Your first step should be to demonstrate that there is a quality problem. Gather your data, do your analysis and prepare a report on the scope of the problem. The report might include items such as: frequency of errors, the impact on delivery/completion, the costs to identify and correct the errors, and any post-product/sales-support costs that result directly from the lack of quality.
(Caution: These are examples; you would be wise to come up with metrics more meaningful for your product. Keep in mind that cost is always a good one to include.)
It is not enough just to identify a problem. You'll gain a lot more traction in your organization if you prepare a plan of action to address the problem, with some metrics showing reductions in costs and/or time spent fixing bugs, among other things.
SOURCE: Carl Norcross holds a master's degree in human resources and has more than 20 years' experience leading HR departments. He has worked for several midsize and Fortune 500 firms, including GRID Systems, Colorado Memory Systems and Nortel Networks.
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