In the modern competitive business environment, the need to maintain high quality is increasing as firms try to remain relevant in the market. European Framework for Quality Management is one of the tools used to enhance quality within an organization (Rumane, 2016). This tool has been considered very important in ensuring that resources and strategies are designed to achieve the desired results. In this paper, the researcher will discuss the principles of this quality management tool, its practical perspectives, and the pros and cons of its use.
Principles of European Framework for Quality Management
The European Framework for Quality Management is a tool that has popularly been used for a long time to help in improving the performance of organizations. The framework emphasizes the issue of excellence (Nejati, 2013). It holds that when inputs are designed to operate in an excellent manner, then the output will be optimal. The figure below shows the input and output factors and how they are related.
Leadership is the first input factor that defines all other factors within this framework. According to Nejati (2013), a leader is often responsible for organizing all other factors of production. A leader is the bearer of the vision of the organization and he or she is expected to be in a position to guide the other factors of production. A leader must be able to inspire employees to act in a way that would yield the best outcome for the organization.
Leadership, as defined in this framework, involves ensuring that all the other factors of production work optimally. These factors of production must as productive as possible and it is the responsibility of the leader to ensure that this is achieved. Employees (people) are on the second level of the inputs. According to Rumane (2016), employees are the most important asset that a firm can have. Employees are responsible for the implementations of strategies set by the leaders. They transform the policies given to them in writing into practical actions that yield the desired result.
The strategy is another important factor in this framework. Employees need a proper plan that shows how they should use the resources presented to them to achieve the desired results. The strategy should be based on emerging environmental trends. Effective strategies will help overcome environmental challenges and achieve optimal results even in cases where the forces are unfavorable.
Corporations and resources also form very important inputs that help in generating the best outcome in an organizational setting. Employees and their leaders must cooperate very closely to ensure that they achieve the desired outcome. Employee to employee and employee to employer cooperation makes it easy to coordinate activities and to achieve a common goal. The resources must be used optimally, always avoiding any form of waste. Processes that lead to the results all depend on the previous factors discussed above. The process should emphasize efficiency and effectiveness. Every activity should be carried out within the set timeline and with the specified resources. Cases of wastage should be eliminated as much as possible to improve on the level of efficiency (Rumane, 2016).
Results are divided into four categories. The first one is the result related to employees. This framework emphasizes the need to ensure that employees are always satisfied. When employees are satisfied, then they are likely to give their best in every task assigned to them. They become very productive because they believe that this is the best way of keeping everyone satisfied. The second is the result related to customers.
In this model, it becomes necessary to ensure that customers are satisfied with the products and services offered to them. The products must meet the needs of the customers in the best way possible to ensure that they remain satisfied. Results related to the community are also discussed in this paper. As Rumane (2016) says, as a firm tries to ensure that its clients’ needs are fully met, it should not ignore the needs of the community.
Issues such as pollution or any other factor that may have negative consequences on the community should be avoided at all costs. Key performance results come last in this framework. At this stage, the management will look at the overall performance of the organization to determine if the best possible outcome has been achieved. It is at this stage that lessons may be identified that may be useful in improving future performance. Learning, creativity, and innovation help in redefining factors of production so that future outcomes are better than what they were in the past.
Practical perspectives of the implementation
In a practical context, this tool can be used in many ways to improve the overall performance of an organization. One of the main areas where this tool can be put into the application is in developing organizational goals and vision. The model identifies how inputs should be designed in a way that will help in achieving the desired output. When developing a strategic goal, the top executives are able to critically assess the existing resources and determine what these resources can achieve within a given timeline.
This way, cases, where unrealistic goals are set, shall be avoided. As Nejati (2013) says, goals are set to be met, and when they are not met, then it is a sign that the system has a weakness that should be addressed. The framework helps in setting smart goals. As discussed above, this framework emphasizes improved customer experience. In a practical context, a firm can use this model to ensure that customers are always satisfied. This can be done by always offering improved quality products and services that meet the expectations of the customers in the best way possible.
According to Kiritharan (2013), the European Framework for Quality Management can also be very helpful in planning resource allocation. When allocating resources, a number of factors such as the urgency, relevance, outcome, and importance of the project must always be put into consideration. This is necessary to avoid cases where less valuable projects are assigned more resources than those that are valuable. The framework helps the planners to assign value to each project so that it is possible to determine how to allocate resources.
Pros and cons
The main advantage of this framework is that it promotes excellence at all levels. From the top leadership position to the junior-most employees, this framework emphasizes the need to give the best performance. It also outlines how a firm should allocate its resources in a way that would give the best outcome. It states that more valuable projects should be assigned more resources than those which are less valuable ones (Kiritharan, 2013). When used appropriately, the tool can enable a firm to have a team of highly satisfied customers.
Focus areas in the implementation
As discussed above, it is clear that the European Framework for Quality Management is an important tool that a leader can use in many areas to help improve the performance of their organizations. One of the most important roles of a leader is in resource allocation. A leader must be in a position to know how the available resources can be utilized to meet the needs of the organization.
This quality management tool helps a leader to know how to allocate these resources in a way that would yield the highest output. According to Nejati (2013), another important role of a leader is to ensure that employees are always satisfied at work. It becomes easy to achieve good results with a team of motivated employees who appreciate the need to give their best in everything they do. This framework identifies ways that a leader can ensure that the employees remain motivated always.
It identifies two main areas of ensuring that employees remain satisfied. The first one is through developing strategies that will ensure that employees understand their roles and responsibilities and are able to work closely with their colleagues and organizational leaders to achieve a common goal. The model also focuses on how to use the available resources to ensure that employees are always satisfied.
It is also the role of leaders to ensure that the firm has a clear vision and goals that shall guide every activity undertaken within the firm. Through this framework, it is clear how a leader can develop strategic objectives and vision based on the resources available and environmental factors. A leader can easily know how to manage the internal resources to achieve desired objectives based on the environmental forces.
How modern information technology can support the implementation of the tool
Modern information technology is very critical in supporting the implementation of the European Framework for Quality Management. Information technology makes it possible for people to share knowledge and information easily. Through this technology, employees can share issues that affect them in their respective workplaces, especially when it comes to the implementation of this tool. They can share about issues affecting them at the workplace amongst themselves and find a common solution that can help each of them address the issues. Information technology is also very important to the leaders when it comes to the implementation of this tool.
As discussed above, it is important for leaders to know how to assign resources based on the value of each project. As such, the leader will need to know the value of a project before assigning resources. Sometimes a firm may be undertaking a project for the firm time hence a leader may not have clear information about its value. Information technology makes it easy for such a leader to access information that would help in determining the value of such projects. Information technology also brings together employers and their employees through improved communication systems. As stated in the discussion, the framework requires managers and junior employees to coordinate very closely when undertaking various projects.
Kiritharan, G. (2013). Total quality management – a system to implement. New York, NY: Gana Kiritharan.
Nejati, M. (2013). Frontiers of business, management and economics: An Interdisciplinary collection of managerial research findings and breakthroughs. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
Rumane, A. (2016). Quality Management in Construction Projects. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis Group.