle their problems well. The QI is a seven-step process that teams go through to execute or to address their problems. The seven steps are problem identification, identification of the causes of the problem, verifying the root causes, planning and implementing preventive action, checking effectiveness of the action, standardization of process and determining of future actions. The paper further adopts a quality case scenario experienced at the work place and how the seven steps were incorporated in addressing the problem.

Quality Improvement Story
Quality Improvement Story (QI) story
A quality improvement story is a systematic guide used to solve problems or to improve processes. The quality improvement story organizes the work that a team executes in a way that its story is told (Omachonu & Ross, 2004). The team identifies reasons for its formation, when it was formed, where and what it worked on and how the team was able to solve a problem. Teams therefore can apply same story telling technique as communication is standardized. Since communication is standardized, it enhances easier transfer of ideas between the teams, departments, as well as companies.
Why adopt QI story
There are various reasons why quality improvement story is used in an organization. One of the reasons is that it helps a team to organize, gather, and as well analyze information or data in a logical fashion (Omachonu & Ross, 2004). This allows the members to work together as they can speak in the same language and as well work on similar problem. This makes it easier for the group or a team to approach and solve problems better. The second reason is that it allows monitoring of the team progress. By allowing the storyboard to be visible, members and non-members are able to view how the team is progressing and where the process of problem solving has reached. The third reason is that QI story allows easy understanding by the non-members (Omachonu & Ross, 2004). This is important because the non-members can help to provide some insights on the issues under discussion hence helping the group to review some of the things that may have been omitted by the team members. Feedback is desirable in an entity as every member may be interested in the problem improvement.
The last reason why QI are important is that it allows standardization presentations to the management. Since management is required to be acquainted on how to use these QI stories, it allows them to concentrate on the problem and this saves them valuable time that would otherwise have been wasted (Omachonu & Ross, 2004). The teams are also able to speak with facts and this influences the management to take certain decisions pertaining to problem solution.
QI story basic steps
Q1 story has various basic steps that teams are required to follow. These steps include identifying the problem areas, observing and identifying the causes of the problem, analyzing, identifying and verifying root causes of the problem, plan and implement preventive action, check effectiveness of action taken, standardize process improvement and then determination of future actions. These steps are clear and important in ensuring that the problem is managed properly (Kaynak, 2003).
Appropriate ways to illustrate advantages of managing problem
Among many ways to illustrate the importance of managing problem, one of the ways is through demonstration of evidence. Enough evidence should be provided to support that there are problems that require address. The other way is through interrogation of the problem by analyzing the various perspectives concerning the problem. For instance, the benefits and the drawbacks of an issue are weighed to help in reaching a decision.
Types of actions and examples
The kinds of actions that can be taken including standardization in the case the cause is eliminated. For example of the cause of low productivity is lack of morale, the moment measures are instituted to increase their moral are in place they, the appropriate standards should be sent to ensure that the employees does not again lag behind or become demoralized (Omachonu & Ross, 2004). The second action is reanalyzing the cause of the problem if not eliminated. Deeper analyzing is required to better understand the problem and the best mechanism to solve the problem. Example is where employees continue to strike even after addressing their concerns.
QI basic requirements
To use QI story effectively, it requires many things. One of the requirements is that the team should have knowledge of the various quality control tools. The tools vary and could be advanced statistical tools, and seven basic tools among many others. Members should acquire better training on the use of the tools to ensure proper use. The second requirement is effective communication (Vorley & Tickle, 2001). The team must communicate their ideas, opinions, and views effectively. The communication should be verbally and as well in writing which at times may require training. The third requirement is to have knowledge about the actual construction of the quality improvement story as a requirement. This requires training but through experiences by working on more stories the teams becomes proficient (Farahmand, 2013). The last requirement is for the team to work as teamwork. Teamwork sometimes is complex and requires learning. Members must know how to interact with each other, how to delegate duties and how to ensure that there is trust and respect among the team members. If team members are unable to work together, the probability of the team failing to accomplish its duties are very high (Omachonu & Ross, 2004).
Former quality problem
The quality problem in the organization I worked was the high number or employee absenteeism. This problem is addressed using the seven step of Quality improvement. In solving, the problem it is important to factor in the PDCA cycle which relates to QI process. This is to ensure that the team does not miss any process, as this would cause challenges for the team in addressing the problem.
PLAN DO CHECK ACTION

Source: Omachonu & Ross, (2004), Relationship between QI process and the PDCA cycle
A stated, the first thing for the team was to identify the problem why the employees were not turning out on their duties. The problem was identified by the supervisor and as well by the customers who complained of delays in receiving their services. After identifying the problem, the team observed and indentified the causes of the problem by evaluating the present status of the problem. The causes of absenteeism among the employees include lack of morale, poor working relationship, poor supervisory services and low salaries. The root causes of the problem were then analyzed, identified and verified. This was important to ensure that the exact problem was solved to avoid recurrences. The team was able to list the major problem of absenteeism as failure of the management to execute its duties diligently.
After this identification, the team came up with a plan to implement a preventive action to address the situation (Omachonu & Ross, 2004). To ensure that this trend is solved, the team members came out with various solutions including putting in place stringent measures such as signing in and out, fines for the absent day and threats of retrenchment. They also proposed to ensure that appropriate measures were in place to ensure that employees were supervised to check on absenteeism.
The team then checked the effectiveness of the action taken by comparing information on the various options /actions to eliminate the problem. This process was to ensure that appropriate measures were taken in case the actions taken failed. Fortunately, the solution or course of action eliminated the problem, making the team to standardize the steps. The problem action was documented and replicated to enable employees and other stakeholders abide by the new set of standards. Employees were required to change their behavior and attitude and abide by the new set rules to remain in the organization and execute their duties. The last stage was to determine the future actions. The problem-solving process was reviewed in the quest to find out what was done better, what could be done better or even done different to ensure that the problem was resolved forever. The team accomplished its objective on this problem and therefore went on with their usual responsibilities.
Conclusion
Quality improvement story help managers and teams to solve their problems well. This seven-step process requires strict adherence to guarantee positive results.

References
Farahmand, N. (2013). Quality Improvement by Qualified Managers. Business Management Dynamics, 2(7):28-43.
Kaynak, H. (2003), ‘The Relationship between Total Quality Management Practices and their Effect on firm Performance’, Journal of Operation Management, 21(4): 405-435
Omachonu, V., & Ross, J. (2004). Principles of Total Quality, Third Edition, United States; CRC Press LLC.
Vorley, G., & Tickle, F., (2001). Quality Management, Principles and Techniques, 4 ed. Guildford, Quality Management, and Training Publication Ltd