Explanation - Quality means doing it right when no one is looking


Starting to get Involved
First off apologies if this isn't the right forum category for a more general query like this, I just wasn't sure where else to put it.

The quote I've outlined below, which comes from Henry Ford (apparently anyways).

"Quality means doing it right when no one is looking"

Was this referring to anything in specific? Or was it more a general statement about instilling Quality into the culture of an organisation in all departments?

Thoughts anyone?



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Re: Explanation-Quality means doing it right when no one is looking

Periodically somebody attempts to define "quality". Some of the definitions stick, others come and go, depending on circumstances. Reference TQM, zero defects, etc. :confused:

This one attempts to bring it down to the " you're personally responsible " level.

Bev D

Heretical Statistician
Super Moderator
The difficulty with these quotes that float around so prolifically on social media is that we have lost the actual source and context.

quotes, by their vary nature - are concise and often narrowly focused which makes them memorable.

Short of researching where the quote came from - and if it even came from Ford - we can only guess. Guesses are fraught with our own biases and filters.

interestingly, there are several other 'popular quotes' that have slightly different wording: for example, one that substitutes quality for integrity...

I'll close with another quote (from Deming according to social media): "without data you are just another person with an opinion". there is no firm citation found to attribute it to Deming at all of course...


Forum Moderator
“Integrity is doing the right thing when you don’t have to—when no one else is looking or will ever know—when there will be no congratulations or recognition for having done so.” - Charles Marshall "Shattering the Glass Slipper"


Quite Involved in Discussions
A general statement about Quality Culture. Everyone follows the traffic laws when the police is in your rearview mirror. But, when they are not?????? What can you get by with before something happens?
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Project Man

Involved In Discussions
Anyone's definition of quality is greatly influenced by their perspective.
Assistant Professor Dr. Ozlem Turker Bayrak said it very well:
Definitions of Quality
Transcendent definition: excellence
Product-based definition: quantities of product attributes
User-based definition: fitness for intended use; meeting or exceeding user expectations
Value-based definition: quality vs price
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