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Category : Funny , Quality Management


As a family we love to travel, by travelling we get chance to see new places, meet new people, experience difference culture but the most important is the travel time. We prefer to travel by car as we are better connected in the absence of technology. We initiate a discussion or problem or our dreams and by the end of the trip we come out with a solution or a plan of action.

During our recent long trip, we had a wonderful conversion on food. It all started when my wife was enquiring about the Biryani that she cooked a day before. She prepared the Biryani based on phone instructions from my mom. We discussed about the positives, opportunities for improvement and my wife asked a simple question, “I did whatever mom instructed but why the Biryani was not as expected”. I thought about the question and this gave me an opportunity to introduce them about Business Biryani Process Management.  Just like BPM is a discipline, a practice or something we do, Biryani Process Management is also a set of activities that will be carried out to cook an authentic tasteful Biryani.

Our problem statement: When the ingredients remained the same (taken from same lot), and when cooked by different people the output differs.

During our return journey we planned to conduct Biryani experiment and I designed our experiment based on Crosby Maturity Grid.

Just like Philip Crosby Maturity Grid that shows different stages of maturity of the company’s quality management against six different quality management categories our Biryani experiment was aligned with 5 stages of maturity (Uncertainty, Awakening, Enlightment, Wisdom and Certainty).

Crosby Maturity Grid

Measurement categories. Stage 1: Uncertainty. Stage 2: Awakening Stage 3: Enlightenment Stage 4: Wisdom Stage 5: Certainty
Management understanding and attitude. No comprehension of quality as a management tool. Tend to blame quality department for “quality problems” Recognising that Quality Management may be of value but not willing to provide money or time to make it all happen. While going through quality improvement programme, learning more about Quality Management; becoming supportive and helpful Participating. Understanding absolutes of quality management. Recognise their personal role in continuing emphasis. Consider Quality Management an essential part of company system
Quality organisation status Quality is hidden in manufacturing or engineering departments. Inspection is probably not part of the organisation. Emphasis on appraisal and sorting. A stronger quality leader is appointed but main emphasis is still on appraisal and getting product out of the door. Still part of manufacturing or other function. Quality department reports to top management, all appraisals is incorporated and quality manager has role in management of company. Quality manager is an officer of the company; effective status reporting and preventative action. Involved with consumer affairs and special assignments. Quality manager on board of directors. Prevention is main concern. Quality Manager is a thought leader
Problem handing Problems are fought as they occur; no resolution; inadequate definition; lots of yelling and accusations. Teams are set up to attack major problems. Long-range solutions are not solicited. Fire fighting. Corrective action communication established. Problems are faced openly and resolved in an orderly way. Problems identified early in their development. All functions are open to suggestion and improvement. Except in the most unusual cases, problems are prevented.
Cost of quality as % of sales Reported: Unknown.

Actual: 20 %

Reported: 3%

Actual: 18%


Actual: 12%

Reported: 6.5%

Actual: 8%

Reported: 2.5%

Actual: 2.5%

Quality improvement actions No organised activities. No understanding of such activities. Trying obvious “motivational” short range efforts Implementation of the 14 Step Programme with thorough understanding and establishment of each step Continuing the 14 Step Programme and starting Make Certain Quality improvement is a normal and continued activity.
Summation of company quality posture “We don’t know why we have problems with quality. “ “Is it absolutely necessary to always have problems with quality?” “Through management commitment and quality improvements we are identifying and resolving out problems” “Defect prevention is a routine part of our operation” “We know why we do not have problems with quality.”

Quality Maturity Grid – (Source: Quality is Free by Philip Crosby)




Stage 1 – Uncertainty: Experiment 1

  • Ingredients taken from same lot.
  • Cooks: My daughter (very basic like we need to switch on the gas and light it), my wife (basic cooking knowledge with 12 years of experiments) and myself (Loves eating and passionate about food).
  • Process: We did not have any defined process to make a Biryani and it was based on individual cooking knowledge.
  • Output: My daughter was not allowed to cook as my wife did not want to waste food but based on her description it would have been Sam’s Rice but not edible. My wife’s biryani was edible but it’s more of mixed rice than a biryani. Mine was near to Biryani but not an authentic.



Stage 2 – Awakening

Based on the experience from Experiment 1, we realised the importance of a process and we individually designed one each that addressed our major problems. We browsed online and selected the best and easy one to conduct our next experiment.

Stage 3 – Elightment: Experiment 2

  • Ingredients taken from same lot.
  • Cooks: My daughter, my wife and myself.
  • Process: We defined and followed the process individually to make a Biryani.
  • Output: My daughter had a better version of Sam’s Rice but this time it was edible. My wife’s biryani was slighter better than before with few major issues fixed but still not a biryani. Mine was almost similar Biryani but with minor improvements.




Stage 4 – Wisdom

After enjoying the Biryani we identified the root cause as what went wrong in our individual processes and discussed about the positive things. We teamed up to define a single process taking the positive things and corrective actions. We watched few videos, understood the best practices in Biryani making, added more details like temperate control; most importantly we conducted research on the purpose of each ingredients. We discussed the refined process with experts; define couple of checklists for ingredients and process. We were all set to conduct our third experience with a set of process, checklist and defined roles and responsibilities.

Stage 5 – Certainty: Experiment 3

  • Ingredients as defined from our checklist.
  • Cook: My daughter managed the checklist, my wife was assistant chef and myself chief chef.
  • Process: Our refined process to make a Biryani.
  • Output: A perfect Biryani but with few minor improvements and near to authentic.













We continued our experiments, reviewed our process, worked out the best practices and attended training with friends and relatives until we cook a perfect authentic BIRYANI



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