I joined ASQ in 2009. I have been involved in “quality” for much longer having worked in QA in the pharmaceutical industry, during my U. S. Navy career, and later within government contracting work. I have found that quality is important as a formal discipline within organizations and is also industry specific. Manufacturers of food product define quality with different measures than manufacturers of bolts used to build aircraft parts and there is still the quality to be measured in the mass array of technology chips and components that are within the PC I am using, not to mention the cell phones we own. Every organization defines the measures most important to its bottom line, relative to the industry where competition lies, for its survival and growth. However, there is a commonality within all organizations and that is the technology each is capable of investing in to promote speed and efficiency in the delivery of its goods and services without sacrificing quality.
Think about your current work environment. How much of what your company produces in goods and services is dependent on technology? I can’t think of a single company that does not utilize technology in some form, even if only to create a website. Technology was crucial in my role as project manager in behavioral health for a company that provided community provider connections for active duty military members. Systems were defined and then ultimately redefined. The subject matter experts were the winds in our sails as outside consultants were provided some part of the company enterprise that allowed for control of their workflow. Rather than have an administrative position feed the work to them, consultants were given partial access to internal systems which allowed them to effectively manage the daily requests for clinical testing given to them for review. The bottleneck in the system flow was released with a slight redesign. This allowed for faster turn-around time in review cycles for customers within our active duty military population and a faster response to those who were requesting clinical tests.
Interwoven throughout the contours of quality concerns within organizations and among professions is the role of technology in defining and reaching quality measures. In reviewing the most recent ISO 9001:2015, under section 8.2.3 “Review of the requirements for products and services”, 126.96.36.199 (b) states that the organization shall conduct a review before committing to supply products and services to a customer to include “requirements not stated by the customer, but necessary for the specified or intended use, when known”. As Phoenix expands into its up and coming nickname, the Silicon Desert, what is the contour of technology in your quality profession and within your organization?
“A Swiss engineer named George de Mestral was out walking his dog when he noticed burrs sticking to the dog’s fur as well to his own clothes. De Mestral allowed the tenacious little burrs to intrigue rather than merely irritate him; his attention to this everyday moment led him to invent Velcro.”
From “One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way” by Robert Maurer, Ph.D.
Have a great day!