Quality Circle refers to a group of employees who meet each other regularly to discuss different methods of problem-solving as well as production improvement in their organization. There are a minimum of three and a maximum of twelve members in a quality circle. A manager or supervisor usually leads their group and presents the solutions devised by them to the management. Such groups were extremely popular during the 1980s, but they exist even now under the name of Kaizen groups.

quality circle

So what is a Quality Circle?

The term Quality Circle was first defined by Professor Kaoru Ishikawa in 1985, in his handbook called ‘What is Total Quality Control? The Japanese Way.’ Quality Circle was first introduced by the company Nippon Wireless and Telegraph Company in Japan in 1962.

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Quality Circles discuss topics such the improvements in workplace and manufacturing processes, improvements in occupational safety and health, and improvements in product design.

They are formal groups that meet regularly. Competent personnel and industrial relations specialists train them. Other than salary and terms and conditions of work, quality circles are free to select and discuss any topic of their choice. 

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Kaizen Circles is another name for Quality Circles. These are typically small groups of volunteer employees. They come together and discuss, identify, analyze, and solve different quality-related problems in an organization.

quality circle

Benefits of Quality Circles: – 

  1. It helps in improving the customer’s satisfaction.
  1. The Quality Circles also help to improve the status of the company’s brand.
  2. Also, they manage to gain the customer’s confidence.
  1. Quality Circle values the contributions of the employees and motivates them.
  1. The Quality Circle teams find and fix quality issues. This leads to better products and services and thus the quality improves.
  1. The employees gain valuable insights in problem-solving related to work.
  1. Quality Circle teams discover innovative solutions for various problems of the organizations, thus bringing a lot of innovation and improvements to the table.
  1. There is an overall improvement in staff attendance thanks to quality circles.
  1. Quality Circles identify and correct the inefficiencies, which helps the organizations in reducing waste and operational costs.
  1. They help in increasing an organization’s overall productivity and competitiveness. This increases the organization’s efficiency as well.
  1. Being a part of the quality circle’s activities helps in increasing an employee’s morale as they feel valued and involved in making key differences in their company.
  1. Quality Circle spreads awareness regarding quality control amongst the employees.
  1. It helps in fostering a culture of learning and creativity.
  1. Quality Circle promotes teamwork and communication. People work together and devise solutions and communication improves among colleagues.
  1. The Quality Circle creates a purposeful working environment and offers several suggestions. The employees use these suggestions to give their best to the organization.

Quality Circle

The Process of Quality Circle: –

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The process of the quality circle includes the phases that the employees must follow to come up with solutions that can actually solve the problems. In most cases, these employees work in the same departments. These phases refer to the start-up phase, the initial problem-solving phase, the suggestion-approval phase, implementations phase, problem-solving expansion phase, and at the very end, the decline phase.

The steps in the process of the quality circle are as follows: – 

  1. Identification of Problems- The members of the quality circle identify quality-related problems. They also discuss and define their scope.
  1. The Collection and Analysis of Data- Collection and analysis of data takes place. The Quality Circle discovers and also understands the root cause behind the problem.
  1. Solution Generation- Quality Circles generate potential solutions for the identified problems during brainstorming sessions.
  1. Selection- The Quality Circles select the best solution. They also formulate a plan for implementation purposes.
  1. Implementation- Quality Circle implements the solution agreed upon in the selection stage so that changes for the better can happen in the organization.
  1. Reviewing and Evaluating- The Quality Circle implements the solution and reviews the results. It thus makes adjustments as needed. 
  1. Standardization- Quality Circle standardizes successful solutions. These solutions become a part of the existing process. This ensures that the improvement remains continuous and also consistent.

Course About Quality Circles and Six Sigma Green Belt Training: –

Quality Circle

If you want to learn more about quality circles, you should try out Henry Harvin’s Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Training certification course. This course has several benefits such as –

  1. Highly reputed sources such as India Today, Tribune, as well as Business Standard, have ranked it as the no.1 Six Sigma certification course in the industry.
  1. The course provides a hundred percent practical training. There is also a focus on experiential learning and popular GCAO pedagogy. 
  1. You can gain experience in 12 projects during the span of just one year after your formal training.
  1. 1-year gold membership is provided. This includes Capstone Projects, Guaranteed Internship, Weekly Job Support, Recorded Videos, Monthly Masterclass Sessions, Interview Skills and also Career Services. 
  1. Accomplished experts in the industry train you. They also help you polish your existing knowledge and skills. 
  1. You are provided full-time access and support for resolving your technical queries and doubts. And you also get access to a free e-learning portal and future updates. 
  1. It helps you become well versed in all the aspects of Lean Six Sigma such as Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control (DMAIC) as stated by the IASSC Lean Six Sigma green belt body of knowledge. 

This course provides 28 hours of two-way live online interactive classroom sessions. You can undergo projects in the DMAIC phases. This will help you in acquiring thorough knowledge and you are also provided with internship assistance. You are also provided with Placement Guarantee Support for 1 year post-successful completion. There are many more benefits such as E-Learning, Masterclass, Hackathons and 1-year gold membership.

Tutorial Video: –

If you want to learn more about Quality Circles and Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, then the following video by Henry Harvin is a must-watch!

The video introduces the Six Sigma Green Belt and a tutorial for beginners.

Conclusion:-

Thus, quality circles are a very important tool for organizations. They help in enhancing the quality of the products and services. Quality Circles provide continuous improvements. These help reduce costs and increase employee engagement. 

Recommended Reads: –

Frequently Asked Questions: –

Q. 1 What are quality circles in Six Sigma?

Ans. It is a group of workers who work in the same department. They often meet regularly to discuss, analyze as well as develop solutions that help in solving work-related problems. Such Quality Circles comprise of 6-12 people.

Q. 2 Who is the father of Quality Circles?

Ans. Kaoru Ishikawa is the father of Quality Circles since he first formed the Quality Circles for front-line workers in the workplace in 1962.

Q. 3 Who introduced Quality Circle in India?

Ans. The concept of Quality Circle was first introduced in India by Mr. S. R. Udpa in 1981. He introduced it in the company of BHEL, located in Ramachandrapuram, Hyderabad. During this time, he was the GM in the operations department.

Q. 4 What is the meaning of TQM?

Ans. TQM stands for Total Quality Management. Also in this, all the members of a company participate in improving processes, products, services, and the work culture of their organization’s environment. 

Q. 5 What are the main objectives of a Quality Circle?

Ans. The main objectives of a Quality Circle are- You have to solve quality-related problems in the organization, you have to increase job satisfaction and employee engagement, and you have to promote a culture that prefers and prioritizes continuous improvement. You also need to develop the problem-solving, communication, and teamwork skills of the participants of the Quality Circle.

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