Quality at Gillette

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Quality at Gillette Argentina

Shanean Newton

Benedictine University

Abstract

Flexible and appropriate leadership styles can be learned and are essential in total quality management. Gillette changes in culture and operations in terms of choice, practice and payoff contributed to the overall company’s success. The changing business environment required a new definition of quality that allows managers to approach quality in a way that creates value and economic worth for their employees and the company. In this paper, I will be discussing ODI (Organizational Dynamic Inc), QAT (Quality Action Teams), TQM, Change Management, and Leadership as it relates to Gillette.

1. What principles and practices have allowed quality to flourish at Gillette in Argentina over the years? Gillette hired an outside company called Organizational Dynamic Inc and they specialized in consulting and training. They developed the quality initiative for Gillette. Argentina started applying both the ODI approach with teams as well as the contract approach. To prepare them for the quality action teams (QATs), employees received specialized training in a four-phase problem-solving process, called FADE. The phases were:

1. Focus – development of a problem statement.
2. Analyze – use of data to understand the magnitude of the problem. 3. Develop – determination of a solution and implementation plan. 4. Execute -- implementation of the plan and measurement of its impact.

Gillette implemented formalized training and development of its employees (team leads) in the following areas:

• Group dynamics ( Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, Adjourning) • Leadership skills (Providing direction, implementing plans, and motivating people) • Effective meetings(Properly organize and conduct meetings to contribute to organizational effectiveness) • Group conflict (Members often challenge group goals and struggle for power)

QAT members were also trained in the seven basic quality tools (check sheets, control charts, fishbone diagrams, histograms, Pareto charts, run charts, and scatter diagrams) as well as brainstorming, force-field analysis (identification of the forces and factors that support or work against the solution to a problem), and cost-benefit analysis.

Once the quality action teams were underway, the steering committee turned its attention to the early problems endemic to most TQM programs: getting full management support, increasing participation, execution of objectives with a sense of urgency, and sustaining momentum.

The council’s support enabled the steering committee to develop its own esprit de corps. Made up of important and well-respected managers from each functional area, facilitated by the TQM manager and led by the program director, the steering committee worked as a collegial body that conducted TQM in the company.

To increase the likelihood of successful execution of team objectives, the following new steps were created:

• The steering committee would create annual objectives for the TQM program.

• Teams were required to specify early in their process how their efforts would contribute to business outcomes. • The team’s task would not be concluded until they made a presentation concerning their work and its benefits to the Operating Committee.

To sustain the momentum that the TQM program developed at Gillette Argentina, Walker initiated two new aspects of the effort in 1994 and 1995.

• The first was the inclusion of TQM participation measures in the annual performance appraisal.

• The second was the creation of a special recognition program called quality stars. The steering committee created a Star of Quality award that would be given annually to four employees from different parts of the company who contributed the most that year to TQM in Argentina.

In addition to this, the...
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