You can't bolt quality onto a product after it's already made.

In almost any business, competition is fierce and new competitive pressures present themselves every day. You don't need anybody to tell you that. You'd probably appreciate some help in helping you get ahead of your competition. Especially since you're well aware they're taking steps to get (further) ahead of you.

Quality is not an act, it is a habit.

That is at least as true now as it was when Aristotle wrote it 2,300 years ago. What's puzzling is how few organizations, including those in markets whose customers are intensely aware of differences in quality between competitors, actually do much of anything effective about it. The typical post-World War II top-down, command-and-control organization (too) often tries to improve quality by edict from the top: "We will improve quality (– or else!)" Edicts are rarely accompanied by funds for training or other investments in quality, or even by a discussion within the organization of what "quality" means in their context and culture, and how to go about improving it.

Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of intelligent effort.

To invest intelligent effort, as Ruskin phrased it, requires among other things, a shared understanding of goals and priorities, and how those relate to the organization's mission (such as "delighting the customer so much that our market grows through customer referrals and we make more money; iterating this allows our growth to continue.") How many concepts are implicit in that statement that might not be understood consistently by all?

That understanding requires a lot of communication. Effective organizations aren't stuck in a top-down model, but have explicit and active channels for all stakeholders to share and receive important information. In the last few decades, we've gone from "the network is the computer" (Sun's original line) to "the network is the organization". Business would not, could not, exist without communication. Any process which sets out to improve quality within an organization must start with that. Communication builds understanding, and understanding is necessary for trust. People who trust each other are more effective at working together towards a shared goal than people who don't.

Seven Sigma stands ready to help your organization identify the apparent and real barriers to quality improvement; to strategize an effective plan to initiate continuous, measured improvement; and to identify and adapt to the changes in organizational culture and practice that these produce.

Contact us today!