Selecting the Right Quality Measures

Selecting the right quality measures can have a tremendous impact on overall performance outcomes and the culture of quality throughout an organization. The challenge is figuring out the right balance to ensure that measures are not so standardized that they lose the value to affect performance.

The Discoveries 2013 Global State of Quality Research identified the following measures being used:

  • Defects per million: 82% manufacturing vs. 38% service
  • First pass yield: 88% manufacturing vs. 43% service
  • Percent on-time delivery: 97% manufacturing vs. 58% service
  • Measures of safety: 96% manufacturing vs. 63% service
  • Internal failures: 96% manufacturing vs. 67% service
  • Percent compliant: 96% manufacturing vs. 83% service
  • Employee satisfaction: 91% manufacturing vs. 94% service
  • Customer satisfaction: 98% manufacturing vs. 96% service

Question: Although the percent usage is interesting, an obvious question comes to mind:  Why aren’t these quality measures being used more?

Using Quality Measures

Organizations can use quality measures in the establishment of strategic goals, for trending and predictive analysis to enable pre-emptive and not just reactive decision making, and in rewarding employees through performance compensation. Data show that the majority of organizations use measures in a more mature way, but there are a few significant differences among manufacturing, services, and healthcare respondents.

Only 59% with distributed governance (decentralized quality responsibilities) of quality use measures to drive performance, whereas usage is 81% of organizations that manage quality by a functional central group.

Question: Why the large difference?   Give us your thoughts on these questions; and is your organization using the same types of quality measures?

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