What is Quality?


There are 14,800 searches on Google monthly for "What is Quality". Impressive!what is quality alliance calibration.png

what is quality monthly search volume alliance calibration.pngwhat is quality search results alliance calibration.png

1,540,000,000 search results. About 1 million different answers.


This seems like such a simple question, yet there are numerous interpretations as to what is quality. You will see Lean, Six Sigma, Kanban, Process, System, etc.

Crosby gave a very simple answer that resonates with the implementation of ISO 9001:2015:

"Quality is conformance to requirements"


The introduction to ISO 9001: 2015 states:

"Consistently meeting requirements and addressing future needs and expectations poses a challenge for organizations in an increasingly dynamic and complex environment."

In my translation, your competitor will cut your legs off the second that customer requirements are not met. There is really no need to overthink what quality is and to use esoteric definitions. You are in business for one reason. You offer a product or service that the market is willing to buy. When you make it difficult to do business with your company by not conforming to customer requirements then your competitor will step in and exceed those requirements... and can even charge more for their products and services.

ISO 9001:2015 Section 4.2 Understanding the needs and expectations of interested parties is a succinct definition of What is quality-

"The organization shall monitor and review information about those interested parties and their relevant requirements."

It is time to move past the concept of quality as a combination of checklists, procedures and forms.

what is quality Kano_Model alliance calibration png.pngThe Kano model is a great tool to use for quality thinking in ISO 9001:2015. Do the things that delight your customer and quit doing those things that detract.


What do you think?

You may also want to read: 

7 Questions You Should Ask Your Calibration Company

How To Implement PDCA In Calibration Management

Out of Tolerance or Meets Specifications?

How Do I Know If My Lab is Capable?

Phil Wiseman

Phil Wiseman

Phil Wiseman is Chief Marketing Officer at Alliance Calibration. He earned a B.S. in Chemical Physics from Centre College. Phil is an ASQ Certified Quality Auditor and ASQ Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence.

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