Saturday, 7 June 2008

Thoughts on Quality: What is Measured - is Improved!

My experience gained from working on quality development in many different countries and cultures, organisations, departments, and teams around the world confirms the results of many surveys: People react positively to attention, interest in and reward for their efforts. Over the years I have developed a wide range of quality improvement tools that involves everybody in an organisation in the task of measuring, evaluating and developing quality. These tools help in the following ways:

  • Everyone will be aware of both good and poor quality in connection with their own work
  • Everyone will be aware of the existing quality level - and will know how much remains to be done before other people's demands and expectations are met
  • Everyone has the experience of their managers, their colleagues and other people paying more attention and showing more interest in their work
  • Other people's greater awareness combined with the greater quality awareness of the individual will lead to higher quality in itself:
    • Whatever is in focus - whatever is measured - is improved!
It is also important to remember what Michael LeBoeuf said:
"You get more of the behavior you reward. You don't get what you hope for, ask for, wish for or beg for.
You get what you reward." - Michael LeBoeuf
Also be aware of the different types of rewards: thanks, recognition, salary increases, benefits, promotions, and greater responsibility.

To sum it up, one of the most important lessons in quality improvement is:

"What is rewarded - gets done!"

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