Today's quality professional faces a bevy of challenges, from improving business systems, ensuring the organisation is adhering to the latest regulations and maintaining a customer-centric view of the organisation. But how will the role of the quality professional change in the future?
For this week's Friday Feature, we asked quality guru Richard Green, founder of Kingsford Consulting Services, for his thoughts on how the role of the quality professional should change over the next five years.
How do you see the role of the quality professionals changing over the next five years?
"Hopefully the quality professional will become invisible. Invisible as a separate entitiy.
I would like to see quality managers actually becoming business managers and business directors, so that quality is not seen as a separate function. Going back to the culture of quality - it needs to be just the 'way things are done around here'. Quality is how we get the job done.
I would like to see the quality professional becoming more of a generalist, where they will have an understanding of how companies work and be able to advise how businesses can get results.
They will still need to understand and interpret the different quality terms and techniques. But I think quality professionals will become much more engaged in terms of the running of the business, rather than being seen as a separate entity that we talk to ocassionally if we have a problem or if we are trying to make some changes."
Do you think 'quality' has a branding problem?
"Yes. Massively. There is even an argument that we should drop the word quality. I think there are all sorts of connotations with it because it is a distinctive label and it sets quality aside as a separate function. And it really should not be.
It should be about ensuring good governance, providing assurance and driving improvement."
I've seen more and more people getting the job title 'Operational Excellence Manager' because they are trying to close the gap. I think it will also do a good job attracting graduates aswell.
"Absolutely. I have been lucky. I have had a wonderful career in the quality environment, and I think one of the great things that a career in quality gives you is a remit to really look at organisations and how they work, what works and what doesn't work.
Apart from top management, you are really the only people who get a helicopter view of what is going on in the business. It is incredibly rewarding to have that role and to be able to identify new opportunities for the business."
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