You can never inspect Quality into a Product

by Balaji Reddie
2 145 5.0/5

You can never ‘inspect’ Quality into a Product . This was the poster put up by the Quality Manger of the Organisation Mr. Gunvaandhari . A machine operator – Mr. Kuchkat read this and came to Mr. Gunvaandhari . ‘Sir , with due respect , what does this poster even mean ? I’m not able to grasp its message’ he said . 

Mr. Gunvaandhari just smiled and asked simply – ‘Does Inspection create Quality ?’
‘No’ , said Kuchkat .
‘Then how is Quality created ?’ , asked Mr. Gunvaandhari .
‘Well , by doing your job properly !’ , answered Kuchkat .
‘What do you mean by “properly” ?’asked Mr. Gunvaandhari .

Kuchkat was confused . They recently had had a session on Quality with Mr. Gunvaandhari where he defined Quality for them . He went back to his desk and searched for his notebook he had taken for the session . He found the book , and started reading the sentence which struck a cord with him . ‘Quality is conforming to requirements’ . He began thinking . He went back to the poster .

‘Whose requirements am I supposed to conform to ? The Inspector ? The Manager ? The Owner ? God – what a mess ! I don’t even know whose requirements I’m supposed to conform to !’

He went back home and sat down to have his dinner . When his wife served him his food , she asked him how the meal was . He smiled and said , ‘you should know , you must have tasted it , right ?’
‘Of course I tasted it , but I made it for you , and if you like it , then I feel like I’ve done a good job !’ .

‘That’s it !’ exclaimed Kuchkat . ‘That’s whose requirements I need to conform to ! The person who works on what I make .’

The next day he went to the worker who processed the output of his process . Kuchkat had a long chat with that worker about what he wanted and expected from him and his out put . He realised that he was not focusing on what was important to the next worker , but only on himself all along .
After taking the inputs , Kuchkat made changes to his equipment and process and then started delivering his out put to the next operator .
After a week , the operator came and thanked him and said , ‘you know what ? I don’t even need to inspect your work . Otherwise , the work had to go through multiple checks and I used to waste my time throughout the day ! Inspection does not do anything to the product – it only qualifies it !’

It dawned on Kuchkat why Mr. Gunvaandhari put up that poster . Indeed , you can not ‘inspect’ Quality into a product . You design it in with the intent of meeting Customer Requirements .

………and they all lived Qualitively ever after !


Lessons Learned

  1. There are no short cuts .
  2. Talk to your Customer and understand Quality before creating it .
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30 June 2020 by SHIVANSHU MISHRA
07 July 2020 by Kartik Narvaria
Well written Sir, Quality is conformance to requirements and one should always listen to customer requirements before following any process in order to delight them with quality driven solutions.