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Quality as 'part of the process' rather than a 'step at the end'

Updated: May 15

Planning is complicated. In addition to complex planning frameworks, within teams planners also tend to take different approaches, making it difficult to ensure quality and consistency across decisions.

A recent podcast I listened to told the story of two car manufacturers producing the two highest-quality cars on the market. It demonstrated a great point about quality that resonated with the way we think at Rico.

How Toyota produced better cars without more review, double-checking and rework

One manufacturer was Mercedes. They relied on quality assurance checks at the end of the production line. A team of 37 fault checkers checked for any minor faults and would send anything that wasn’t up to scratch back down the assembly line to be reworked.

The other was Toyota. They had no fault checks at the end of the production line. Instead, they identified the root causes of defects and developed their production line so that these were avoided by a good process upfront, removing the need for post-production inspections, double-checking and rework altogether.

The key difference

Toyota thought about quality as 'part of the process' rather than a step at the end. They targeted specific issues at their source before they had the chance to gain momentum, add further mess and become harder to spot down the line.

Incorporating this thinking into Rico and Planning Workflows

We see a lot of the problems caught in reports, often at review stage, stem from issues far earlier in the process.

These issues often arise during the underlying assessment which most report templates and assessment processes don't capture well, leaving planners to perform ad-hoc, unstructured assessments on each application.

Rico's workflows cover both the underlying assessment (analysing proposal and determining relevant decision-making process / assessment pathway) as well as report writing stage of a planning assessment. This provides a more methodical process upfront that avoids errors and reduces review and rework down the line.

You can read more about how Rico delivers better quality from better process here.

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