Thursday, March 1, 2012

Quality at the Organizational level?

Are the IFF certified according to a quality standard like the ISO?

The ISO 9000 standard is normally used for production industries but works most likely for any other organizations. Caution, I only have experience from the production industry myself and are by no means an expert. It is also very true that I do not know if the global Floorball movement is quality assured or not. Do here say that I warned you about this - so this text must be sorted in under the headline - pure speculations!

I have not even asked the IFF.

- however since it relates to some serious money to become “quality certified” I guess therefore that the Floorball organizations are not certified according to a quality standard or by any auditor.

This is fully OK at this point - however I think this might be done and in a not too awkward way - as you approach the subject carefully.

My guess, is that the National Federations - well, I dare to guarantee that many of them are not certified for their own quality.

What is all this about?
First of all it is not as complicated as it sounds like. I also think that you may easily set up your own quality certification and you do not have to get THE official certification from someone else nor audits. In this case I would guess that the IFF could act as their own certifying body, themselves. This is more about a way to work and know what works good and you definitively do not want to set up processes you can not fulfill.

What is quality?
According to the ISO standard, if I grap this right, a quality is something measured by the receiver or customer. In a bureaucratic organization everyone that gets services, within the organization or externally is the customer. And quality is only measured at the perceived level. A service or a product must be at least as good as the receivers expectations or just a tad bit better to be perceived as good quality. If it is too good - it is bad. Think about the example of commuting to work in a Rolls Royce, kind of an “over-kill” and therefore bad quality. Bad quality is also the case when expectations not are met - piece of cake kind of.

How do you secure your quality within an organization?
First you must define what you do. This is where the little extra work comes in. But it is basic as you describe the functions and services within your own function or department. The main thing you must be careful about is to not invent new functions and services that does not fully exist in reality or you may provide. This assessment must be realistic. Then you just create a document that describes what the function is supposed to provide and how this is done in an efficient manner. One way to do this is to describe processes. Now, You just write down your own processes. Yet again do not invent new stuff. In principle this document should be so clear that anyone that walks into your office should be able to take over your function. This document becomes the quality control document.

Why do you do this?
This is a way to manage quality and processes in an organization. On top of this you may add audits and stuff as evaluations. But normally that is not the main point. The main point is that you think about what you do and how you do it, to be able to do this as good as possible. See this document as a tool for the manager to easily see what people in an organization are supposed to do. They main idea is to secure some certain level of quality throughout any organisation. And with a growing number of National Floorball Federations, well quality assurance could be not just a possible but viable path.

Why would an approach like this be good for Floorball?
Well it is a modern way of working - and I am sure it would help several National Federations if the IFF asked them to be quality secured. And if they want to take this one step further. Well then they might want to audit the National quality documents too. But that is not where I would start.
I just think quality assurance would be a good thing for Floorball at many levels. And another tool beside of rules and monetary obligations if things does not work as they are supposed to. I would also be a tool to get National Federations more transparent and democratic - thus it would most likely grow the sport even faster - I hope.

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Research suggest that eye-injuries are more common in Floorball as compared to Tennis, but less common as compared to Squash (similar to Racquetball).
To minimize this risk of injury Floorballcentral recommend: Use certified protective eye-wear (mandated in many European areas for the youth). Do not lay down on the court. Follow the rules strict on stick height.

Also if you get addicted to this sport - do not blame us!