Building quality into the fabric of your business
“All too often quality is viewed as ‘a thing’ which can be given to an individual (the most senior person with ‘quality’ in their job title) or the Quality Department to own and manage.”
Andy Crossley has recently published an article in Quasar – the in-house magazine of the Research Quality Association (RQA, https://www.therqa.com/about/ ), the body focused on the quality of research and development concerning pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, chemicals and medical devices. Andy really challenges this statement. He states quality must be built into the fabric of any business and have a wide ownership. Yet it can still be seen as belonging to those with quality in their job title.
Andy proposes four possible reasons as to why it is so hard to weave quality into the way we work. He also provides some very valuable actions that we can take to ensure it is at the centre of the business.
Why is quality important in your organisation? Your quality strategy delivers value for your customers and to the efficiency and margins of the organisation. Andy provides useful advice on communicating your quality strategy to first-line supervision.
Inconsistent or ineffective communication of your quality strategy can have a negative impact on your organisation and customers. Andy gives advice on communicating the strategy including a communication model and seven tips to avoid miscommunication.
An apparent lack of capability to deliver continuous improvement (or this capability being concentrated in a relatively small number
of individuals) can have a negative impact on your business. Andy provides two models to help readers understand what is needed to develop an embedded quality culture so that On Quality, On Time, On Cost becomes a real capability.
Quality will never become embedded in the business if there is a perception that the CEO and senior managers are not fully supportive. This perception may be due to the lack of visible personal engagement, lack of adequate resource being released and unrealistic expectations of the timescales involved. Of the four Cs discussed, by far the most important is that of the commitment of the CEO to engage. Andy provides several case studies that show a real-life approach to commitment and the other three Cs.
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