Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Communicating Quality

About 15 years ago I decided that if CMPT was going to progress we had to develop an electronic presence, so with the assistance of my son, we created  I was so pleased that I had made this huge jump into the future, or at least the very current present.   I had a web site.  It took about a month for me to realize that a website had to be fed new material on a regular basis, and gradually it started to take over as a major preoccupation.  Gradually, what started as a hobby became the full time work of a number of people.  The problem, of course, was that we had never budgeted for the expenses.  The message to self was that you need to make sure that your organization gets benefit from electronic presence because it is going to become time (and money) expensive.  

Well the world has changed since the early times.  Web presence has become common.  Today, folks can spend their whole work day and their social life in the web world.  Communication outreach is world wide and immediate.  But the old messages continue to be true.  To be effective, the electronic world consumes TEEM (time, effort, energy and money).

I state the obvious because progress in Quality in every organization, regardless of size needs communication.  In an earlier time, Deming, Crosby, Juran were committed to quality communication by way of books and lectures.  They were prolific communicators.  If they were working today, they would have been within the first wave to embrace the Internet because it would have expanded their outreach.  
Evidence this by the myriad of sites that promote and communicate quality;,,,,, and, just to name just the ones that I get to follow on some sort of regular basis.

But what is so interesting to me is that communicating quality has evolved so far from the organizational website.  Outside communication is now about the website and the vehicles that transport to the website, like the web-log (I have taken on an aversion to the “b” word) and social media like Twitter and Facebook, all of which have become destination sites with their own messages.  
Outside communication has on-line courses and on-line conferences, extending beyond information and on to knowledge.  And  Inside communication is about intranets, and organizational email blast outs.

This is not to say that the concept of holding a meeting so that people can meet is now obsolete.  Meeting in person has powerful effects that Skype or GotoMeeting or videoconferencing will never duplicate.  But many organizations are shying away because of obvious costs.

And that brings me to my message to self:

1: The laboratory cannot succeed without Quality and Quality cannot succeed without Communication.

2: Communication is critical valuable and at the same time can be hugely TEEM consumptive.

3: For Communication to be implemented it requires the same level of rigor of Quality implementation and management as every other laboratory essential.  It has to be planned, and be implemented with forethought.  The implementation requires study and opportunities for improvement acted upon.  Over and over.

4:Quality requires Communication and Communication requires Quality.

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