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A quality circle is a volunteer group composed of workers who meet together to discuss workplace improvement, and make presentations to management with their ideas. Typical topics are improving safety, improving product design, and improvement in manufacturing process.
The genesis of Quality Circle was in war ravaged Japan in the l940’s, which was struggling to survive in the industrial world. Prof. Ishikawa, who believed in tapping the creative potential of workers, innovated the Quality Circle movement to give Japanese industry that extra edge in creativity. A Quality Circle is a small group of employees from the same work area who voluntarily meet at regular intervals to identify, analyze, and resolve work related problems. This not only improves the performance of any organization, it also motivates and enriches the work life of employees
The Quality Circle concept is firmly entrenched in Tata Steel, and the target is to involve all workers in the quality movement through their participation in QC activities.
What is quality circle?
• Voluntary groups of employees who work on similar tasks or share an area of responsibility
• Agree to meet on a regular basis to discuss & solve problems related to work.
• operate on the principle that employee participation in decision-making and problem-solving improves the quality of work
– Set Rules and Priorities
– Decisions made by Consensus
– Use of organized approaches to Problem-Solving
– All members of a Circle need to receive training
– Members need to be empowered
– Members need to have the support of Senior Management
Advantages of quality circles
• Increase Productivity
• Improve Quality
• Boost Employee Morale
Disadvantages/problems with QC
• Inadequate Training
• Unsure of Purpose
• Not truly Voluntary
• Lack of Management Interest
• Quality Circles are not really empowered to make decisions.
Quality - that's the bottom line. Management may call your plant's current quality effort total quality management (TQM), or ISO 9000, but should the name of the program make a difference to you, as long as you achieve bottom-line results? The answer is "yes".
- Quoted from the book of Quality Depends on You." - Writer: David Dee
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