Five Tips for Implementing Quality as a Culture in Your Organization

Culture of Quality

By Shelia Gwizdak, Vice President, Quality

Last week, I led an engaging discussion at BioLabs San Diego on the concept of “quality as a culture” for life science companies. The event was the first installment of Halloran’s newly launched Speaker Series.

Now, what does quality as a culture mean exactly? Well, we all know that a quality management system serves as the overarching framework focused on patient safety and data integrity while providing assurance of compliance with regulatory requirements and industry standards. In a highly regulated industry such a drug development, it is clear why quality practices are paramount. What may not be as clear is how valuable fully integrated quality practices, embedded at all levels, can be for your organization.

A “culture of quality” creates an environment focused on transparency and continuous improvement, through effective and repeatable processes and outcomes. It’s an environment in which employees not only follow quality guidelines but also consistently see others taking quality-focused actions, hear others talking about quality and feel quality all around them. By forging a collaborative culture of quality, an organization is better positioned to enhance its performance, credibility, and sustainability to continue to stretch the frontier of what is possible.

Here are my top five tips from implementing a culture of quality in your organization:

  1. Create a quality vision that is clear, concise, and accessible by employees at all levels. A quality vision serves as an enabler to the goals of the organization.
     
  2. Reinforce how your quality management system supports the execution of your organization’s overall business strategy. This is vital if you desire to implement a culture of quality at all levels of your company.
     
  3. Know where you lie on the Halloran maturity model, referenced below. As companies move along the maturity curve, they begin to move from reactive practices and actions, to proactively identifying risks through the use of metrics and eventually as fully integrated and optimized ecosystems of people, processes, technology, and data.

  1. Understand that it will be a journey. Implementing a genuine culture of quality, through the building of a quality system and achieving sustainable compliance and effectiveness, takes time. You will sell yourself short if you try to rush the process. The efficiency and continuous improvement will be well worth the wait.
     
  2. Lastly, be disciplined in your execution. Implement processes and systems that bring value to your organization and have a meaningful impact on critical data and processes. Be structured, employ risk-based strategies, collect metrics conduct periodic quality management reviews to measure progress and engage leadership. Disciplined practices create efficient organizations. 

Do you prioritize quality as a culture within your organization? Where does your company lie on the Halloran maturity model? If you need help prioritizing quality within your company, contact our team here.

Are you interested in attending our next Halloran Speaker Series event? Mark your calendars for December 4th, when our own Kathrin Schalper will be sharing insights and will highlight some of her strategies for successfully streamlining and expediting drug development programs. Register today!