Banner - Implementing Quality 4.0

Published: March 31, 2021 – Author: Brent LaRoche

Have you ordered takeout lately? If so, you might have used the restaurant’s website or mobile app to place your order, track the food’s preparation, and see when it was out for delivery. All of these real-time updates were made possible through Intelligent Automation (IA) and artificial intelligence (AI) — giving customers like you faster access to the information you need. 

These technologies are also ushering in a new era of operational quality: Quality 4.0. As today’s organizations pivot to Quality 4.0, they will have to rework the frameworks of their quality teams. Let’s take a look at what needs to be done to create the operational excellence team of the future.

How does Quality 4.0 change the framework of quality teams?

In the recent past, quality teams have typically looked to DMAIC (define, measure, analyze, improve, control) and Lean methodologies to inform their frameworks. These have worked well for thousands of enterprises, and will continue to guide specific projects in the future. But in Quality 4.0, quality teams need a new framework that accounts for the improvements and value that automation brings to the table.

Part of the solution for quality teams may be in adopting an Agile framework to keep up with the speed of AI and IA development. With an Agile framework and new tools such as network diagrams, predictive analytics, and data science, quality teams can drive the organizational excellence of the future. 

How can quality teams implement Quality 4.0?

Implementing Quality 4.0 requires a structured approach. To implement Quality 4.0, quality teams need to:

  • Prioritize IA and AI use cases that solve critical pain points for associates and customers
  • Align priorities with business goals and objectives
  • Define a clear vision and roadmap for working with IA and AI
  • Establishing technology and data providers for IA and AI
  • Close skills gaps within the team to ensure everyone knows how to work with IA and AI

This is likely to be a daunting process for most organizations, as there are currently no established roadmaps for success with Quality 4.0. The market determines the value of your organization, and the market is changing at the speed of customer expectations. 

Since customer expectations are changing so quickly (just think of everything you expect when ordering takeout!), only one thing is certain: the quality teams of the future will be tasked with measuring quality continuously, not just snapshots of yesterday’s performance. With IA, AI, and an Agile framework, quality teams can equip themselves to tackle those challenges and deliver organizational excellence — continuously.