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1 Introduction

The rapid globalization of the world economy and international enterprises in the global economic space increasingly require new measures to effectively manage top-tier companies. The quality management system (QMS) plays a crucial role in ensuring a high level of competitiveness of organizations and processes carried out by these companies. However, an effective QMS must be used in a continuous improvement process. Shendalev and Shendaleva (2012) believe that the competitiveness of a company depends on the approaches used to supervise business processes and QMS processes, which apply both to product quality and organization management methods (Shendalev and Shendaleva (2012), p. 72). Vdovin (2014) explains that ISO 9004:2009 ‘Managing for the sustained success of an organization ‘ A quality management approach (Chapter 9: Improvement, innovation, and Learning) notes that management should constantly strive to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of organizational processes and not expect a problem to be solved (Vdovin 2014, p. 298). In this respect, time management is the best tool and means of increasing the efficiency of the organization as well as undoubtedly one of the most demanded technologies in the modern world. This became most relevant during the (COVID-19) pandemic when almost all companies massively switched to remote work. Habersaat and Scheel (2020) point out that as a result, the number of external irritants increased among workers that often prevented them from performing work duties efficiently, and frequently felt fatigued (Habersaat and Scheel 2020, pp. 4-8). Thus, employees began to be tempted to waste some of their working hours, and it negatively affected their efficiency and the overall profitability of the company. This brings us to the topic of this article. The document argues and explains the need to use time management as a tool for improving the QMS of a company and all stages of its work. The subject of the research is time management as a means of improving the quality management system, and the main goal is to identify possible options for improving the quality management system by exploiting time management technologies and methods. The following key question was asked: how to improve the quality management system using time management techniques? The ideas of sustainable development, based on the principles of continuous improvement of activities and focus on customer needs, are fundamental and fully interconnected with the requirements of international quality management standards ISO 9000.

2 Principles of effective time management and its impact on improving the quality management system

Borisova (2017) explains that time management affects not only the work of the entire organization but also the employees of the company. Practice shows that employees who have mastered the art of time management become happier, healthier, and more successful both in their professional and personal lives (Borisova 2017, p. 168). Effective time management provides an opportunity to comprehend and think over all actions and possible solutions from the point of view of their feasibility, both for the development and improvement of the entrepreneur and for the development of the QMS. To be able to effectively apply time management in the organization’s QMS, it is necessary to take into account and consider several main principles: action planning, setting goals or breaking them down, prioritization, and focusing on priorities.

2.1 Action planning

Successful application of time management means planning the goals and objectives of the company for a certain period of time. In a command-administrative economy, as it was in the USSR, this method was frequently used when drawing up plans for the development of the country’s economy. At that time, the phrase was popular: ‘Five-year plan in four years’. When planning a company’s quality assurance activities, managers and senior employees should record the goals and objectives of management in general meetings, using memory, written and electronic storage devices, then, announcing these goals and objectives to their subordinates, from the main tasks of the employee to extraordinary and urgent tasks. Geyser (2012) points out, that the planned actions of the employee increase the productivity of his activities by 25%. It also has a great impact on improving the efficiency of the QMS (Geyser 2012, pp. 50-62). However, effective implementation of the planned actions typically requires a specific and visual action plan, for which the Gantt chart method is often used.

The Grant chart shows all the tasks of the project with the indication of the timing, duration, and order of completion, which helps to save time and provides an opportunity for other employees and departments involved in the implementation of the project, to understand the current state of affairs and to start working at the required stage in a timely manner.

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2.2 Setting goals or breaking them down

High-quality and effective planning cannot be done without a competent and correct setting of goals. For this reason, the main goal of improving the quality management system in the company is competent leadership in accordance with realistic goals and objectives. In this case, the SMART principle is used to create local tasks. According to this principle, the final goal has to be: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based. Specificity is the main criterion for the effectiveness of a local task. Completing tasks competently and gradually reduces time spent on the path to great goals. Successful time management implies the ability to accomplish current tasks without deviating from global direction.

2.3 Prioritization

Mogga Rombe (2016) believed that the effective use of time management in the QMS requires a timely and clear definition of the main goal. However, the main task is to move towards this goal, consistently completing current tasks of varying complexity. To do this, it is extremely important to have the ability to correctly prioritize (Mogga Rombe 2016, 204-211). A perfect tool for proper prioritization is the Eisenhower Matrix. The ex-political leader of the United States, President Dwight D. Eisenhower proposed to divide all current affairs into 4 categories (Fig. 2). The first category: urgent and important – these are the first-priority tasks that need to be completed today and now: putting them off is bound to cause unpleasant difficulties in the future. Trusting their subordinates is also not worth it is needed to do it immediately and on one’s own. Second category: important non-urgent matters. These tasks can be solved regardless of time, which lets fully understand the specifics of a particular problem. This is the most efficient sector of the matrix. Vdovin (2014) claims, that based on ISO 9001:2008 ‘Quality Management System ‘ Requirements’ continuous quality improvement is the main and most essential task, and it is on this prioritization that this issue should be dealt with (Vdovin 2014, p. 298). The third category: is urgent and not very important matters that can take a significant amount of time if it needs to deal with them and the entire QMS department from the beginning of the first working hours. Tasks of this kind can be easily delegated to other management departments in the organization. Cases of category four (non-urgent and unimportant) are allowed to be removed from the list of daily tasks.

2.4 Focusing on Priorities

The ability to concentrate on the main thing, without being distracted by extraneous irritants, is one of the most significant skills that allow a manager to effectively solve the most priority tasks. This is especially necessary in the QMS, the main tasks of which are the continuous improvement of the quality of all processes in the organization. Sometimes, the QMS class performs functions and tasks that are performed in parallel by workers from other departments. To reduce time and effort, the most effective time-saving technique should be used ‘ delegation. Any task that, in terms of money and financial costs, is more expedient to leave to others, should be left to others.

3 Conclusion

Thus, possible options for improving the quality management system using time management techniques were found. Proposed principles of effective application of time management in the quality management system of a company improve its work, thereby ensuring the quality of services or products produced to meet the needs of consumers.

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