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Lack of Feedback

The final problem that must be dealt with arises in situations where information flows only in one direction. The quality control flow chart should be carefully reviewed to identify persons or committees who perform quality control tasks but who do not receive feedback on the effectiveness of their performance. A one-way information flow is bad management practice, and it also presents severe quality control problems. It means that the control loop is broken, making it impossible for the actors in the loop to evaluate the effectiveness of their behavior. A one-way flow of information calls the effectiveness of the entire quality control program into question. Verification of the input is a critical management control function. A one-way information flow means that all the analysis subsequently performed on the input is of questionable value because the person generating the input cannot verify that person's work.

The problem of one-way information flows should be handled by scheduling periodic group evaluation sessions. During the sessions, all the person involved in the control loop should meet and discuss their work and pose any questions they have about the input they receive from each other. These group sessions should be supplemented by formal evaluations. A formal evaluation must be periodically performed to ensure that the data that are processed in the quality control loop meet the criteria discussed earlier in the chapter.


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