An excerpt from The Handbook for Quality Management (2013, McGraw-Hill) by Paul Keller and Thomas Pyzdek
Quality planning is the activity of developing the products processes
required to meet customers’ needs. It involves a number of universal steps (Juran and DeFeo, 2010):
As Juran intended and experience has shown, the term universal implies the activities are applied across any organization at various levels. The discussions in the following chapters are directed primarily at business-level planning to achieve profitability and organizational success through customer focus. The concepts will be similarly applied at the process and product levels in Part IV to develop and improve customer-focused products and services.
Despite the inevitability of the future, it cannot be predicted. Nonetheless, long-range planning has valuable benefits, providing opportunity for managers to critically question (1) whether the effects of present trends can be extended into the future, (2) assumptions that today’s products, services, markets, and technologies will be the products, services, markets and technologies of tomorrow, and (3) perhaps most important, the usefulness of devoting their energies and resources to the defense of yesterday (Drucker, 1974).
Traditional strategic planning starts by answering two simple questions: “What is our business?” and “What should it be?”
Strategic planning is not forecasting, which Drucker (1974) pointedly noted: “is not a respectable human activity and not worthwhile beyond the shortest of periods.” Strategic planning is necessary precisely because we cannot forecast the future. It deliberately seeks to upset the probabilities by innovations and organizational change.
Strategic planning is the continuous process of making present entrepreneurial decisions systematically and with the greatest knowledge of their futurity, organizing systematically the efforts needed to carry out these decisions, and measuring the results of these decisions against the expectations through organized, systematic feedback (Drucker, 1974).
Learn more about the Quality Management tools for process excellence in The Handbook for Quality Management (2013, McGraw-Hill) by Paul Keller and Thomas Pyzdek or their online Quality Management Study Guide.