In response to the question posed in the recent View From The Q concerning whether the progression of Quality will follow an Evolutionary or Revolutionary path, I will first describe my vision of where the Quality domain will be in fifty years.
The Quality Continuum shows the progression of our profession to its present state, and sets the trends for future expectations. The changing nature is reflective of many considerations which include:
- technological advancements in communication and data visualization for decision support
- increased education and sophistication among employees and customers
- increased options and opportunities through globalization
- divergence of mentalities and attitudes across generations to the Millennials and beyond
- the fluidity and flexibility of future enterprises relative to “brick and mortar” legacy operations
Based on where Quality has been, where it is today, and where the trends are leading, my extrapolations will generate a profile of an aggregation that is distinctly different from what we know today.
- From CONTROL to PERFORMANCE EXCELLENCE, Quality is moving toward emphasizing INNOVATION
- From OPERATIONAL to CUSTOMER-DRIVEN, Quality is moving toward being MARKET CREATORS
- From COST CENTERS to COST REDUCTION AGENTS, Quality is moving to becoming a MONETIZED PROFIT CENTER
- From PRESCRIBED to ADAPTIVE, Quality is transitioning to be CREATIVE
- From RESPONSIVE to PREDICTIVE, Quality is assuming a role of GOVERNANCE
- From MANUAL to AUTOMATED, Quality methods will be INTUITIVE
- From LIMITED to EXPANDED, participation in Quality will be UNIVERSAL
- From RESTRICTED to FLEXIBLE, Quality will be UNLEASHED
- From PASSIVE to ACTIVE, Quality will be DRIVEN
My personal inclination is that our profession has evolved over the last several decades, and will continue to evolve into the future. I have great enthusiasm for the future of our profession, which I believe will be characterized by optimal levels of self-determination and meaningful fulfillment of personal and professional aspirations.
With every transition and transformation come a resistance to those changes that must be overcome in order for the changes to successfully materialize. When rational appeals to logic and economic advantage fall on deaf ears and closed minds, then more assertive “revolutionary tactics” must be applied, lest the vision and wisdom be obscured and forgotten.
The evolution of Quality is evident and irreversible. Whether the desired future state of Quality comes to fruition depends on the passion and conviction of our leading professionals and their willingness to unleash the creativity within to revolutionize our global experience.