In the book, Bare Bones Change Management: What you shouldn’t not do, Bob Lewis explained the seven must-have elements for any change management effort to have a chance of succeeding. Here are my takeaways from one of the topics discussed in the book.
When it comes to quality and excellence, some organizations believe that quality = excellence. Bob explained why these two terms are different.
Quality essentially means free of defects. When organizations improve quality, they reduce the number of defects and increase the number of units that meet specification.
Improved quality can reduce or increase the incremental costs depending on the approach. Improved quality through standardization using fine-tuned and automated processes often can reduce costs. Improved quality through inspection sometimes can increase the incremental costs.
In any case, quality improvement often will improve customer satisfaction in that the company is less likely to ship defective products.
Excellence, on the other hand, means customization or “deluxe-ness.” The customers get exactly what they wanted or get something that is so sophisticated or luxurious.
The biggest fringe benefit that comes from excellence is revenue. Companies can sell excellent products at higher prices, and usually at higher margins as well.
Adding excellence generally makes it harder to achieve quality. Excellence achieved through customization or sophistication is very much the opposite of standardization required by quality.