Module 7 : Quality assurance

Module 7 : Quality assurance

In today’s competitive environment, quality has become an essential characteristic of a world class enterprise. The overall quality mindset has changed from a concept of quality being costly to one of quality being just one of the essential entrance requirements.

The thinking on quality has changed from inspect-in quality to built-in quality. The table summarises the differences between these two approaches to quality.

Inspect-In Quality

  • Accountability rests with inspectors;
  • Focus on preventing defects from reaching customers;
  • Costs usually increase with quality improvement (more inspection);
  • Poor communication with the shopfloor;
  • Quality function perceived as auditors and policemen.

Built-In Quality

  • Accountability rests with every person in the value adding chain;
  • Focus on eliminating the causes of defects;
  • Everyone inspects and designs countermeasures;
  • Costs decrease with improved quality (it’s cheaper to do it right the first time);
  • Shopfloor fully informed regarding quality;
  • Quality function takes on the role of coaches.


If teams aren’t empowered to manage and improve quality performance, a range of problems can arise. These are just a few:

  • Suppliers provide poor quality components or materials to teams and never get told that the standards are not acceptable. Operators just try to do the best they can.
  • Inspectors feel that no one cares about quality and become discouraged.
  • Team members just try to make as many products as possible. Team leaders and coaches keep pushing operators for more production without solving the problems that cause bad quality.
  • A lot of work done is not identified as defective for days or weeks, until it is needed by the next process.
  • The final customer has to inspect products and return defects.
  • Defects produced have to be reworked or scrapped. This costs money and reduces the business’s financial strength.
  • Defects delay deliveries and cause unnecessary rush jobs.Ā 
  • Problems which cause defects remain unsolved and operators become discouraged.


In world-class teams the team is always aware of their quality performance and continuously strives to improve quality. In order to improve quality assurance in your business, partner with Competitive Dynamics International.

One of the key focus areas of our Mission-Directed Work TeamsĀ® programme is to improve the situation by working closely with the quality assurance department and implementing improvements in the workplace. Contact CDI to find out more about the Mission-Directed Work Teams.