Monday, April 30, 2012

Quality Professionals: The Happy Group of People

It is great to learn that 'Software Quality Assurance Engineers" have the most happiest job (per Forbes magazine) in the US.  In most software companies, Software Quality Assurance Engineers' (QA Engineers) primary job is to test the software delivered by developers/programmers.  The work load of these QA Engineers increase exponentially few days before the final software delivery and implementation period.  Testing and Re-testing is very common in the software development world and can be a tiresome exercise for many.  But these QA Engineers are happy, as their hard work is to ensure a quality product and, therefore, a delighted customer.  It is said that 'Hard work and regular Practice  brings Perfection and Happiness for successful people. 

Paul asks a good question though - Are quality professionals happy?   Yes, I believe they are.  Here, I would share my experience.  During 2006, I got an opportunity to participate in a workshop  at ASQ headquarters in Milwaukee.  I met an awesome team comprising of ASQ employees and members.  The entire 2 days of workshop was fun with an opportunity to learn about and work with a happy group of quality professionals, who basically were entrepreneurs, NASA employees, IT professionals, Teachers and what not.  Over the last decade, through ASQ and in the professional world, I have interacted with many happy Quality professionals.  The message is that Quality professionals across the world are happy. 

I invite you to read about the 'Quality First' commitment of TVS Motor Company (TVS).  Total Quality Management is the strength of companies like TVS.  The QA team at TVS does a great job.  The beauty here is that all their employees, not only QA professionals, are high quality conscious and passionate about quality.  I know some of these employees who honestly practice quality techniques such as 5S and Kaizen at home.  Bottom-line, quality is in their blood and keep them happy.

Every year, during the QQuest conference conducted by Anna University in Chennai, quality professionals from various companies and schools participate in various competitions related to quality and, also, present technical papers.  I have been to these conferences and, trust me, it is great to see a happy group of quality professionals from varied industries.  

Monday, April 2, 2012

How to sell Quality: Some Success Stories

I invite you to read the "Amazing Infosys Story", the story of a company that changed the way world looks at India.  This company gave a new dimension to Information Technology (IT). Today, it delivers high quality software products and services.  How are they continuing to sell high quality?  The answer is straight - the company, its founders and their employees believed in and, always, practised ethics, hard work and dedication in what they do.

While Infosys is a remarkable story, I can not resist talking about Steve Jobs and his real leadership lessons.  What did Steve do to make Apple as one of the best companies world has ever seen?  How he could produce high quality and innovative Apple products. Simple - his success mantras to sell quality were: 1) Focus on just few priorities, 2) Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, 3) Be end-to-end responsible, 4) Products are important than profits, and, 5) Practice Perfection.
Maruti Suzuki, the car manufacturer based out of India, recently (during Feb 2012) achieved the 10 million domestic sales record.  This is a great achievement and its worthwhile to look at what they did to achieve success.  While Maruti focussed on producing high quality cars, they really sold quality through their top class "After Sales Service".  Service focus is Maruti's success.

Now, how did Wii outperform Xbox and Playstation? If you analyze closely, Nintendo focussed on two key factors: 1) bringing change to their game controllers - wireless, motion-sensitive controllers and, 2) the real user experience - to feel reality.  Strategy along with strong consumer focus played a key role in the success of Wii.  Yes, a clever strategy helps sell quality.

Can somebody sell quality.  If yes, how?  This was the topic set by Paul Borawski for discussion.  The above success stories are real-life examples of how companies and their leaders achieved and sold quality.   The take away message is clear: simplicity, hard work, ethics, passion, dedication and focus help sell quality.

It will not be apt if I conclude this blog article without mentioning the Facebook success story.  What did Mark Zukerberg do different?  It was Mark's passion, right from his childhood days, that gave birth to the ever popular social networking platform - Facebook.  Yes, passion also helps create and sell quality !

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