4 Best Practices for Beginner Quality Leaders

If you’re new to quality, you may not know where to start. There are a lot of things to know, plan, do and monitor—and many different approaches to take. We’ve put together a few best practice tips for getting started in quality management. No matter what your individual business needs are, you can’t go wrong with following these basic principles.

  1. Do Your Homework

Before anything else, you should take the time to research what will be expected of you. This means learning the applicable guidelines and standards as well as vocabulary and documentation.

It may seem a little overwhelming if you don’t know where to start, but there are good resources out there for learning the quality basics. Although there are many industry-specific regulations, ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is a good place to start.

This way you will be prepared to start taking on quality tasks without being surprised by anything that comes your way.

  1. Follow the Leaders

There are many quality industry leaders that provide industry updates, insight and opinions that can help you build your quality management skills.

Some of our favorites are ASQ (American Society for Quality), LNS Research, and Quality Digest, among others. Listening to the voice of industry leaders is the best way to make sure your organization stays on pace with the best of them.

  1. Be Less Human

Take advantage of the technology around you. Utilizing an automated quality tracking system can be extremely valuable to your organization, especially if you are new to the role. Some features that can help you are:

  • Notifications and reminders for staying on task with assignments.
  • External assignments for securely managing the quality of suppliers or other outside parties.
  • Data and reporting to see the strengths in your organization as well as areas for improvement.
  • Corrective Action for to systematically document and respond to quality events, as well as implementing controls to prevent them from happening again.
  1. Be a Team Player

Don’t try to do everything yourself—collaboration is a huge factor in quality management. Even if your team is small, working with others—whether internally or via a supply chain—can decrease time to market and increase product quality.

Collaboration tools are available on a good quality system, and taking advantage of them is a good way to learn from those around you as well as specialize certain skills. Otherwise, taking on all of the tasks yourself might get a little overwhelming and cause you to not be able to put 100 percent effort into all of them.

Following these simple best practice tips can help you smoothly transition into a quality role, and excel at it.

by Alexa Sussman