What is quality?
Quality management is about making organisations perform for their stakeholders – from improving products, services, systems and processes, to making sure that the whole organisation is fit and effective.
Managing quality means constantly pursuing excellence: making sure that what your organisation does is fit for purpose, and not only stays that way, but keeps improving.
There's a lot more to managing quality than just manufacturing widgets without any defects or getting trains to run on time – although those things are certainly part of the picture.
What qualifies as an acceptable level of quality for your organisation is ultimately a question for your stakeholders and by stakeholders, we mean anyone who has an interest in the success of what your organisation does.
Customers will be the most important group of stakeholders for the majority of businesses, but investors, employees, suppliers and members of our wider society are stakeholders too. Delivering an acceptable level of quality in your organisation means knowing who your stakeholders are, understanding what their needs are and meeting those needs (or even better, exceeding expectations), both now and in the future.