Do you need a quality initiative?

Sometimes a formal initiative is the last thing you want. Why? Think about how your people will react. Will they

  • Think quality is just the latest flavour of the month?
  • Groan with initiative fatigue?
  • Assume they don’t need to think about quality because it is now someone else’s responsibility?
  • React negatively for any other reason?

If the answer to any of those questions is yes, then either avoid a formal initiative or think about how you can divert that reaction.

On the other hand, a formal initiative may exactly fit the bill. For example, at the outset, you may need someone working on quality full time, and they may need a title, such as Quality Manager. Depending on where you are starting from, their role may major on communications, training or project management. They may need their own budget. In some companies, that’s the only way to get things done.

There is an argument for not having a special budget for quality, because it tends to isolate it as an add-on instead of an inherent part of working practice. However, having a budget saves the hassle of going cap in hand to the budget holder for (say) training, if you need to put on a course about some technique or other.

So you may need a special initiative to get things off the ground and for specific expenditure, but you should not need a quality initiative by the time that quality becomes simply ‘the way we work round here’.