Focus On The Customer...
The concept here, is that the customer is the only person qualified to specify what Quality means. This leads to detailed analyses of who are the customers, what are their needs, what features (or new features) are required of our products/services, how do customers rate our products/services versus our competitors and why, how can we keep our customers satisfied?
For a great resource for this topic, we recommend:.
The Overworked and Under-Appreciated Manager's Guide to Creating a Customer-Focused Organization
(eBook Version is also available)
Another Great Customer Focus Resource: (provided by HCI is a full-service Information Development Organisation)
When to Focus...
Customer Focusing is a technique for identifying the customers, products/services, quality characteristics, and performance measures which are most important to your business unit. Managers often take it for granted that all staff are working towards the same customer oriented objectives. Conducting a session in the way described below will show that this is often not the case, and will contribute significantly towards correcting the situation. Do Customer Focusing when you begin any major review of business activities, or whenever you need to affirm your key customer and product orientation, for example, when:
The technique can also be used successfully to identify key factors to include in a Quality Policy Statement.
How to Focus...
A Customer Focusing session is designed for staff working together in a particular business or business unit. For example, the General Manager and senior managers reporting directly to him or her, or the manager of a production unit and the supervisors of each section of the factory. The session should ideally be led by a facilitator who is not directly involved in the business unit's activities. For a senior management group this should be a consultant, or perhaps a non-executive director. For other management groups the facilitator can be someone from, for example, the training dept. The session can be run by a member of the group, but this person must be careful not to lead or bias the opinions of the group in any way.