Quality Progress - November 2015 - 48

INNOVATION IMPERATIVE BY PETER MERRILL Think Big To plan for the future, consider your systems, context and customers WHEN I LEARNED this edition of QP was work of Philip B. Crosby. His skill was in a large gray box together with a small focusing on the future of quality, I did some to simplify what had become a complex red box and a note. The note said: "The online searches for quotes about "the fu- discipline. His four absolutes captured the gray box contains your order and the red ture." I was surprised by how little I found. essence of quality: box contains the 10 faulty microchips you 1. Quality is conformance to requirements. requested. We are unsure why you wanted innovators: "The best way to predict the 2. The system for quality is prevention. these." You can see why I have a problem future is to create it." This quote has been 3. The standard for quality is zero defects. with that ISO 9000 definition. widely attributed to management expert 4. The measure of quality is the price of There was the quote widely used by Peter Drucker-but I also found an attribution to Abraham Lincoln. It would Crosby also succeeded in having people nonconformance. understand that quality was everybody's I remember when I taught at the qual- job, not just the job of the quality depart- seem there has been little new knowledge ity college and explained this on the first ment. Quality management emerged introduced since his time. morning to a class of nonbelievers. That through the work of W. Edwards Deming, was a long time ago, and today, most of Joseph M. Juran and Crosby. There also was a quote attributed to Confucius: "Study the past if you would Crosby's absolutes are implicit in our define the future." Winston Churchill played thinking. with these words and said: "Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it." This is, of course, the basis for statistical analysis and sparks the great debate separating special cause from common cause. I Systems thinking " In the 1990s, systems thinking emerged, The quality profession must learn to collaborate with the sales profession, and this is often hard. " love mathematics and its philosophy. If we look at past trends, we may be able Or are they? In ISO 9000, the defini- and I recall seeing writer and futurist Alvin Toffler's keynote at ASQ's (then ASQC) Quality Congress when he talked about the knowledge society and this new concept of systems thinking. I purchased James Gleick's book, to predict future direction. However, com- tion of quality is not "conformance to Chaos,5 on chaos theory as I continued plexity makes that increasingly difficult. requirements." It used to be "the totality of to try and understand the attributes of So predicting the future of quality in this features and characteristics of a product systems. I bought Albert-László Barabási's increasingly complex world won't be easy. and/or service that bear upon its ability to book, Linked,6 about network theory to satisfy stated or implied needs."2 What an further my understanding. I confess, my appalling definition, in my opinion. understanding of systems did not happen Defining quality Having talked about the future, let's talk a In 2000, it was simplified to "the degree overnight, but I'm glad I took the time to seek the knowledge. bit about quality. In my May 2015 column,1 to which a set of inherent characteristics I gave a brief history of quality and ac- fulfills requirements."3 The words "of an knowledged Stephen Hawking, borrowing object" were added in 2015. And yet, been helped by work done in environmen- some of his words. throughout ISO 9001, the words "confor- tal management and IT. Understanding sys- mance to requirements" are still used. In tems is essential to understanding quality. Work in quality and ASQ started with 4 "QC," or quality control, although I shud- ISO 9000:2015, the definition flies in the der when I hear the term used today. Being face of zero defects thinking. a disciple of the school of prevention, I There is an apocryphal story about Today, understanding of systems has When I teach an ASQ virtual course on cost of quality, I take the time to explain what Juran called "the law of 10." Crosby see QC as representing checking "after the Texas Instruments in the 1980s ordering called it the ripple effect, and Gleick called fact," which is now known to be immature its first offshore consignment of 1,000 it the butterfly effect. It's the idea that thinking. microchips. It decided to be tough on the a small error at the drawing board or in supplier and demanded a 99% acceptable capturing customer requirements can cost quality level. The consignment arrived a company millions if it gets to litigation. This takes me to one of the tipping points in the evolution of quality-the 48 QP * www.qualityprogress.com http://www.qualityprogress.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Quality Progress - November 2015

Up Front
LogOn
Expert Answers
Keeping Current
Mr Pareto Head
Pop Culture
On the Horizon
Shatterproof
To Measure is to Know
Measure for Measure
Innovation Imperative
Quality in the First Person
Career Corner
Statistics Roundtable
QP Toolbox
QP Reviews
One Good Idea
Back to Basics

Quality Progress - November 2015

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