On an annual basis, Broughton’s management team re-launch an on going project to find the next step forward to further raise customer outcomes, satisfaction, and business efficiency.
Wanting tobuild on existing ISO 9001 quality systems, but very aware of the short-comings of most ISO9001 systems, the team were determined to not just add further endless tick- box checking associated with the methodology of traditional auditing. Recent huge failures at for instance Stafford Hospital, Deepwater Horizon, and across the whole financial sector indicated that continually extending conventional systems gives no guarantee of improvement and in fact can give false confidence while catastrophic failures develop unseen.
The challenge was to find a simple system that reliably and solidly indicates where the current risks to the delivery of high quality business, and customer outcomes really lie.
From work with the PSSA; the High Security Industry’s Association (Broughton’s MD is also chairman of the PSSA), and being the first Company through the PSSA’s Product Verification Scheme, Broughton had first-hand experience of some innovative work Pioneered by an outfit called the High Performance Organisation (HPO). Following an in depth assessment Broughton adopted a completely different direction for their well-established ISO9001 system, entirely replacing the existing audit regime with an innovative behavioural assessment system. This system employs 3rd party certification by HPO’s UKAS accredited certification body; HPA.
The system includes a number of fairly radical ideas, but the features that really interested and inspired the Broughton team were:
- The system uses a clever process to regularly gather the perceptions of employees, customers, suppliers and stakeholders, then process this information through some unique algorithms. This pin-points potential weaknesses in the organisation’s systems and procedures. Unlike traditional ISO9001 systems which spread focus over the entire organisation on a sequential rota basis, and regardless of whether this adds any value, this allows the focus of all energy and resource just on the current risk areas.
- From these algorithms the system provides a continuous scoring across all the organisation’s processes. This allows targets to be set and monitored for improvement, and efforts/resources to be used most effectively i.e. to be increased or reallocated to different areas depending on improvement rates.
- By focusing on business and customer outcomes this system recognizes that customer service delivery is the result of many departments and processes and not any one in isolation; it looks at an entire delivery system. Traditional methods can perfect one or several specific areas yet still let customers down or produce poor output in total.
- The system recognises that it is people’s behaviour that delivers customers’ results and products, not bits of paper and documents. By focusing just on the current risk areas, this applies resource to improvement, rather than trying to define everything that takes place before it happens and tying everyone up in ever increasing amounts of detail that divert attention from real problems and don’t really control anything.
The management team were very happy with the initial overall results, indicating a good general satisfaction of customer requirements, but were also surprised by others. A number of areas were shown to have potential risks and improvements are already being made; improvements the team are sure would not even have been identified by a traditional ISO9001 system, regardless of the amount of resources used!
U.K. Oct 2013.