Moving Beyond Product Quality

This month Paul Borawski (CEO of ASQ) has asked the ASQ Influential Voices to share their thoughts on moving beyond product quality.

The opening paragraph of the Quality Council’s perspective is, “For some organizations, ‘quality’ remains a set of tools and techniques associated almost exclusively with quality control. For others, quality has evolved into a critical partner, closely linked with business model development and the enterprise-wide execution of long-term strategy to achieve results.

The way to move beyond just the set-of-tools mindset is very similar to the March topic on selling quality improvement.

What is needed to move beyond quality tools into a new management system is to make changes to the system that allow for that management system to be continually improved. Using the tools helps improve product quality a great deal. Much more can be done (both for product quality and overall effectiveness) if we don’t limit the use of modern improvement efforts to the manufacturing line.

At first it is often difficult to get managers and executives to accept the kind of change to their work that they will direct others to make. But once the process of improving the management system gets started, it takes a life of its own and is a very strong force to move beyond product quality.

Here are some previous posts on methods and strategies to move forward the organization into adopting a customer focused systemic effort to continuously improve every aspect of the organization – including the management system:

Related: Dr. Deming in 1980 on Product Quality in Japan and the USA

2 thoughts on “Moving Beyond Product Quality

  1. Hi Jon

    It is a wonderful concept going from spinning and explaining what happened and checking for problems after the fact to going to running organizations to constantly meet and adapt to the changing and evolving needs of the customers and consumers.

    The few select companies that have developed and implemented that fundamental change have been rewarded with long histories of steady success. Those that refuse remain on the roller coaster of economice boom and bust.

    Why we try to run organization in a fashion that hinders and prevent growth and adaptation when life is a constantly moving and changing target is beyond any understanding.

    We can only hope that enough people start to talk about and promote a better way of thinking that those in power will wake up and smell the roses.

    Keep up the gentle push for change and some day we may see it start to take effect.


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