November is recognized internationally as World Quality Month. Some interesting fun facts regarding its origin via ASQ include: Japan has celebrated World Quality Month in November since 1960. China originally recognized World Quality Month in September starting in 1978. North America started raising awareness in 1988 and was originally celebrated in October. First promulgated by the United Nations in 1990, World Quality Day aims to raise international awareness of the important role quality plays in ensuring nations’ prosperity. Now it is celebrated annually on the second Thursday of November. In the UK, Chartered Quality Institute (CQI) will celebrate World Quality Day with events from November 11-15. The South African Quality Institute also celebrates National Quality Week annually. Why do we need a World Quality Month? “The purpose of World Quality Month is to promote the use of quality tools in businesses and communities. Quality tools, such as flowcharts and checklists, reduce mistakes and help produce superior products. Quality principles could reduce headline-making errors, like food safety, toy recalls, and financial disruptions. World Quality Month calls on people who use quality tools to share their knowledge by submitting their stories to illustrate the value of quality principles.” (ASQ Source) “The purpose of World Quality Day is to promote awareness of quality around the world and encourage development and prosperity” (CQI Source) At Pro QC, we know quality incorporates reducing risks and cost of the products and services produced and delivered, but it also includes quality of life. November is a time to recognize the importance of an overall quality focus and incorporate proven principles into daily life throughout the month and ongoing. For this World Quality Month, we are offering a weekly progress approach that can be duplicated for continuous improvement. Try it, and let us know what you think! Week 1 – Spread awareness. If you work in quality, tell your friends, family and co-workers more about what you do and why you do it. Ask them what they think quality is and open a discussion about its importance. Host a special team meeting (celebration) at work and recognize World Quality Month. Talk about what the organization has done throughout the year to support quality and what future goals/objectives include. If you are unable to host a special meeting for World Quality Month, add it to the agenda of a regularly scheduled meeting and encourage employees to submit quality improvement suggestions or learn more at links such as those provided at the end of this post. Send out an organization-wide email reinforcing the importance of quality and including additional references such as those listed below and other training opportunities that may be available. Week 2 – Look inward. Brainstorm ideas for improving quality within the organization. Get everyone involved. If you gave everyone an index card and asked them to write suggestions for improvement, imagine what the value of that information could turn into when you consider the potential cost savings and team support. Perform an internal systems evaluation/audit to identify areas of improvement. Evaluate and plan for corrective action. Communicate support. Week 3 – Use the tools. Take the opportunity to incorporate a new quality tool into your regular mix. You’ll likely see an ongoing issue in a new way. Setup training for staff that may not usually use quality tools and show them how they can be incorporated into the efficiency of their work and personal lives. Purchase a copy of the Quality Toolbox for all managers. Week 4 – Keep it going. Quality isn’t something we should only recognize for one month during the year. Continuous improvement is, in fact, the core of what quality means. Continue with regular training of all staff in various quality principles and keep everyone in the organization informed regarding quality initiatives and progress. Setup a World Quality Month planning committee to organize events for next year! Additional Quality Month resources can be found here: Quality Quizzes – Test your knowledge! Quality Crossword & Word Search (CMQ/OE) ASQ’s Guide to Celebrating World Quality Month 30 Days of Quality – Incorporating Quality of Life Quality Tools for Quality of Life Our Quality Quotes Determining the Costs of Quality Marketing Quality: The Big Picture (Benefits) Everyday Quality Facts – CQI World Quality Day – November 13th CQI – The CQI is proud to announce that the theme for World Quality Day 2014 will be ‘Building a Quality World Together’.