Project Management

Quality Assurance: Does QA Really Assure Quality?

Kathryn M. Denton

"Customers pay only for what is of use to them and gives them value. Nothing else constitutes quality." - Peter Drucker

Do you proudly post the quality assurance graph each month, feeling that you have earned your pay as long as the percentages meet or exceed the goal? Do you know how accurately the chart reflects the big picture? Have you ever heard anyone in the office say, "Those charts are a joke?"

Quality measures can improve service to the customers, but they can also induce stress upon those already under an avalanche of stress: your front line customer service representatives.

Consider this: If a customer gets excellent service from the call center, and indicates such on the QA survey, do you think they are truly satisfied if this--and other problems--keeps recurring? The reverse could also occur, for example if the customer indicates on an annual survey that they are very unsatisfied and reference problems from years past, while your monthly results are positive. These are examples of how QA measures may not tell the entire story.

Let's explore some ways to tweak your QA measures to derive results that align with the customer's reality. Until you do that, your adjustments to improve quality might miss the mark.

First consider who should perform the QA. Certainly not the service providers that are being measured. Is it possible that someone would fudge the numbers?…

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"I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him."

- Galileo Galilei