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Quality and Life-Cycle Tools

Quality and Life-Cycle Tools

Assuring quality, reliability, and safety is an integral part of product development. But companies often address product quality too late, using disjoint processes with inadequate cross-functional communication. Not managing quality in an integrated way throughout the product lifecycle is costly to companies, both in profitability and reputation.

Achieving product quality is a multidimensional challenge for discrete manufacturers. With an increasingly global workforce, a widespread network of contractors and suppliers, technically complex products to deliver, and a highly competitive marketplace, quality is often sacrificed in the name of globalization, profitability, or time to market – sometimes with disastrous results.

To be most effective, quality should be managed early in the product development lifecycle and consistently throughout the entire process, using cross-functional, collaborative methods so that the quality information obtained in one lifecycle stage is available to relevant processes in other lifecycle stages. What’s more, quality information must be highly visible throughout an organization to ensure that any and all decisions that may require quality data or impact product quality are informed in a timely, efficient, and accurate fashion.

Quality Lifecycle Management, or QLM, provides a formalized, systematic solution to manage all aspects of product quality, reliability, and risk using methods that are fully integrated into the product development lifecycle and highly visible to all personnel with a stake in product quality.

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F.A.Q. about Quality and Life-Cycle Tools

Why manage product quality?

In a perfect world, manufacturers would have a complete, accurate picture of quality as it develops and matures throughout the product lifecycle. This information would:

  • Serve as a "single source of truth" providing insight for all stakeholders into the current state of product quality.
  • Connect top management and decision-makers with critical information to make informed decisions that impact the quality.
  • Help personnel across the product development lifecycle understand the quality impact of their development activities.
  • Unite the quality-related processes that occur throughout the product lifecycle.

For what is QLM used?

QLM is used to:

  • Build quality, reliability, and risk planning into the entire lifecycle.
  • Align functional needs to product requirements.
  • Ensure requirements are met by specific product characteristics.
  • Track characteristics systematically throughout the lifecycle.
  • Identify quality issues and initiate corrective actions.
  • Communicate and reuse corrective actions to improve products.

What are the benefits of QLM?

QLM links together each of the quality, reliability, and safety activities that take place across every stage of the product development lifecycle. Through QLM, one lifecycle stage informs the next, and feedback from each stage is automatically fed into other relevant stages, creating a unified, holistic model of overall product quality.

With numerous quality, reliability, and safety processes united into a single software platform, QLM enables:

  • A highly structured solution automating the workflow of quality information and feedback between product lifecycle stages.
  • Complete management visibility into key dimensions of product safety and reliability at any lifecycle stage.
  • Cross-functional collaboration across multiple departments and teams responsible for product quality, safety, and reliability.
  • Functional links between product requirements, product characteristics, and quality activities at each lifecycle stage.
  • A fully documented history of product development from a quality perspective.