Quality Assurance – Benefits of Right the First Time

In the last couple of weeks, we have been discussing the first two steps of Doing it Right the First Time. This week, we will take brief side trip to the Benefits of Right the First Time. A lot of groups stumble over this point because they cannot articulate this well. They seem to use Descartes (as sometimes translated) “I Think therefore I Am” to state that Quality Assurance is “Good because it is” and leave it at that. That argument, in the Quality Assurance case, is circular. One might argue that Descartes is also circular but that is not something we want to take up here.

There is effort involved in “Getting it Right” and the question is whether it pays back later. We argue that is does using the following reasons:

  1. Having people actually concentrate on each step individually means that they will fully understand that particular piece.
  2. They can project all the possible consequences of that step.
  3. They can determine all the possible precursors that might impact that step.
  4. They can determine all the possible outcomes from that step.

There are two major counter-arguments to the above. One we are already addressing here. The other can be addressed using the argument we have already stated.

The first major counter-argument is the lack of time to do this type of analysis. Few people will deny the necessity of doing the analysis so this is only a question of timing and doing it earlier usually is beneficial in informing people.

The second major counter-argument is that things will change before we are done so why spend the time on something that we will need to redo later. This argument misses the point of the process. The analysis carried out in this process identifies that possibility for change, anticipates what is going to happen, addresses it and moves to the solution.

Step 3: Make sure we understand the benefits of this process so we can explain it at any time.

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