In his blog this month, ASQ CEO, Paul Borawski asks: "what is the most important challenge the quality community faces in ensuring that the value of quality is fully realized for the benefit of society?"
The quality profession has always been good at helping organizations produce conforming products. If the customer "specification" is known, there are several quality tools we can use to get processes and people to perform as needed. The financial and strategic value of producing high quality products is self-apparent.
But what happens when we have all our quality metrics where they need to be? Besides maintaining those performance levels, is the mission of quality then complete? If the answer is yes, then we haven't done a good job at selling the true value and scope of what quality means.
To realize the full benefit for organizations and society, quality has to be more than just delivering the product spec... those are just the "known" requirements. What about all the new requirements that customers haven't asked for yet, or even know they'll need in the future. Quality must continually help reinvent the spec!
A quality program must branch out to include areas like voice of customer, research, development, change management, and innovation. Ultimately, quality is a never ending pursuit to create more and more value for customers. Let's redefine it as such and start delivering on that new promise!