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The quality manager as a train conductor

03/04/2020 | Bart Bosch | Quality

On the 12th October 2019 I take the train to the airport: I’m traveling to a Call-an-Expert customer in Denmark to help them with their Quality Management System.


As always, I have a mobile train ticket on my phone and I’m reading a book: The bad bug book.


I hear the door of the wagon opening and closing and a lady is asking passengers for their train ticket: the conductor is on her way and I keep my ticket ready.


And I’m thinking: actually, she is like the quality manager on the quality train. She is not only there to check your ticket, but she will also tell you where to take your connection, how to get to your destination and to answer your questions the best she can. And if you don't have a ticket or on the wrong train, she will tell you how to fix it but also that you will have a penalty for not having a ticket.


A quality manager must verify everyone is compliant, has his or her ticket, and tell people what can be done next to reach their objective. He or she is neither the owner nor the driver of the train. And as a passenger, you are the one who has to buy the ticket, to make sure you are compliant. You are the owner of your quality ticket, not the conductor.


She’s doing a great job and I smile at her and wish her a nice day, although I know she will have her challenges on this train… there are always challenges with passengers and discussions about tickets. As there will always be challenges with people in your organization and discussions about procedures, instructions and documents. 


And she is doing her best to explain to people how things can be avoided, can be improved.


As a quality manager, be the conductor on your quality train. And if you’re one of the passengers: make sure to have the right ticket. And if you’re the driver: support your conductor, as he/she is making sure you can focus on driving the train and can anticipate on the obstacles on the rails towards your destination.


Having a tough time as the conductor on your train: give us a call! A support conductor we can help you having a great ride.








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