Quintessential Quality

The Cost Of Poor Quality

You never think that a small error, mistake, or oversight can result in devastating consequences.  The Space Shuttle Challenger explosion cost 7 astronauts their lives and the financial loss was well over a billion dollars.  What caused the explosion?  Two rubber o-rings in a rocket booster that failed due to the cold temperatures on launch day.  The cost to redesign the o-rings?  Just a few hundred thousand dollars.

This is one of several stories in a video titled “The Cost of Poor Quality” that was produced by a South African energy company called Eskom and was presented at the 2011 ASQ Audit Conference.  The video is powerful and eye opening.  The short film examines some of the world’s most notorious disasters from a quality perspective and clearly points out the failures in the quality systems.

The Challenger Explosion, Toyota’s defective brakes, and Gulf Oil Spill all resulted in massive human, property, financial, and environmental ruin and all could have been prevented will fairly simple solutions.  We can never get lazy, never cut corners, and we must always communicate openly and honestly.   You never know when that one little “thing” will snowball into something much, much bigger.  By applying quality tools, techniques, and we can continue to enrich lives, improve workplaces, and make the world a better place.

Even if you are not a quality professional by trade, I encourage you to watch the video.  The lessons universal and can be applied to many aspects of our work and personal lives. Enjoy…


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