Creating a competitive advantage is hard work. It sometimes feels like all the innovations have already hit the market and the margin between you and the competition is growing narrower. The modern marketplace requires vast amounts of information to be collected and analyzed beyond what engineers and marketers can eyeball. And from that, the advantage we seek is a single key insight culled from a big haystack of data.
When I speak with many of my clients, especially in the SMB space, I find that the majority have quality departments that are focused on corrective actions and nonconformence. I think there is a better way. We should look for opportunities to integrate quality with the entire product development process. Frequently metrics used to manage a product development project focus on the end, or the post-development process. This nudges employees to place emphasis on the end result, therefore rushing through the journey and lowering overall quality. This creates a negative feedback loop that generates more corrective actions and nonconformance write ups.