Become a Quality Evangelist

Improvement Insights Blog

Become a Quality Evangelist

Deming and Juran spent decades evangelizing quality improvement. Isn’t it time we all did? Here’s how:

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“Hi, I’m Jay Arthur, author of “Lean Six Sigma Demystified” and “Agile Process Innovation” as well as QI Macros [software].

“You know, Deming and Juran spent decades trying to spread the word of Quality, right? It’s here and there and it’s in certain manufacturing industries and so on, but in general it’s not a common phrase, right? Shewhart charts were invented almost a hundred years ago. Why aren’t they in use everywhere?

“I think it’s because of two things: ignorance and apathy. People don’t know what the charts and tools will do for them and they don’t have the energy and enthusiasm to go figure it out.

“So I’d like you to consider becoming an evangelist for Quality. Not the Sunday morning televangelist: you know, “Feel the healing power of Quality!” No, what I want you to do is start to learn how to tell improvement stories very quickly that might incite interest, might incite curiosity.

“When people ask me “What do you do?” “Well, I helped one hospital save five million dollars in denied insurance claims, I helped a metal manufacturer save a million dollars in scrap, I helped a frozen poultry company save 3 million dollars in frozen poultry…” Right? So that’s a sound bite about a story that I did.

“Do you have a story? Can you tell it in five, six, seven words? ‘Smart brevity’ is what it’s called, right? So can you actually take that thing and just snap it out so somebody [says], “Oh, tell me more.” Maybe we could start to create some curiosity, right? Maybe we can awaken some of that ignorance and [think] “Oh, this might be something I’d like to learn more about.”

“So that’s my Improvement Insight for this week: Become an evangelist for Quality.”