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    « Without Consistent Quality Nothing Else Matters | Main | Starbucks and Customer Analytics »

    March 06, 2008

    Quality Accountability

    In my previous post I talked about the impact quality was having on businesses.  A production manager recent told me they put incentives in place to reduce mistakes.  Employees were rewarded on a reduction in mistakes.  Something strange happened.  The mistakes increased.  Employees tried for a period of time to reduce the mistakes, but when they found they couldn't reduce the mistakes they lost their motivation.  The more upset management became with the mistakes the more the teams morale declined.  Obviously this was not the results they were looking for.

    When this company took a deep look at what was really happening, they found the root problems were with the process not the people.  The work orders were confusing.  Often customers were not providing a clear description of what they wanted, and there were not documented procedures for delivering the work.  Because there were no documented procedures the training of new employees was ad-hoc and inconsistent between shifts and between locations.  New employees learned through osmosis and trial and error.

    Before employees are held accountable to deliver quality work it must be made clear what the process is and who is held accountable for each step in the process.


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