Sunday, November 30, 2014

STATUS OF ENGINEERING EDUCATON IN TAMILNADU: A REVISIT FROM 2005



Hello World,

I haven’t been around here for quite some time as I have been active writing on LinkedIn. However, this is something I have been wanting to write for well over an year now. 

During 2005-2006, I wrote a paper titled ‘STATUS OF ENGINEERING EDUCATION IN TAMILNADU’ and submitted that to an ISTE Student Chapter Conference at a college near Hosur, India. I was surprised to see my paper selected for presentation. During my presentation, the students clapped, whistled and laughed while the teaching/management community got pissed off. My paper basically called every element of the engineering educational system (in Tamilnadu) wrong and how we were digging our own graves. 

About 8 years later, that is right now, I am revisiting the trends that I had predicted will happen. At that time, everyone disagreed with me and said I overestimated the flaws. Based on my discussions with different stakeholders in the engineering education business, I would like to make it very clear that I had heavily under-estimated the impacts. They have all happened and have now gone above and beyond what seemed to me as a probable extent of failure.

For more than a year now, I have been discussing with engineering students, engineering graduates, lecturers/professors and family of current/past engineering students. Here are my observations and what they mean to me.



Money Over Everything Else

It was the time for lab-practical exams and everyone was there to take their exams. The examiner was there with an external-examiner (a trend followed around here for no freakin reason) to run the day’s proceedings as planned. All the students were told to leave their cellphones out of the lab. One of them had taken pictures of his book and sneaked his cellphone inside the lab and used it as cheat-sheet. The examiner caught him red-handed and confiscated his paper and cellphone. As he was proceeding to execute disciplinary action, the student confidently offered him a bribe saying he can ask his dad to pay any amount to let him be allowed to copy and pass the exam. The examiner got furious and demanded to speak with the student’s father. On the phone, as the examiner conveyed the inappropriate behaviour of the student to the parent, the father interjected and suggested he is ready to pay any amount so his son can copy and pass the exam. The examiner had no words to say and he took it up to the Head of the Department. The HOD (as we call them around here) was very considerate of the examiner’s situation and kindly advised him to not take much notice of this and let the boy do what he has to do. Apparently, the student had paid a huge sum of money for his engineering seat in that college and he was being considered a ‘Paying Customer’ who deserved his money’s worth. The examiner, handed the student, exam papers and the cellphone and  left the rest of the disciplinary action take place under the HOD’s supervision. The disciplinary action included the student do the rest of his exam in the HOD’s office in a rather ‘conducive’ atmosphere. 

My friend says this is not a rare case and so many instances like these occur in engineering colleges in Tamilnadu where, ‘Money’ is being used as reason to skip procedures, make leeways and potential engagement in will-full malpractices which allow the students to get through the educational system without having to make the necessary effort. As long as the student pays, the managements want them to go out with a degree, one way or the other. 

Commissions for Cooperation

Engineering college managements are collecting exorbitant amounts as tuition and other fees. Some of those fees cover extra-curricular activities involving external organisations teaching the students, specific professional skills. The current trend is that the college managements are charging large amounts and are only spending a fraction of those for the purpose. Those who approach college managements with proposals for such programs, have to go through individuals who demand a ‘Per-Student-Rate’ as a commission for that business to be chosen for the specific program. In most cases, the fees paid to the external businesses are well below 25-50% of what the managements charge the students for the purpose. The ‘Commission-Collectors’ demand between 10%-20% of the fees quoted by the external business.

In another case, which is happening right now, the college management has made it ‘mandatory’ for all the students to take the software-training classes conducted by external organisations. Those students who will not agree to pay for the extra-curricular classes will not receive his/her hall-ticket (a nonsense we still practice in India) and eventually won’t be able to take the exams.

It is almost as if nobody really cares if the program will benefit the students. The businesses such as external training organisations get tossed around by the ‘Money-Laundering-Bureaucracy’ designed and practiced by the college managements. The governing bodies don’t seem to notice the obvious realities for some valid reason, possibly corroborated by mutually beneficial material exchanges, in every unlawful way possible. 

Don’t-Fail-Too-Many Policy

Lecturers going for ‘Paper-Correction’ is a common affair around here. The universities have the affiliated colleges pool the exam papers together and have a centralised evaluation process. 

When the lecturers fail a student for not writing the right answer or for not writing anything at all, their ‘evaluated papers’ are ‘revised’ by senior lecturers and most often the students who make a 30 (fail) out of 100, end up with up to 80 marks. The senior lecturers and professors school the junior lecturers that every time they take a bundle of exam papers to grade, they should make sure they don’t fail more than 4 or 5 papers. This way, the engineering college’s ‘Pass-Percentage’ does not get affected.

This is almost a cultural affair where colleges extent their friendly gesture of ‘Don’t Fail Too Many’ to each other, eventually rendering the centralised paper evaluation process nonsense.

In colleges which have gained the ‘university’ status, the trend is to fail the student, make it compulsory for the student to join the compartment/complimentary classes, pay an additional fees and retake the exam. The concept is that the students pay more and they mysteriously pass their complimentary exams after failing it miserably the first time. The catch however is not that. Those lecturers who refuse to divulge the exam questions to the students who take these complimentary/compartment courses are not given the opportunity to handle those courses, even if they were the ones who handled the course during the main semester. 

In a specific case, the department’s ‘Re-Evaluation Team,’ incharge of grading the papers of those who have applied for revaluation, denied participation to a lecturer who refused to ‘pass’ all the failed papers that were handed to him the previous time. The very purpose of that exercise is to make sure the students pass the exam, no matter what, and maintain the ‘fake image’ of the college. 

The college managements have made a ‘Return-Business Model’ out of failing students and don’t want to engage those members of the teaching community, who wish to practice their profession with integrity and passion. 

Joining Engineering Colleges

The admission process is shared by the governing university and the affiliated colleges where the university will send a certain number of students and the colleges are free to recruit students on the town to fill the remaining seats. It’s big business. 

I have had the opportunity to remain dumbfounded in front of a parent who proudly claimed he had ‘Booked’ engineering seats in 5 different colleges with suitable ‘Advance Payment’ and wanted my advice on how to choose the good one. People are booking college seats like flight tickets these days. The colleges have long been paying students, commissions for the students they bring in. The cut comes from the ‘capitation fees’ paid by the incoming student.

There have been cases where the college management set ‘targets’ for each lecturer in terms of the number of students they should recruit (who will pay for their seat) and the failure of which resulted in delayed salary disbursements. In some cases, the college managements demand the students who pay for their seat to attend the centralised admission process and bring a confirmed admission in any stream in exchange for a seat in the stream of their choice. This way, the management gets one more seat to sell. 

The governing bodies are there and they do conduct elaborate procedures but all end in money. So none of the systems and procedures are capable of serving their purpose. The mindset behind such state of affairs is very similar to the view which approves a minor sexual assault as ok compared to a full-fledged rape.

We need to remember that most engineering colleges are run by wealthy individuals, most of them with a criminal background. They are in this business because they have the money to build a college and get its approvals from the university (by paying of course). They are not entirely fit for running an educational institution and so they depend on people who will promise them a standard revenue stream year after year. They are thriving because the gullible parents and students chase them for an engineering degree, hoping their life will change with one.

Studying in Engineering Colleges

Students often are forced with tough projects by their advisors. A deeper look reveals that the lecturers who are working towards their PhD’s split their project into multiple smaller projects and force their students to do it, most often against their will. Those who are full-time PhD students do housekeeping tasks at their advisor’s residence in exchange for their work to be approved by the advisor. The activities include, taking the professor’s kids to school, getting the professor’s wife’s clothes dry-cleaned and buying groceries for the professor’s family. The money for the expenditure is often not given and the student will have to bear it as a ‘Respect Fee’ for his PhD. Also the PhD student has to pay from his/her personal account, for the expenditure on the committee’s travel, lodging and meals. There have been cases where the visiting professor (who has to approve a publication) openly asked for ‘Gold-Gifts’ in return for a ‘No-Scrutiny-Approval’ of anything the student presents.



The current trend indicate that universities from far off states within India are offering value-added PhD’s where the students have multiple packages to choose from. The comprehensive option involves a payment of around Rs. 300000 for everything. The university will prepare the attendance records, exam papers and other documentary trails for the successful graduation of the student. All the student has to do is pay for it. The student may have to make a few visits from time to time but it is not mandatory. 

Those who have paid heavily and went through humiliation of all kinds are proudly walking around with their Paid-For-PhD’s and some have openly claimed that they will charge their students to cover what they had to pay when they were a student. Now that’s consistency. 

When encountered with a question of why, these fake-educated money sharks say it is ok since everybody does it and this is how it has been for a long time. 

This get’s us to the question: Just because prostitution has been around for a long time and women are being sold in almost every country, is it ok to sell our mothers, sisters, daughters and wives for a good deal? Those who do things just because they believe everyone else does, will they sell women from their family just because prostitution is everywhere? After all, it is consistency we are trying to keep up to.

Current Impact on Engineering Industry

The companies in India are struggling to hire engineering graduates since they have developed a very bad habit of stereotyping engineering graduates. They have all come to believe that anyone from an engineering college in Tamilnadu (barring a few exceptions) will have a degree but absolutely no knowledge in that domain. Apparently, they have some real world cases to substantiate their claims. 

The colleges are not being fair with their evaluation and this has led to unfit engineering graduates entering the job market. Students are going to training institutions to ‘Buy Certificates’ which they submit as proof for learning something and the recruiters eventually end up finding it out. Parents are ready to pay for their kids’ degrees simply because they have lined up a job for them at a friend’s place.

There are so many jobs out here that are not being filled only because the employers believe they are not finding their right fit. Simply put they need candidates who can at least learn the job. The sad state of affairs inside the engineering college have let the engineering industry stagnate. The recruiters are skeptical about almost everyone and the candidates are not sure of what they want to do. After all, most of them joined an engineering college mostly because their parent was affluent enough to grab a priority seat for them. 

This has essentially ruined it for the rest of the engineering community who are in this line out of their love for engineering. No wonder the jobs are being taken to other asian countries from India. I only hope they don’t stagnate. 

At this moment, those who are in engineering colleges in Tamilnadu, have no belief over the idea of them getting a job in their line of work. Irrespective of their stream, the engineering students’s only hope is the big bunch of IT companies who can practically take in any human and get them trained for their work. The bad part is even they are not preferring most of the engineering graduates these days.

A sample worst case scenario is the fact that in the recent past, about 58 colleges had all the students (1 batch) in all their streams fail all their exams. Those are colleges run out of randomly constructed 2-storeyed buildings in undocumented lands of wealthy loan sharks who have absolutely nothing to do with academics. Those colleges exist because someone got paid to let them run their business in such state. 

The bad design of educational system here and the obnoxiously unethical implementation of it has been the reason, India’s talent being mostly used for back-end fill-out jobs that are heavily standardised and require nothing more than a pair of hands and basic computer literacy. It is absolutely insulting to see those jobs considering our candidates unfit for them. 

I believe we need to ‘Wake, Break and Shake’ in India before we get to ‘Make In India’ because, soon they will be here to make and realise they don’t have much to make with. 

Back in 2005-2006, my findings indicated that we were forced with content without clarification of why we had to learn them in the first place. The main concern was students not being provided the ‘application’ side of engineering. I was opposed to the idea of assignments being entirely associated with pages of text we were required to copy from the textbook photocopies we were supplied with. I was annoyed at the fact that a lecturer scolded me for asking questions in class (In all fairness, I do agree I have the incredible talent of inventing stupid questions out of nothing). I did scratch the eye of the ‘Re-Evaluation Fee’ which was collected from students who filed for revaluation of their papers. Apparently, here in India, it was and it is considered absolutely normal for a lecturer/professor to wrongly grade an exam and fail the student. All the student has to do is apply for revaluation. The bill is often not issued and when issued will carry a mention of ‘Re-Totalling.’ Overall, failing the students and getting their money for passing them is officially the underground ‘Return-Business’ for the universities and affiliated engineering colleges. For those who are still not able to understand the intensity of the situation, when I joined an engineering college there were 240 of them and now there are around  550 engineering colleges. The number just keeps growing as we speak.

What was bad 8 years ago, is worse now and is in no shape for improvement at the moment. People are losing interest in engineering just because the engineering graduates are not getting jobs after their engineering education. This however, has not even made a freakin dent on anyone’s cognitive make-up that we need to pursue our interest and not what everyone else does. It’s been over 6 decades of independence and we are still being ‘followers.’ If we are going to join engineering colleges based on job-prospects, we are agreeing to the consequences of market characteristics. Apparently, a few lakh engineering graduates every year fail to understand this fact.  They can only go so far as their education has taught them to. If they are made to pay for their seat, passing exams and certificates, they obviously won’t know anything other than blindly following whatever pays them. This is taking the element of ‘innovation’ from our community and this is hurting us from all sides. We really need to get out of ‘This is India and this is how it is here’ mindset to look outside and let our thoughts evolve. 

Overall, if you are a student who is studying or looking to study engineering in Tamilnadu, you are running a combination of risks that can hurt you in so many ways. Please exercise caution when someone says they can get you a seat for cheap. What was once considered a boom for the development of this economy is now eating this economy from within, thanks to those who are in the business of ‘Setting Up Engineering College’ for those who have loads of money and know nothing to do with it. 

Image source: 

http://www.thehindu.com/2000/06/20/images/13200377.jpg

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/thumb/msid-32520809,width-300,resizemode-4/Corruption-Graphic.jpg

Regards,



Tuesday, September 30, 2014

QUALITY CONTROL IN MANUFACTURING


Interpretations and Insights for the Developing Markets


Hello World,

I would like to begin with a word of thanks to my friend and colleague Abdul Afoo Parkar for contributing as a guest writer to my post. Abdul is an Analysis Engineer by profession, specializing in CFD simulations. He has a passion for machines and traveling. I consider myself fortunate for having shared the classroom with Abdul while we were graduate students at Mississippi State University.

Me and Abdul have the habit of engaging in long discussions on various topics ranging from technology to marketing and beyond. One of those discussions happened to cover the field of Quality Control in Manufacturing and at the end of the discussion, we both felt, it would be worth the time sharing our thoughts with you.

Here are a few bits of my observations and enlightening experience auditing a heavy machinery manufacturing firm:

QC Document handed over to the client has a very detailed index but did not have those documents:
 
The QC Manager thought, I was there just to see if they had a quality document for every order they were doing and that would be it. Unfortunately my job description read otherwise. We had already sampled out a set of orders to be verified. I had the QC Manager informed of the list and he provided all of them hoping I won’t understand anything from it since I was young and I represented a small consulting firm. Human frailties.

I go through the index page and I was pretty impressed by the granularity it boasted. I started flipping through the pages, looking at each item as mentioned in the index and I started getting a feeling that I flipped fast and got lost in the thick file. I went from page 1 again and found the same mismatching pages. When I looked closely, I realized, the file did not contain over 40% of what it claimed to contain as per the index page.


QC Document had test certificates as old as 10 years:

Some of the supporting documents mentioned in the index indicated standard test certificates of the materials that were used in the concerned order. These test certificates were claimed to be obtained from the supplier who had supposedly gotten it from the manufacturer.

The photocopy of the test certificate was there and it mentioned the material details such as name, category, dimension and so on. I looked at the date it was dated 10 years back. The order we were verifying was received and completed within 6 months from the date of the audit. 

I asked the QC Manager, if the material they used was indeed a 10 year old stock and he almost lost his cool. He said they would never do such a thing and all were procured for the order and used as freshly procured material. I asked him if the supplier sent them his 10-year old stock and he said that can never happen as they scrutiny every piece of material before accepting it. I showed him the test certificate copy that was dated 10 years back and asked why a 10 year old test certificate is being used in the QC Document and he replied with a smile ‘Nobody cares about it. We need to have a test certificate and that’s why it is there.’ I asked him if they insisted on getting a recent test certificate or inquire into the validity of such a test certificate and he said the standards are there but nobody cares since their work is good and that such test certificate is not important to anyone.

Metallic plates 3 mm thicker than what the design had mandated were used in the heavy machinery that was built:

3 mm seems too low but for an equipment the size of a truck, 3 mm more on the thickness will results in huge weight gain. That equipment is going to be part of a much larger set-up. If the weight is exceeded in any equipment, it has to be indicated to the design team so the suitable update is made and revised edition of the design can be shared with the rest of the manufacturing teams. If the cost implication of chaining the system design owing to one sub-system’s change, then such a change cannot be allowed. 

When I asked this question, my whole idea of ‘risk’ due to uninformed excess weight was classified as unnecessary and unrealistic. I only hope whichever factory is using such equipment have a strong set-up that can handle excess weight so that, 10 years down the line, the factory employees don’t get stuck under broken machinery simply because a contract-manufacturer considered Quality Control as ‘Not-a-Big-Thing.’

No QC checks were done before accepting the materials from suppliers. Their quantity alone were verified:

The QC office, for some reason was located far away from the storage/delivery area and no QC personnel were deployed in the storage/delivery area to verify the quality of the materials that were being delivered.

Further inquiry revealed that the QC checks never happened and the documents were merely sent across offices to be signed and predated. So the QC checks for all materials delivered happened only in paper.

Materials were stored out in the open, letting them weather the elements and succumb to rust:

The storage area was crammed and in a state of disorder. Most of the materials, including metals were left outside and they were getting subjected to sun, rain, dust and other environmental factors that can possibly deteriorate their quality over time, rendering them useless for manufacturing. Those materials were used anyways.

My concerns were only entertaining them and they considered my questions as jokes rather than indications of risk. Manufacturing best practices never call for degraded materials to be used.

Objects of aesthetic nature can be built using degraded materials (rusted metal) since they can be cleaned and painted. Besides their using inferior quality material is not going to cause any significant danger since they won’t have any mechanical purpose other than remain a non-interactive display piece.

I was surprised to see heavy machinery that were to be used in factories dealing with large volumes of fluids, being built using material that weathered the elements for a long time before getting into the finished product.

The QC process just did not have any element of control to sense, measure and mitigate the risks of using degraded material on machinery that were made for paying customers.
 
Overview

I think, it was deliberate negligence that was mostly responsible for the QC ‘gaps’ that I noticed. There was a big gap in terms of systematized QC that might have eradicated most of these small yet significant risks. Nobody cared because they were getting paid and nobody complained. What they fail to realize is that products that come out of such inferior QC process tend to have short lifetimes and very unreliable failure modes which may strike anytime, irrespective of the equipment’s design life. The factories where such products are installed go into higher risk of disaster since they have many other sensitive machinery that operate in the vicinity of these rather ‘Riskily Manufactured’ equipment.

Impact

Well, with the fast moving trend of globalization, companies are expanding across continents connecting thousands of industries and end-users as they go. Standardized manufacturing practices is a dire need for them to interact at the same level and benefit from each others contribution.

With this existence of deliberate ignorance of QC in manufacturing domain, the industry participants of the respective regional market will be branded as ‘Unsafe & Unreliable’ and eventually lose businesses to those markets that boast and deliver Quality of global standards. Also, now with heavily data-driven industry practices, when an end-user faces danger due to system failure, it is possible to track down to the manufacturer of the sub-system that caused the incident. 

These are times when industries are expanding and evolving. The businesses are looking to expand into different markets and invest in them. Any indication towards 'Lack of Concern for Quality'  will demotivate businesses from investing in the markets with questionable business practices. In the end, it has to be someone from the developed market who will have the capability to take the first jump and drive the developing markets into further growth but they will be looking for commitment towards growth to base their decision on.

Possible Remedies

An elaborate, systematized and data-driven QC process will be the ideal solution but more than the process, it is the implementation that matters. I think, manufacturing companies should stop looking for customer demands and install ‘Best-in-Market’ QC standards that will equal or top the QC requirements that their customers might look for.

The safety of the end-users while their interactions with the machinery/equipment should be prioritized and the QC process should orient its testing and evaluation terms towards the end-user safety.

The other area can be robust design and analysis which can enforce QC-friendly factors such as ‘all-weather’ materials and additive manufacturing that can eliminate the possibilities of a significant portion of flaws, eventually reducing the burden on QC process.

I think it is time for us to get the insights of an Analysis Engineer on the topic.

Here is what Abdul thinks about Quality and the underlying philosophy:


Let’s take a step back and rewind to the essence of quality. 

Quality Control, Quality Assurance and Total Quality Management practices can be seen as a disruption to what was the traditional way for getting things right. Think about it. 

The traditional method relied on accept-or-reject approach based on inspection/measurement of specifications of finished product before shipping to the end user. The disruption brought about by Quality movement when it started in earnest was the shift in focus from the accept-or-reject routine to encompass something even greater - i.e value or the TRUE WORTH of product (or service for that matter) in the eyes of the customer. 

It would be worthwhile to look briefly at the birth of the Quality movement and how it took root. Of course, it has to be borne in mind that a business has a lot to lose if poor quality assurance procedures (like what Arun shared with us earlier) and unpleasant customer service remain the operational norm. 
So….

Quality

Is it just a buzzword? Is it a fancy word that has lost its meaning? We cannot claim that with certainty.  Why? Because it depends on who you ask and how effectively they practice it. The origins of quality can be traced to mass production as a result of rapid industrialization in past century [1]. It was the time when goods were rolled out in volumes and numbers. The final product had to be inspected to check its acceptability for selling in the market. 

Were all these goods perfect in every way as they rolled out at the other end of the production line? Of course, not. Variability is inherent to each and every process. It cannot be taken for granted because if process variability is way out of range (outside an acceptable tolerance) the product is no longer suitable for use – it may not fulfill its intended purpose as the buyer originally expected it to or the product might fail way before it was designed to fail. The end result: customer is going to feel cheated…..as simple as that. It affects the chances of repeat business and the overall sustainability of the seller’s business model.


This brings us to two questions: 

a) How do you define quality? 


b) How do you control quality? 

Quite simply quality is defined as fitness for use i.e. how well a product/service performs to meet its intended purpose and satisfy the expectations of the customer. Would you buy a kitchen knife knowing that it has perfectly blunt edge? No. The next point is how do you control quality? This is where the body of knowledge really swells – different models, philosophies and systems -depending on the industry and the extent of quality control mechanisms required.

Very briefly: the concepts and ideas of quality were being promoted by early pioneers in the US - Joseph Juran, Edward Deming, Philip Crosby et al. However, the US industry did not embrace the new thinking. It’s human nature to resist change. It was the Japanese who picked up these ideas from their American gurus as part of the post-world war reconstruction collaboration. Only when the market success of Japanese products had begun to threaten the survival of US-made goods, the Total Quality movement took off in US [2]. The auto industry and electronics industry were the first to adopt the ideas and put them into practice. 

Quality focus shifted from traditional inspection…from accept-or-reject approach to a comprehensive monitoring and control system that encompasses organization-wide processes, all streamlined with one single high-level goal of creating value and customer satisfaction.


Why were the Japanese so successful? What is it that they realized so early on and embraced so sincerely that they literally rose from ashes of World War II? 

Toyota is the most popular example of quality management. They installed their own system which became popular as TPS or Toyota Production System. The cornerstones of their TQM (Total Quality Management) philosophy were the following:

1. Viewing their end-product from value point of view as opposed to traditional perspective of cost per piece.

2. They tailored their processes to incorporate value into the product as it progressed through the conception/design/production stages.


3. Their focus on eliminating waste. (The highlight? Entire take on the meaning of waste; According to Toyota philosophy, any activity that does not add value to end product is 'waste'. )


4. Management support and unwavering commitment to promoting a company-wide culture for quality, continuous improvement, employee empowerment, process focus and change management.

Now, let’s rotate some knobs and get the picture in focus. You sold something and your customer is not happy with the money spent… We ourselves have been through such an experience at least once and we all know the outcome. Its human instinct to praise when satisfied and to ladle out criticism when not satisfied. In the modern era with powerful social media, a customer complaint will not go unnoticed. Certainly a negative product/service review is the last thing on business owner’s mind. 

Today one of biggest challenges to quality is the sustainability of the quality-improving process/change. Almost every major organization or a mid-size manufacturing unit has a quality objective and a QA/QC department. Well, that’s great! Take one good look at mission and vision statements of a company … you know what I am talking about. Every mission/vision statement will talk about the organization's lofty commitment to customer satisfaction and high standard for excellence

But, the questions are: 

How good are they at practicing quality and seeing tangible improvements to their product/service as direct result of a quality policy? 

If a quality initiative is indeed successful then does this new method/initiative snowball into a bigger transformation across the organization?  

Are organizations embracing quality for its true benefits or are they faking it because regulatory bodies need to see a quality policy? 

Are they 100% committed to delivering something of greater value in their product/service? 

The reason for asking these questions is simple: 

Are we adopting quality because everybody else is doing the same?

There is a big difference between making quality work for your organization (like the way it did for say Toyota or Motorola) versus having a quality department. Believe me, a mediocre quality department that lacks the power/achievements to influence company-wide culture is a blot in the name of quality. It is also the first sign of executive management’s poor commitment to promoting a culture of continuous improvement. These are the example organizations that remain in the market for perpetuating mediocrity as Arun described in his quality audit experience in the beginning of this article.



Once again, let’s open our eyes to the real picture: Is quality a fancy word that has lost its meaning? We cannot claim that with certainty.  Why? Because it depends on who you ask and how effectively they practice it.


Image Source:  

http://ct.componenteng.com/Portals/155585/images/quality1.jpg
http://www.gembaacademy.com/images/thumbs/the_seven_quality_control_tools_course.jpg


Regards,


Abdul Afoo Parkar

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