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Quality is a value understood by all but practiced by few. It is the critical factor the customer now looks for. It would not be an exaggeration to mention that if World Class Companies have been able to create their image and sustain it in the market, it is for this focus on the value called Quality.
There are various models and techniques taught and practiced on this subject. However, it is not surprising that it is also the most compromised value in today’s life. There can be many reasons for this compromise; pricing pressures, delivery pressures, process issues, attitude & choice of wrong outsourced options and vendors. It is, however, my experience as a consultant that a lot of people do not have Quality as a value in their own system. I have always believed it is time now that performance management systems do an evaluation of the individual on Quality being practiced too. Quality needs to be assessed on quantitative factors associated with it. Leaders must practice Quality, and there should be no exception. The speed of work and Quality adherence is a tightrope to walk but will have to be walked.
There are surely ways to deal with Quality compromises. One of the methods is to promote Quality culture and allow only those individuals to grow to essential positions who practice Quality. Managers who deliver performance but do not adhere to quality norms must not be given key positions. This is a painful option, but in the long term, it surely pays. Create visual symbols & one-page reports that bring out quality issues. Continuously identify where & how the Quality compromise happens and make people accountable for it. There also has to be a push for Quality focus during process & product innovations. Innovation and Quality have to go hand in hand.
Quality is a value that undoubtedly creates a loyal customer. So do look at your culture, people, and processes and identify the norms that would bring quality to evolve as the most critical value in your organization.
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