I am doing research about the perception of quality. I have finished the philosophical part and moved to more practical questions and have some troubles understanding the following (quote from a book):

Quality is subject to constraints. However, cost may be wider than simple financial cost: it refers to any critical resource such as people, tools and time.

For the financial cost, it gives an example: more people buy cheaper cars than Rolls-Royce's because their assessment is constrained by cost.

My question is, how then the assessment can be constrained by the other constraints they mention? (time, tools, people)?

2 Answers 2

  • If I don't have the time to produce a Swiss precision watch, ...
  • If I don't have the tools to produce a Swiss precision watch, ...
  • If I cannot attract the people that can produce a Swiss precision watch,...

... I might end up offering sun dials.

Likewise, my customer might not have the time to actually figure out the difference between a sundial and a precision watch. Or s/he may prefer a stone instead of metal. Or his girlfriend likes the sundial better and all his friends own only sundial-compatible devices.

Then I'm lucky and I will actually sell some.

  • Thanks, it is still a bit more about the manufacturer side. I would be interested how customer is constrained in terms of time, tools etc. But I get the idea.
    – Pietross
    Mar 8, 2016 at 6:44
  • @Pietross That's the paragraph. Have you never been in a hurry and grabbed the first thing from the supermarket without comparing prices? There you have your time constraint. Did you ever buy an iSomething instead of another product, because it worked well with your iOtherStuff? There you have tools. And people? Don't get me started. Ever bought a product because your friends said it was totally worth the price? I'm sure you have.
    – nvoigt
    Mar 8, 2016 at 7:02
  • I assume that is why iPhones are considered so cool and quality - it is nearly a must to have one. But when I compare to Blackberry passport, iPhone is just an expensive toy. But quality is subjective..
    – Pietross
    Mar 8, 2016 at 7:40

Let's consider building a highway. It could be the best highway design at the best cost, and the government has funding/resources to build it. However, you're not going to build the highway through a high-income neighborhood or in the middle of the ocean. In this case, the project is constrained by the stakeholders living in the high-income neighborhood who do not perceive quality the same way as the highway engineer.

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