Often times, data types are misaligned between one department and another. Expensive data collection systems are put in place in one function, but the output of the system is formatted in such a way that it is not useful to another group that has a different data requirement. When the data types are misaligned between one group and another, the two groups may even form entirely different views of the facts on the ground.
I have seen cycles where two or three people were taking more than a day per month to generate reports while 90 percent of the report went into the trash. Of the remaining 10 percent, half of it clashed with the data derived from another department. Such data mismatches cause interdepartmental strain. By eliminating that inefficiency your company can save days per month in cycle time as well as mitigating the inefficiencies caused by inconsistent data and organizational infighting.
When the rubber hits the road, leadership, and everyone down the line, must demonstrate the values and behaviors that are expected, in terms of quality, customer satisfaction, and customer delight. If you’re living those values and you’re contributing to the organizational learning and the organizational results, then your workforce can perceive the measurable difference your actions and values are making for the business. Then, your improvement and quality initiatives matter, they matter to employees' careers and they matter to your opportunities as a business.
Unfortunately, too many managers become enamored of the business book-of-the-month and the wider workforce knows they are dealing with a "program du jour." They go to another four-hour, half-baked, watered-down training session. They check the box on the to-do list and promptly forget about what they learned. This isn't only a waste of time and money, but it is counter-productive since it generates cynicism. When such attitudes become ingrained, it becomes very difficult to dislodge them when management wishes to demonstrate its commitment to real improvements.
Engineers often become dazzled by innovative features, but even startlingly innovative products needs to operate effectively over time. Particularly in Silicon Valley, many companies are inconsistent with respect to reliability. Here's the equation: Reliability = quality + time.
Every product needs to be designed for an appropriate life span. Technologies are not useful forever, but too many products do not work as designed during their expected, useful life and require unexpected maintenance or repairs during their life cycle. This not only drives down customer satisfaction but it can be a huge financial drain on companies, in the form of warranty and excess damages claims.
Many enterprises, especially those that are selling to large entities like the federal government, foreign governments, large banks, or large manufacturers, enter into contracts that have penalties for lack of performance. Failure to create reliable products can do a great deal of damage to such firms.