Quality is all about taking care of the details

Once upon a time, a CEO wanted to enhance the quality
procedures at his factory. So he invited a technical expert,
who after touring the factory and holding meetings with the
production managers, came up with a thick manual of quality
control to be implemented at the factory.

It was more than 600 pages of A4 size and printed on
both sides. It was highly detailed and extremely specific
about the entire production process, right from selection of
raw materials to the final finished product. The expert
presented the manual to the CEO, who wondered whether
the production managers would read it at all or not. The
expert suggested including some rule in it, which would
demonstrate whether the manual was actually read or not.

To ensure that the production managers read every line
of the manual, deeply embedded within the pages, was added
a small rule which stated, “At the factory, the reception desk
should have a vase having a bunch of roses, every Monday,
Wednesday, and Friday; and a bunch of tulips, every
Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.”

The CEO then called the production managers and
handed the thick manual to them, for their perusal. After
some time, when the production managers reported that
they had gone through the manual, the CEO asked them
which type of flowers did they put on the reception desk that
day? The production managers were confused and could not
answer. The CEO asked them to go through the manual

Few days later, the production managers said that they
had read the rule regarding the roses and tulips, to be put on
the reception desk on alternate days. Now, the CEO knew
that they had read each line of the manual and asked them,
to proceed with its due implementation.

Excerpt from the book “Once Upon A Time: 100 Management Stories” by Rajen Jani


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