Introduction to Quality Management

Introduction to Quality Management

In this lesson, you’re expected to:
– learn about the different approaches to quality
– understand how to diagnose quality problems

A key task of operations is ensuring the provision of quality goods/services to customers. Yet, this is not straightforward as there is no clear concept of quality.
Enlarged version:
The operations view of quality tries to reconcile some of Gavin’s different approaches to quality.

For the purpose of this course, we are going to use the following definition of quality:

Quality is consistent conformance to customers’ expectations.

• ‘Conformance’ implies the need to meet a clear specification (manufacturing approach).
• By ‘consistent’, the definition implies that conformance to specification is not an ad hocevent, but that the materials, facilities and processes have been designed and then controlled to ensure that the product or service meets the specification using a set of measurable product or service characteristics (the product-based approach).
• By ‘expectations’, the definition implies what customers are likely to accept.
One problem of basing our definition of quality on customer expectations is that individual customer’s expectations may be different.

Past experiences, individual knowledge and history will all shape their expectations. 

 One person may perceive a long-haul flight as an exciting part of a holiday, while the person in the next seat may see it as a necessary chore to get to a business meeting.
• One person may perceive a car as a status symbol, while another may see it merely as an expensive means of getting from home to work.

Quality needs to be understood from a customer’s point of view because, to the customer, the quality of a particular product or service is whatever he or she perceives it to be.

Also, in some situations, the customer may be unable to judge the technical aspects of quality.

For example, after a visit to the dentist, it might be difficult for a customer to judge the technical quality of the repair of a tooth except insofar as it does not give anymore trouble. The customer may in reality perceive quality in terms of such things as the dress and demeanor of the dentist and technician and how they were treated.

Degree of Fit

To create a unified view between trying to meet customers’ expectations and the actual customer perception, we use the ‘degree of fit’ concept.

Perceived quality is governed by the magnitude and direction of the gap between customers’ expectations and their perception of the product or service.

Enlarged version:

[Optional] What Does “Product Quality” Really Mean?
Read this MIT Sloan Management Review article by David Garvin to learn more:
Factors that Influence the Gap between Customer Expectations and Perceptions
• Gap 1: the customer’s specification-operation’s gap
• Gap 2: the concept-specification gap
• Gap 3: the quality specification-actual quality gap
• Gap 4: the actual quality-communicated image gap
The Organizational Responsibility for Closing Quality Gaps
Enlarged version:
[Optional] Quality Management
Watch this 3-minute video about quality management by Arizona State University:
[Optional] Competing on the Eight Dimensions of Quality
Read this HBR article by David Garvin to learn more:
Jim Rohn Sứ mệnh khởi nghiệp