Why Manage Better?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

How did I discover a career in Quality?

As we enter the International Qualiuty Month, Paul Borawski, CEO, ASQ asked us a question in his blog last month.  It reads:

How is it that you came to be passionate about quality? What was the connection between what quality means and how it became your passion?

Here is a video of my response.  I am also posting a summary below.

My interest in quality as a profession developed during the final stages of my graduation in Industrial Engineering. While selecting what project I should work on as my final year thesis I was attracted to the kind of work Prof. Ishwar Keswani was doing. I was keen to have him as my guide. That year, that is 1993, he selected implementing ISO 9001 at an organist ion in Nagpur as his project.  It was a live project and ISO was the pinnacle of quality knowledge for me at that time.  A team of four students worked with a valve manufacturing unit in Nagpur and the experience was one that defined my choice of career. I remain forever thankful to Prof. Keswani for introducing me to Quality as a profession. 

After two years of thinking ISO 9001 was the Mt. Everest of Quality I came across Dr. J M Juran’s work through an annual issues of an Indian Business Magazine.  This issue was prepared by Suresh Lulla, a man quietly committed to making quality a national agenda item.  I was hooked.  I read more and was even more hooked. I went on then to work with Mr. Lulla for eight years and learnt each day. For showing me the path, I remain indebted to Mr. Lulla.  The only way I can thank him a bit is to carry his agenda forward. Which, I will.

Quality to me is a responsibility. A responsibility to help processes work and see customers happy. Just as designers develop products we Qualitists ensure these products and processes work. Flawlessly.

Quality to me is also an opportunity. An opportunity to make a lasting impact.  To leave a legacy.

How did  ASQ happene to me? I was part of a large group of ASQ members in India who were frustrated and appalled at how we did not even exist for ASQ. This was 2006. I could have continued to complain and whine. Instead, along with two more members, I decided to raise the voice of Quality. We formed a volunteer group called Quality First and began conducting meetings for ASQ members, had a newsletter and a blog. And soon ASQ listened.  We are proud to say that the model we created is now ASQ’s chosen approach to building Local Member Communities across the world. Thank you ASQ for listening.

Raising the voice of Quality, for us, is not a slogan, it is a mission.

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