The level of importance of Quality Assurance and Testing has increased for global organizations due to the digital revolution and the importance of the customer experience. As noted by the World Quality Report,the speed of digital transformation and the reduction of time-to-market life cycles for products and services is making organizations adapt to meet the needs of today’s digital environment.
“The quality manager must be clear, right from the start, that zero defects is not a motivation program. Its purpose is to communicate to all employees the literal meaning of the words ‘zero defects’ and the thought that everyone should do things right the first time.”
–Quality Is Free by Philip B. Crosby
TEN SIGNIFICANT TRENDS
This digital revolution will change the way global sourcing is currently taking place and will impact all industries and how businesses will transform their operations. As noted In the 2015 Global Sourcing Trends, ten significant trends, as described below, will have an impact across various industries, albeit to varying levels. The most important objective is to have a heightened awareness of increasing quality at all levels of the organization to include designers, developers, and operations.
- Business Goes Digital – Transforming how businesses and economies look at technology
- Globalization X – Acquiring services from across the globe
- Transformation in Business Process Management (BPM) – Platform-centric outcome-linked
- Contract Renewals to Higher Outsourcing Penetration – Multi-sourcing and specialized smaller service providers
- Tier II & III Destinations – Emergence of new geographies and cities competing for delivery destinations
- Perception of Risk – Decision makers have strong influence
- Regulators Becoming Key Stakeholders IT/ITeS industry – Service providers, promotion agencies, research and consulting organizations and industry regulators
- Infrastructure Creation and Consolidation – Through M&A will require optimizing IT
- Nearshore Goes Mainstream by Being Niche – Coming of age
- Impact Sourcing – Provides employment to disadvantaged youth in developing countries
ALL ABOUT DIGITAL
Organizations are taking a closer look at technology in meeting client expectations. This digital revolution differs from others in the sense that it is driven by social media, analytics and cloud. This is where those businesses that recognize the need to make important changes and more importantly reinvent themselves in how they service their clients will gain a competitive advantage. The key is to find that perfect alignment with all of the demands of internal and external forces that will be responsible for meeting the challenge and delivering on the promise of zero defects.
QUALITY ASSURANCE & TESTING
There is no doubt that due to the speed to which web-enabled consumers’ criticism can go viral thereby causing damage to a brand, the level of quality assurance testing has now become a more continuous during all production stages. While this has now increased the budgets for QA & Testing, a brand’s reputation is the number one concern and protecting the brand against poor quality is a critical objective.
Research indicates that the budgets for QA & Testing has increased by 35%. Most of this increase is being spent on mobile and front office customer channel solutions. Cloud, BI, and BA have also shown an increase. Organizations in their quest for zero defects also need to understand that whatever tools and methodologies they use will ultimately impact the customer experience. Thus, ensuring a great customer experience becomes essential to the success of managing a brand’s reputation.
We must remember that successful quality programs must translate into higher revenues achieved through savings or earnings of the quality program. So in reality the quest for zero defects can only find justification when that requirement of increased revenue as a metric is met.
“It’s important to create a culture of prevention, which causes people to prevent defects and nonconformities,” says Kevin Weiss, CEO of The Capability Group and Philip Crosby Associates. “The message is clear: if you build and sustain a prevention-oriented culture, both defects and nonconformances are driven out of the organization.”
According to Philp Crosby on COQ companies can increase their profits by 5-10% of sales if a proper TQM system exists. Ideal benchmark =2.5% of sales.
The best products are made by exercising quality control and management, and sticking to the discipline of getting it right the first time.
SEEKING COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGES FOR A GREAT CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
Forrester Analysts, Harley Manning and Stephen Powers, believe that the “customer experience is your only source of sustainable competitive advantage”. The customer experience offers the perfect platform. Now, instead of a customer comparing and basing purchases on price alone, they will factor in service and the experience in which they take part.
As new technologies arise to gain competitive advantages, the business challenges to adapt to this digital transformation are related to budget availability. The World Quality Report 2015-16, Seventh Edition report indicates the following response to challenges:
- 39% cited budget availability as challenge # 1
- 30% time to market
- 27% inflexibility of the delivery organization
- 27% difficulty in prioritizing
- 27% implementing change in process organization
As organizations deal with the challenges of increasing budgets for QA and adapting to new technologies, this is not enough to satisfy customer expectations. The smart organizations are also focusing of process improvement through process reengineering and business process management. The best ideas are usually generated through ingenuity of the employees. So businesses already have best continuous process improvement teams and they are working on the line every day.
In addition to the internal process improvement all geared to increase quality performance, many companies are now partnering with their suppliers and working hand in hand instituting supplier certifications for quality control where it really matters…at the source.