Browsing the archives for the future tag.


Preparing for the Future of Quality

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“What is quality for the future? Imagine a future where quality is an essential connector—a framework and network—for developing and advancing capabilities to create a better world and society.” ~Cecilia Kimberlin (2015 ASQ Chair)

Love it!

Over the holiday weekend, I finally had a few extra moments to dig into the 2015 Future of Quality Report. It’s been sitting on my desktop teasing me for weeks! I’m also putting together a little summary for others in my organization.  It’s not enough that we read it… We need to share it.

A recent View from the Q post is also talking about the Future of Quality Report.  Laurel Nelson-Rowe provides a great summary of the general themes you’ll find in this report. I do like the new format. The essays break up the content and make for an engaging read.

Of all the topics discussed, there’s one general theme that resonated with me. Based on what the future of quality is expected to be, it’s among the most important as well: “To prepare for this challenging and exciting future, change is needed in how we develop quality professionals and how quality is integrated into professional development overall. The role of quality professionals will evolve so that they are partners, collaborators, and leaders, not only technical specialists.”

So, how do we do we change and develop quality professionals? What do you think?

Currently, ASQ’s “Quality Training” focuses on certification, lean, quality management, six sigma and standards.  We can start by emphasizing the importance of soft skill development, such as leadership and communication… Not just with specialized training, but also within our industry communications in general.  The voice of quality should further develop and support quality professionals so they are ready to step into the roles we anticipate in the future.

As quickly as I thought about a division dedicated to this purpose, I noticed there’s already a Human Development & Leadership division within ASQ. They may have some interesting insight here as well. I’m interested to learn more about their role and mission within the association.

However you look at it, the future of quality as laid out in the report is bright.  I think Deming and others would be pleased to see how quality is evolving. It’s up to us as quality professionals to create it! 

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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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