quality fables competition

About Quality Fables Competition

One-time opportunity for Individuals, adapted from the original competition.

A Quality Fable is a 500-word narrative of your project / problem / experience, told as a story with a fictional setup and characters; that seeds management lessons.

Take a look at the sample Quality Fables to get an idea of the tone, the style and the length of your story. Then select an interesting project or experience. Finally, engage your left-brain and right-brain and capture it into a Quality Fable.

A panel of Qimpro Certified Qualitists will shortlist 15 stories. Thereafter, Mr Suresh Lulla, Founder of Qimpro and Author of Quality Fable™ 1, 2 & 3 will select the top 5 entries. read more

Where there’s a will there’s a way
Lallu Joseph

The best part of being an assessor is the wonderful learning and often the paradigm shift in thinking out of experiences. In 2014, I was assigned to lead a team for assessment of a large multispecialty hospital at Hyderabad.  I completed the rooftop, fire drill, interviewed staff and moved to floors. The waiting area of the medical ICU had many relatives, congested, chaotic and dirty. Security was having a tough time managing the crowd. The situation inside the ICU was unbelievable with three relatives every patient. Nurses and Doctors were struggling.

The next day in management review meeting I raised my concerns to MD about visitors in the ICU and the lack of discipline in the most sensitive area of the hospital. He was apologetic and expressed his inability in handling local customs, sentiments and the lack of awareness of public about infection control and prevention. I wished him well and ended the management review with some lighter conversation and a cup of tea.

Two years later, I was allotted the same hospital and was eagerly waiting to visit the hospital. Among other memories of excellent Hyderabadi biriyani and Karachi biscuits, the scene inside and outside the medical ICU were vivid in my recollection!

After facility assessment my immediate thought steered me to visit ICU. I was pleasantly surprised to see minimal crowd outside and only one visitor with the patient with personal protective attire in ICU. Doctors and nurses were less stressed though the ICU was full.

I waited to meet the MD and my immediate response on seeing him was appreciation to the clean and disciplined ICU. We shook hands and he handed over a pack and told me that was the secret. I opened the pack and found a disposable cap, foot covers, a mask and an apron and was puzzled as to how that was the solution. He smiled and narrated how he decided to allow relatives into ICU without any number restrictions provided they were willing to buy the pack with Personal Protective Equipment(PPE) for Rs. 300, wear it and then enter, so that patient safety was not compromised.

He said the results were remarkable and since each visitor had to spend Rs. 300 and hassle of wearing all those, the numbers dropped.  He suddenly noticed a jump in visitor entry after a month and noticed one relative coming out with the PPE, removing them and handing over to the next relative, who donned and went into the ICU. He said, “I became smarter”, and I put a bin adjacent to the security and instructed him strictly that visitors must Doff and throw the PPE in the bin as soon as they move out of the ICU. He sounded very happy and proud that he was able to restrict entry and claimed that his intensivists and nurses are extremely happy that they don’t need to answer queries of multiple visitors. I realized that problem solving is an art and needed innovation, lateral thinking.

Features and Failures - A Bank Fable
Sample with Video

Multinational Banks are known to invest in excellent infrastructure and executives. The lowest designation for a new campus recruit two decades ago, in India, was nothing less than Vice President. Salaries matched the designation. The self esteem of these freshly recruited students was always at a zenith. They were the prize catch for the most popular campus recruiters - multinational banks.

I was invited by a multinational bank in South Mumbai, the fi nancial capital of India, to experience excellence. An autopsy of sorts. Yes, this branch of the bank had marble fl ooring, piped music, art that only a successful bank could afford, personal computers at every desk, and more. Perfect.

The head of the branch took me around to meet with several of his executives. I will focus on one 200 square feet section that was partitioned with a three feet high wall. This section seated four executives, in the four corners, facing the partition wall. All four in pin striped suits. Each of the four was very busy working on his dedicated personal computer.

I asked: “What is the activity of this section?”

Branch head: “They print the monthly statements of account holders.”

The qualitist in me: “Oh, they manufacture monthly statements.”

Branch head: ???

More of the qualitist: “What is the failure rate for these monthly statements?”

Branch head: “Can’t you see…it’s all computerized!!”

Yet more of the qualitist: “Oh. I see. Do any customers come back for a reconciliation?”

“Hardly any.”

“How many?”

“Perhaps one in 200.”

“Ah ha. That’s 0.5% failure rate.”

“So what’s the cost of failure?”

“Minimal.”

“Let’s find out”.

The branch head and I invested a half-day fi nding out what work the four executives actually did. As it turned out, one needed the equivalent of two persons to do 99.5% of the work right the first time and the equivalent of another two to correct 0.5 % failures!

So what is the cost of poor quality (COPQ) of this section? It’s 50% of the budget for that department plus the equivalent of marble flooring, piped music, and art.

The bank heard the alarm. They commenced their pilot projects by working on COPQ for the auto loan process in South India.

Fixed Costs need not be Fixed
Ashok Kumar Kurup

Brahmadatta, the Prime Minister of Suvarnapura kingdom approached King Suvarna, “Maharaj, we have a shortage of 10,000 gold coins in our revenues this year due to the famine in the Central province of the kingdom.” King Suvarna was worried and called for his trusted Guru and Advisor, Yogi Gunavan.

Upon his arrival, the King received him with reverence and led him to the palace for a discussion with his trusted ministers. After perusing the reports of receipt of taxes and accumulation of grains Gunavan asked,” Accumulating grains is costing us 10 gold coins per mound of grain. It is higher compared to earlier periods.” King Suvarna replied, “Guruji, earlier we used to cultivate grains in the East and West provinces. However, we were successful in cultivating grains in the hilly terrain of the North provinces increasing output by 25% from the previous year.”

Gunavan perused the reports again and asked, “Given that the cost of transport and storage has remained the same, why is it that our costs have increased by 34%?”. Brahmadatta replied, “Guruji, the cost of transporting grains from the hilly terrain is higher because our carts can only take smaller loads and hence, we need to hire more carts to transport the grains to our central granary in the Southern province.”

Gunavan said, “Do we still store all the grain in the central granary inside the Southern Fort?”. “Yes Guruji. We have increased the capacity for storage by moving some of the soldier barracks to the rear of the Fort.”, replied Brahmadatta.

Gunavan further asked,” Why do we store all the grains in the Southern Fort? Don’t we have Forts in the North, East and West now?”. King Suvarna replied,” We have been doing this since the time of my father and it was you who initiated this practice when you were the Prime Minister.” “That is right. Grains are precious and will be protected inside the Fort. But we only had one Fort during that period. Now we have 4 Forts. Can’t we store grains from these provinces in their respective Forts?”, Gunavan asked.

Everyone said in unison,” Guruji, that is a good idea! This way every Fort will have enough provisions and we need not transport grains from central granary to all Forts. This will bring down transportation costs both during accumulation and distribution.”

Brahmadatta conferred with his Revenue secretary and announced, “Maharaj, this should save us about 35,000 gold coins in transport and we would require 15,000 gold coins to set up 3 granaries. Net saving 20,000 gold coins!”

Gunavan then addressed everybody, “Noblemen, always remember our fixed costs are based on our practices and practices are based on assumptions. So always question your assumptions for the fixed costs and then fixed costs will no longer be fixed.”

Academic in Pandemic
Nupur Naithani

“This is an unprecedented situation.” sighed the Principal of GIIS, Abu Dhabi, turning off the television that had just been playing the 7 pm news. The WHO had just declared that the world was officially affected by the Covid19 pandemic. As if on cue, her phone dinged in succession, emails and messages, no doubt from concerned parents and teachers.

          The coordinators logged into their video conferencing app, with brows knit in concentration and worry. In five minutes, a meeting would begin with the management and authorities of the school and they would have to come up with a game plan to keep the classes going and to reassure the parents that everything would be under control. Of course, she had complete faith in the abilities of the teachers but the fact remained that this was a time wrought with uncertainty and panic and the announcement of the pandemic was soon turning into a Goliath and they felt like the terrorized villagers. The screen lit up and soon she was looking at the equally anxious faces of her colleagues. Everyone knew the magnitude of the metaphorical giant they were facing. And that is when it struck them. That is it! - To defeat Goliath, they needed a David.

Within hours, they began to form a plan. Using the “five stones” David metaphor, they laid their foundation. The first step would be to make sure every student and teacher had access to remote learning. Of course, learning from a casual home environment setting would require a certain level of discipline. But we did not have to worry about that. Every day for years, the students had been trained in meditation and the technique of “Heartfulness Relaxation” to increase concentration and productivity while attempting to reduce fears and anxiety. Teaching in a smart campus was the next strong weapon that helped to take the baby step. Rigorous training made the great success. We now had the main weapons to combat the COVID19 Goliath. Our Senior Director Ops moved the coin and consented to enhancing ICT virtually. The SLT Team designed this program by providing workshops and trainings on latest technological devices such as Camera Drones, IoT, artificial Intelligence, 3D Printing, space Education, coding and Robotics.

In addition, all the scheduled events like the tests, Investiture Ceremony, weekly PTMs, Health Awareness Competition, celebrations were not missed out keeping the Students and parents in the loop.

Within the week the plan was put into action. And of course, we saw victory. Online instruction has been running with almost no hiccups. Children met their friends virtually, interacted with teachers played quizzes, made presentations, and enjoyed co-curricular classes with a lot more….

Appreciations poured in! We were the pioneers!  The rates of admission sprang! David had truly defeated Goliath by the courage, confidence and hard work of the management, staff, teachers, students and parents and this is truly a testimony to the practices put in place even during normal situations in GIIS Abu Dhabi.