What is the definition of quality?
This article will discuss what the definition of quality is.While there are actually hundreds of different definitions of what quality is-just go look in your dictionary and you will come up with at least five or six.In this article, we will discuss quality as it is used in business, particularly in business processes, whether financial, human resource, customer relations, or manufacturing.
Quality within a business is usually defined in terms of the relation between the customer, the process or product, and the business.Quality itself is actually not necessarily just the quality of the product-is it good, is it pretty, is it broken-but also has to do with the relationship between customer and process or product and the process that is used to create and maintain that relationship.This relationship is maintained by continual analysis and assessment, and also by anticipating and then making sure that all needs of the customer, of the process, of the employees, and the business are met.
Even if you define quality in terms of something other than a relationship, explicitly, are still dealing with relations on an implicit level.Look at it this way: as a manager, an employee, or a business owner, you are constantly working to make sure that your product is as good as possible, every time that you create it.You always make sure that your processes take place without error and as effectively as possible, every single time.But why?You do it because you want to create, preserve, and maintain a good relationship with your customers, with prospective customers, and with your suppliers.When processes or products are analyzed, assessed, and redesigned, it is always with the idea of making them better for the customers.You want your customers to use your product or employ your processes more often.You want to figure out what the needs are of your customers and what you can do to make that relationship between you and your customers even stronger.So no matter what technical definition of quality you end up using, there should be and will always be a relationship component to the definition.
So is there anything else that can be said about quality?Now that we have established that the definition of quality entails the relationship between the customer and the business and the product, let's go through some other definitions.Is quality something that is intrinsic to the product itself?Or is it established some other way?Most people who deal with business practices and manufacturing say that the definition of quality is actually the perception of the customer of the value of the product or the process.The customer is really the one defining the quality of your process or your product.If the customer or the potential customer does not think that the product has enough value to warrant purchase or utilization, then essentially your product or your process is worthless.Obviously this particular definition of quality is not going to be applicable to absolutely everything-there are lots of works of art that have been produced that nobody has liked, but are really masterpieces-ever heard of Van Gogh?But when it comes to manufacturing or any other business or industry process, then the definition of quality is shifted to the relationship between the customer and the product.This specifically business application of the definition of quality means that different methodologies like lean manufacturing or six sigma that are intended to improve the quality of the product or the process focus on the customer's perception of the value of the process.Measurements are made and data is taken so that the process can be realigned with the customer's perception of what the product should be and what level of quality it should attain.