Remember these Ten Costs of Poor Quality

Article from WPT Power "In the Clutch" Newsletter - Issue 2, June 2018 By Don Swift

A quality solution costs money and time to build. You may think skipping several quality management steps costs less, however that is not the case. One must recognize that poor quality adds cost. These costs may not be apparent as the project progress but must be considered as part of the full-life cycle cost of the delivered solution. Examples of the cost of poor quality include:

  1. Rework. The required work to fix deliverables you thought were already complete and correct. Rework is a sign that your quality management process needs to be more rigorous. Rework happens even in Administrative processes.
  2. Bad decisions. If errors occur in your solutions, you make decisions based on bad or misleading information. These bad decisions could cause long term consequences for your company.
  3. Troubleshooting. It takes time to investigate and determine the cause of errors and defects occurring on the project.
  4. Poor morale. Poor processes produce poor quality solutions causing poor morale because employees don’t like working on poorly planned projects. Poor morale includes increased absenteeism, higher turnover, and less productivity.
  5. Warranty work. This includes work that is performed on a product or application for free (or a reduced price) under a warranty. If your project produces a product with lower quality, you will see a rise in the cost of warranty claims.
  6. Repairs/maintenance. Correcting problems after a poor quality solution goes live causes more work with higher repair and maintenance costs.
  7. Client dissatisfaction. A poor quality solution causes unhappy clients who, therefore, never return. Poor quality internal projects may cause the client to refuse to work with the project manager and team members on subsequent projects.
  8. Help desk. Many users have problems with project solutions or questions understanding how to utilize the solutions. Therefore, much effort and maintenance cost of a help desk service are required.
  9. Support staff. The effort and cost associated with a support staff is needed to maintain a solution because of problems, errors, questions, etc.
  10. Mistrust. When project teams deliver poor quality products, clients develop a level of mistrust with the project team and the performing organization. They start to believe that the project organization cannot build a good product. This leads to a mistrust of project team skills, processes, and motivation.

While quality management costs, delivering poor quality costs also. A key point of formal quality management suggests that you spend quality time on internal quality management (prevention and inspection). You save substantially on internal and external failure costs. Spend more time focusing on a better-quality product. The cost of operating the product long-term may be dramatically reduced.