What’s the Future of Quality?

[This is a guest post by Laurel Nelson-Rowe, ASQ managing director.]

ASQ’s 2015 Future of Quality report is, as ASQ CEO Bill Troy phrased it, a “bit of a departure” from past editions. ASQ first put the Future of Quality on its radar screen, and yours, nearly 20 years ago, in 1996.

From my vantage, the method and form of this most recent report are departures, but the impact could be even greater than in the past.

The 2015 Future of Quality report is entitled “Quality Throughout.” The solid 88-page report is a compilation of essays from experts in their fields, from around the globe.

The topics are approachable—city planning, global aerospace and defense, customer experience, education, energy, healthcare, the Internet, and manufacturing, among others. You can choose to read specific essays based on interest or the entire report. It’s free for everyone.

There are some common yet provocative themes you will notice throughout the essays.  A few themes that resonated with us in particular are:

  • The need for high-quality information to be quickly shared with multiple groups. Are silos on their way out?
  • A new era of customer understanding—we think we know the customer, but we don’t.
  • The implications of limitless connectivity—in education, healthcare, manufacturing, city management, and so on.
  • The role of quality pros will evolve to leader, not only technical specialists.
  • The broadening of quality knowledge throughout the organization.

The hand-selected group of contributors, their prose and positions, and the report packaging are designed to appeal to and beyond the quality community—from consumer to senior executives. Quality Throughout is meant to stir discussion, debate, learning and engagement.

We hope and trust that the report —like ASQ’s past Future reports—prompts, and, more importantly, sustains the attention, urgency and prominence given quality and continuous improvement,  and the professionals and practitioners who plan, do, study and act quality every day, everywhere. For without these change agents, problem solvers, and leaders, our businesses, institutions and communities would surely be without quality throughout.

I look forward to learning your views, once you’ve seen “The Future.”

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