IN THE BEGINNING there was a business with no employees. The owners of the business were driven by profit, and they cared about their customers because the happy customers provided them with their profit. More and more work was performed, and more and more profit was generated. But the owners found that they had to work longer and longer, and even though their profit was increasing they became increasingly frustrated. They had no time to enjoy their profit.
AND SO IT WAS THAT the owners took on employees. And they found that, unlike themselves, these employees were unpredictable. All they expected was to be paid their wage, and for that they would carry out work. But the standard of work that they did varied as their mood varied. And they quickly discovered that the owners often did not know too much about what they were doing, and therefore couldn’t measure what was to be reasonably achieved in a given time. This variation in output quickly became natural to the employee, but to the owner it was unacceptable. More and more the customers were becoming unhappy because of the unpredictability of the product.
AND SO IT WAS THAT the owners had to once again put a lot of time into the product to unsure that quality was maintained. And they became increasingly frustrated. Their interferences produced conflict, and the employees became increasingly demotivated.
BUT the owners could not accept that this was the only way, and they met to discuss their dilemma. They talked about the vision they had once had for their business, and decided to write down their vision in words that were easy for anyone to understand. They included quality, because without a quality product they could not be successful. They included management, because they needed to manage out the unpredictability. And they talked of a system, because being systematic helped them to understand their own business. They called it their Quality Management System, or their QMS.
AND LIFE BEGAN AGAIN, as they installed their QMS between themselves and their unpredictable employees. They discovered that they did not need to manage the employees, all they needed to do was to manage the QMS. The employees also discovered what was expected of them, and they were happier. Growth and improvement came through the QMS. Additions to the QMS provided the means for growth. Changes to the QMS provided the means for improvement. Their product became once again known for its quality, and their business thrived. And more importantly, the owners found that they had once again discovered the time to enjoy life outside the business.
AND BEING IN BUSINESS AT LAST BECAME WORTHWHILE.