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  1. Quality circle
  2. Benefits of forming quality circles
  3. Quality circle basic tools module
  4. Importance of quality circles
    1. Overview
    2. Characteristics of quality circle
    3. Problems with quality circles
    4. Quality circles techniques
  5. Scope of quality circle
    1. Top management commitments
    2. Middle management commitments
  6. Quality circle: A unique people development mission
    1. Mission of QC's across
  7. Quality circle integrated with total quality management
  8. Road map recommended and used by QCFI for this process
  9. Brainstorming
    1. What is it
    2. How to brainstorm
    3. Methods of brainstorming
    4. Basic rules of brainstorming
    5. Roles in a brainstorming session
  10. How is list reduction done
  11. Cause and effect diagram
    1. What is it
    2. When to use it
    3. How to construct a cause and effect diagram
  12. Quality methods
    1. Five why's
  13. Information system technology
    1. Process
    2. People: Empowered, competent employees and teams
  14. Implications of reengineering for the human resources function
    1. Automation
    2. Outsourcing
    3. Integration
    4. Radical decentralization
    5. Articulate a vision
    6. Set stretch goals
    7. Quality is your job
  15. What is Total Quality Management (TQM)?
    1. What's involved?
    2. Overview of Total Quality Management (TQM)
    3. Deming's 14 points for management:
    4. What is a Total Quality Management (TQM) environment
  16. Benefits

The term quality circles refers to small groups of line employees (usually ten or fewer) who meet periodically outside of regular work hours to discuss ways to improve the quality of products they produce and the efficiency and effectiveness of the production processes they oversee. Although nominally voluntary, supervisors typically initiate quality circles, and attendance is considered by employees as a required part of their jobs. Proponents consider quality circles an effective way to foster a sense of involvement and to effectively harness the knowledge and expertise of lower-ranking workers. According to a 1994 Japanese Ministry of Labor report, 70 percent of Japanese firms with over five thousand workers and 61 percent of firms with one to five thousand employees have established groups of this kind.

The inspiration for the development of quality circles is attributed to American advisers W. Edwards Deming and Joseph Juran, who were brought to Japan under U.S. sponsorship in the early 1950s to help Japanese industry address rampant quality problems. The American statistical quality control techniques that were introduced at this time were then adapted to the Japanese context during the late 1950s and early 1960s as part of the Total Quality Control (TQC) movement promoted throughout Japanese industry

by the Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers (JUSE) with government backing. What was distinctive about the JUSE's effort was its emphasis on moving responsibility for quality control out of the exclusive ken of specialized staff employees to include rank-and-file line workers. Quality circles first emerged in the early 1960s as study groups devoted to discussing JUSE publications. The JUSE subsequently established regional quality circle promotion offices and held quality circle conventions and other gatherings. A primary motivation on the part of Japanese managers in encouraging quality circles was the fear that Japanese manufacturers would lose out to foreign competition as Japanese trade rules were liberalized. There was also a concern about radicalism and alienation among younger workers.

Quality circles were considered one of the secrets of Japanese industrial success during the 1980s boom in foreign interest in Japanese management techniques. Japanese firms introduced quality circles in their overseas subsidiaries, and they have been an important component in the Japanese government's international technical cooperation programs. The Singaporean government has gone so far as to establish an award for the country's most outstanding quality circles.

[...] Scribe: The scribe notes down the ideas contributed by members on a flip chart or white-board, so that they are visible to everyone. This can be done on computer, also if projection is done directly through the computers. Timekeeper: The timekeeper monitors how long the group is taking to accomplish its tasks. He/ she also provide regular updates to make group members aware of where they are. Participants: They are also called Secondary Facilitators. Apart from participating and contributing ideas they also share responsibility with the primary facilitator for a successful group session. [...]

[...] Thorough knowledge of the global economy, fanatic obsession with quality increased focus on employee professionalism, practice self reinvention, and above all possession or acquisition of global leaders are some of the strategies which can give birth to thoroughbred companies, rightly known as world class organization What is Quality Management Total Quality Management (TQM) is systematic problem solving for continuous improvement. It is both a philosophy (based on Edward Deming) and a set of guiding principles that represent the foundation of the continuous improvement process within an organization. [...]

[...] self confident people know that it is quality of their effort toward achieving the impossible that is achieving the ?impossible' that is the ultimate measure.? Quality is your job: When we talk about quality, it's not only manager's job or we have to launch a company wide quality program to make a difference. Every product, service, memo, idea, report etc. bears a certain level of quality. Make sure to infuse quality into everything you do. The best way to ensure quality is to understand that it's your job hours a day and seven days a week. [...]

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