Why you should celebrate Quality Month in True Spirit?

Quality Manufacturing
Quality Manufacturing
  • Globally November is celebrated as Quality Month, creating awareness among all stakeholders
  • Quality is a 365-day job, and 24 hrs focus by everyone in the company from the top floor to the shop floor
  • ‘Leader knows the way, shows the way and walks the way’, and quality of an organisation begins with the Leader

Two years back, during the month of November, I had an opportunity to do training in a reasonably large company. November is celebrated as a month of Quality, the HR person of the company was after me to fix a training date in the month with a topic related to quality. The same HR person was not keen on the same topic a few months back though I explained the benefit of the topic for the members of the Quality Department. Suddenly, HR was pressurised by the functional head of quality to complete the training in the month of quality. He had to show that something related to quality is done in that month. 

As I entered the company for training, I could see many flashy banners at various places with the title, ‘Achieve zero defect Products’. Sounded good and apt for the month of quality. The number of participants in the training was about 25 and all were from the functions of process quality, Supplier quality, new product development, and engineering.

I asked the participants at the beginning of the session to raise their hands who knew the slogan declared by the company in the quality month. About 10-12 persons promptly raise their hands and said, ‘Achieve zero defect products’ mechanically, that too looking at the card developed for the month of quality by the company and issued to individuals. They were naturally happy with their answers. 

My next question was on whether they know what exactly they should do on a day to day basis to ensure that zero defect products are produced consistently. They were silent for some time and later few tried to explain their activities. The majority of them were not able to relate how their work has an influence on getting zero defect products. They were trying to relate quality to the products and not to every activity they are performing.  

Are you familiar with the above scenario in many companies? Are you celebrating quality month just as a ritual, declaring a slogan, making badges, arranging some topics or training, and some time quizzes and competition related to quality topics? I am not against any celebrations. Celebration in the month should be a culmination of hundreds of initiatives done over the last year and should not be a month to remind that quality is important. Quality is a 365-day job, and 24 hrs focus by everyone in the company from the top floor to the shop floor. 

Quality should not be restricted to product, process, and system. Quality should be demonstrated in every activity including the quality of interaction among colleagues, conversation with Customers, the documentation, in meetings, and so on. 

Above all, the quality of thoughts is of utmost importance. We may call this a mindset. Outside reflects what happens in our minds. Quality starts with the thought to do quality work. Leadership and Management play a vital role in developing such a mindset among employees and walking the talk. It is rightly said that. ‘Leader knows the way, shows the way, and walks the way’. Since all of you are leaders in some way, quality begins with you. Apart from product & process quality, you should focus on business quality as well. Drive home the message to all employees that quality is about delivering value to customers, internal and external, and not just the absence of mistakes. 

If you start practicing quality in everything you do from today, taking this oath in the month of quality to follow every day throughout the year, that would be a very meaningful way of quality month celebration. With this, no doubt, your company, and all company stakeholders will flourish. Are you ready? 


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