Strategic Quality and Systems Management

Assignment brief
Qualification Edexcel BTEC Level 7 Diploma in Strategic Management and Leadership
Unit Code, Number and Title H/602/2327 – Unit 11: Strategic Quality and Systems Management
Credit Value 10
Start date
End date
Assessor name
Assignment Due Date
Assignment title Implementing Strategic Quality Change in an Organization

This unit provides the learner with an understanding of the importance of effective quality and systems management to enable achievement of organizational objectives. It also provides the learner with the skills to be able to implement a strategic quality change in an organisation.

Scenario

An organization of your choice is in the process of understanding of the principles, concepts, processes and procedures associated with quality management as they want to compete in this competitive environment. The organization has decided to compete on quality basis rather than cost. You have been hired as internal quality consultant for the organisation. You are required to look at the existing quality management within the organisation, and implement a strategic quality change, ensuring the necessary monitoring evaluation systems are in place and evaluating the outcomes of the change.

Thus you are currently working on the following points.

Task 1  

Understand the role of operations management in an organization

LO 1.1     Explain the importance of effective operations management in achieving organizational objectives

LO 1.2   Evaluate the success of existing operations management processes in meeting an organisation’s overall strategic management objectives

Task 2

 Understand the importance of managing quality in an organization

LO 2.1    Explain the importance of effective quality management in achieving organizational objectives

LO 2.2   Evaluate the success of existing quality management processes in meeting an organisation’s overall strategic management objectives

Task 3

Be able to plan a strategic quality change in an organization

LO 3.1   Plan a strategic quality change to improve organizational performance

LO 3.2   Define resources, tools and systems to support business processes in a strategic quality change

LO 3.3   Evaluate the wider implications of planned strategic quality change in an organization

LO 3.4   Design systems to monitor the implementation of a strategic quality change in an organization

Task 4

 Be able to implement a strategic quality change in an organization

LO 4.1   Implement a strategic quality change in an organization

LO 4.2   Embed a quality culture in an organisation to ensure continuous monitoring and development

LO 4.3   Monitor the implementation of a strategic quality change in an organization

Task 5

 Be able to evaluate the outcomes of a strategic quality change in an organization

LO 5.1   Evaluate the outcomes of a strategic quality change in an organization

LO 5.2   Recommend areas for improvement to a strategic quality change that align with organisational objectives

 Grading

To gain a PASS grade, a student must satisfactorily cover the following topics according to the Learning Outcomes mentioned above:

LO 1.1 / 1.2:  Understand the role of operations management in an organisation

 Operations management: design, management, and improvement of the systems that create an organisation’s goods or services; production of goods and services; resource procurement, conversion into outputs, distribution to Users

Strategic objectives: the importance of effective operations management; role of operations; operations strategy; quality; timing; reliability; flexibility; cost; strategic decisions

Performance management: benchmarking; targets; performance indicators; use of environmental research; the balanced scorecard; profit; growth; competitiveness; value for money

LO 2.1 / 2.2:  Understand the importance of managing quality in an organization

 Quality: definitions; quality gurus; evolution of quality; product quality and service quality, 5 gaps model; benchmarking; best practice; self-assessment; vision; continuous improvement

Quality models: development eg Japanese, USA, European, Deming, Baldridge, European Foundation of Quality Management, Six Sigma; current focus, future Trends

 Monitoring organisational performance: principles of models underpin organisational performance; types of performance measures and how to determine and set them; cost-benefit analysis; risk analysis; the value of a customer-focused culture; the importance of prevention rather than correction; importance of developing a continual improvement culture and how to involve others; planning, proposing, implementing and evaluating change; identifying wider implications of change within an organisation; Business Process Re-engineering (BPR)

LO 3.1 / 3.2 / 3.3 and 3.4: Be able to plan a strategic quality change in an organisation

 Planning for a strategic quality change: gap analysis; degree of change; change strategies – creating a climate of change, workforce participation, communication, stakeholder participation, action planning, timescale, agreeing roles, ensuring resources, final feasibility review; purpose; aims/objectives; resources; targets

Designing systems: process, objectives, systems and operations; layout and flow of processes; the impact of technology on operations and systems; Total Quality Management (TQM) philosophy, principles, methods and techniques

Resources, tools and monitoring systems: facilities; workforce; machinery; transportation; technology; quality systems; quality circles; ISO 9000 / EN 29000; TQM; managing and monitoring quality

 Wider implications: improved business performance, corporate image, reputation, standing; competitor response; impact on other functions and departments

LO 4.1 / 4.2 / 4.3: Be able to implement a strategic quality change in an organisation

 Implementation of strategic quality change: timing; resource planning; staff training; communication; action planning; monitoring and evaluation criteria

Quality culture: self-managed teams and quality circles; matrix structures; senior management commitment; workforce commitment; workforce empowerment; partnerships with suppliers; external auditing; customer service policies; Kaizen, continuous improvement

LO 5.1 / 5.2: Be able to evaluate the outcomes of a strategic quality change in an organization

 Evaluation of strategic quality change: monitoring and evaluation techniques; action learning; change agents; catalysts; empowerment; performance measuring; developing communication channels; task and role realignment; piloting; ice-breaking; business performance indicators; customer feedback; effect on sales and profit

Guidelines for the Assignment:

Use standard Arial font size 11.

Use 1.5-line spacing.

Have a 2.5-centimeter margin on the left hand side of the page and a 2-centimeter margin on the right hand side.

Include page number on the all the pages of the assignment.

Headings: use 16-point Arial Bold for first level headings, and 14-point Arial Bold for second level headings. If a third level heading is required, use 12-point Arial Bold.

Attach a completed Statement and Confirmation of Own Work to the front of the paper copy of your assignment.

The first page of your assignment should be a title page, which should also state your Name, Edexcel BTEC ID number and the Name of the Centre where you are studying.

The first page should also contain footer with page number, candidate’s name, unit number, and submission date.

Include a table of contents.

Start each task on a new page and include the question at the top of the page.

Ensure any diagrams, screen shots, PowerPoint slides, etc. fit correctly on the page and are referenced, for example, Fig. 1, Fig. 2, etc.

Check spelling, grammar and punctuation.

You should also ensure that you proofread your document, because the above checks do not always pick up every mistake.

Use accurate Harvard referencing and include a bibliography.

Ensure you are aware of the word limit for the assignment (2500-3500 word limit) and any regulations that apply if you exceed the word limit.

Include the total word count at the end of the assignment.

Mandatory submit to ‘Turnitin’ and in case the similarity percentage is more than 20% to revise till within the range of 20%.

Note:

All work must be submitted to LMS via soft copy; all assignments should be properly referenced.

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 SAMPLE PAPER PREVIEW

1.0. Role of Operations Management in an Organization

1.1. Operations Management

Lift Inc. is a transportation networking corporation that offers a mobile application as a web enabled platform used in linking passengers with drivers utilizing personal vehicles. The Lyft application acts as an all-in-one tool having sections for both drivers and passengers. Passengers apply the application in requesting rides while drivers apply the application in accepting to offer the rides, navigating to the passengers, and handling other issues pertinent to the drivers such as their vehicles, pay, and insurance.

The Lyft application is a smart phone application, which is the most significant part of the Lyft driving process. One uses the application to request and/or accept drives/rides, check payment as well as in carrying out the business. the Lyft company refers to this section as “driver mode” and it is basically an extension of the application used by passengers. In order for the driver to receive requests for rides, he/she should set his application in driver mode. To turn to driver mode, one goes to his/her Lyft application then taps the icon on the top right side of the steering wheel, which then activates driver mode. When turned to driver mode, the steering wheel icon turns pink. The driver receives a notification when he/she receives a ride request. The notification displays the picture of the passenger requesting for the ride. The driver then taps the screen so as to automatically accept the ride request. The driver only has a maximum of 15 seconds to accept the ride request, failure to which the request will be redirected to another Lyft driver within that particular location. Once the driver picks up the passenger, he/she uses the ‘Tap to Arrive” icon on the screen, which then starts the trip, automatically computing the passenger’s bill timer. When the passenger arrives at his/her destination, the driver taps the “Cancel to Stay” button on the screen to terminate the rider and then drops off the passenger.[1]

1.2. Strategic Objectives

Lyft uses real-time ridesharing, which is a common trend in the current transportation system. Smart phones, GPS navigation targets, and social networking are effectively integrated to facilitate the concept of real-time ridesharing that would enable users to travel easily around cities. The company organizes one-time rides on on-demand basis, which does not share automotive with the aim of minimizing trips made by vehicles. Lyft has also leveraged the employee effect, with most drivers opting to work for the company as opposed to other taxicab companies such as Uber. The company treats its employees fairly and offers numerous incentives to the employees via its Accelerate rewards program. The company believes that by making its employees happy, it makes their clients happy too, a factor that facilitates the performance of the company. Lyft has four main objectives with regard to its business practice. The first objective of the company is to establish the largest tax network, linking riders with a reliable, safe, and convenient transportation platform at various price-points in various cities across the world. The company also aims at establishing the largest P2P logistics network that may allow people to request for, or offer physical delivery of various goods and services. The company also purposes to establish a taxi network that will dominate the world’s taxi industry. Also, the company has set plans to transform from 100% human driven transport network to 100% automated (machine-driven) logistics network. However, this objective will be very challenging for the company to achieve because of the complexities involved in such a transformation.

1.3. Performance Management:

1.31 Industry Standards

Lyft company falls under the US taxicab industry. This taxi industry in the United States is highly established, with most cities having a strict licensing scheme that prohibits the permitted number of taxicabs. Some taxicab companies in the US are independently owned businesses with a single taxicab and driver. However, most taxicab firms have a fleet of over 100 cabs. Some of the taxicab are owned by separately-incorporated businesses that have subscribed to a dispatch service.

1.32 Cultural Differentiation

Lyft company is somehow differentiated from other taxicab companies because unlike other companies that rely on a central dispatch system to dispatch their cabs, Lyft uses an online application to connect with their customers. The app, as described in the previous section, is highly effective since it enables passengers to request for rides using the mobile application. Also, Lyft has adopted a novel strategy in their transportation system in which case, the company encourages its passengers to sit in the front seat and to engage in a conversation with the driver unlike most of the taxi companies that require their passengers to sit in the back seat and mind their own business. given that the company does not have upscale vehicles, the company is often too casual and does not offer fancy rides; however, the company is slowly adopting the use of posh vehicles so as to address the needs of a broad range of customers.

1.33 Driver/Employee Mentorship

Lyft uses a driver mentorship program in acclimatizing their drivers to the severities of becoming a rideshare driver, directing driver-applicants through the whole process of being a Lyft driver through scheduled, compulsory mentorship sessions. This particular program links Lyft top drivers in every city with prospective drivers via personal sessions, with each session lasting for about 45 minutes.

1.34 Growth and Innovation

Lyft company has initiated a number of innovations including a system referred to as “Prime Time” that regulates the prices that are levied for rides in order to ensure that the prices do not escalate to extra-ordinary levels. The company also has a highly established built-in discount system that automatically discounts the prices of their rides when times are relatively slow. The company has also teamed up with General Motors are now working on producing a network of self-driven cars that is likely to transform the entire model of the traditional human-driven car in the US. The company has also initiated various platforms to facilitate its growth across the globe. The company launched its services in a total of 40 novel cities in the United States January 2017 and other 50 cities in February the same year. Despite the fact that the company primarily conducts its activities within the United States, the company has plans of expanding into other countries across the world soon (O’Brien, 2017).

2.0. Importance of Managing Quality in an Organization

2.1. Quality Models

Effective quality management plays an essential role in addressing the concerns of the customers. By definition, quality refers to the practice of managing the whole production process to deliver excellent product or services. Various individuals (gurus) majored in understanding the importance of quality. These individuals are Edward Deming, Philip Crosby, Joseph Juan, Walter Shewhart, Armand Feigenbaum, Kaoru Ishikawa, Shigeo Shingo and Genichi Taguchi. They provided different insights that were in relation to quality to ensure organizations adapt to different market and industry changes. Quality has evolved over the years to accommodate changes in the society and in the industrial systems. It begun with focus on Hawthorne productivity experiments in the 1920’s, statistical analysis in 1930’s, Total Quality management concepts in the 1950’s, quality based systems in 60’s and transformation of systematic approaches that combines concepts of all the above (Bank, 1999). This transformation is still applicable to date in standards such as ISO 9000 Series (Hall, 2013). Depending on whether it is a product or a service, there are considerations that a company has to make to satisfy its customers and to gain their acceptance. The five servqual dimensions are reliability, responsiveness, assurance and empathy (Sabet, Adams, and Yazdani, 2016). By complying with these a company satisfies the needs of its customers and anticipates any future changes that these customers may have. By managing to accommodate the servqual dimension of quality Lyft has attained a higher market penetration in the market which has been its focus. As additional aspects that guide quality at Lyft, benchmarking with the industry standards and continuous improvement have been the basic dimension guiding this change. Ccontinuous improvement has been portrayed in reference to how the company aligns itself to the changes in the industry as hoping to adopt the self-driven cars (Alvia, 2017). Edward Deming’s model, the six sigma and the future trends portray the current strategic position at Lyft. While there are still some aspects that the company is yet to fully adopt in its systems such as on the job training, focus on inspection, existence of barriers between the workforce, and lack of self-improvement and education (Bicheno, 2002). There has been increasing reliance on all the fourteen points from instituting constancy which is visible through the company’s innovation model to setting up a participative environment. In the same way, Lyft has adopted the six sigma in a smaller scale by encouraging reliance on the company’s app to determine the workforce and to costly monitor them (Andersson, Eriksson, and Torstensson, 2006). Although the company does not have a feature that allows the customers to rate the drivers as seen in other competing organizations, Lyft is always proactive to address the issues that are raised by these customers. The future trend also offers some insight since it portrays how the company hopes to be in future by highlighting its current goals. Lyft’s model of service delivery is set to change considering the company hopes to venture into other markets in future. In so doing, the company will have to accommodate the changes arising from being in other settings. The company begun to anticipate this change by recognizing that in US there are individuals who speak different languages such as Spanish and English (Lyft, 2017). This is one approach that allows the company to realize how the future of being in other markets is likely to be. At the same time, the company has been borrowing ideas of business process reengineering from other competing companies and reinventing them to suits its own structure (Alvia, 2017).

2.3. Monitoring Organizational Performance

The monitoring of organization performance is based on the different measures that are unique to the culture of the company. The number of rides that Lyft offers in consideration to the industry performance is much lower considering its major competitor has more popularity and more resources which tends to affect Lyft’s ability to deliver quality services timely. However, Lyft prides in setting a cordial relationship with its client which often encourages passengers to sit on the front seat with the driver rather than the backseat. In this way, the company develops much on relationship rather than simply offering the ride (Alvia, 2017). Besides just delivering quality services, Lyft has partnered with other companies such as Verizon allowing customers to have more discounts. This is amount the first feature of Lyft that transverses the customer focused culture and involving others in the process. Risk analysis is also constantly being applied since the drivers needs to be comfortable taking on their passenger, the company develops the approach of prevention which is why it mentors the drivers prior to allowing them become part of its team. This an approach of business process reengineering which the company borrows from other industries and which is applied by other companies in this industry (Lyft, 2017).

3.0. Strategic Quality Change in an Organization

3.1. Planning for a Strategic Quality Change

Planning for change begins with conducting a gap analysis to identify the different aspects of the whole organizations systems that may require change. The Gap analysis in this case will begin with evaluating the different aspects that other players in the same industry may have adopted that will form a basis for the new aspect of change (Alvia, 2017). The first aspects that will change is the level of services that are being delivered. Rebranding of services to accommodate changes that are in the market. For example, one of the rebranding feature that the company will have adopt is accommodating its new service for the high end clients, the middle class clientele and the low class clientele. Being a new feature, the company will have to institute practices that will be focused on reaching to these customers based on the tastes that they expect from these services. High end and the middle end clientele should be accommodated to have additional complementary services such serving wine and having any other complementary that they might require. Culture is an essential attribute since it underpins how any likely changes will be adopted. It also determines how any likely change might fit alongside to other products and the values that have been adopted in all the organizations and its systems (Bicheno, 2002). For example, Lyft is considered to adopt a casual approach as opposed to any other competitors that are in the same industry. However, for the company to match the needs of all of its clientele such as the working class, it may consider to adopt both the casual and the official approach to accommodate such changes. Culture focuses further on other attributes of the company such as the workforce participation, communication patterns and determining the roles that each individual including the company. So far, the approaches that other companies in the same field have adopted would offer guidelines on some of the changes that the company will take. The initial cultural approach of a friend with a car has allowed the company to create a favorable rapport with its clients, but as one of the competitive approaches, the company could begin to anticipate the needs of its customers by educating its workforce to anticipate the form of interaction that they may be looking for (Brue, 2005). Alongside to anticipating such a change lies the involvement of all the stakeholders such as the customers, the drivers who will be in the cars by researching on whether such products would be workable if they were to be adopted by the company and involving the car owners. In this way, Lyft will determine whether a specific aspect of change would be workable alongside to the culture of the company is to focus more on the culture. While the company has created positive relationship in US, the taxi industry has been changing characterized new entrants who develop new ties, in the same way, Lyft will adopt a similar approach (Alvia, 2017). Other aspects of consideration that will be crucial to anticipating competitiveness are commitment of resources for purposes conducting feasibility research of the above suggestions and ideas.

3.2. Designing Systems to Facilitate

As Bolatan et al (2016) noted, designing system change will begin by customizing the application (Lyft App) to include the new services and to add features that will allow the customers to determine the type of service that will match to interests of the customers. Thus, the company will restore its objective to fit to the new model of service delivery including aspects such developing customer profiles that will allow the drivers to note down all the information that they feel might be essential to the customer (Brue, 2005). All the primary elements of TQM will be included in this whole process. These primary elements will include the customer focused approach which will involve relying on these customers to develop future and better service delivery, setting up systems that will increase employee involvement, developing services that are customized to the users, setting up of an integrated system approach which tends to combine the interaction between the services. Other aspects which will be relied upon in designing the systems to facilitate the customers are continual improvement which in the case of Lyft will focus on service pricing and more services, communication between all the stakeholders and making decision based on the information accumulated on the customer’s data (Alvia, 2017).

3.3. Resources, Tools and Monitoring Systems:

In order to ensure services are delivered to the set standards, Lyft should adopt new practices that are focus on monitoring the delivery of services to the customers. For example, being that much of their services are delivered and monitored on the online platforms, the company should set a practice that monitors the evaluation of the drivers and the employees while they are interacting with the customers. So far, some of the companies that are in the industry have adopted a practice that monitors and rates the drivers. The second aspect of consideration are the facilities that they use. Lyft cars should adorn specific standards to ensure the cars depict the feature of the company that is most suitable. The TQM practices of monitoring quality will also come in handy in ascertaining the adaptability to any market changes (Brue, 2005).

3.4. Wider Implications

The idea behind the application of the strategic quality change will focus on improving the performance of Lyft to cope with any future changes that might arise from the market competition. The Taxi industry is always changing with new and old market entrants adopting measures that are unique to their survival. Strategic quality change also comes in handy in allowing the business improve its corporate image. However, as one of the ways in which the company will cope with the market competition, the focus will be to create a positive rapport with the customers by making it experience for the customer to be in the company (Beckford, 2010).

4.0. Strategic Quality Change Implementation in an Organization

4.1. Implementation of Strategic Quality Change

The implementation of the quality change will begin by focusing on planning how the staffs will be trained to ensure they possess are able to adorn the qualities that the organization wants to portray (Beckford, 2010). Being that Lyft looks forward to developing a database that addresses the customers preferences while they are in the car, the company will begin with setting up a platform where it will train the drivers on the ways in which they can collect data from these customers urging them to share as much information that they feel needs to be addressed for any future services. In this way, the company will accumulate information while the drivers will be better equipped to communicate with these customers. The mode of information sharing between the drivers will also be improved since the company will have to set an information Centre where the drivers will share information on some specific needs of a certain customer allowing them to prepare in time while they are meeting them. Other company staff other than the drivers will also have the chance to monitor how each driver does in reference to the rating and relationship with these customers. The monitoring by these officials will be a way of evaluating how the drivers are responding to the concerns of the clients while at the same time determine whether they require mentoring and education to improve service delivery.

4.2. Quality Culture

The essence of the quality culture in anticipating Lyft’s customers’ needs seems to be an important factor since Lyft’s model is solely reliant on the mentoring of drivers to show them the skills that they should portray to the client and in turn, adopt the same skills while serving the clients. This quality culture has been previously limited to the casual approach, however, the new focus will be to adorn a culture that portrays willingness to change rather than being limited to the casual approach. In this way, the company will address the needs of its customers much better depending on their needs. The commitment of the senior management in portraying the new approach will also be essential. The participation of the management will act as a way of reinforcing how the company seeks to continuously improve its customer focus (Beckford, 2010). Other aspects of culture which will guide Lyft are developing of new partnerships with the car owners and drivers which will also focus on accommodating them by giving them a chance to participate in the change process, development of empowerment platforms for the workforce to equip them with the skills that will be essential to addressing the needs of the customers, and constantly evaluating the systems to ensure all that the company hopes to be part of the system is viewed and accommodated as such.

5.0 Evaluation of Outcomes of a Strategic Quality Change in an Organization

5.1. Evaluation of Strategic Quality Change

Once adopted the strategic quality change will require constant evaluation to determine its importance and success in the company. It will also be a basis to determine whether the change was necessary or not. The first aspect of consideration will be performance measuring which will be done in reference to the level of satisfaction and the rate of customer return. The company will conduct market research on its own customers to determine whether the current change is worthwhile, these researches should be done to urge the customers to make more recommendations on what they might want to be part of change in the form of customer feedback (Beckford, 2010).

At the same time, there will be the focus on auditing the alignment of roles to each individual’s required tasks. This realignment will be evaluated through the developed communication channels to determine whether the change has had any significant effect. Besides from the customer’s feedback from the market research, there will be the reliance on the business performance indicators such as the customer based metrics of satisfaction, the process metrics which will be aligned to how the company has structured its systems. Under the process metrics, the drivers and any other workforce will share their views on how they feel the new system is affecting their ability to deliver on the set objectives. The aspect will focus on the effect of how the change has influenced both profit and sales.

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