Monday, August 18, 2014

The Future of Quality: Evolutionary or Revolutionary?

This blog post is in response to the August 2014 ASQ Influential Voices topic, "The Future of Quality: Evolutionary or Revolutionary?"

As we all know looking into a crystal ball is mostly a conjuncture. However, as quality professionals we need to ponder about the future of quality. From my personal experience, we will see a mix of both. Let me indulge in quantifying its magnitude - 80% Evolutionary and 20% Revolutionary. From the Pareto Principle, that 20% Revolutionary Quality will provide 80% impact to our Society.

Evolutionary Quality - The evolutionary quality will use seven quality control and seven quality planning tools. Continue improvement at intra-organization level using ISO Standards, lean, and six sigma. These practices will ensure that organizations are able to compete and hold its own in the market place.

Revolutionary Quality - The revolutionary quality will be used to managing global supply chains (SCs) in the spirit of collaboration and cooperation among SC partners at inter-organization level, aligning incentives, open communication and trust leading to value-added products/services to customers. Major tools such as benchmarking, performance excellence models such as US Baldrige Performance Excellence Framework, and streamlined human resources practices to engage associates in the knowledge economy.

If we want to harness the full potential of the revolutionary quality, we need to leverage information technology to its fullest.  In developing worlds, improving education, health care, and government sectors will aid in nation building. As an example, ASQ India has a concerted focus on improving quality of education (system level) and quality in education (curriculum level). To better prepare students in higher education area, we have initiated a Leadership Excellence Series (LES) using Google Hangout on Air at Indian Institute of Technology (BHU), Varanasi, India (my alma mater). Major focus of this series is to equip undergraduate students with soft skills and quality management principles, so they are most productive when they enter their work places. Likewise similar projects can be launched in health care and government sectors. 

We need to exploit information technology to instill holistic quality in a global community to eradicate diseases, malnutrition, and poverty. World can benefit tremendously when people and organizations come together using revolutionary quality to ensure economic prosperity, environmental stewardship, and social responsibility (Triple Bottom line). We need to leverage quality make the world a better place to live!

I look forward to your thoughts about the future of quality: revolutionary or evolutionary, or combination of both.


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