On Quality

Something I’ve been pondering the past few days as I adjust to my new job title, “Quality Management System Analyst.”

I’ve been thinking of how to objectively determine something’s quality.  I mean, I know my blog sucks, but why does it suck?

Started bouncing this around in this scarred brain of mine, after seeing this headline on Fark.

Still trying to work through this, but I think you do have to establish objective grading criteria prior to beginning an evaluation.  Otherwise, is everything simply subjective?


Maybe my new customer might be open to discussing this sometime soon.

4 thoughts on “On Quality”

  1. First define the customers definition of ‘quality’. When I was fixing planes quality meant fully operational and safe for flight. Obviously your cusomers will have varying definitions for varying systems. Start with the DMAIC and go from there.

    1. What do you do when the customer’s definitions aren’t quantifiable?

      Really, though, that’s not a problem so long as you can find some things that are, in fact, quantifiable to comprise the qualitative ratings….

      But why is Eddie Van Halen awesome? Or why was Randy Rhoads? Pfff……

  2. Even with a set of quantifiable criteria in place, there will be some subjective judging. I think it’s in our nature (but I could be wrong on this). Whether that’s always appropriate is up for debate. Finally, how much subjectivity your customer is willing to put up with is maybe something the two of you will discuss…

    1. Sure. You balance the qualitative judgments with quantitate attributes. So, something like figure skating, you’d have certain points for doing certain moves, then style points mixed in. Not just the Russian judge gives a lousy score, and that’s averaged in with all the others. The Norwegian skater did a tougher routine, so even though she didn’t land that last one cleanly, didn’t smile as prettily, it was a tougher one to pull off…..

      But this is the kind of stuff I kick around in my scarred brain these days.

      I guess my big thing is that you have to lay it out ahead of time, and stick to it. When you were in college, you knew what your grade would be based on from the syllabus. That shouldn’t change as the semester goes along. Too often, I see the standards nonexistent, or worse changed.


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