Managing Quality


Yesterday Marko wrote an interesting post about quality of the product and how too much of it can kill the product due to increased costs required to build it. While I agree with Marko's assertion, I would really advise against treating quality as tunable parameter on a per-product basis. As Japanese have shown in the 1970s and 1980s quality can only be achievable through company culture, and not by having quality enforcement as a separate function (the approach by American companies at that time). The only way to influence company culture is by selecting people that fit, promote, and keep the culture that the company wants. There was nothing wrong with Nick whom Marko describes in his post. His focus on quality would be a major advantage if the company which hired him wanted to introduce more stress on quality in their culture. But it seems that the hiring process at the company in question was inadequate and their culture not explicit enough, which resulted in hiring Nick whose principles and values were not compatible with the goals of the company.

So, Marko, next time don't blame engineers for the mistakes made by the management :)