June Roundup–Taking Quality Beyond Product

How do we move quality beyond product? This was the question posted to ASQ’s Influential Voices bloggers in June. I was pleased that many approached this question from unusual perspectives, drawing parallels between quality and human resources, service, social media, and beyond. This question was inspired by recent research by The Conference Board Quality Council, principally authored by Mike Adams, on quality’s response to the challenges facing CEOs in the 21st century. I encourage you to read it, and to read the responses by the bloggers.

Here’s the roundup, loosely grouped by train of thought regarding what it takes to move quality beyond product.

Leadership: Moving quality beyond product and building a quality culture requires buy-in from managers and leaders, writes Tim McMahon. John Hunter suggests making improvements to the management system in an organization. Scott Rutherford reflects on quality culture, management, and the “big Q,” and the “little q.”  Staff is equally important. “Companies are built or destroyed by the quality of their people,” writes Cesar Diaz Guevara. And getting all employees to share the same definition of quality is the trick to implementing a quality movement, writes Dr. Robert Burney.

Strategy: Deborah Mackin suggests a Lean 5S approach to moving quality beyond product. Robert Mitchell writes about his experience implementing quality in organizations such as 3M. Rajan Thiyagarajan shares several case studies about product and service quality at major companies. Chris Hermenitt writes about the freedom to make real-time improvements and revisions.

Learning from the gurus: Jimena Calfa looks to Deming’s 14 points of management, while Anshuman Tiwari looks to Juran’s classic trilogy. I pleased to have Deming and Juran brought into the conversation. Their teachings are profound and as relevant now as ever.  Perhaps more so now.

Perspective: John Priebe compares the current state of the quality to the HR movement to get a seat at the C-suite table. Manu Vora notes that the Baldrige program can help to expand the scope of quality. In Asia, excellence in product and service quality is a key strategic focus, writes Dr. Lotto Lai.  And in healthcare, service is quality, writes Nergis Soylemez. Speaking of service, working in retail right out of college taught Aimee Siegler the real value of quality.

Mindset: We must realize that while “Quality control certainly has a purpose, it’s not the goal,” writes Jennifer Stepniowski. Suresh Lulla reflects on quality and commitment. And Kerrie Christian looks to the play “All My Sons,” by American playwright Arthur Miller, for lessons in quality—in product and beyond. On another literary note—Guy Wallace writes a philosophical response to the question, ending with a poem by Robert Frost.

It’s clear that the question provoked thinking and deeply held beliefs. Thank you, all. It’s also clear that there is work to be done for quality to realize its full potential, and nothing will help more than people who understand and have experience to raise their voice. Loudly, please.

This entry was posted in case for quality, Current Events, Customer Service, Quality, Uncategorized, white paper and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to June Roundup–Taking Quality Beyond Product

  1. Ali reza Guilani says:

    I think what makes the quality beyond of the product are belief of leaders to the origin of good in human society. I’ve seen many organizations when Leaders emphasize to Human values other than the money, this subject itself passes to all personnel and thus making a product moves beyond quality goods.

  2. Melanye Johnson Parcells says:

    re: June Roundup–Taking Quality Beyond Product: Good comments on this blog; broad applications; service is quality not only in healthcare; lessons learned from the great power outage here in DC; encouraging utility companies to interact with their customers and customers to interact constructively with the utilities, working together, not giving in to anger and frustration; I agree with Dr. Burney: getting all employees to share the same definition of quality is the trick to implementing a quality movement in any business or service organization.

  3. Taking Quality beyond product often suggests in this contributors experience and point of view is the integral interdependencies of a harmonious organization that thrives to continually evaluate and provide quality throughout an organizational structure that encompasses a final product. The fact that we acknowledge the need for leadership, structure, human values, and interaction with customers, management commitment, communication, and Quality programs such as Lean, Six Sigma delineates awareness that improvement is needed to sustain global market demands as well as internal demands. The conundrum that I have witnessed throughout 40 years of organizational experience is that the process by which to implement Quality beyond the product is interdependent upon the micro aspect of an organizational culture rather than assuming one organizational culture. In other words how to merge and acknowledge all cultural traits within in an organization to a harmonious interaction. Since this is varied within an organization most of the information available does not address the implementation at the micro level and assumes that there is one organizational culture. In contrast, I believe this facet of taking Quality beyond product is interlaced with today’s psychological acumen of cultures within an organization once we understand these micro-cultures then we can harmoniously create an organizational culture that would produce Quality beyond product.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *