Risk and the Future of Quality


By David X Martin

Risk assessment depends on four processes. The first process is assessment, both of the present situation and of what the team does not know. This leads to understanding the rules of the game and how they apply specifically to the present circumstances. Once the situation is assessed and the rules are understood, decision making can begin, with due consideration to all those with a stake in the outcome of the decision and to exit strategies. Finally, the outcomes of those decisions must be continually reevaluated, taking into account new information, changing circumstances, and the mistakes of the past. Quality professionals have the skills to identify and mitigate risk both to quality and to the organization as a whole, but they need to use those skills strategically in order to have influence on organizational management.

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