Quality Progress - March 2013 - (Page 48)
QualiTy in The FirST PerSon
BY Marcia M. Weeden
Show and Tell
How do quality professionals explain their jobs?
I have a confession to make. One
and preventive actions, and regulatory
of the most frustrating things I have
agencies could handle this, but it has
encountered during the course of my
not been easy.
I have hope. At least they know
People just do not get it. I see the
quality career is trying to explain what
You inspect things?”
Usually, though, they’ve never heard of
I do for a living to people who have no
sideways glances seeking escape. I
“quality insurance.” It goes downhill from
idea what quality is or what it does.
cringe as their forced, pasted smiles
there, typically a nanosecond or two after
become more forced and pasted.
I start nicely explaining it is “assurance,”
You would think that somebody who
has spent a career dealing with specifi-
Sometimes, if I am lucky, somebody
cations, root cause analyses, corrective
might guess, “Is that like quality control?
How can I ever show
them the whole picture?
Quality is huge.
/ Figure 1
not “insurance.” That’s when the pained
expressions start appearing.
Socially, we’re all being pleasant. It
was an innocent inquiry about what I
do for a living. I’m trying hard not to be
rude by answering their question, and
they’re suddenly remembering some-
place else they have to be.
The quality professional in me is horrified. I am not meeting the customer’s
expectations and nobody is walking
away satisfied. While other professionals enjoy instant recognition, my quality
Voice of the
losing my audience. Explaining really
shouldn’t be this difficult.
I have even had trouble identifying
where to begin. Because the responsibil-
Inspection and test
brain is switching to overdrive. I am
ities that fall in quality are so numerous,
I’ve wondered, “How can I ever show
them the whole picture? Quality is huge.
I can’t simply go out and take a photo of
what I do.”
CaPa = corrective action and preventive action
FMea = failure mode and effects analysis
SoP = standard operating procedure
TQM = total quality management
48 QP • www.qualityprogress.com
No, but I can draw it and approxiWarranty issues
mate it. How? With illustrations—show
and tell. So often the best solutions are
the simplest ones.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Quality Progress - March 2013
Mr. Pareto Head
The Right Ingredients
Before the Fact
Apples to Oranges?
Five at the Forefront
Measure for Measure
Quality in the First Person
One Good Idea
Quality Progress - March 2013