What Are Quality Consciousness Habits and Processes?

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Quality consciousness habits and processes are part of a management philosophy that seeks to improve quality constantly rather than just to meet a certain set goal. Companies employ quality consciousness processes on an organizational level to improve their products. In addition, individuals benefit when they build quality consciousness habits into their thoughts and behaviors.

Three components of quality consciousness exist on an individual level. The first step is for the individual to develop awareness of her environment and the meaning of quality within it. The second step requires the individual to align her individual quality goals with those of the organization for which she works. The final step for the individual is to pay attention to what can be done to improve quality in the present moment, blocking out distractions and negativity.

Toyota uses quality consciousness processes. For generations, Toyota has continually refined its production methods, focusing on eliminating waste and improving efficiency following its philosophy of “daily improvement.”

In the 1980s, U.S. managers implemented quality consciousness processes after learning of the work of W. Edwards Deming, an engineer and a consultant who influenced Japanese managers. In his 1982 book, “Out of the Crisis,” Deming outlined 14 points for managers. He urged managers to set quality goals for employees rather than relying on quota-based production metrics. Quality-based goals allow employees to take pride in their work instead of experiencing an adversarial relationship with management.