Total Quality Management. Dec2002, Vol. 13 Issue 8, p1051. 6p.
BUSINESS, MARKETING, and UNCERTAINTY
The aim of this paper is w demonstrate the need for an alternative to how those in the quality community think about continuous improvement in those business environments characterized by rapid change and uncertainty. This involves a re-examination of the role of error and a recognition of the weakness of conventional marketing techniques in understanding customer needs. Compared with conventional thinking about continuous improvement, the probe-and-learn process and rapid prototyping are presented as better suited to dynamic but uncertain business environments. Probe-andlearn is seen as a new form of Plan Do Check Act (PDCA) that underweights 'Plan' and overweights 'Do' in a rapid-fire iterative process. The author examines Beta testing as a mode of probe-and-learn. Finally it is argued that probe-and-learn is applicable throughout the production chain. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]