Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs – February 2014

Welcome to February 2014 edition of Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs.

Our discussion topic for the present edition of the Blog Carnival is Quality Assurance vs. Quality Control. The subject does seem well-worn out. However, the internet search reveals several articles appearing in the recent time frame too.  As I read through the articles, I did find quite interesting bits of informative light in these articles. And, hence the topic for the current edition.

  • We commence our look-in of the topic with Overview @ ASQ, wherein we get to look at the classic definitions:

The terms “quality assurance” and “quality control” are often used interchangeably to refer to ways of ensuring the quality of a service or product. The terms, however, have different meanings.

Assurance: The act of giving confidence, the state of being certain or the act of making certain.
Quality Assurance: The planned and systematic activities implemented in a quality system so that quality requirements for a product or service will be fulfilled.

Control: An evaluation to indicate needed corrective responses; the act of guiding a process in which variability is attributable to a constant system of chance causes.
Quality Control: The observation techniques and activities used to fulfill requirements for quality.

  • The sight dealing exclusively with different meanings –  www.diffen.com  –  has this to state:

Quality Assurance is process oriented and focuses on defect prevention; while quality control is product oriented and focuses on defect identification. It goes on to illustrate the difference with the help of a chart

Because “assurance” means that you know you did everything needed to make something that works right, while “control” means that you have no idea whether any or all of your batch o’junk is worth anything until you examine each item.

In the case of software, QA means that you know that the code you are making fulfills the requirements, QC is discovering that your process of writing code was not adequate to assure that you didn’t create a lot of bugs along with your features.ChrisBaugh

QM-QA-QCAs the quality movement matured and improved, it developed into Quality Management. Now the emphasis has widened to include developments in systems thinking and management systems.  Quality management is a much broader field.  While it includes quality planning, as well as quality control and quality assurance, it also includes quality improvement and extends beyond just QA and QC to a systems approach and looking at the quality management system as a whole.

  • Difference between QA and QC, while neatly laying out the differences in a tabular format, focuses on failure prevention as the key to Quality Assurance, as against failure detection of the Quality Control.

Quality Assurance: a Strategy of Prevention whereas Quality Control: a Strategy of Detection.

  • What is the difference between Quality Assurance and Quality Control?   differentiates these as :“Prevention over inspection” and “DIRFT – Do It Right the First Time”. At the heart of these two concepts lies the idea that everything we produce should be produced error free from the start, because it’s more costly to fix an error afterwards.
  • BBC’s article on Product analysis and evaluation states that – Designers and manufacturers use product analysis to help them develop ideas for new or improved products and to analyse the work of other designers. Quality assurance is a system of checks and inspections to ensure high standards throughout design and manufacture.

Quality Control is defined as a system for verifying and maintaining a desired level of quality in an individual test or process.  Quality control activities span the testing process from the moment of specimen collection until the time the physician receives the report.  Quality Assurance (QA) is defined by the College of American Pathologists as systematic monitoring of quality control results and quality practice parameters to assure that all systems are functioning in a manner appropriate to excellence in health care delivery.  Quality assurance is a coordinated system designed to detect, control and prevent the occurrence of errors and, ultimately, to further a clinician’s ability to appropriately care for his or her patient. A number of quality control/quality assurance measures for cytopathology have been specified by the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988.  All quality assurance processes must be described and documented in a quality assurance program in the laboratory.

Simply put, quality assurance is the act of creating, monitoring and maintaining the overall quality system (the marching orders).

Quality control is the act of carrying out those orders during the process of creating the product or deliverable.

The quality control manager will probably be interested in product yield, reacts to changing conditions, focuses on the product, provides a production line function, and finds faults. The aim of quality control is to offer the highest quality of product or service to the client, thereby meeting or even exceeding the client requirements.

QC focuses on the product produced. This focus is two-fold, ensuring that both customer and producer share the same vision of quality, and that work is objectively reviewed to eliminate defects. First goal is to reduce the “Quality Gap”, the gap between customer expectations (not necessarily stated) and the development team’s understanding of the explicit requirements. The second goal of the Quality Control entity is to find defects before they reach the customer.

QA focuses on processes and their continuous improvement. Its goal is to reduce variance in processes in order to predict the quality of an output (final or interim product), gather best practices for the company, reduce cost, and reduce time to market. QA is strongly linked to innovation and creativity. Quality Assurance neither imposes nor defines processes for other people, but it provides advice and support to the process owner, which leads to the ability to measure success and make decisions based on facts. A well-known approach to Quality Assurance is the PDCA (Plan Do Check Act) Cycle.

And here are few of the detailed reference articles:

Understanding consumer behavior can help quality assurance (QA) people allocate resources.

A comparison of commonly used quality assurance alternatives, classified according to generic methods of dealing with defects, leads to an integrated approach for software quality assurance and improvement.

Twenty multiple-choice questions test your knowledge of quality control statistics.

We take a look beyond our focus topic @ Random Thoughts posted by Michael Wade

  • In many cases, we should not worry so much about what to do beyond our current efforts; rather we should consider what to stop doing.
  • In a similar vein, searching for new facts can be less productive than reviewing our current knowledge and learning what doesn’t withstand scrutiny.
  • Frequently tally up your assumptions. Don’t look for magic bullets. The difficult path may be the fastest.
  • If you could travel to the next decade, which of our present practices would cause you to wonder, “How could they have ever thought that would work?” If you were a stock, would you be a Buy, Hold or Sell?
  • An executive’s passion for inaction can be as revealing as an x-ray.
  •  No one boasts of hard work more than a non-producer.

The Blog Carnival does strongly recommend to bookmark Magazine back issues @ Quality Digest.

Next, we turn our sails to our regular sections, starting with an international body actively engaged in furtherance of quality.

The International Register of Certificated Auditors (IRCA) – world’s original and largest international auditor certification body.

IRCA provides two main services:

  1. Certification of auditors of management systems
  2. Approval of training organizations and certification of their auditor training courses

The site has several useful services, like IRCA e-Library, which can be accessed by registering therein.

And then move over to ASQ TV Episode – Global Supply Chain

In today’s global economy, most organizations know they can’t go at it alone. To build products and services that customers demand, businesses must forge partnerships with each other. So how do you ensure you’re adding the right partners to your supply chain process? Include quality in the equation. This episode explores:

  1. Quality considerations when building a global supply chain.
  2. Keys to a synced-up supply chain.
  3. A tool that rates suppliers and helps them improve.

Our ASQ’s Influential Voice for the month is – : Babette N. Ten Haken.

Babette N. Ten HakenBabette is founder and president of sales at Aerobics for Engineers, LLC. She works to build revenue-producing business strategies for technical start-ups seeking investors and early customers. She is a professional mentor for the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps program, a Six Sigma Green Belt, and mentor at the Center for Entrepreneurship, University of Michigan. She has been recognized as one of the 2013 top 50 sales and marketing influencers. Her blog is called Sales Aerobics for Engineers.

The blog has these sections:

The blog has wide ranging articles on Sales, of which  – Creating Professional Sustainability – Creating your professional sustainability strategy encompasses considering all the activities you engage in pre- and post- “sale. “– yourself as a Professional Person of Worth – has direct message for Sales and Marketing professionals. Importantly, the underlying message also holds equally true for Quality Professionals.

And we finally round up our present edition with  John Hunter’s 6th Annual Curious Cat Management Blog Review  wherein each of the participants post reviews of several blogs on their blog. Links to all the 2013 Management Blog Review posts are listed below, ordered by the number of years each author has participated in the annual review.

I look forward to your active participation in enriching the blog carnival as we pursue our journey through the rest of 2014…………….

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Author: ASHOK M VAISHNAV

In July 2011, I opted to retire from my active career as a practicing management professional. In the 38 years that I pursued this career, I had opportunity to work in diverse capacities, in small-to-medium-to-large engineering companies. Whether I was setting up Greenfield projects or Brownfield projects, nurturing the new start-ups or accelerating the stabilized unit to a next phase growth, I had many more occasions to take the paths uncharted. The life then was so challenging! One of the biggest casualty in that phase was my disregards towards my hobbies - Be with The Family, Enjoy Music form Films of 1940s to mid-1970s period, write on whatever I liked to read, pursue amateur photography and indulge in solving the chess problems. So I commenced my Second Innings to focus on this area of my life as the primary occupation. At the end of four years, I am now quite a regular blogger. I have been able to build a few very strong pen-relationships. I maintain contact with 38-years of my First Innings as freelance trainer and process facilitator. And yet, The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.

3 thoughts on “Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs – February 2014”

  1. I think it is very effective post for us. Thanks for this nice and Helpful post. There is exciting moderately nice about the “Carnival of Quality Management”. I like the suggestion.
    I think, The concept of a quality management system has grown dramatically over the years. It started out with the simple process of pulling random product from the conveyor belt to test them for quality, but it has grown far beyond that today.
    I want to share some Information about Quality Management System.

    1. I agree on the evolution of Quality Management System and its present reach.
      Once I have covered in-depth view of some basic terms, I do wish to take up a similar exercise on QMS too.

  2. Superb website you have here but I was wondering if you knew of any community forums that cover the
    same topics talked about here? I’d really like to be a part of online
    community where I can get suggestions from other experienced people that share the same
    interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know.
    Thanks!

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