How to be a Quality Practitioner in 2016?

It doesn’t matter which department you’re in. Quality is no longer just for operations! Its even more important for each member of Marketing, Finance, HR, and IT to become Quality Practitioners!

Throughout our journey, my consultancy Qimpro and I have simply done one thing to remain relevant. That is to assiduously follow the customer wherever they go. And trust me, they go places!

At the beginning of 2016, we’re at a highly critical juncture for our future business. I can only see a 1000 days into the future. All roads lead to one key person: the digital customer.

Keeping this in mind:

  1. I will focus on the digital customer; offering Quality Management services that are better, faster, cheaper and different!
  2. I will write stories that are catalyzed by my experiences in Quality Management consulting
  3. I will avoid travel, to reduce my carbon footprints
Is Quality restricted to one department?

In my view, Quality is an integral part of every discipline. Every discipline has a customer – internal or external. The customer defines Quality.

Individuals seeking careers in Quality must first be generalists, and then follow this up with education on the Juran Trilogy: Quality Planning, Quality Control, Quality Improvement. But with a difference.

So what’s the difference?

The customer is now likely to be a digital customer. In addition, digital media will be the probable platform for communication and delivery. These hard skills are non-negotiable.

Learning hard skills will be easy, through digital campuses. However, soft skills to interact with digital customers, in multiple time zones, will be the challenge.

As we all know, Quality is in the minds of customers. Therefore, Quality Management will need to address digital customer expectations, as well as understand digital customer perceptions.

While customer perceptions for your offering may turn out to be stable, customer expectations will most likely be the trouble makers. The latter has always been a moving target, which is continuously pampered by competitors. In a digital world, it will be even greater.

Key Lessons:

  • Quality professionals must proactively court digital customers. This will require proficient Knowledge Management. In turn, this knowledge must feed into the Product Development processes in order to deliver better, faster, cheaper and different results!
  • Quality professionals should be adept at global soft skills. Geographical boundaries have dissolved. Will Quality professionals be a threat to Marketing? 

My prescription for someone starting out in Quality is simple:

  • Make understanding customer needs your obsession
  • Learn to communicate customer needs to the Product Development team
  • Learn to map processes and rid the subject processes of waste and wasteful work
  • Treat the workers with dignity.

Success is assured. Always remember, customer pays your salary.

— — — — — — — — — — —*


The MADE IN INDIA tiger is a creative representation of the idea behind becoming a manufacturing behemoth in the global markets. Any resemblance to any other logo, is purely unintentional.

— — — — — — — — — — —

Click here to read more of his blogs here

Click here to read his new books: Quality Fables 1 and Quality Fables 2

About Suresh Lulla

Suresh Lulla established Qimpro Consultants Pvt. Ltd. in 1987 as a focused quality management consultancy based on The Juran Trilogy: quality planning, quality control, and quality improvement. Since inception, Qimpro has saved Indian corporates over Rs 20,000 crores in terms of cost of poor quality, using the Juran methodologies. In 1989, Mr Lulla established Qimpro Convention as a culmination of a quality improvement competition for the QualTech Prize. Currently, there are three parallel competitions - improvement, innovation, and sustainability in the manufacturing, services, and healthcare sectors. Areas of Specialization • Problem Solving • Process Excellence • Performance Excellence • Benchmarking Best Practices Author Mr Lulla has authored 'World-Class Quality: An Executive Handbook' published by Tata McGraw- Hill (2003). Quality Fables In 2014, Mr Lulla released Quality Fables. Unlike Aesop's Fables, these 25 fables are not based on fiction and/or animals. They are based on real experiences and involve real people. Each is a short narrative making a significant point. Recognition In 2004, Mr Lulla was awarded the IMC Juran Centennial Medal for his pioneering contribution to quality practices in India. In 2005, Mr Lulla was awarded the Distinguished Alumnus Award by the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay in recognition of his outstanding achievements in Quality Management Consultancy. In 2006, the Institute of Management Consultants of India conferred on Mr Lulla the award of Fellow Member. Professional Bodies • Chairman, IMC Quality Awards Committee - IMC Ramkrishna Bajaj National Quality Award; IMC Juran Medal • Director - Membership Retention and Engagement, Global Benchmarking Network
This entry was posted in Excellence, Leadership, Quality. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Follow Me