Definition of Quality
Quality can be simply defined as the measure of excellence. When a product is manufactured, the customer always looks for its quality, features, and functionality. The quality of any product or service is measured on the basis of customer satisfaction. When the product is of a good quality, the customers are more satisfied to buy a product. When these products are used by a customer, the organisations are benefited.
In Project quality management, the approach to quality is defined in terms propounded by Deming, Juran and Crosby.
Quality is defined in the user perspective by Edward W. Deming. He defines quality in terms of meeting customer expectation. The best of technology and the right pricing should still satisfy the customer?s needs. In this context, he recommends organisations to develop products and services based on continuous improvement helix and to enable the same, follow the famous Plan-do-Study/check and Act cycle. Following the cycle will improve quality of the product and can also anticipate and address future consumer needs. Joseph M Juran, another quality pioneer defines quality in the manufacturer?s perspective. He defines quality as the fitness for use as specified by features of the product and the product being defect-free. Deficiencies are those errors which need rework or errors that result in failure of a product.
To achieve the fitness objective, Juran proposes that the manufacturer understands the customer and translates the demands into the product specification. To produce a defect-free product, Juran proposes the famous trilogy of quality planning, quality control and quality improvement.
The management perspective of quality was brought forth by Philip B.Crosby, who believed that quality could be achieved through proper communication at all levels. He placed importance to, conformance to requirements and formulated the principle of "Doing It Right the First Time" (DIRFT), by prevention of errors.
Project Quality Management also follows the quality management approach as stipulated by the International Standards Organisation (ISO) through their ISO 9000 and 10000 series. Quality of any product or service can be understood by comparing a set of inherent characteristics with a set of requirements. If the requirements meet the inherent characteristics, high quality is achieved. If the requirements are not met by the characteristics poor quality is achieved. According to BS EN ISO9000 „the term "quality" can be used with adjectives such as poor, good or excellent?. To conclude, Quality is thus defined as the totality of the characteristics of the entity (product or service) that has the ability to satisfy stated or implied needs. There is no single accepted definition of quality in today?s business world. Quality is usually meant to distinguish an organisation, product, event, service, person, result or action. All the definitions converge to either satisfying or delighting the customer or meeting requirements and specifications and conforming to the design specifications.