APPLYING QUALITY PRINCIPLES IN THE COLONIZATION OF MARS
When people from earth commence the exploration and colonization of Mars, they will be faced with huge challenges, both foreseen and unforeseen. They will need the very best management skills to strategise, plan, evaluate and control their activities.
Quality management has evolved during the past few decades to become a very successful management discipline, which enhances the ability of leaders and teams to optimise their intellectual resources, as well as all other resources, in setting appropriate goals and then efficiently reaching them. The means of identifying best practice, then consistently applying it, are key ingredients of quality management. Another key ingredient is a process of ensuring ongoing improvement in all areas.
Quality practice evolved over the course of the last century Ð especially the latter half Ð from fairly narrowly focused quality control checklists to broader based quality assurance procedures and finally to quality management. Rather than go into the history, I will cover briefly the three main regimes which embrace the universe of quality Ð as found on earth today! These are:
¤ TQM (Total Quality Management)
¤ Baldrige Awards (and related)
¤ ISO 9000 International Standards
An integral theme for all three is continuous improvement - in value to customers, and in organizational performance (and by implication in value to employees).