ASQ Influential Voices Contribution: Quality's Application in Other Fields?

In his October 3 View from the Q blog post, ASQ CEO, Paul Borawski, discussed the role of quality in new fields such as innovation and social responsibility.  Other examples cited include a new interest group for quality in athletics and a proposed customer service body of knowledge. Borawski asks, “What new fields or disciplines could most reap the benefits of quality tools and techniques?”

Expanding Quality to new, uncharted fields is important.  Borawski indicates this expansion is “…vital to the future of the quality field in increasing its impact.”  I have said, “Quality affects us all; it spans all industries, pertains equally to product and service, and should therefore matter to everyone!" So I agree, mostly, with expanding quality to new fields; doing so is responsible and righteous. However, in our haste to broaden our application let’s not forget about its depth.

We need to finish what we start.

There are certain fields where quality concepts have been slow to take hold. We need only look at our membership to find underrepresented segments of society. Areas such as education, government, healthcare, and service segments have been slow to adopt quality and its valuable tools and techniques. There seems to be little depth in the application of quality in these areas as evident by their underrepresentation in our ASQ member ranks. This is not to say there are no shining examples of quality to be found in these areas. I just don’t see the same depth of application of quality in these areas as I see in other areas, such as manufacturing. Yes. Expanding quality to new, uncharted fields is important. But just as important is renewing our efforts to apply quality more deeply to those areas where we already have a foothold.

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