There is not a universal definition of quality. People view quality in relation to different criteria based on their individual roles in the organization (the product value chain) or in life.
Quality is a function: A set of tasks to be performed by individuals in their particular job that contributes to the mission or purpose of an organization. Quality is a process: A set of steps, procedures, or policies that defined how a function is to be performed and what results are expected. Quality is an ideology: A set of values or beliefs that guide you in achieving your goals and the organization in the establishment of its mission.
Manufacturing quality – “small Q”
Managing for quality in all organization’s processes – “big Q”
Quality must begin at a personal level (and that means you). Quality will become rooted in the culture of an organization if it is firstly internalized at the personal level. Personal quality is an essential ingredient to make quality happen in the workplace. Meaning for quality at a personal level (you), from three perspectives: way of thinking: personal values and beliefs, way of being: behaviors, attitudes, way of doing: actions/ positions, decisions.
An organization that is committed to quality must apply it at three levels: the organizational level; the process level; and the performer level.
Managing for quality at the organizational level: goal setting, problem solving, performance appraisal, incentive compensation, non-financial rewards, resource allocation, etc.
Managing for quality at the performer level: accuracy, completeness, innovation, timeless, cost, etc.