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One View of a Quality Transformation May 8, 2012

Posted by Tim Rodgers in Quality.
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When there’s a quality crisis many people confuse a failure to execute a quality system with a failure due to the quality system itself. Establishing an effective quality system is a lot more than designing and implementing processes, training people in the proper use of these processes, and then putting monitoring and audits in place. The answer isn’t more testing and inspection and oversight; it requires a commitment at all levels of the organization and often a cultural transformation.

Here’s one example, from the transformation we undertook at the factory in China. I can’t say that we fully completed the journey while I was leading the team there, but this is where we were headed.

Minimum level of quality management A quality system with a better chance of succeeding
Passive reporting of quality issues Leadership to close quality issues
Waiting to react to customer escalations Proactive quality improvements based on understanding of the customer
Corrective action to fix the problem Understand and eliminate root cause to prevent the problem from re-occurring
A quality issue is closed when a corrective action plan is implemented The issue is closed only when improvements are measured as a result of the corrective action plan
End-of-line quality measures, testing and inspection after the product is finished In-process measures as early indicators
Incoming quality control, sorting, testing, audits, inspection Drive quality upstream (through design and supplier management)
Quality metrics required by the customer Cost of quality (CoQ) managed as an internal business metric
Test plans developed and provided by the customer Quality plans developed with the customer in mind, reducing the need for testing and inspection
Quality is the responsibility of the Quality department Quality culture in the entire organization (it’s everyone’s job)
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