Quality Capsule 23 - World-class Quality: Resolve

Five Terrains

As explained in Quality Capsule #022 the road to world-class quality has five geographical terrains:

  • Resolve to deliver world-class quality
  • Plan to deliver world-class quality
  • Commence the journey to attaining world-class quality
  • Spread the pilot experience for attaining world-class quality
  • Integrate all quality practices for delivering world-class quality.

Within each terrain, by using the Quality Leadership Compass (QLC), specific paths can be identified and followed to reach the corporate vision.


In this first terrain, the forces that encourage an organization to resolve to enter a quality combat are:

  • A serious threat to the organization’s health from diseases such as customer dissatisfaction, loss of market share, cost pressures, and competition.
  • A change in customer expectations influenced by competitive offerings or substitutes, leading to a drop in leadership.
  • A passionate vision to become a world-class organization, in terms of quality and reliability.

The pace of progress on this terrain depends on the nature and strength of the mental barriers existing in the management. Completing this task could take anywhere between one and six months.

Key Approaches

There are multiple approaches for embarking on the road to world-class quality. Several of them are old wine in new bottles.

The approaches that I have found appropriate, across the five geographical terrains are:

  • ISO 9001 quality management system, or equivalent
  • Cost of poor quality (COPQ)
  • Continual quality improvement (CQI)
  • Supplier quality improvement
  • Reliability
  • Benchmarking for best practices
  • Innovation
  • Quality function deployment (QFD)
  • Performance excellence.

These approaches must ultimately perform as an orchestra, for delivering world-class quality. World-class quality to the external customer, internal customer, society, and Mother Earth.

QLC Action Points for Top Managers

World-class quality is not fully delegable. It requires active engagement of top managers.

The following are some non-delegable responsibilities, collectively for top managers:

  • Assess the organization’s quality status in terms of customer satisfaction and COPQ
  • Prepare a vision statement
  • Understand the basic concepts of the key approaches
  • Evaluate and adopt appropriate approaches
  • Commit the time and resources required
  • Check if the QLC is pointing to the vision

Additional Reference
World-Class Quality: An Executive Handbook by Suresh Lulla.
Copyright 2003: Tata McGraw-Hill Publishing Company Limited.


  • It can’t get simpler than this! The context explained, steps clearly defined and actions identified. The only thing left is to “Resolve” and then commence the journey!

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