Do the Right Things Right

We’ve learned a lesson here at CMW that we take any opportunity to share with others.

For everyone to minimize cost of quality, we must do the Right Things Right.

“Do the Right Things Right” might seem a bit obvious or redundant if you don’t know the full context. We know that for the sake of quality and budget, we want to do the right things. And we want to do what we’re doing right…right? Right. Right Things Right.

Okay, okay — before that gives you a headache, let’s look at the alternative. Because not enough businesses, companies, or people do! In order to do the Right Things Right, you have to make sure you’re not doing the opposite — or anywhere in between.

Doing the Right Things Right is a matter of breaking up what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. 

Take this table.

Say your priority for this week is drafting new social media content — and it’s a good priority. Your online presence has been lacking, and it’s just what you need for a marketing boost. You’ve got your priorities agreed upon, and know the right thing to do.

But, time gets away from you and you rush the content — now it’s sloppy, or maybe not even ready in time. You knew the right thing to do, but did it wrong.

Let alone if this shouldn’t have even been a priority to begin with — if your social media content isn’t stellar but can wait, while your new logo design hasn’t even been touched. Now it’s the end of the week and you’ve got a low-quality result on something you shouldn’t have even focused on in the first place. You’ve done the wrong thing wrong. But, if your social media content turns out great — some sharp new Tweets and informational videos for Facebook — that’s good. Except, again, it was never a priority. You’ve done the wrong thing, even if you did it right.

Now we have three different scenarios — none ideal. What do they all have in common?

They cost you.

Because in the time that you were spending not doing the Right Things Right, you were wasting quality, and money. Whether that was on low priorities, or rushed priorities, you weren’t doing the Right Things Right, and now everyone will have to pick up the slack.

Until you really draw your attention to this, it can be hard to spot when it’s happening (and when it’s happened in the past). One practical tool is really using the table.

Fill in the table with tasks categorized into each square — and total the number of hours spent on each.

Next, convert those hours into percentages of time to calculate your Avoidable Cost of Quality. This will underline exactly how much your mistakes are losing you.

  • Write your estimated % of time for each category in the boxes on the left.
  • Write the percentage of time doing “Right Things Right”.
  • Subtract your RTR percentage from 100%, and you have your ACOQ %.
  • Review ACOQ (all items, except RTR).  Write % that are imposed Rework.

Imposed rework includes fixing mistakes or redoing work due to lack of planning by yourself or others.  

Planned rework will include early drafts that are reviewed with others, changes made after test runs, etc. — these are the improvements you can make once you see just how much not doing the Right Things Right will cost you!

Learning to recognize these patterns can be an adjustment, but one that’s worth it — and worth money! This is to efficiently minimize the cost of quality, without sacrificing any of it. After all, you never want to skimp on quality — you want to save it. By following this idea, you will.

Yeah. It can seem complex. But what it all comes down to is this: to know you’re doing more of the Right Things Right than the other three categories, you have to track it — measure it — and then work to improve it. If you’re like us, you’re working on dozens of tasks a day. Anytime you find yourself ordering a “Re-do” on a task that should have been done by now, you know you drifted into the other boxes on the chart.

So…do the Right Things Right!