Thursday, March 31, 2011

Quality - What is it?

"God is in the details" - Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Mercedes, Apple, Google...why is it we think of their products as exceptionally high quality?

Let's take the example of Mercedes.  Is it enough for them to try to deliver a car that never breaks down on the freeway?  Do you think that's the end to which they aspire?  Is that enough to separate them from, say, Volkswagon?  No, that can't be it.  VWs don't break down of the freeway either.  In fact, isn't that just meeting the bare minimum customer expectation?  Isn't it (rightly) assumed that your car won't break down?

If we should be able to expect any car to never break down, then robustness can't be what characterizes high quality.

Can you guess why I love this commercial?

Look at the focused attention to detail.  There is a product specification that details the width of that gap.  It specifies how wide it can be, how narrow it can be, and the permissible variance in width.  There are test cases about that gap.  Mr. Labcoat is going to send that car back for adjustment and possible redesign if the tests fail and the product doesn't meet those specifications.

"God is in the details."

So is quality.

Todd Shoenfelt

No comments:

Post a Comment