Quality Is as Quality Does

I have a Quote of the Day block on my very own, personalised Google homepage. Usually there’s a pretty good quote that makes me go hmm, or laugh or “I don’t get it.” Yesterday’s quote spoke to me on many levels because I have worked with people described thusly,

Those who speak most of progress measure it by quantity and not by quality.

George Santayana
US (Spanish-born) philosopher (1863 – 1952)

Ah, Quality, we hardly knew ye or how to measure ye. Just remember class, Quality (with a capital Q) is a subjective thing. Depends on what your goals are. Depends on what you are willing to give up to acheive those goals. Depends on a lot of things. But if you can get everyone to agree on what Quality means, you are 12 steps ahead of everyone else. Agreeance (it’s a word now) is the difficult part. Especially difficult when the project’s timeline keeps going forward regardless of reality.

The quote is pretty accurate though. Most people I see caring about Quality, care solely about progress in how fast something was done, not how well or more importantly, how accurate. I seperate “well” and “accurate” here. Mostly because you can measure how well something was done, but it could still be wrong. Accurate is the point. Well just makes things look nice.

Tis but a mini rant.

The quote is pulled from The Quotations Page which has a ton of quotes. The funny thing is, if you search for Oliphant, you get an odd search result. Well, odd to me. Some day I could show up on your very own, personalised Google homepage. Wouldn’t that be sweet for 10 minutes.

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5 Responses to “Quality Is as Quality Does”

  1. Meri Says:

    Hey Matt — the “silver bullet” quote got put up there by Laura Moncur I think. I blogged it and she left me a note saying she’d added it to the “Motivational Quotations” page:
    http://blog.meriwilliams.com/2006/03/24/links-for-2006-03-24/

    You met the Moncurs at SXSWi, right?

  2. Matthew Oliphant Says:

    I did not meet the Moncurs. Crazy though. I always thought I was quotable. ;)

  3. Steve Portigal Says:

    10 minutes? I think you’d need 15.

  4. Laura Moncur Says:

    Strange thing, after Meri quoted you, I started reading your weblog regularly.

    Then I log in and find that you found yourself in our quotations database. I guess I should have sent you an email telling you about it.

    Sorry…

    You didn’t meet Mike and I at SXSWi, but I saw you several times in the hallway. Does that count?

  5. Matthew Oliphant Says:

    Thanks Laura.

    I searched my last name for fun. Totally random. Now I need to be more careful about the way I word things. ;)

    And I think since I know Meri, and Meri knows you that, mathematically, I know you.

    And who doesn’t love math-based rationalisation!