Saturday, June 15, 2013

Quality Today: Key Challenges

The most important challenges the quality community faces in ensuring that the value of quality is fully realized for the benefit of society: 
  • Engaging senior leaders to accept the critical role of quality and its impact for the benefit of their organization and the society.
  • Creating a culture of quality with the help of senior leaders who lead the way.
  • Creating leaders at all levels who appreciate the importance of quality and provide commitment, support, and get personally involved.
  • Focusing on customers by understanding their needs and expectations to deliver superior quality products and services.
  • Focusing on internal customers (employees) by engaging them through participation, motivation, and development to serve external customers.
  • Using few effective measurements to manage the enterprise.
  • Continually improving systems and processes to provide improved quality of products and services.
  • Ensuring that all major activities of the organization are managed in a socially responsible way to protect economy, environment, and the society.
The best-in-class organizations on a global basis continue to strive and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. The national performance excellence award winners are good role models whose practices we should adept as appropriate. This is where the quality community can play a critical role as quality champions.
Key questions the quality community most need answered in order to advance the state of quality practice in the world:
  • What are all the pain points in the organization? - Show the need
  • Which are the top 3-4 pain points if tackled will create superior value to the organization? - Prioritize the need
  • Who are the champions with right talents to solve the top pain points? - Create a guiding coalition
  • What is the vision to tackle the top pain points? - Focus on big picture
  • How do we communicate the urgency of top pain points in the organization? - Share it widely
  • How do we empower our internal customers to work collaboratively in tackling key pain points? - Take actions
  • How do we reinforce great work done by internal customers to keep them fully engaged in addressing key pain points? - Recognize good work
  • How do we sustain the results over a long time? - Create a new quality culture
I look forward to your thoughts to fully realize the value of quality for the benefit of society.


  1. Dr. Vora - these are extremely valid points. As a quality professional, I feel while most organizations are successful in starting quality journey and reach the certification stage (ISO/CMMI/..) challenge is in sustaining it without it being a forced compliance. How do we make quality a part of everyday work style rather than a checklist that is done to satisfy the auditors. Change like charity begins at home. Some best practices in my view are to change the way we quality group looks at the process compliance. Instead of seeing every task in the project as compliance wrt QMS, looking at what impact it makes to the final product/service and selling that to the practitioners would help. The benefit of following a process vs risk of not following a process should be understood by the practitioners. 2nd focus for quality folks is to understand the business of the practitioners and design the processes specific to business. How agile are we as quality professionals to adopt and embrace latest trends and best practices

  2. Kal, I fully agree with your comments. Quality professionals should become the champions of change and improvement, and not just an enforcer.