Presenting Quality 2.0: An Evolution in Excellence

An evolved and refined approach

Welcome to the introductory discussion of Quality 2.0! In recent years, it has become evident to me that the notion of quality has expanded beyond its traditionally accepted realm. Herein, I will delve into this evolved concept of quality, henceforth referred to as Quality 2.0. This advanced perspective encompasses Six Sigma, Lean methodologies, and traditional quality topics. This opening discussion will elucidate the concept and highlight its relevance to general management.

Terms such as “purpose,” “vision,” and “mission” often result in ambiguity, yet comprehending organizations necessitates a universal understanding of these terms. Given this platform is mine to guide, I will venture to provide my own definitions. Consider a hypothetical company, Acme Corp., with the following purpose, vision, and mission:

  • Purpose: Acme endeavours to discover and commercially develop new technologies to augment the human condition. Our driving force is progress!
  • Vision: Acme aims to secure the first or second position in every market it participates in.
  • Mission: Every American household will possess at least one Acme product.

Organizations thrive on the support of active stakeholders who contribute their time or resources towards the fulfillment of its mission. Passive stakeholders, while not directly involved, are influenced by the organization’s activities or outputs. For the context of this discussion, we focus on active stakeholders.

I define “management” as the process of aligning stakeholder interests to realize the organization’s mission, guided by its vision and purpose. The management process, as depicted in Figure 1, involves a blend of abstract goals (ellipses) and measurable elements (rectangles).

The management process: Purpose, Vision, and Mission
Figure 1: Purpose, Vision, and Mission

Management revolves around identifying, measuring, and catering to the requirements of stakeholders who propel the organization towards its vision and purpose. Stakeholders can range from investors funding the organization, employees doing the groundwork, or customers utilizing the products. Leadership roles emerge to devise missions and strategies that meet stakeholder requirements while minimizing adverse effects on passive stakeholders. The deployment of strategies is driven by metrics, leading to actions (plans, projects, routine activities, etc.) to alter the metrics by addressing underlying causes.

Though an organization’s purpose tends to remain constant, its vision and mission may undergo alterations instigated by leadership. Consider Acme’s vision:

  • Old Vision: Acme aspires to be a competitive organization.
  • New Vision: Acme will secure the first or second position in all markets it participates in.

Such a shift in vision triggers a cascade of mission changes, strategies, and actions across the organization. It leads to a restructuring of stakeholders, with some current stakeholders choosing to step away, and some non-stakeholders aspiring to join. This transition dramatically redefines management.

Management Process Overview
Figure 2: Management Process Overview

Quality 2.0 reimagines quality as the fulfillment of promises made to stakeholders. These promises could be explicit, such as product warranties, or implicit, pertaining to ethical conduct or community safety. This broadened definition extends beyond the traditional, customer-centric definitions like conformity to requirements or fitness for use. The traditional definitions are not discarded but incorporated into the new concept. This redefined quality influences the role of the quality function:

  • Purpose: The quality function assists the organization in enhancing quality.
  • Vision: An organization that honors all its commitments.
  • Mission: Provide expertise, oversight, and guidance to leaders and employees pursuing quality improvement.

Future discussions will delve deeper into these concepts and potentially modify them. I eagerly invite readers to critique and further refine these ideas.