Friday, September 13, 2013

Quality vs. Agility


Quality is a function of scope, budget and resources. Agility is a model of performance without sacrificing the basic modularity of the business functions.

The speed of change requires business to adapt to the dynamic; and the fiery business competition pushes business to deliver qualified products or service, thus, how to gain in-depth understanding about business capabilities-agility+quality, as well as what do you put in place or how would you then structure your business to ensure that the ability of your business to adapt rapidly and deliver service with quality?

  • Quality = Expected standard of products/services/information. The ability to deliver a quality product is, as a matter of clear focus on the things that deliver quality. Remove the obstacles to quality, clearly describe what quality looks like, and PRACTICE the activities that produce quality results.  
  • Agility = The ability of business to adapt rapidly and cost efficiently,  in response to changes in the business environment. It requires the ability to train your staff on changes, the ability to design changes quickly that will work, the ability to implement inexpensive solutions quickly to enable the changes, and the willingness of the team / staff to make changes that may not be comfortable. 

  • Quality is a function of scope, budget and resources. Agility is a model of performance without sacrificing the basic modularity of the business functions. Ability of business to adapt rapidly and cost efficiently = Resources, Capabilities (people, process, technology), strategies, priorities, corporate culture, dependencies... And the better management control on delivery, the better the quality and vice versa. 
  • Cutting quality REDUCES agility. The long-term cost of cutting quality will EAT your attempts to change rapidly. Agility is dependent upon planning the roadmap and executing accordingly. Any misalignment between these factors impacts quality. Agility should not be translated to sacrificing planning, management guidelines or lifecycle of processes, projects and/or products. Rather, agility is targeted for enhancing business on-demand and improving quality of delivery. 

  • It is the "design" that is the critical enabling factor for both quality as well as agility; it is the design that imposes or removes constraints. It is necessary to maintain and/or improve quality, the "people, process, technology" must be defined and maintained to support the quality goal. It is also strategic imperative to enable agility -the ability of business to adapt rapidly and cost efficiently in response to the speed of changes in the business environment. 
Quality and Agility, can you have both? It takes the right people (those who share the business objective and have the requisite skills to deliver it), the effective processes that are valid and evolving, and technology that maintains and expands capabilities to support strategies and priorities in accordance with the corporate culture. 

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