There is a lot of responsibility that comes with a new quality manager role - after all, the word quality is in the job title. An organization depends on the expertise of a quality manager to ensure operations run smoothly, and that all products and/or services are consistent and meet high standards. Although it’s only natural to make mistakes during the learning process, it’s imperative for quality managers to make as few as possible, even if they’re just starting out.
While nobody ever plans to make mistakes, of course—they do happen. Being prepared and knowing about some of the common mistakes that beginner quality managers make can be a lifesaver, and can give you a better chance of avoiding them by knowing what to look for.
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Here are five of the most common mistakes that new quality managers tend to make starting out on the job:
1. Lack of Quality Improvement
New quality managers may be reluctant to take any risks or implement new processes when it comes to quality improvement. But quality managers aren’t there to simply maintain quality. Although the quality of products and/or services within the organization may already be acceptable, the goal should always be to improve.
A successful quality manager doesn’t just maintain good quality; they constantly strive for improvement and for the highest quality possible. If you’re just starting out as a quality manager, avoid the temptation to settle for mediocracy by playing it safe.
2. Non-Conformance Mistakes
Non-conformances are not always easy to spot, and even serious issues can still go undetected, which can result in significant quality problems later on. From products and processes to services and suppliers, be sure that everyone on your team understands what a standard non-conformance is defined as in order to avoid them.
Beyond ensuring that your team knows how to recognize non-conformances, it’s also crucial to have an effective plan in place for handling any non-conformances that do pop up. A quality manager should ensure that their plans will assess the problem at hand, as well as what steps should be taken in order to reverse as much damage as possible. New quality managers are sometimes taken off guard when curveballs are thrown at them, but it’s important to be ready, just in case.
3. Failing to Define Requirements
Quality is a subjective term; what one person might view as high quality, someone else might view as subpar. New quality managers tend to overlook this important fact and often fail to define requirements for the entire team. This also includes discussing other specifics with your team regarding project requirements, stakeholder requirements, solution requirements, and so on. Ensure that everybody is on the same page and that everybody has the same outlook on what defines high quality.
4. Not Taking Advantage of the Right Tools
There are several tools at your disposal that can help maximize your job performance as a quality manager (seven, in fact, according to Ishikawa’s seven basic tools of quality). It’s not uncommon for new quality managers to overlook the value of these tools, such as control charters, flowcharts, and scatter diagrams. Each one serves a specific purpose that will help you measure the different parts of a project to ensure quality control.
5. Lack of Training
While learning on the job is undoubtedly invaluable, there is no substitute for getting the proper training when it comes to breaking into certain career fields. Although most people will make mistakes when starting a new job, quality managers are expected to produce just that: quality results. Too many quality management mistakes can be disastrous, and the best way to prevent making mistakes is to learn as much about quality management as possible.
Simplilearn can help through a variety of online courses designed specifically to offer training and certification in quality management. Some of our online learning programs for quality managers include our Lean Six Sigma Expert Masters Program, and our Lean Management Certification Training. Equip yourself with the skills needed to succeed in your new and exciting role as a quality manager.
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