What is quality?
Ultimately, quality is an outcome – a characteristic of a product or service provided to a customer, and the hallmark of an organisation which has satisfied all of its stakeholders
The quality professional
Above all else, the quality professional protects and enhances the reputation of the organisation by focusing on the needs of its many stakeholders.
The quality professional is dedicated to ensuring all stakeholder requirements are identified and understood and that the organisation undertakes its activities with a clear commitment to meet these requirements, responding to any risks and failures as soon as these are identified.
Managing organisation quality
Central to an organisation achieving these aims are:
- The development and implementation of an effective system of governance: ensuring “management intent” is clearly defined through policies and processes; and ensuring “management intent” is fit-for-purpose with respect to the many stakeholder requirements (reflected in legislation, required external standards, shareholder / trustee requirements, customer and supplier requirements, employee requirements etc)
- A commitment to assurance, both of how work is being carried out (i.e. process assurance) and the outputs being generated (i.e. product/ service/project assurance)
- Embedding a culture of continuous evaluation and improvement through the use of qualitative and quantitative measures, root cause analysis and adoption of effective improvement techniques
Five key quality management questions
As reflected in the Competency Framework (above), quality management achieves these aims by seeking answers to the following five questions:
1. Is management intent defined through the organisation's policies and required ways of working?
2. Are these policies and ways of working fit-for-purpose with respect to all stakeholders' needs?
3. Are the defined policies and ways of working effectively implemented?
4. Do the activities produce the desired outcomes (for all stakeholders)?
||5. Is there a culture of evaluation and improvement to address risks, failures, non-conformances and Inefficiency / waste? |
Finally, quality management may operate at several levels within the organisation asking these questions of governance, assurance and improvement both of the organisation as a whole and of its various ‘capability’ and ‘delivery’ teams (e.g. individual business functions, project teams).
Read more about the Competency Framework and the quality profession challenge here >>