Van de CEO tot de operator: iedereen betrokken bij kwaliteit

Wanneer elke medewerker van een organisatie, van de CEO tot de pas aangeworven operator, bewust is van zijn bijdrage aan de kwaliteit van een organisatie en beslist heeft om zijn bijdrage zo effectief mogelijk te maken, kan je spreken van een organisatie met een sterke kwaliteitscultuur.

Dat zegt Mohamed Chittach, Director of Strategy Europe at Veeva Systems, in een interview.

What do you understand by quality culture?
Mohamed Chittach (Veeva): "There are probably several definitions of what a quality culture could be. For me, a basic definition would be creating and maintaining values, attitudes, convictions, and shared patterns of behavior that focus on continuous improvement in the quality of processes, products, and services."

"If you take a moment to analyze each single word of this definition, you can easily imagine that a quality culture is not something that can be uniform as it depends on several important factors like history or corporate culture."

How do you create an organization with a quality culture? What are your tips?
Mohamed Chittach (Veeva): "For a long time, quality was only associated with paperwork, surveillance and reprimands. As a consequence, quality was mostly obtained by fear and not by conviction.
As an illustration, in most factories foreman and quality control offices used to be positioned high in relation to the manufacturing lines for surveillance purposes.

There were clearly two camps within the factory, making it impossible to talk about quality culture as it was not a question of shared convictions and values. However today, things are a little bit different, but the changes are still not significant enough.

Changing the image of quality within an organization is for me the key to set up a good base for a quality culture because even today, within some organization’s quality is associated with paperwork, surveillance, additional work and reprimands. Quality 4.0 represents a new approach that can lead to better quality culture. Digitalization applied to quality activities will drastically improve the image of quality."

The only key

What are the pitfalls?
Mohamed Chittach (Veeva): "A classic pitfall would be to imagine that leadership is the only key. If you look at the ISO 9001 standard along the years, you can see that requirements toward CEO and managing teams have increased drastically. It is a good thing as it is difficult to implement a quality culture within an organization when the management is not committed. But can we say that every organization with a committed management has a quality culture? I am not sure."

What role do quality managers play in creating a quality culture?
Mohamed Chittach (Veeva): "The role of the quality manager is significant; however, the role must evolve as he/she still represents a certain image of the past and its old practices. Their role is to change in order to fit with modernity and in line with how society evolves. The Quality manager should be seen as a support by all employees and not only a burden anymore! "

How do you recognize organizations with a strong quality culture?
Mohamed Chittach (Veeva): "It is more than only paying attention to quality results as they can be obtained sometimes with a policy that encourages fear and coercion.

A strong quality culture is a status that is achieved when every single person of an organization, from the CEO to the last hired operator, is aware about the importance of his/her contribution to the global quality performance of the organization and has decided to make this contribution the most effective."

VeevaMohamed Chittach is Director of Strategy Europe bij Veeva Systems en vertelt tijdens zijn sessie op het VCK-congres hoe digitalisering kwaliteitscultuur ondersteunt.

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