Top Reasons Why Quality Management Initiatives Fail

Pre-Stage One: Why No Change May Be Accomplished at All?

1. Fragmented, partial approaches. "Empowerment, without a clear strategy is chaos."
2. Poor communication. Few people really understand the program.
3. Training not tied to real problems. No "action learning."

Stage One: Conformance Quality, Small Improvements Achieved, but Little Else

4. Internal focus: Quality Management effort not aimed at the customer.
5. Focus solely on cleaning up messes rather than delivering superior products and customer service.
6. Imposition of a rigid, predetermined Quality Management program on the organization.

Stage Two: "Customer Satisfaction." Real Improvements Achieved for Customers, but Not Enough to Create a Competitive Organization

7. Focus on our performance instead of how customers view our performance versus our competitors.
8. Market research neglects key determinants of customer satisfaction, or isn't adequately analyzed or communicated.
9. Quality Management effort not aligned with the whole targeted market.
10. Quality Management effort not connected to competitive strategy or business results.

Stage Three: Market-Perceived Quality, Performance Is Compared with Competitors, but Real Strategic Advantage Isn't Achieved

11. Companies adopt customer value slogans but don't carefully develop competitive metrics.
12. Segments within the targeted market are not clearly understood.
13. Customers won and lost are poorly analyzed, so key market-driving factors are poorly understood.
14. Inadequate quality effort in innovation and cycle time.

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Revision Date June 5, 2008