When was the last time you discussed the Quality of your products or services with a client, customer, or end-user? When was the last time you sat down to plan your cost of Quality with your management team? When was the last time you organised a team meeting before starting a project to define the precise level of Quality you were seeking to achieve? For most organisations, Quality is a topic that only comes up twice in a product’s life: it is mentioned abstractly in marketing material, and customers bring it up to complain after the fact. It is arguably the most crucial feature of any product or service, yet it remains abstract and largely ignored. Many of the leading thought experiments, theories, and models rolled out over the past hundred years have focused on quality improvement. They have focused mainly on selling you the solution you need to apply because it worked in a different country, for a business that has nothing in common with yours, under circumstances to which you cannot relate. But you give it a try; you invest in the training, the tools, the books, and it starts off good, but soon you have to conclude that you did not get any of the benefits promised. You have defined all the processes, created the documentation, used the mindmaps, flipcharts and whiteboards, you have covered the walls with post-it notes, rolled out the metrics and implemented the controls, created the charts, installed the new tools that will facilitate everything, and, within a few months, you are back where you started, but with more stuff. Then comes the conclusion that if this theory did not work for me, it must be rubbish. Quality is something that needs to be understood, defined and communicated correctly. It doesn’t require complex technology; it requires buy-in and belief from the people involved. Tools, theories, models, standards, tests and audits do not create Quality; people working in a culture that promotes collaborative relationships create Quality. It results from a clear set of agreed boundaries within which participants have the freedom to continually improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their tasks and results, without micro-management but not without a clear understanding of limits, constraints, causes and consequences. I will discuss some of the issues within my talk (why is Quality so difficult to define? Why is it more important today than ever before?). More importantly, I hope to give you some pointers on how it can be defined and translated into value statements that are attractive to clients and the management team? I hope also help you understand the difference between Quality and Quality or qualities! Nobody said it would be easy, but everyone must benefit from the results. [Registration via Eventbrite page]
4D Quality: Defined, Designed, Developed and Delivered
When was the last time you discussed the Quality of your products or services with a client, customer, or end-user?