Article Critique: On Continuous Improvement

632 words | 3 page(s)

The authors of these two articles are discussing, at length, one of the central challenges associated with running any business, whether that business is in the service industry or involved in the sale of goods. That challenge is maintaining quality standards and ensuring that the business is always moving forward or improving. I have seen that this kind of business focus can provide companies with opportunities that they might not have otherwise had. Not every company is able to sink new capital into expansion projects and the like, so continuous improvement can be a cost-effective way for companies to grow their business or gain market share. In my own experience, I have seen how companies have been willing to substitute capital growth strategies for internal improvement strategies. Bhuyian and Baghel describe different ways of doing this, and the authors’ words are especially relevant to real-life experience.

Crosby discusses the basics of quality control, noting the ‘Zero Defect’ movement and its foundations. There are often times when bad products end up making their way to customers. I have seen this across multiple industries, even dating back to when I was young and I worked in restaurants. Sometimes the problem is with a person’s attitude. Other times, businesses do not give their employees the necessary resources to produce a quality product. In my experience, I have seen how poor work can result from a lack of attention or a lack of focus. The difficult thing to swallow for most businesses is that these mistakes are fixable. Often, with a little bit of attention from a supervisor, the problems that seem big end up fixed, as they were really just the result of lack of focus. This applies to people who work in factories, those who provide accounting services, and even people in the financial industry. No industry is safe from carelessness. Employees just have to recognize that they have all the tools to do a great job, and when they are following the right example, things become much easier.

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Bhuiyan and Baghel discuss the many different ways that companies look to constantly improve the services and products that they are sending out the door. Companies are never resting on their laurels when they see opportunities to get better. I have found this to be the case in my experience. Part of the challenge is ensuring that a company’s employees are making small decisions that reflect the overall vision of the company. In my experience, I have seen that businesses have no trouble putting together a values statement and a mission statement that reflects the way they want to operate. This is true across industries, from the legal field down to manufacturing. These companies do not even struggle to hire people who have personalities and profiles that match their overall vision. Where companies struggle, however, is in getting these people to make small decisions that move the company closer to its goal. Ultimately, mission statements reflect the best that a company could ever be, and if that mission statement is written well, a company will always strive for that goal, but never attain it. The key then for companies, whether they are using a six sigma approach, a balanced scorecard, or some other approach, is to make sure that the little things are being done in an effort to move closer to the company’s mission.

I have seen that companies are willing to try a wide range of different approaches in order to improve the quality of their products or services. Some use six sigma, others take the balanced scorecard approach, and others develop their own approaches combining these things. The companies that I have worked for have decided to put out an approach best geared to the corporate culture and the capabilities of employees.

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