The Delivery of Benefits is moderated by Risk and Quality

Three Triangles Performance – what we’re about – is quality of work, excellence in delivery, and business improvement delivered through programmes, projects and processes. In the triangles used to describe programmes, projects and processes there are two words that seem to link together all the work and cost and product to moderate how we deliver the benefit of every thing we do.  Those two words are risk and quality.

Risk management is getting a lot of press at the moment, thanks to volcanic dust, packaged up financial products, and terrorists.  Risks need to be managed proportionately to avoid diminishing returns but if you don’t manage the right risks, the whole project can be worthless.  Most of the risk management methods can reduce that to a couple of formula to direct effort based on cost, impact and severity.

Quality can work in a very different way and there don’t seem to be any formula to guide businesses to get it right. Neglected it will increase risk of poor performance or non-delivery. There is a risk of gold plating by putting in too much effort on the wrong sort of quality. But in making the results fit for purpose, costs can actually be reduced:

  • fool proofing designs so part can’t be assembled wrongly,
  • a method for working raw materials so that there is minimum waster,
  • business process that makes like easy for the customer and so reducing account management costs.

The Chartered Quality Institute has launched a report based on research that confirms how much quality is valued.  When quality isn’t there, complaints soon start. A survey of “Influentials” in the United Kingdom concluded:

  •  83% thought quality was “important” or “critical” to business success
  • quality is key to performance and productivity
  • quality isn’t seen in what is delivered to businesses, from the media, or in public life

Of course, there was also the regular and general lamenting over the decline in customer service.  These are big concerns for a nation hoping to recover from a difficult economic situation that generates most of its GDP through services (public and private).

How can we improve that? It goes back to one definition of quality that is familiar to project managers: “fit for purpose”.

Focus on the customers’ definition of the purpose and how to deliver that completely, effectively and efficiently.  Quality is not about checklists and testing. It is about a customer focused strategy being executed in the details of what is done for that customer.  Quality is about working with mission and values in mind.

You’ll find the whole report at : http://bit.ly/qword2010 (and for those following political debate on the burden of legislation on business, note the graph at the bottom of page 13: the bureaucracy reduction teams do not seem to have got the quality results we hoped for).

About 3triangles
Helping organisations make change happen in 3 key areas: strategic change, deliver tactical impacts, efficient and effective processes. All blog content (c) 2009 - 2012 Carol Long and Three Triangles Performance Ltd

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