Seminar on ‘Quality Circles,’ Japanese technique of engaging and motivating employees

Friday, 15 May 2015 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

BizEx Consulting which specialises in consulting and training in productivity techniques and Japanese Management techniques will present a new seminar on Quality Circles on 27 May.

‘Quality Circles’ is a Japanese technique which commenced in Japan and now very popular the world over particularly in Asia. Although some consider this an old technique, it is now once again becoming popular with a different format and a new methodology to cater to the newer forms of work. 

The seminar on Quality Circles will be on 27 May, and will be conducted in workshop style. After each explanatory step the participants, who will be organised into groups (or circles), will practice the lesson. 

As in a usual Quality Circle,during the workshop the  Group/Circle will commence by selecting a leader, giving themselves a name, selecting a problem to be solved using a selection technique, analysing using pareto charts, and cause and effect diagrams, generating alternatives, selecting the recommended solution, and finally making a management presentation. At the end of the day the participants will be in a position to implement Quality Circles in their own organisations.

A Quality Circle is a group of workers working in the same work area or doing similar work who have got together to analyse, and solve work related problems. They are different from task forces and other teams appointed by management. Having its birth in Japan in the 1960s, Quality Circles first made a significant impact in reducing defects and improving quality in manufacturing enterprises. 

Gradually it spread to service industries, and today it is seen world-wide in every type of workplace and even in schools, government offices and military.  At the Annual Convention held in a different Asian country every year about a thousand participants from different countries attend and make presentations. In India Quality Circles are very popular and many of the top companies have them. In Singapore it is still popular but now with a different focus; innovation.

In Sri Lanka there is a revival of Quality Circles, perhaps because the National Productivity Secretariat, the Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Quality and Productivity, and the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka are holding events where Quality Circle presentations are made.   Sri Lanka has seen many quality circles in manufacturing, plantations, hospitals, co-operatives, military, banks, government offices, etc.

Quality Circles have done much to engage employees and motivate them because the unutilised knowledge, skills and talents of employees are made use of and they carry out projects which make a significant contribution to the performance of the organisation which makes them highly motivated. However the program to introduce Quality Circles must be systematic, and the manner it is structured and promoted has to be different according to the culture and circumstances of the organisation. 

Although traditionally Quality Circles were at non-executive level today they operate even at the executive level and often under different names such as Continuous Improvement Teams (CITs), Volunteers Interested in Perfection (VIPs), Productivity Improvement Circles (PICs), Work Improvement Teams (WITs) etc. They all follow the same procedure.

The seminar will be conducted by Sunil G. Wijesinha, a management consultant who uses an excellent blend of theory and practice. Many of the techniques he teaches have actually been implemented by him. Therefore he is able to teach the practical issues involved and is able to advice his clients on possible pitfalls and issues to contend with. 

His experience with Quality Circles spans over 30 years having first been introduced to it in Japan. He has subsequently followed a training program on Small Group Activities (SGA) in Singapore, has authored a book ‘Introduction to Quality Circles’ and is recognised as the Father of Quality Circles in Sri Lanka.

Further information could be obtained from B’Connected on telephone 0752237358.