Saturday, October 13, 2012

Going Beyond the Traditional Quality Function

Quality is a common denominator in all walks of life. Quality is synonymous to Excellence.

In my 37 years of professional experience, I have learned the importance of Big Q. The Big Q is a multiplier of quality (q) x cost (C) x schedule (S): Q = q x C x S. Traditionally, quality professionals focus their attention on small "q" or performance (processes, systems, metrics, etc.). However, the quality professionals need to expand their horizons.

Let us begin with the Project Management. Research shows that on an average only 20% of the projects are successful (i.e. they meet performance, cost, and schedule metrics as initially planned). When we dig deeper, we find that the project failures are attributed to lack of five crucial conversations: planning around facts, faithful to the project management process, project sponsors providing support, honestly assessing progress and risks, and all team members pulling their weight. When quality professionals are involved as either a Project Leader or Project Team members, she/he must ensure that all five crucial conversations take place, ensuring excellence in Project Management.

Next, we explore the Change Management. The Sustainable Change Management can be achieved as a result of Enlightened Leadership, Great Project Management, and Excellent Talent Management. The quality professionals are well versed with the discipline of leadership, project management, and employee engagement. They can add great value in managing change and sustaining the gains for a longer term. 

In the Supply Chain Management, the critical aspects are Supply Chain Strategy, Planning, and Operation. One need to address the Six Key Drivers to achieve supply chain excellence. They are: Facility, Inventory, Transportation, Sourcing, Pricing, and Information. When we overlay the quality discipline with the supply chain management, we can have a dynamite situation to achieve Supply Chain Excellence. In the global world, managing supply chain is crucial and quality professionals have a big role to play.

Let us explore the Quality of Life. The quality professionals are well positioned to contribute to improving the quality of life for everyone in an organization using the ISO 26000 Standards (Social Responsibility).

In summary, quality professionals need to approach the world with open eyes and open arms to seek out opportunities and add value. When quality professionals execute their roles and responsibilities with sincerity, they will make this world a little better place, than we inherited it.

I welcome your thoughts on this important topic.


  1. Research shows that on an average only 20% of the projects are successful. Source of research?
    Can you offer a case study of Big Q and how it is applied to Project Management, Change Management , Supply Change Management.

  2. Jeffrey, for software projects, look up The Standish CHAOS Report , UK – 1990, 2000, and 2009, Seer Galorath, June 7, 2008. I teach this subject around the world and get a similar answer of 20% success rate for projects - other 80% are a), either challenged - did not meet all 3 metrics (Performance, Cost, and Schedule) and b). failed - abandoned.

    When I was with AT&T Bell Laboratories from 1983-2000, we had a great focus on Big Q. It required paying attention to performance, cost, and schedule. We went through major transformation (change management) at the Naperville Illinois campus to implement quality management discipline in the Switching Systems Division. Project Management was used as a tool to undertake relevant projects and bring them to completion including supply chain management.


  3. The various concerns and probabilities have been well placed out above and would help students to proceed further. finance thesis