Process Management Concepts

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What is performance excellence?

Performance excellence is a mixed method employed in a performance management system that leads to the following major outcomes:

  • enhancement of general organizational strength and performance;
  • distribution of constantly progressing value to clients and partners;
  • promoting and maintaining organizational sustainability;
  • arranging favorable conditions for personal and organizational learning.

Performance excellence is most commonly associated with such values as leadership, cooperation, information use and exchange, service coordination, and constant improvement.

Describe the significance of Big Q and Little Q

The importance of big Q and little Q lies in their ability to help the manager discern between the levels of quality pursued by a company. The terms “big Q” and “little Q” were coined by Joseph Juran who introduced them with the aim of explaining the concept of quality better. Big Q relates to all quality aspects of the process of business, its services, and products. Little Q covers a much smaller dimension. It concentrates on just one issue, such as a single product. In other words, little Q shows a small part of a picture, whereas big Q offers a larger perspective of a business strategy.

Briefly describe the quality dimensions of manufactured products

There exist eight dimensions of product quality:

  1. performance: concerns products’ fundamental features; incorporates measurable elements; is a measure of satisfaction between suppliers and clients.
  2. reliability: the probability of the product’s strength to maintain success within a specific period of time.
  3. conformance: the accuracy indicating whether a product corresponds to the determined standards.
  4. features: supplementary characteristics that improve product’s attractiveness and make it more interesting for the customers.
  5. serviceability: the possibility to maintain and/or fix a product when it breaks down.
  6. aesthetics: customers’ attitude and perception of the product; is associated with clients’ personal choices.
  7. durability: indicates how long a product can serve; calculates the repair costs and shows whether it is justified to repair it.
  8. perceived quality: the quality associated with the product or service based on customers’ perception.

Describe in brief the most important dimensions of service quality

There are five major quality dimensions:

  1. reliability: the organization’s ability to supply the declared products or services in time.
  2. assurance: expertise and politeness of employees; their capability to express confidence and credence.
  3. tangibles: company’s equipment and facilities; employees’ image and presentation.
  4. empathy: the level of concern and personal attention offered to clients.
  5. responsiveness: readiness and enthusiasm to assist clients and offer them efficient service.

What are the points organizations have to look into beyond product orientation to ensure service quality?

In order to ensure service quality, organizations need to pay attention not only to product orientation but also to employee conduct and client transactions. The major issues that should be taken into consideration are as follows:

  1. in departments where there is no employee control or supervision, a regular quality control is necessary;
  2. the company may meet difficulties in determining and evaluating service levels;
  3. the organization must be cautious about quality features that require supervision since they may not be the most apparent ones;
  4. the most significant determinant in outlining client expectations of services is the service’s image;
  5. behavior belongs to crucial features determining quality.

What are the principles of total quality?

If a company wants to make a good impression on its clients, it needs to conform to the following principles:

  • it should be customer-oriented: clients are the ones who decide whether services or products are satisfactory or not;
  • all employees should be engaged in productive labor: every person working in an organization has to be dedicated to its mission, vision, and goals;
  • the company needs to work on constant improvement: by arranging the conditions on continual enhancement, the organization will ensure better production, competitiveness, and customer and employee satisfaction;
  • there should be an integrated framework of company’s work: each employee and manager should realize the policies and goals of their organization;
  • all employees should be included in decision making: it is crucial to listen to everyone’s opinion before making big decisions;
  • an important place is given to communication: inviting workers to communicate enhances the opportunities for success.

How is empowerment related to employee engagement?

Employee engagement depends on empowerment to a great extent. Employee engagement presupposes being attached to one’s organization and dedicated to its goals. Empowerment is one of the best ways of attaining employee engagement since it entitles workers with authority to participate in decision making. People who are empowered feel more attachment to their company, and, as a result, the productivity becomes much higher.

Describe the three levels at which data support organizational functioning

Organizational functioning may be supported by information at the following three levels: corporate, unit, and individual. At a corporate level, there are data that may be beneficial for the whole company, such as directories, procedures, or policies. At a unit level, there is information related to daily activities of the team, such as schedules of meetings or project documentation. Personal level includes the specific data needed by employees, such as reports, correspondence, or spreadsheets. Coordination between all levels promotes the successful functioning of the company.

Illustrate the differences between TQ and agency theory

There are several major dissimilarities between total quality management (TQ) and agency theory (AT):

  • AT is grounded on the economic approach while TQ focuses on human values;
  • in TQ, each person has the same goals and supports the principle of constant improvement; in AT, employees and principals have different objectives;
  • AT has a short-term perspective while TQ has a long-term outlook;
  • in AT, people are viewed as self-oriented; in TQ, people take into consideration the opinions of others;
  • in TQ, people are motivated by a common vision; in AT, principals practice strict control over the subordinates.

Describe the three major organizational models

The three major types of organizational structure are functional, divisional, and matrix. Functional type presupposes the division of a company into groups according to different objectives. This structure is most suitable for small businesses. Divisional model is employed in large businesses. It involves a combination of organizations functioning in a wide territory or a set of smaller companies subordinated to a big one. The matrix structure is a combination of the first two types.

Define a system and describe its relevance according to Deming

A system is a combination of elements connected to achieve a common goal of a company. According to Deming, the relevance of the system is justified by its ability to combine the efforts of all stakeholders and, as a result, work towards the most beneficial outcomes for the organization.

Describe the causes of variation

Deming differentiated between common and special causes of variation. Common causes are the ones that occur randomly and cannot be easily understood or interpreted. They appear as an outcome of product design, and the only way of eliminating common cause variation is altering the design. Special cases of variation appear due to external determinants and do not happen often. Therefore, it is easy to notice them. In case when management fails to discern between these causes, it may undermine the progress of a company.

What are the two premises of Juran’s view on quality?

Juran argued that quality should be analyzed from two perspectives: internal and external. According to Juran, quality is associated with product performance that impacts client satisfaction and avoidance of product flaws that minimizes customer discontent. The achievement of quality may be reached at two levels:

  • the general mission of a company is to reach high quality in design;
  • the specific mission of separate units is to reach high quality in conformance.

Juran supported continuous improvement and interdependence of all elements of the production. His theory is based on quality trilogy: planning, control, and improvement.

List Crosby’s Absolutes of Management

Crosby’s Absolutes of Quality Management incorporate the following elements:

  1. quality is compliance with the demands, not elegance: quality is defined by the organization’s ability to correspond to the requirements; disagreement with the demands equals quality deficiency.
  2. there is no such a notion as problems with quality: according to Crosby, a company may experience difficulties at different levels (design, manufacturing, technical) but it is not quality department that should be accountable for these problems.
  3. doing the work correctly the first time saves time and money: Crosby denies the notion of economics of quality; he argues that the costs of quality are concerned with correcting the errors;
  4. the cost of quality is the best performance indicator;
  5. “zero defects” standard is the only performance standard.

Describe the composition of each category in the Baldrige Criteria

Baldridge Criteria for Performance Excellence are composed of the following seven categories:

  1. leadership: the most significant element of business success;
  2. strategic planning: the way in which a company establishes strategic goals;
  3. customer focus: the organization’s approach to creating a customer-concentrated culture;
  4. analysis, measurement, and knowledge management: the company’s choice of data for attaining the best performance management and enhancement;
  5. focus on workforce: the company’s approaches to creating the most positive working conditions;
  6. focus on operations: the ways in which the organization creates, manages, and enhances its work processes to reach sustainability and success;
  7. results: objective assessment of customers’ judgment of the company’s activity.

What is the Organizational Profile?

The Organizational Profile (OP) is a list of main questions that helps a company to summarize the constituents of the environmental evaluation. OP suggests a frame of reference aimed at making understanding of external and internal factors easier. OP focuses on the core characteristics of the company, its organizational relationships, competitiveness, benefits, and challenges. The significance of OP is explained by the fact that it provides a better comprehension of the company’s operational environment.

Contrast total quality (TQ) and Six Sigma

There exist the following divergences between Total Quality management (TQ) and Six Sigma:

  • TQ is grounded on employee empowerment and teamwork; Six Sigma is based on leader championship;
  • Six Sigma is cross-functional; TQ projects happen within a process or function;
  • TQ focuses on elementary notions and tools of improvement; Six Sigma deals with a more profound network of statistical methods;
  • unlike TQ, Six Sigma employs DMAIC methodology;
  • TQ has insufficient financial responsibility in comparison with Six Sigma.

Compare the three major frameworks for quality systems

While Deming, Crosby, and Juran have divergent approaches to carrying out organizational change, their philosophies have much in common:

  • each of them regards quality as the core requirement in the company’s ability to compete in the global market;
  • all philosophies consider commitment of the organization’s top management a priority;
  • Crosby, Deming, and Juran are convinced that quality management may help to save costs;
  • each philosophy considers management and not employees accountable for quality;
  • all approaches emphasize the need for continuous improvement;
  • each philosophy realizes the significance of establishing a positive communication between customers and partners.

Describe process management

Process management is the process of planning and governing the activities needed to reach a high-quality performance in major organizational processes. Process management helps to establish the opportunities for enhancing quality and performance. Also, it helps to raise customer satisfaction levels. Process management incorporates three core activities: control, design, and improvement. Design concentrates on checking the adequacy of process inputs. Control is responsible for providing output coherence by evaluating performance and resorting to corrective measures if needed. Improvement is aimed at attaining higher performance levels.

Describe the principal activities in the Design for Six Sigma process

The four core activities in the Design for Six Sigma are:

  1. concept development that concentrates on generating and developing an idea and establishing its functionality grounded on client demands and economic possibilities;
  2. detailed design that aims at creating specific demands and design criteria to guarantee that the product corresponds to conceptual requirements;
  3. design optimization that focuses on improving designs to point out and exclude potential flaws;
  4. design verification that secures that the product corresponds to reliability demands and quality level.

These activities are frequently connected in a process called DMAVD (define, measure, analyze, design, and verify).

What is the focus of quality function deployment? Briefly describe the process

Quality function deployment (QFD) is a powerful method used for creating requirements for technical design and arranging them in consecutive production activities. QFD is the process of planning that helps to perform the design, production, and marketing of products by incorporating the clients’ voice within the company. With the help of QFD, each design, production, or control arrangement is performed in accordance with the needs declared by the clients. The advantages of QFD for organizations include enhanced teamwork and communication at all levels of production, such as design, marketing, and control.

What are the three other houses of quality?

The House of Quality is closely connected to three other houses that are also called planning matrixes. The second house enlarges the general design by including more detailed elements, for instance, technical requirements. The third house links component features with the key process activities. It represents the progress from planning to completion, for example, making up a project plan. The fourth house of quality is composed of the key process activities. An example of the last house is creating surveys for customers or designing appraisal methods for the employees.

What goes into designing of a service process?

Designing a service process is aimed at creating an effective process that complies with customers’ internal and external demands and can reach a sufficient level of performance and quality. The factors included in process design are variability, measurement capability, productivity, cost, environmental impact, safety, maintainability of equipment, and “green” manufacturing. Process design should be analyzed in connection with other processes that influence it.

Process design starts with realizing its aim and needs, understanding who the clients are, and predicting the outputs. An inseparable component of process design is technology. With the help of it, manufacturing and service become more productive and can meet clients’ requirements much easier.

What are the enablers for agility?

Agility is the concept employed to identify flexibility and short times of cycles. Flexibility is the ability to accommodate to changing circumstances promptly and efficiently. Flexibility may relate to an accelerated change from one commodity to another, a quick reply to changing requirements, of the capability of generating a large number of modified services. Flexibility may require specific strategies such as sharing elements, modular designs, and specialized employee education. It also incorporates compromising with major suppliers, outsourcing arrangements, and innovative partnering projects.

Enablers of ability are close communication with clients to percept their arising demands and requirements, authorizing employees by allowing them to participate in decision making, productive manufacturing and data technology, breakthrough enhancement, and close relations between suppliers and partners.

In the poka-yoke system, what are the types of errors?

The typical errors related to poka-yoke system are as follows:

  1. task errors: performing duties incorrectly, working on wrong orders, performing job slowly, or doing something that was not requested;
  2. treatment errors: lack of politeness on the part of the employee, inability to react to clients’ requests, or insufficient contact between the employee and the client;
  3. tangible errors: dirty facilities or employees’ clothes, improper temperature, or mistakes in documents;
  4. customer preparation errors: not bringing the needed materials or failing to understand their obligations;
  5. customer errors during service: failure of responsiveness or insufficient attention;
  6. customer errors at the final phase: failure to correspond to expectations or inability to learn.

How is the responsibility for control in control systems determined?

The responsibility for control in control systems belongs to the management team. Whereas each employee is accountable for his or her specific part of work, it is the manager who should control the quality of work of each employee, predict problems, and come up with the ways of dealing with them.

List the operational problems created by excessive variation

Excessive variation may cause the following operational problems:

  • it intensifies unpredictability;
  • it promotes the “Bullwhip Effect” (occurrence in supply chain when there are variations in demand);
  • it hinders identifying the root causes;
  • it obstructs detecting challenges at the initial phase.

Describe a control chart

A control chart is a run chart made with the addition of two horizontal lines that are called control limits. These lines may be of two kinds: the upper control limit and the lower control limit. Control charts were introduced by Shewhart in the 1920s and were supported by Deming.

Control limits are picked statistically and arrange a high probability of the points’ fall between the limits during control process. With the help of control limits, it becomes easier to understand patterns in a run chart and make conclusions related to the state of control. A control chart can point out specific causes and enables the company to take action promptly. Therefore, control charts help to decrease the possibility of creating nonconforming products.

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