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8 Quality Principles that everyone should adhere to

At various times in my career to date I've held the role of Quality Manager or Quality Leader either at project, programme or organisational levels. Over the years I've developed a set of eight simple Quality Principles that are easy to understand and more importantly, easy to achieve by everyone in the organisation. In fact these aren't so much Quality Principles as common sense principles which often fly out of the window in times of stress. However, if you follow these principles, and communicate them across the team, department or enterprise you may find that some of the things that cause the problems in the first place will start to disappear. Print them out and post them on your noticeboards, issue all members of staff with a laminated copy to keep on their desks. And make sure that you follow up on them by ensuring that at the very least you yourself adhere to them whatever pressure you find yourself under.

Quality is a collective responsibility
  • Everyone must be actively involved
  • Your actions and what you produce reflects on all of us
Honour your commitments
  • Create a realistic estimate prior to making the commitment and document your assumptions
  • Don’t commit to something you know you can’t achieve
  • Provide an early warning if you cannot fulfil a commitment you made
Right first time, every time
  • If you don’t have time to do it right initially, when will you have time to fix it ?
  • Perfection is not a contractual requirement
A second opinion is not optional
  • All contractually required deliverables that you create must be reviewed by a person other than yourself
  • Allow time for review and rework in your estimates
If in doubt…ask
  • No question is stupid if it helps you to do your job, as well as helping others…
  • …but use your common sense
If you see something wrong (or know of something better) …tell someone
  • All processes can be improved
  • We can’t fix things we don’t know about
Plan your meetings
  • Make sure you have a clear purpose, a published agenda and the right participants
  • Record critical decisions and actions in meeting minutes
Keep It Simple, Stupid (KISS)
  • Life is complicated enough – don’t make it any more so
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