in Quality Improvement

Quality is Human. Quality is Love.

Quality is Human

When leaders rely too much on processes, metrics, facts and trends to measure project/organization’s quality, they forget one thing: that quality is about being human. Quality is human.

That is because people drive quality and exercise their choice of delivering good versus great work. Because work allows people to expand their capacity to deliver. People work for people (customers).

Knowledge world of work thrives on human judgement – our ability to see patterns, listen to our intuition, use our implicit understanding, learning about the context and attend to nuances of work – precisely what makes the ‘human’ aspect of quality so important.

Have processes, measure right things but don’t forget being human.

Quality is Love

Part of being human about quality is also to realise that people only care for quality when they love what they are doing. Quality is about love. Quality is an expression of love for the subject.

When we strive to understand/deliver what customers wants, try to improve our work, when we make mistakes and learn from them, it is essentially an act of love.

Why would we walk any mile extra for things that we don’t deeply care about? For things that we don’t believe are the right things to do?

Challenge is to find enough people who are passionate about what they do and then let them lead/self-organize. You won’t have to worry too much about quality then.

Quality is Happiness

Quality is not just ”degree of excellence” or “conformance to requirements”. Quality is Happiness. (Read the full post here)

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Related Posts:

– Views on The Big Q – Quality of Design

‘Quality’ Leadership 25

Quality? Excellence? What?

  1. Quality is indeed the outcome of degree of maturity, the commitment to excellence as a mindset and intrinsic love for and liking for whatever you [ultimately decide to] do.

    • @Ashok Vaishnav – If I were to add anything to this post, I would have said, “Quality is Personal” – it is a personal obligation to do a great job at whatever we do. We cannot deliver quality unless we take it personally. Our work (whatever it may be) is an opportunity to express ourselves.

      Thanks for the comment!

  2. These days I have experienced many views on Quality from many people around me. I was not very convinced when people says that Quality can only be achieved by following very strict steps. I am not completely denying by this also, defined steps/process always helps but its not the only way. As rightly said by Tanmay, you need to love what you are doing else you will always tend to skip many strict rules also. But when you are in love with something you always try to do things in better and precise manner without much of supervision, you always want your love to be beautiful so you do everything to make it beautiful and as a result in this case Quality is natural output. So instead of only preparing tons of metrics, excel files and different measures, we need to increase the intensity of liking and love in what we do.

    Thanks Tanmay for such a Nice and Unorthodox post on Quality.

    • @Mithilesh – Thanks for the affirmation. I believe that in manufacturing world, processes were key differentiators. In knowledge world, process takes up a support role. IF people are good, process can be an excellent tool to manage effectively. But tons of processes without focus on hiring the best people is certainly a waste, because process then does expand people’s capacity to deliver. Moreover, great people and good processes do not matter unless processes are implemented in a “human” way.



  3. Actually, I agree partially, once in my opinion, Quality in some situation must be practiced with methodology and tools, aiming to achieve targets agreed.
    In this way, sometimes Quality should be practiced beyond being human, doing methodological activities as any formal science


    • @Joao – The idea of this post was not to undermine the importance of processes. Systematic approach to work is crucial, but managing the mindset of people employing those practices are even more important. If a team is technically mediocre or carry a poor attitude, process will not help. But if people have right mindset and attitude, having processes can actually make them very effective.

      A lot of this mindset and attitude is governed by how people are led. Management today has a responsibility to ensure that their ways to managing do not disrupt the human spirit, which is so important when we talk about delivering quality in a “knowledge oriented” world.

      Do you agree?


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