About This Blog

A QualitEvolution is intended to capture positions and experiences as a participant in the evolution of the Quality profession into the 21st century. From its origins as the brainchild of Corporate Industrial Statisticians, our profession has transformed and evolved to incorporate and adapt to the demands and expectations of our modern existence.

The scope of the subject matter within A QualitEvolution extends to the furthest ranges of quality, business transformation, management science, and quality issues especially pertinent to the members of ASQ in Canada.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Quality for Rapid Delivery

In the interests of the September theme, I will keep this short.  In his blog, Paul B posed the following challenge:

"a conversation about how the practice of quality could evolve to support the needs of a rapidly changing world. So share with us some of the ways the practice of quality is changing to meet the needs of faster, faster, faster."

Quality has to change, specifically it has to evolve.

Our reading material has to be shifted from the industrial statisticians of decades past (Deming, Juran, Crosby) to those who reflect the demands of rapid delivery.
- Steve Jobs: Founder and visionary for Apple products
- Steve McConnell: Software development expert and author of many books, most notably Rapid Development.
- Malcolm Gladwell: Social commentator and author of Outliers and Blink.
- Michael Lewis: Financial columnist and author of revolutionary analytics non-fiction bestsellers, The Big Short (about the financial crisis) and Moneyball (a demonstration of the power of analytics in professional sports).

Rapid Delivery does not permit the traditional methods of Quality Control to be realized before completion.  This has to evolve from a passive practice of waiting for errors to justify action, to an aggressive mode of Quality Anticipation, where problems are blocked and tackled before their appearance.

Rapid Delivery needs to migrate from cumbersome and time-consuming practices like traditional Statistical Process Control and Auditing to more responsive and adaptable methods of Business Intelligence, Financial Forecasting and Tracking, and Analytics.

There are three attributes which distinguish Rapid Delivery: Commitment (to get it done), Mentorship (to deliver correctly), and Preparation (to deliver completely).   Imagine 3 scenarios:
Rapid Production: sandwich shop during the lunch rush hour
Rapid Service: hotel checkout with a lineup of travelers waiting for airport shuttles
Rapid Response: emergency health services in an extreme tragic situation

If any of the three attributes of Commitment, Mentorship, and Preparation are missing from the Rapid Delivery scenarios, the failures would be imminent and immediate, and would negate the positive advantages of Rapid Delivery.  There is no time to wait for audit reports or evaluate control chart trends, actions must be immediate and constructive towards a solution.

Without Commitment, Rapid Delivery will fall into a pattern of missed transactions, apologies, and unmet expectations.
Without Mentorship, Rapid Delivery will expose deficiencies in training, and reveal inconsistencies in personal capabilities.
Without Preparation, Rapid Delivery will simply fall short of expectations due to missing components or delayed processes which affect the "just-in-time" demands of such delivery.

Quality has a place, but obsolete quality methods do not, which is why our practices need to evolve as part of a QualitEvolution.

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