Quality control management is one of four key processes in quality management. The other three are quality planning, quality assurance and quality improvement. There is some overlap between these areas, especially between quality assurance and control, but the techniques most uniquely relevant to effective quality control management include conducting regular quality reviews and using charting as a way to measure and exhibit results.
Quality control management focuses specifically on upholding standards once they've been determined. The other areas of quality management deal with setting standards and seeking new ways to improve a product or service. The principle aim of quality control management is to demonstrate where improvement is needed in terms of meeting set standards.
Quality reviews are conducted to gather evidence on whether or not standards are being met. An effective quality review is a team effort involving several roles. The three most important roles will be given different names depending on the type of organization, but can generally be described as the creator, the reviewer and the manager.
The creators supply samples of their products or services to the reviewer, along with any necessary information. Good reviewers are current or potential customers or anyone else with a personal interest in the quality of the product or service. To keep their reviews related to the standards being checked, reviewers must be provided with clear criteria on how the product is to be assessed. The manager ensures they have these criteria, organizes and oversees the quality review process and, afterward, prepares the raw data collected for easier interpretation.
Quality control managers can use charting to organize their data in a way that is both comprehensive and comprehensible. There are many different types of charts that can be useful in quality control management. Bar and pie charts, as well as scatter diagrams, are common in many areas of business because they make the results of research visually stimulating and thus more readily understandable than plain numbers. In quality control management, this way of presenting data is vital, as it can help categorize particular areas in need of improvement in a clear way as opposed to overwhelming numerical reports with a cluster of all the information gathered.
Control charts are particularly useful tools for quality control managers. These are run charts that track and compare data over an extended period of time. Control charts help management notice correlations between historic circumstances in an organization and the varying degrees to which standards have been maintained.