Quality Circles (QC) or Quality Control Circles (QCC) : History * Pioneered by Japanese.
* Japanese nomenclature: Quality Control Circles (QCC), generally now known as Quality Circles (QC) or some call it as Small Group Activity (SGA). * 1962: First QC Circle was registered with QC Circle Head Quarters in Japan. * 1974: Lockheed Company, USA started Quality Circle movement. * 1977: International Association of Quality Circles (IACC) was formed in USA. * 1980: BHEL, Hyderabad first in India to start Quality Circles. * 1982: Quality Circle Forum of India (QCFI) was founded. For more details on history of quality circles, refer: http://quality-circles-history.blogspot.com/ Formal and Informal Groups
* Employees meet near water cooler and gossip.
* Five salesmen from marketing department meet once a month for lunch to discuss mutual concerns and to seek relief from tedious aspects of their job. * Four computer programmers form a jogging club that meets three days per week at lunch time to run two miles. * All employees of a section meet and discuss how to improve and beautify office layouts. * Seven workers of a production shop floor meet once a week to solve their technical problems. * Maintenance department staff meet regularly to maintain machines in a better way. What is Quality Circle (QC)?
Quality Circles are (informal) groups of employees who voluntarily meet together on a regular basis to identify, define, analyze and solve work related problems. Usually the members of a particular team (quality circle) should be from the same work area or who do similar work so that the problems they select will be familiar to all of them. In addition, interdepartmental or cross functional quality circles may also be formed. An ideal size of quality circle is seven to eight members. But the number of members in a quality circle can vary. Other Names of Quality Circles
* Small Groups
* Action Circles
* Excellence Circles
* Human Resources Circles
* Productivity Circles
Objectives of Quality Circles
* Promote job involvement
* Create problem solving capability
* Improve communication
* Promote leadership qualities
* Promote personal development
* Develop a greater awareness for cleanliness
* Develop greater awareness for safety
* Improve morale through closer identity of employee objectives with organization's objectives * Reduce errors.
* Enhance quality
* Inspire more effective team work
* Build an attitude of problem prevention
* Promote cost reduction
* Develop harmonious manager, supervisor and worker relationship * Improve productivity
* Reduce downtime of machines and equipment
* Increase employee motivation
Quality Circle Meetings
* Meetings are important part of quality circle's working. * Meetings are attended by all the members of the quality circle. * In general, meetings take place once a week or once in a fortnight. * Each meeting lasts for approximately one hour, though variations are possible. * Apart from the frequency of the meetings, what is important is the regularity of the meetings. What Takes Place During Quality Circle Meetings?
Any of the several activities may occur during a meeting such as: * Identifying a theme or a problem to work on.
* Getting training as required to enable members to analyze problems. * Analyzing problem(s).
* Preparing recommendations for implementing solution(s). * Follow up of implementation of suggestions.
* Prepare for a presentation to the management.
What Quality Circles are Not? (Misconcepts)
* Quality Circles do not tackle just quality problems.
* Quality Circle is not a substitute or replacement for task forces, product committees, joint plant councils or works committees, quality assurance...