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Rethinking quality in the high-velocity economy

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It’s been a whirldwind two weeks, with keynotes in Orlando x 2, Boca Raton, Vancouver, and a few other places…..

My 2nd Orlando event was the Day 2 Keynote for about 2,000 people at the 7th Annual World Congress on Quality and Improvement. I focused on the issue, “how do we ensure we can maintain quality, and the very concept of quality, in the high-velocity world we now find ourselves within?”

One of my opening slides led with this observation: “Velocity drives rapid (consumer / customer / business) change, increases their expectations, which requires faster innovation and a faster more complex economy – which perhaps requires a rethink of quality methodology.”

Some of my major observations through the talk:

  • The entire China / pet food /melamine issue is showing the impact that a vast, complex, global economy can have on the issue of quality; I think we are in for a complete rethink and refocus on the issue of quality as a result of events like this.
  • In the era of idea instantaneity, quality challenges can go supernova just like that…
  • accelerated innovation drives faster time to market, more rapid development time, and less available time to assess potential quality challenges
  • the high velocity economy requires more rapid implementation of business processes …with ever increasing complexity and scope … which introduces quality challenges in terms of organizational excellence
  • exponentiating connectivity risk with supply chains, business processes, and infrastructure, means that we have to rethink all quality issues as we redefine the nature of the very nature of STUFF…..
  • the skills crisis combined with rapid evolution of knowledge means that organizations will have fewer resources available to pay attention to quality, and that quality experts will be niche-orientated
  • clearly, volatility is the new normal, and presents even greater challenges to our concepts and expectations with quality

Suffice it to say, there’s going to be plenty of opportunity in the whole field of quality given velocity — the faster things get, the more challenging it becomes to maintain quality!

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