by sunil gupta
2 188 5.0/5

Once upon a time somewhere in the middle east desert was a large construction company. They had several projects in hand worth millions but alas all were delayed mainly due to quality and safety issues. Re-work was the order of the day and lack of adherence to processes a common issue. Moreover there was blame game and scapegoats after every incident.

They had instructions from their key  customer  to instill a culture of quality and safety failing which they were told that they will not be considered for  future projects and. They tried all  conventional methods like   training the staff on quality awareness and HSE workshops.

A strange pattern and phenomenon was observed that despite the training sessions the number of quality issues, non conformities and HSE violations had not decreased.

A Qualitist was enlisted to find out the root cause of the problem. And once the qualitist appeared he decided to visit the employees in the labor camp ! The qualitist found that the main issue was the quality of life in the labor camp where the employees stayed. Camp  was in shambles with very poor quality accomodation, amenities and support provided to the employees. There were electrical wires hanging everywhere, broken sinks, faulty and leaking pipes, people tripping on bathroom floors, bad quality food served, no housekeeping services, conflicts and lack of trust amongst them  etc.

The qualitist found that the best solution lay in first addressing the multiple quality issues in the labor camp versus the project sites. A safe and quality environment to live in was essential for the mental well being of such workers. The management was told that the plan involved first no training sessions  but addressing the root cause of the issue. Making their accommodation habitable, enabling a quality oriented and safe  life style was essential. As it all starts with our daily habits from home!

The CEO was convinced and the company invested significantly in upgrading all the facilities. Quality and HSE was now witnessed in the way they lived, they were looked after, their relationships, their basic needs were taken care of and the environment in general.

The upgradation of the facilities with a quality champion in the camp  who used quality improvement tools at the camp site made it easier to educate the employees. Management was now walking the talk. There were no liquid spills, no injuries and no HSE issues at the camp for a month. Quality and HSE messages were broadcast in the camp using R k laxman cartoons procured from the National Safety Council  India and in different languages.

This initiative made it easy for the Qualitist and the Quality manager to increase quality awareness training and inculcate the quality discipline. The employees could easily relate it  to their personal lifestyles and the camp.

This company went on to receive the best quality award from its prestigious customer and demonstrate the highest levels of safety by having a record for no LTI.


Lessons Learned

  1. Quality is all pervasive- adopt the new philosophy
  2. Increasing quality awareness only through training is not the panacea to quality ills- Institute a vigorous program for everyone
  3. It all starts and ends with people. People are key to the quality process- eliminate slogans
  4. Redefine your problem. Do not look at traditional answers to intractable problems
  5. Our behaviours start from home. How about quality awareness session at home for kids and school?. ASQ implemented Koalaty kid in schools in the USA! Why not India?


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19 September 2020 by Shikha Gupta
19 September 2020 by Shikha Gupta
it is so true our values get molded at home!
quality should be all pervasive as a habit