Quality: Learning from the past & leading the future

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Paul Borawski poses two very interesting questions within his latest View from the Q post…

Does the quality community bear some responsibility for making sure its philosophic foundations are not lost to history?

Too much commentary is unnecessary here… it’s ridiculous that people within the quality industry are somehow lacking basic understanding of historic contributions that still impact how things are being done today.  The better question is where is the disconnect?  I see Deming and Juran referenced everywhere, including the textbooks I’m teaching from.  So, is retention and application somehow an issue?  And, Deming and Juran shouldn’t be limited to the quality industry’s responsibility. Find me an industry where you couldn’t make an argument for their relevance in practical applications… I can’t think of one.   “The past is prologue.” 

What do professionals under the age of 35 see as the future of quality? 

Having read Paul’s post right before my Principles of Management class started (and as a marketer at heart), I decided to reach out to the students and get their opinions. As a night class, I do often find a great deal of students that fall into the under 35 professional demographic.  Here are a few of their comments that they so graciously allowed me to incorporate for introspection:

“Personally, I feel that the future of quality is determined by three aspects; organization, determination & sustainability.” (22)

“I think in the short-term, quality will go downhill as more and more things shift from being handmade to being automated, but as technology gets better, so will quality.” (32)

“The future of quality is customer service. As we move forward in technology and in general, the mark of quality for both an individual and company will be service.” (21)

“I see the quality of the future to be bright, as innovators and visionaries will be in contact and developing more and more technology.” (20)

“The future of quality can simply be defined as sustainability. In an ultra-competitive, high-paced, up and down market, a company must find a way to maintain.  They must find their own identity and stick to it.” (26)

“Quality is a base of a product.  Quality of  a product can drive a person to change their mind.  For example, after looking and considering the qualities of a MacBook, an individual will rarely go back to PC.” (22)

**As an observation from my discussions during previous classes, I have also seen an increasing interest in sustainability and a focus on technology.  I would tend to agree that this is the future of quality.  If accomplished, amazing things will likely happen!

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