WHAT IS QUALITY?
Every day we read the word quality but what the Quality
(with a capital Q) is really and how to reach it?
(Translated by Google Translate)
Try to do a simple experiment: take up a newspaper or magazine and see in what contexts you mentioned the word "quality". Will find it used in the most diverse, with completely different meanings to each other and for purposes as diverse.
The same thing will happen if we try to ask ten different people what it means for their "quality". In all probability, once again, we will meet with ten completely different definitions.
Pirsig argued that define quality in objective terms, is not at all easy but it is easy to detect its absence. When the quality is lacking, in fact, we notice it right away.
Quality can be understood as characteristic (compliance with technical standards) or as values (suitability) and is a relative concept, as such, can be defined in many ways, precisely because it comprises a highly objective (technical aspects that must meet customer specifications) but also an absolutely subjective (aspects that must meet the expectations and desires of the customer).
It 'a relationship between an object and wait because it expresses the level of agreement between customer expectations and product / service: more expectations and the product / service overlap, they will be judged more products / services quality .
The quality is "customer driver" because the levels of performance and compliance are determined by clients and customers are the only members to assess the level of quality.
To paraphrase a famous saying that said that "beauty is in the eye of one who contemplates it," we could say that quality is in the eyes of our customers.
Let us now consider the quality in terms of customers and from the perspective of organizations and see what changes.
If we look at quality from the perspective of customers is:
- design, feelings communicated by the product, reliability, etc..
- value (which reports to the price paid for the product / service)
If we look at quality from the perspective of the organizations is:
- compliance requirements
- cost (cost of prevention, control costs, costs due to defective products, cost of warranty management, etc.)
The perception of quality is therefore multidimensional and may depend on the nature of the product / service on the context reference (which is considered in context of quality can be considered of poor quality in a different context or another person ), the expectations, the perception (based on expert knowledge of product / services, beliefs, values, emotions, information collected through advertising media, friends), the needs at the time of evaluation, etc..
David Garvin in 1987 identified 8 components of quality:
- performance (the product does the job required?)
- reliability (how often the product fails?)
- maintainability (Maintenance can be done easily, quickly and with low costs? How does the service after sale?)
- formal aspects (as it appears the product has an attractive appearance or design exceeded? E 'packaged so appealing?)
- functionality (what the product? It installs easily?)
- perceived quality (what is the reputation of the supplier? What I have to wait because the product is delivered to me? The person with whom I talked on the phone was nice? was made a training course to use the product? The manual that came with the product is clear?)
- compliance with the rules (there is adherence to specifications? The product is safe? The supplier was able to understand and interpret laws according to the wishes of the customer? Are there any guarantees?)
Quality, therefore, is the meeting point between different needs that can be linked primarily to three:
- effectiveness (the quality of the product / service)
- efficiency (cost containment and times)
- elasticity (the response to change)
And within organizations? How can you tell if an organization working in quality?
Controversially, we could argue that there is not as if there is even one of these factors:
- desire and ability to change to keep pace with
- ability to change quickly
We try to make us simple questions:
we changed something on our way to work last month? And in the last three months?
There is a spirit of collaboration in our organization?
We work together with a common goal?
We also have fun while we work?
We are proud to work within our organization?
We are all responsible for the successes and failures of the organization?
If you answered "no" to these questions, well, quality within your organization, probably, there's really little.