manage those variables
Leaders with courage and longer-term vision mandate unflinching quality in their products or services.
And they use a common-sense metric to keep their promises.
I equate customers need for predictability to basic physiological human needs like food and water. Your product or service must have a predictable level of quality – whether it be the consistency in the look and feel of IKEA furniture, or in the dependability of a 10 am pick-up by FedEx.
Alas, Predictability is hard to attain, and harder to sustain. As we optimize for cost and time, product or service predictability inevitably goes down.
Knowing your variables is key to maintaining predictability.
Every activity has many variables, like the people involved, materials used, methods, machines or measurement.
When we promise customers to deliver a certain quality, we are promising to create that product or service using a certain set of variables. As we tweak these variables to optimize for cost and time; the underlying quality of the product is affected.
And even if we do not try to optimize, variables have a tendency to wander. Keeping a close eye on such variables is key to maintaining your product or service predictability.