Here are 5 big failures in the areas of quality assurance, and management that took the world for a spin.
#1: The Global Financial Crisis: Paul Moore, the former manager at UK’s HBOS, had predicted the big crisis of the 2008, saying that the disproportionate risk taking, would eventually lead to a massive credit crunch.
Moore was up for the Baldridge Award, for his quality implementation at American Express. He preaches the importance of people and quality above unnecessary stringent governance and a culture of risky undertakings.
#2: The Challenger Space Shuttle Explosion: In 1986, NASA encountered a tragic loss of 7 human lives along with its space shuttle Challenger. This is referred to one of the biggest failures in quality control and decision making.
The inefficient ‘O’ Rings were held as much responsible as was the poor and hasty decisions made by the NASA officials, despite the clear warning signs.
#3: Thalidomide causing major birth defects: Pharmaceutical industry saw a big fiasco when Thalidomide’s side effects were recognized. Sold as an anti-nausea, and sedative, this drug was responsible for deformities in as many as 20,000 children across the world.
#4: Spill at BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig: A colossal failure in quality assurance occurred when in 2010, BP’s contractors made subsequent errors from misinterpreting readings to allowing flammable gas up the production casing.
The oil spill is registered as one of the biggest man made catastrophes of modern times, and happened majorly due to negligence of quality control mechanisms.
#5: Ford’s launch and recall of Pinto: In 1971, Pinto was launched in order to compete with the Japanese imports. But the design of this subcompact car, lead to a number of deaths, and injuries due to the fire in the rear-end fuel tanks, even at low speed.
When analyzed, Ford had to recall its 1.4 million units and was defaced due to the numerous lawsuits it had to undergo. This is a typical case of unattended quality check that Ford had chosen to ignore.