There are several notable quotes worth sharing:
“Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.
Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple
“Quality means doing it right even when no one is looking.”
Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company
“It is quality rather than quantity that matters.”
Lucius Annaeus Seneca, early Roman statesman and philosopher
If you look up the term “quality” in the dictionary, there will be some interesting definitions: “a degree of excellence;” “a peculiar and essential character;” and “a distinguishing attribute.” (Merrian-Webster). The Cambridge Dictionary defines quality as “how good or bad something is.” If you were to ask 5 people to define “quality,” you potentially will receive 5 different definitions. Quality can be difficult to define and even harder to achieve.
Unfortunately, we probably have experienced poor quality that negatively defines the word. So it becomes difficult to define what quality is and what it looks like.
Aldridge Kerr defines quality as consistent behaviors and actions that demonstrate desired results. This definition identifies several areas that require evaluation:
- What type of behavior and action produces quality deliverables?
- What are the desired outcomes or results for the quality behavior demonstrated?
- How frequently is “consistent?”
If you answer those questions, you will have begun to define your organization’s Quality Plan. In addition, here are some hints to gain understanding of how your organization incorporates quality into its culture:
- Obtain input from Staff on areas where they believe quality is compromised.
- Ask Customers what your organization does well – and where you need to improve.
- Create a safe environment where Staff feel empowered to make the right choices.
- Establish processes that support and enhance quality.
- Define and measure success.
Creating a quality-driven organization is another sign of operational effectiveness.