Fire in the Hole


Quality professionals must be able to measure progress by creating a baseline to determine the effectiveness of their programs. The Japanese process known as kaizen refers to continuous improvement of quality to internal customers, which reduces costs. Internal quality is perceived as driving efficiency, which in turn drives schedules. Quality professionals must develop ways to measure whether this process is succeeding. The chief way management views success is how much money is left over after bills are paid. Management must establish the goals for processes, with profit as the main motivator. Establishing an appropriate set of indicators is key to knowing whether or not goals are being met. Quality costs are usually divided into the categories of prevention, appraisal, and failure. In general, preventing a defect is less costly than inspecting for one. A useful method for management is to determine the ratio of quality costs to the value of work done. The connection …

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