WHAT IS QUALITY?
What Is Quality?
I think quality is people because it is the partnership of researchers, designers, production workers. office workers, salespeople, inspectors, sailors, captains, crew and many others who are determined to help one another put out the best goods and services in every field.
Then some people believe that quality is the old-fashioned pride of an expert in a special craft where the expert feels the greatest happiness in doing the best job possible. I believe it is the thrill of beating competitors with a better product and coming out with new products before they do.
Therefore, quality can even be in a sweeper’s broom or a cleaner’s mop, which keep the place neat and clean. However, everyone in the enterprise or the department has to equally share the pride and the gleam then the whole accomplishment becomes qualitative. So quality is not the domain of any one worker at an enterprise or a department it must spread and be really contagious.
At our respective workplaces, we are all sweepers and cleaners to some extent and the orderliness that we help to establish for our own endeavours is the first essential of quality work and the resulting quality product.
One reason for the prosperity of any firm is the right kind of emphasis on the continuous improvement of the variety of processes by which all the work is done and activities are conducted.
I honestly feel that we must all guard against the tendency to say NO too quickly if we want quality to flourish at our workplace. Never assist to bury a good idea. As Peter Drucker says, “Quality in a service or product is not what you put into it. It is what the client or customer gets out of it.”
Think twice before you say:
- It will never work.
- We have never done it that way before.
- We are doing fine without it.
- We cannot afford it.
- We are not ready for it.
- It is not our responsibility.
When we find our people at our workplace are using some of these phrases or something similar to these, it is time to stop and re-think. Do we really mean it or are we merely looking for a convenient excuse to throw cold water on quality idea?
The idea of quality should become a habit, which is a powerful force. Good managers should always use this force to their advantage. Learning the techniques of managing others is one thing and putting those principles into practice by making them our habits is something else. It requires conscious, carefully planned and deliberate effort.
Once the idea of quality becomes our habit then we would be doing things right and doing them well at all times. Thus, we would be able to let our habits work for us by freeing our mind from detail, increasing our efficiency, catching our mistakes and releasing our conscious memory for other important things.
When business leaders learn or acquire new management techniques they should immediately set out to make these their habits, instinctive and ingrained parts of their everyday actions. That is quality performance and quality control. Consider such principles as suspending judgement until we have heard both sides of a question or remembering how important it is to hold our temper when others are losing theirs. If we conduct ourselves in this manner then we would be able to maintain quality in everything we set out to do.
The way to master such principles and make them part of us is to keep them constantly in mind and practice them religiously until they become habits. The more we are able to master and apply the principles of good and quality management to make them our habits, the better we would be able to manage others in our organization.
Good and qualitative habits work for all of us at all times, even when we are not at our best. Unlike conscious actions, they do not depend on how we feel or how busy we are. Therefore, it is my contention that our qualitative habits are always more reliable than memory.
Every time we repeat an act we reinforce and strengthen our habit. The important thing to remember is not to make any exceptions when it comes to quality control and qualitative activities. Exceptions merely weaken the habit so only steady, unbroken and constant repetition can fix a habit firmly and makes it part of our total quality consciousness.