How Do You Explain Your Job in Quality?

So you’re at a cocktail party… Okay, your children’s school concert. You’re chatting with an acquaintance and they ask: “What do you?” You explain that you’re a quality assurance manager or a quality engineer or a quality auditor. Your acquaintance looks at you blankly and says, “So….what do you do?”

What do you do? In the March issue of QP, contributor Marcia M. Weeden reflected on the difficulty of explaining our jobs. She came up with three ingenious illustrations that use pictures to explain the quality profession, the manufacturing environment, and the service environment.  This is a fun and simple way to illustrate what we do.

As for what you do—how do you explain it in casual conversations?  I’m reminded of a college writing assignment to define manufacturing to an eighth-grade student.  My paper started with raw material and ended with consumer goods.  It was good enough for an honorable mention by the professor. The best paper started with: “manufacturing is making applesauce from apples.”  Clearly better.  How do we make the quality practitioner so easily understood?

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