In remembering the initial challenges of learning and applying Quality Driven Management (QDM), Kim shared a famous quote by Nelson Mandela: "It always seems impossible until it's done."
An early adopter of QDM as a tool to analyze problems, Kim uses QDM as a "universal translator" to navigate various business units and operating companies.
When working for a large corporation like FedEx, a common hurdle new team members struggle to overcome is figuring out how to communicate with peers to get things done. Good internal communication helps team members feel trusted and connected to each other, which in turn increases productivity.
QDM offers a common language, method, and philosophy for FedEx team members to approach and solve problems.
For Kim Winston, this means of communication that transcends operating companies was the key to navigating such a large corporate culture. Whether she's speaking with peers or the executive team, it's easy to explain how she arrived at a certain conclusion using the ABLE process, because everyone knows the steps.
On her first QDM project, Kim designed a fraud metric dashboard for InfoSec. In each meeting, she started with the question "What do we want to get done?” Her QDM coach taught her to use the tools and principles of QDM to name the problem, identify the next steps, and start building a solution. Since Kim was an early adopter, the resources weren't as readily available as they are today, which is why it "seemed impossible" during the early QDM days.
Now, QDM is part of how Kim manages her life, both inside and outside of FedEx. She's served on and led multiple Quality Action Teams (QATs) and even used the QDM principles to manage her move from Washington, D.C., to Memphis. With a short window of time to find a school for her son, buy a home, and arrange the logistics of the move, she used the ABLE process to streamline each step.
ASSESS: She thought through what needed to happen in the next 30 days — everything from buying the house and coordinating the movers to turning on the utilities and filling out a change-of-address form. A VOC translation gave her the insight into what was important to the customer (her son).
BUILD: Using brainstorming, she built a hierarchy of needs (e.g., she needed to buy the house before selecting a school) and timeline for the move.
LAUNCH: She followed the checklist to ensure every portion of the move was completed on time.
EVALUATE: For Kim's move, her evaluation consisted of a customer survey, where the "customer" was her son. It was a simple discussion about how he felt 90 days after the move.
Because the ABLE process is such an ingrained part of her life, Kim designed and coordinated the move without being overwhelmed by the task or overlooking any important customer details.
Building a Quality Culture
Since QDM has made and continues to make such a positive impact on her FedEx experience, Kim makes a point to train her team members early and often. She consistently provides her team with opportunities to get hands-on training with the ABLE process and encourages others to use QDM tools to solve problems. Kim is passionate about helping others navigate the FedEx culture to drive continuous improvement, which is why she encourages her new colleagues joining FedEx to live by the mantra: "Quality is not an ACT; it is a HABIT."