Welcome to January 2020 edition of Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs.
The Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs enters 8th year.
We have tested different formats to explore the world of quality profession. For 2020, we plan to focus on Revisiting Basic Quality Concepts. Our aim is to re-understand their inherent meaning and amplify their importance with reference to the sustained success of the organization.
We will pick up one topic every month. On this platform, we will remain quite brief and will take a quick peep at the reference material. Parallelly, I will, offline, prepare a more detailed briefing note, which shall be available for reading downloading at the click on a given hyperlink. For a complete reading of the relevant article / blogpost, one can continue to visit the blog as has been our past practice.
Our first call this month in this pursuit of Revisiting Basic Quality Concepts is History of Quality.
Civilizations that supported the arts and crafts allowed clients to choose goods meeting higher quality standards rather than normal goods. In societies where arts and crafts are the responsibility of master craftsmen or artists, these masters would lead their studios and train and supervise others.
‘The pillory for selling bad fish  – recorded @ “Chaucer’s World” Chapter I – London Life, pp. 22 -– Compiled by Edith Sickert, first published in 1948 – is, perhaps, one of the earliest recorded case of redressal of a quality complaint by the aggrieved customer(s).
Craftsmen themselves often placed a second mark on the goods they produced. At first this mark was used to track the origin of faulty items. But over time the mark came to represent a craftsman’s good reputation. Inspection marks and master craftsmen marks served as proof of quality for customers throughout medieval Europe. This approach to manufacturing quality was dominant until the Industrial Revolution in the early 19th century.
But by the 1920s, the focus had shifted from quantity to quality because of increases in demand. Emphasis was also added to ensuring quality was consistent from shipment to shipment. Throughout the century, it quickly became clear that working harder and for longer periods of time was not increasing efficiency. The realization demonstrated that working smarter and employing quality control measures was the way to ultimately yield the most profits.
The Factory System and The Taylor System also remain documented as two major milestones in the history of quality.
The beginning of the 20th century marked the inclusion of “processes” in quality practices. Walter Shewhart began to focus on controlling processes in the mid-1920s, making quality relevant not only for the finished product but for the processes that created it.
Edwards Deming took this one step further. Management, he said, can lead by understanding what he called his “System of Profound Knowledge (SoPK)”. Dr. Deming’s holistic approach to leadership and management ties together seminal theories in four interrelated areas: appreciation for a system, knowledge of variation, theory of knowledgeand psychology. The System of Profound Knowledge promotes transformation through an essential outside “lens” which can benefit anyone and any organization. As well as his System of Profound Knowledge, Deming also presented 14 management principles that he believed could improve efficiency in business, encouraging a holistic approach that encompasses not only business ideas, but concepts centering on how humans operate as well.
The quality systems and approach to the quality have further matured during these first two decades of 21st century. We’re seeing a few big shifts:
- Integration: Technology now makes it possible for companies to break down barriers between departments, which has long been a foundational principle of quality management.
- Big Data: Today’s QMS captures more data than ever, allowing companies to leverage sophisticated reporting and business intelligence tools to build a competitive advantage.
- Risk Management: Companies are realizing that risk management and quality are inseparably linked, as reflected in the risk-based approaches now being leveraged in recent iterations of ISO 9001.
We’ve come a long way in improving quality. Now the question is how to build on that success. 
To end, the present discussion we will take look at – Where is quality headed from here? – A Brief History of Quality – This webinar will provide quality practitioners with a chronological history of quality from its earliest beginnings in mass manufacturing and the need for standardization and efficiency to the present day and the proliferation of national and international quality standards.
[N.B. – Detailed note on History of Quality can be read / downloaded by clicking on the hyper link.]
We will now turn to our regular sections:
For the year 2020, we plan to look at the Organizational Culture, as one of the enablers of the sustained success. We will take up one aspect for quick study. Presently, we have taken up – The Organizational Culture – What Is It? – Organizational culture is a system of shared assumptions, values, and beliefs, which governs how people behave in organizations… At its worst, corporate culture can be a drag on productivity and performance. At its best, it is an emotional energizer…Organizational culture is like an iceberg, with most of its weight and bulk below the surface. Don’t leave the organizational iceberg unattended! ..And let’s forget that the culture of any organization is shaped by leadership.
We pause here for a moment to take note of a series of articles, posted by Tanmay Vora @QAspire on Active Garage during 2009. that touches upon some of the most critical aspects of building a quality-centric organization culture.
We now watch ASQ TV, wherein we look at a few relevant videos:
- ASQ TV Episode 2: Culture of Quality – This episode of ASQ TV explores the culture of quality. Brien Palmer, author of Making Change Work, gives us an overview of the components of a culture of quality and its importance. Monroe Clinics culture change leads to a leaner healthcare facility. And Kaizen plays an important role in a quality culture.
Jean Harvey article: http://asq.org/quality-progress/2012/05/change-management/make-the-leap.html
- Culture Of Quality – The episode digs deeper into transforming the organizational culture into a culture of quality.
Jim L. Smith’s Jim’s Gems posting for December 2019 is:
- Sustained Effort – Attention to details and focused follow up typically means the difference between success and failure….We need the confidence to envision bold goals, and the humility to get our hands dirty in order to reach them. We need to keep the big picture firmly in our minds, while giving our attention to all the little details that will get us there…We need clear direction to our efforts and give sustained effort to our visions…It is persistence that helps us succeed at what we strive to accomplish, and success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after everyone else has let go…Vince Lombardi, the NFL football legend once said, “If you really want something, you can have it if you are willing to pay the price. And the price means that you have to work better and harder than the next guy.”
- Quality is Secondary – Countless industries had worked for decades to create once awe-inspiring excellence. But faster cycle times and globalization have been able to replace that standard of excellence with a much lower quality and performance level…Partially to blame, as cited by several economists, is something that’s been called the Walmart Effect: driving prices as low as possible and then squeezing out a few more cents from suppliers every few months. .. To compete solely on price, it’s easier to embrace mediocrity…along with their competitors. However, these reduced prices don’t show up in the pockets of associates or customers. ,,, It seems you can find enough people, anyplace in the world, to buy anything—no matter how poor the quality as long as the price is right….Alas, so unfortunately….
- Adapt – For those who lived through the 90’s there was a realization that decade was a time of rapid change. And for those who believed the 21st century would be no different, were definitely correct…One of the secrets to success and happiness in these changing times is the ability to be flexible – the power to adapt…The Alcoholics Anonymous “serenity” prayer says: Change what you can, accept what you can’t, and cultivate the wisdom to know the difference. To these profound words, one would suggest adding, “believe wholeheartedly in your ability to do both!”
I look forward to your views / comments / inputs to further enrich the subjects of Basics of Quality and Organizational Culture and their role in Creating and Maintaining Sustained Success.
Note: The images depicted here above are through courtesy of respective websites who have the copyrights for the respective images.