Business Management Articles
/ Quality Management


by Rene T. Domingo

Modern management literature abounds with laws, principles, and theories that attempt to reduce the unwieldy art of management into a predictable science. Peter Principle, Parkinson's Law, Theories X,Y,Z are but a few of these conceptual merchandise in the shopping list of the desperate manager. Unfortunately, many of these fads fade after their books have made billions for their authors. Yet no other law has been as durable, as short, as simple, as powerful, and as unprofitable to its legendary author as Murphy's Law "If anything can go wrong, it will." To get additional mileage and insights from this immutable law, this article enumerates below some of its ramifications and corollaries than can guide the manager in the quest for that evasive Holy Grail named "Quality". As in Newton's Law "What goes up must come down", we cannot escape the inevitability of Murphy's Law, but with a little more vigilance and prudence, perhaps we can soften the fall.

“A defective product in a lot would seek your best customer.”

“If a part has been found defective, its supplier has just been paid.”

“After improving quality from 95% to 99%, the remaining 1% defects would be shipped to your regular paying customers.”

“The moment you realize the need for additional testing equipment, the budget you sent has just been approved.”

“The number of inspectors in line is directly proportional to the defects it produces.”

“When a quality problem crops up, the quality control manager is on his way home.”

“When the quality control manager is on his way home, the plant manager is at home.”

“A defect discovered in the nth stage was caused by a problem in the (n-1) stage.”

“The best product concept that marketing wants is what R&D hates to design.”

“The best design that both marketing and R&D agree on is what manufacturing hates to produce.”

“The people least concerned with quality (marketing and R&D) are the ones who determines it most from the very start.”

“Like sediment disturbed by a rushing stream, defective products are naturally attracted by rush deliveries.”

“The percentage of defects in a factory is directly proportional to the percentage of workers who glance at visitors as you tour them around.”

“The number of quality control charts posted on the company bulletin board is inversely proportional to the number of workers who look at them, and the number of managers who understand them.”

“The probability of a product breaking down increases rapidly as the guarantee period is about to expire.”

“A random sample in a customer survey would not include a disgruntled customer.”

“The manager or executive who complains the loudest about product quality understands quality the least.”

“If a company suddenly extols the quality of a product in its ad, customers have recently complained about its bad quality.”

“The supplier who treats you to the most extravagant lunch is the least concerned with its product quality.”

“When you ask somebody in the shopfloor what's wrong with an unlabeled pile of defective products, that's probably also the first time he'd ask the same question himself.”

“When you conduct a quality control training program, the person who needs it most would probably be too busy (firefighting) to attend it.”

“Product quality is inversely proportional to the number parts or materials dropped and littered on the shopfloor.”

“All things being unequal (and confusing) about several suppliers, the purchasing manager will pick the one with the lowest price.”

“Once you've learned the flaws of your newly-launched product from your customers, your competitor has just come up with a better, cheaper version.”

“During the rare times that the CEO visits the factory unannounced, either defects would be unusually high or the plant manager is on leave.”

“All defects are always discovered: most of them by your inspectors, and the rest by your customers.”

“An expensive product would first breakdown because of its cheapest part.”

“A complicated product would first breakdown because of its simplest part.”

“The customer that demands the most prompt delivery is probably the least prompt in payment.”

“If a company does not advertise about the quality of its product, it does not have bad quality -- it has none.”

“The speed with which an employee rushes to punch his timecard is inversely proportional to the speed he would stroll to his workplace after punching.”

“The probability of an equipment breaking down increases after the one who purchased it leaves the company.”

“The intensity or length of a company's celebration of the launching its company-wide quality movement is inversely proportional to the life of the movement.”

“The more eloquent and impressive is the presentation of a quality control circle, the less substance there is in it.”

“In this age of high-speed technology, if anything can go wrong, it already did.”


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