The Rock is a representation of Newport News Shipbuilding's commitment to quality. It includes a plaque that reads: "We shall build good ships here; at a profit if we can, at a loss if we must, but always good ships." Photo by Ashley Cowan

Shedding Light on the Quality Management Process

Published October 25, 2022

October is National Quality Month. Can you guess the first element in quality management? It’s planning. Quality management can be broken down into four main components: planning, assurance, control and improvement. In the initial phase, planning, an organization establishes its core business practices and baselines so that goal thresholds can be established. Generally, an organization can determine its own quality standards, but here at Newport News Shipbuilding, these standards are already preset.

There are four key areas an organization should accomplish in the planning stage: (1) Identify the stakeholder’s priorities and expectations. This will ensure the organization has all points of view and creates a holistic approach. (2) Outline what constitutes success for all parties, not just to aid in setting expectations, but to remind the organization of the ultimate goal. (3) Establish key points of contact for the quality management system, such as data analysis or metric trending, as well as applicable procedures.
(4) Develop a process flow for periodic review of the data trends and metrics for improvement as well as revisiting the organization’s vision for success. If there are any questions regarding the first step of quality management, reach out to the Quality Division.

Be sure to check back next week to read up on the next components of quality management, assurance and control.