The HeadScratcher Post Archive
May 2007
Readiness and Quality




The Headscratcher Post                    


May  2007              The Headscratcher Post ©  Headscratchers LLC              Edition 25




When are you Ready to turn on the power, release the product, start advertising, training, PR?   When are you ready to talk to a customer about your new service?   When are you ready to give that important presentation?  What does it mean to “Be Ready”?   Does it mean that there is nothing at risk, nothing outstanding, and nothing to worry about?    


Making a Decision and moving forward from one mode to another, is a function of how Ready you are … or think you are.


Definition of Ready.   You would think this was easy to find.  The dictionaries say it’s about being prepared or available for service, action, or progress.  So now all you have to do is understand what “being prepared” is?  This can be as varied as understanding what “Done” means.   The definition of Ready is illusive and subjective and can even change over time.   Even Wikipedia, the free Internet encyclopedia that has comments for almost everything, has nothing to add for “Ready”. 


Here is our Definition.   “Ready” means that you can satisfactorily mitigate the issues that arise, from and to all parties, as you move forward”.   In other words, you are Ready, when you’re sure that if “Something Happens”, you are confident that you can fix, repair, address, and answer the issue so that your customers, employees, and other affected parties, will be satisfied.


Using this definition, Software companies, Manufacturing companies, Computer and many other companies, all send out products knowing full well they have and will have defects.   In most cases, they believe they will be able to mitigate the issues.    


Quality is a measure of “Readiness”.  Companies who are good at understanding how “Ready” they are, are good at controlling quality.  Companies who have consistently good Quality, have a good process for determining Readiness AND have a high standard of Readiness.   Those who don’t have a good “Readiness” process are unpredictable when it comes to Quality.  


Readiness Meetings should be held starting about three quarters into a project.  The goal of the meeting is to determine Readiness.   Go around the room with the leaders of each department responsible for deliverables and ask them “Are you READY”, and if not, why not.  Creating a Readiness process will not only speed up projects but increase the predictability of their quality.


The Takeaway.  Understanding Ready, and how to determine it, is a critical component of Quality, Customer Satisfaction and ultimately profitability.   Take a moment and think about your business and what “Ready” means with respect to your products and services.   Readiness isn’t just something you look at the day you need to decide to move forward or not.   Create a process that ensures that when you think you’re ready you are really Ready!


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