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Quality Failed Boeing, Not the Other Way Around. Here's Why.

June 14, 2024
Boeing has a deeper problem than reduced inspections: It lacks a risk-management culture.

How did aerospace giant Boeing get to a place where many travelers are now hesitant to fly on its aircraft? A reduced inspection routine with little to no oversight or support, undoubtedly driven by cost concerns, is the obvious answer. But beyond that, the public point of view is that the independence granted Boeing went too far and resulted in a “fox watching the henhouse” type of situation.

On the surface, this appears to be the case.

So the natural response would be to re-establish and bolster an independent inspection function. Independent inspection is often cited by quality leaders as the way to turn around poor internal quality control.

But independent inspections would not solve all of Boeing’s woes. Boeing has a deeper problem: It has a “risk-taking” culture but not a risk-management culture.

About the Author

James Wells | Senior Analyst and Research Director, LNS Research

James Wells is a senior analyst and research director at LNS Research, a leading research and advisory firm headquartered in Cambridge, MA. With members across top Fortune 1000 manufacturers, LNS Research focuses on empowering COOs and global manufacturing leaders to transform their organizations. 

 James’ coverage areas include Embedded Quality and Unified Performance Excellence (UPX). As an expert in quality management and transformation, he has more than 25 years of experience within a variety of industry verticals.

 James' expertise includes continuous improvement, aligning teams to achieve better performance in quality, and leading digital transformation initiatives across several industry sectors. He is a certified Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt.

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