Is your organization trusted for its commitment to quality? If there’s room for improvement, you might consider reading Philip Crosby’s 1979 classic Quality is Free. In this book, Crosby outlines how you can improve quality and how to build an environment where commitment in quality is essential.
Why Commitment to Quality Matters
- Crosby sees quality not just as a set of procedures but a way of doing things – a management philosophy that starts with leadership.
- Many organizations value quality, but they have little-to-no agreed upon measurement system.
- Most know the cost of quality in their particular group, but not for their organization. Crosby’s research found that organization’s unaware of their quality costs had actual costs of 20% of sales.
- He offers this 14-Step Quality Improvement Program, which he expands on in his book.
14-Step Quality Improvement Program
- Management Commitment
- Quality Improvement Team
- Quality Measurement
- Cost of Quality Evaluation
- Quality Awareness
- Corrective Action
- Establish an Ad Hoc Committee for the Zero Defects Program
- Supervisor Training
- Zero Defects Day
- Goal Setting
- Error Cause Removal
- Recognition – Awards Program
- Quality Councils
- Do It Over Again
Interaction with the 8 Pillars of Trust – Quality
- Implementing a commitment to quality begins with the clarity pillar. Leaders must become clear on what they see as quality. Then, the leadership teams must agree on what commitment to quality means, how to measure it, and the plan to develop it. It also ends with clarity, as the entire organization becomes clear on a mindset for quality.
- Quality is often perceived by users as a measure or indicator of an organizations character. If they consistently show high quality, we assume they have high integrity. If we see lapses or discrepancies through an organization’s services or function, they can be seen as having low character. And, if their standards for quality have negative impact on people, we question the other side of character – their morality.
- Low quality or inconsistent quality steers employees and customers away in many circumstances, because of a perception of competence. Who wants to buy hire a lawyer that wins few cases?
- Organizations that consistently deliver high quality are known for it. We see them as having a commitment to quality. Think of Ritz-Carlton. Their brand speaks of excellence of quality because it’s experienced throughout the world at their hotels. We know the people that work there have a mindset that’s committed to the maximum quality of your stay.
- The more commitment to quality, the more growth through the quality stages, and the further on in the stages, the more money saved. Those who are committed to preventing errors in customer and product requirements save on money, time, and brain damage. You can imagine the mad scramble of fire fighters when wind spreads fire to another direction in a forest. This reactionary style which young and old companies have, can be prevented with a clear quality program. If your company lacks one, it could be something to consider.