The goal of our quality control program is producing quality deliverables the first time, every time. The more likely course of action is using a continuous improvement program that results in documented guides for all levels of performance. Thus, we are focusing on the processes by which functional quality requirements are applied to tasks, in-process reviews by our Management IPT for conformance to requirements and production quality reviews by our second level technical IPT prior to delivery. Our approach is simple
4. Adjust and
The focus on documented standardized processes for our activities ensures that our successful deliverables are repeated every time and we can integrate changes into our processes in a systematic, pre-trained and uninterrupted mode, producing predictable results.
The K-LO approach is focused on defined repeatable processes, which are key to achieving documented step functions resulting in high quality with cost reductions. They form the basis for a continuous quality improvement philosophy at K-LO.
We are monitoring and maximizing quality through a two-pronged approach. K-LO is preparing and maintaining a program level Quality Assurance Plan that provides primary guidance to our Team. We are using K-LO Defined Processes as a top level requirement, and are providing those processes to our subcontractors via our VPN. We encourage the use of our repeatable process approach, but allow proven subcontractor approaches for specific task orders. For example, for a highly technical task or a complex financial management implementation task we expect the principal subcontractor to develop and maintain a TO-specific QA plan. Such plans would be provided to our Program Manager for concurrence. If a smaller company does not have an adequate approach to QA we will provide them with K-LO procedures that they may follow or adapt to their organizational needs. Furthermore, we are using our CBT capabilities to provide training in the CMM procedures to our subcontractors.
Where discrete events are not the measures of quality we are implementing K-LO's Project Excellence system to assess our team performance and client satisfaction. K-LO implemented Project Excellence as a means to interface with our customers through an independent K-LO employee (not directly associated with the client or the project team) obtaining performance feedback. It provides top level management a yardstick to measure performance and to make changes when necessary. This method has helped us turn programs that were headed for problems into success stories by allowing us to make mid-course corrections.
Documented Quality Assurance
K-LO's approach to quality assurance is derived from our implementation of Carnegie Mellon's Capability Maturity Model, which is the key to our management of changing processes. This provides us the best assurance of our delivering quality products on time and with consistency. At the core of this approach to managing our business processes is the development and structure of repeatable processes. All functions that are frequently performed can be documented as a series of steps necessary to be performed every time the function is initiated.
Our formal, documented quality assurance plan is designed to maximize quality without the need for rework. It includes sets of repeatable processes and associated checklists that assure that all critical functions are performed for each task. The product is checked for form, format, and technical content before final delivery to your designated technical point of contact and other designated recipients of deliverables. Each time a process is performed the user follows a checklist to verify completion of each of the various steps in the process. At certain points during the process a third-party QA check is required to be performed to verify that the procedure has been followed correctly to that point. The person performing the procedure, as well as the person doing the independent QA check, must be certified to perform the specific procedure. A matrix in the defined repeatable process identifies these qualifications. Our training plan uses this matrix to schedule additional training to increase certification and cross training of personnel across all processes.
The term "repeatable processes" does not imply that tasks are not tailored to the specific context of the requirement, but rather that many tasks can be grouped into a standard process that includes the requirement to tailor it to the specific task. Our quality control process is tailored to the tasks being executed. The task initiates
• The planning for the actions required
• The estimates of cost to perform
• The assignment of the technical point of contact for the task
• The start date
• The required delivery date
• The content, form and format of the deliverable itself, and
• The designated recipient of the final deliverable
The task is the PCO's direction to perform and to authorize the K-LO Team Program Manager to interface directly with the technical point of contact and other NAVSEA personnel, and other personnel who are involved in the delivery of the services or products specified in the task.
The execution phase of our task is controlled through standardized and documented procedures. We are developing a formal quality assurance plan that contains step by step processes required to perform tasks on the contract. This forms the basis for not only performance, but also for an ongoing training program for personnel with the K-LO Team. The Management IPT and the Technical IPTs meet frequently to review all problems we have experienced in performance or to adjust our standard processes because of deficiencies noted in quality checks of products before delivery. Our quality checks are conducted by designated, formally qualified senior personnel who must sign off their approval of the product before final delivery is made.
Each month we provide formal reports to the technical point of contact in compliance with typical reporting requirements of most tasks. This comprises the monitoring and adjustment phases of our approach to quality assurance/control. The monthly report provides a complete technical status of the task in process, if required, and the cost and labor hours expended to date.
Our final step is delivery of the finished products. Before we make the final deliverable, a senior qualified person checks the form, format and technical content. A sign-off and approval indicate that we are ready to make the final deliverable. The person designated to receive the product must receive and approve the deliverable. The K-LO Team wants the receiver to not only approve our product, but also to assess our performance at the time of delivery. This permits the use of feedback to assess the deliverable as well as the process by which the Team provided the deliverable. Deficiencies and shortfalls in performance are compared against our repeatable processes so that corrections can be made in order to repeat our successes and improve our future performance.
A good quality control system reduces risk, but does not eliminate it. Our Program Manager is staying abreast of performance requirements and accomplishments and will step in with corrective action when necessary. For highly technical problems we are drawing from our teammates, or if necessary, go outside to get expert advice for solutions. We are making any necessary changes to our processes to correct any deficiencies and to re-train team personnel so that future performance reflects the improvements and successes will be repeated on similar tasks, achieving a truly repeatable process.
We also know the value of learning from mistakes. We are establishing on the VPN a lessons learned section to share with all of our subcontractors ways to move any deficient performance to the outstanding category.