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Monday, September 22, 2014

Success soup - Q is for Quality

I got ahead of myself and published S before Q and R.  Actually it was just a placeholder, so now I have three blogs to write today to catch up.  I'd better get busy!

Today I want to begin with this cartoon from Tom Fishburne about Quality.

The QC person in the cartoon has come in and ranked the sunflowers as failing her quality tests.

I suspect the farmer was quite happy with his crop.

In this case, her definition of quality was perfection, that could only be achieved through a rigorous quality process, such as Six Sigma.

For the farmer, God's creation is perfection itself, even though there are variations in the output. 

The QC person's suggestion that only by switching to plastic flowers can perfection be achieved, would have caused the end product to be inferior.

As an entrepreneur that builds technology, while quality in everything that we do and build is important, perfection is not.  If you wait for everything to be perfect, it can be a good reason to delay doing anything.

Every recipe has ingredients in proportion.   Americans know from reading product labels that the top 3 ingredients listed represent those that are included with the greatest volume, as compared to the other ingredients.

If you are building a heart valve or a part that is used in missile guidance systems, Quality had better be your top ingredient, or at minimum, one of the top three ingredients.  But if what you are producing is not mission critical, I would suggest that you look at what you might have to give up to have an inordinate focus on quality.

Do everything you do with excellence in mind.  But a little variation or getting a product to market so that you can see how consumers react may just be more important than implementing Six Sigma.

Check the order of your ingredients to your success soup.

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