Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Gaps in Quality Processes in our daily lives

Once we know 'What' is to be done, 'How' becomes a very important aspect... rather THE IMPORTANT aspect... why I say this is because 'how' we do it decides the Quality of the 'what' we are doing.... Here 'what' may be anything... I mean 'ANYTHING'.... anything from the time I wake up to the time I hit the sack at the end of the day... it may be related to my brushing of teeth, eating my food, taking bath, driving to work to doing each and every task at my work place to.... And in Quality parlance, this 'How' is called 'Process'.... Hence 'Processes' are 'THE IMPORTANT' things in all aspects of our lives... Unfortunately we seldom realize this quality perspective consciously or even think about it, and this leads to what I term as "Quality By Chance"... Many a time this leads to poor quality in our daily lives - personal. professional and social... Many a times the immediate damage it causes might be minuscle but some times it is ever increasing if nothing is done about it, and may hurt us badly in long run. We typically try to adjust to these problems instead of finding solutions to them, at least not in the early stages.

Let's take a typical day of our life and see how following the quality processes or lack of it impacts on the overall quality of our lives. Starting early in the day our car-wash boys, there are about 350 cars in the compound and this group of 25 boys wash them everyday. They do not have any planned leaves and they just take off whenever there is a need or just like that. They can coordinate amongst themselves and take planned holidays and also the cleaning of cars will not get affected. Other part of it is that they all do washing individually to carry out every task, while this could be devided amongs them e.g. group1 can do the dusting, then group2 would do the wet-washing and then group3 will wipe and dry. This can happen, with a plan with parallel tasks and save on time and effort and also improve the quality of car washing.

The next task is at home, where set of 40 'Bais' (Housemaids) do the cleaning of around 300 flats. There work is highly unstructured and always tend to have some or other scheduling problem. Both, the employers and the 'bais' need to have better communication and structure to their tasks so that the work could be done more efficiently, at the right time and within allotted time.

After this we are ready to leave house for work, if we use our own transport (self-driven or driver), there are umpteen instance on our way where we get impatient (putting it mildly) and try to steal our right of way. This behavior is common across all section of drivers, literacy or financial standing not withstanding, nobody gives a second thought while blatantly not followingh the rules or processes set by the traffic authority. If we give way to others and follow the traffic rules, it may seem like that we are taking longer but it's overall effect would be saving us lot of time. I am sure this can be mathematically, scientifically and socially proven.

If we take autorickshaw, we will struggle to find the generous auto driver who would do ud the favor to take us in the direction where we want to go. If we are not lucky, we could be hunting for the ellusive auto for long time. I know there is an RTO rule that the autorickshaws need to ferry the pasengers whereever they demand to go but I also understand that it is not possible all the time. The simple solution to this could be that every auto carry a small sign of the route they are interested in goin towards. This will avoid the unnecessary haggling with the auto drivers and make our lived easier and less stressed.