Sunday, September 15, 2013

Why Process Improvement Models are losing its sanctity

"Get Certified under Rs. 10,000"

"We will help you write your process in 2 weeks and get you certified"

These are some of the adverts which shows the true state of the Quality of implementation of the Process Improvement models.This has been so because Organizations and Quality professional strive to attain Certification instead of Improvements

The sad state is not due to a single entity but due to Business Leaders, Internal Quality Professionals, Consulting Organizations and the lack of foresight by the Standardization bodies

Business Leaders, for gaining grounds on potential Customer contracts look for Certification (aka business as usual with no effort on improvement) ONLY as a path to get shortlisted in prospective RFPs

Internal Process Quality Function instead of advising Management on the true need of process improvement models and checking if the Management is game for investing effort to improve, grab the first opportunity for any potential certification opportunity since it would help showcase the teams need as well as help them personally upgrade their skills at the cost of the Organization

The Internal Process Quality Professionals with misled priorities bend backwards and sometimes even get involved in unethical practices of 'cooking data & evidences' to meet the 'higher need' of getting certification for obtaining more business! To them, they are serving the business, in the best way they can, to obtain new business

Consulting Organizations on the other hand are facing fierce competition forcing them to lower their profit margins. One way to do this is by on-boarding less expensive resource pools (e.g. freshers) and try to maintain acceptable services by allocating a senior consultant to oversee. Further they are forced to sometimes turn a blind eye when organizations compromise on ethics because if they do not, there is always another consulting firm ready to do it!

Added to this, the inherent Conflict of Interest built in some process improvement models, wherein Consulting and Appraisals/Audit can be done by the same Consulting Firm, makes matters worse. Businesses use this leverage to their advantage - if  there are major findings during the Appraisal/Audit, they shoot back to the Consulting Firm on the Quality of their Consultants!

The poor Customers experiencing sub-standard Quality even with Certified Vendors prefer to play it safe by mandating Certifications as an entry criteria to bid, since if Certified Vendors can be sub-standard, what could be the state of the non-certified vendor?

The Certification body on the other hand doesn't seem to be doing enough

Thus the whole gambit of certification is spiraling on a conflict of interests each unknowingly colluding with the other for their own Business goals. Unless one of them in the loop realizes and makes a firm stand, Certifications will continue to remain a joke. Certification is only a byproduct of the Improvements, it is not the end in itself

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