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17. Principles of Quality Control

Exercise 1. Read this conversation and reproduce it in pairs.

  • — Have you read "Quality is Free: The Art of Making Quality Certain" by Philip B. Crosby?
  • — No, but I have listened to an interesting lecture on the book. It describes the so-called Zero Defect approach to quality.
  • — Can you explain what ’zero defect' means?
  • — Well, as far as I understood it's a way of thinking about quality that doesn't tolerate errors or defects. A zero defect advocate continually strives to improve processes and prevent errors so that work is always done correctly. Philip B. Crosby called it 'right first time'.
  • — It follows from the book that he denied the idea that work can be imperfect. Do you think it is feasible?
  • — Yes, if we take into consideration that defects can't be normal or acceptable. Crosby is against rework or any kind of corrective actions to rectify existing problems.
  • — What does Crosby mean by saying that quality is free?
  • — Defects represent a cost that is often hidden, for example inspection, waste, rework or lost customers. By eliminating defects these costs are sufficiently reduced. So manufacturers can save more than pay for the quality improvement programme. Hence his assertion that 'Quality is Free'. Is it clear now?
  • — Yes, it is.

Exercise 2. Fill in the numbered blanks (1—6) in this conversation using the sentences (A—F) below.

  • — What are the main Quality Management principles, I wonder?
  • — As far as I know there are eight major principles. Some of them deal with customers and people involved. Others highlight leadership. Still others focus on process and systems approach. They all are used to improve (1)... and achieve success.
  • — What is the most important principle?
  • — 1 personally think the most important principle is that organizations must not only meet the requirements of a customer but (2)... customer expectations.
  • — What about leaders? What is their role in Quality Management?
  • — Well, leaders should create an environment that encourages people to achieve the organization's (3)... .
  • — Is there anything else that helps to attain Quality?
  • — To begin with, organizations should identify (4) ... processes and treat them as a system. Secondly, organizations should base their decisions on the analysis of (5) ... information to perform better. And the last but not the least principle is that organizations should maintain a mutually beneficial relationship with suppliers to create value. Oh, before I forget, continuous (6)... is an essential part of Quality Management.

A. ...objectives...

B. ...factual...

C. ...performance...

D. ... interrelated...

E. ... improvement...

F. ... exceed...

Exercise 3. Act out the following roles using the hints and the information on the cards.

Card 1

You are the head of the Production Department. You have had several complaints from your regular customers about the quality of your products. Convene a meeting with workers and explain to them what quality is and how to attain high quality._

Card 2

You are a worker who has some ideas about different methods of quality control. In your opinion the methods used in the company are not efficient. Share your ideas with the head of the Department.

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