The Differences Between Design Quality Standards & Process Quality Standards

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Quality management is a function companies use to ensure their products and business operations meet a certain standard. Business owners and managers are typically the individuals responsible for setting quality standards in the organisation.

Two common areas of quality standards are design quality and process quality. Design standards relate to the goods or services a company produces, while process standards focus on the methods in which a company produces its products.


The management of both design and process design quality standards has significant differences. Design quality is often the responsibility of one individual who will randomly test goods or services to ensure they meet company standards. This individual can also work with the business owners and executive managers to correct issues or suggest changes to products.

Process quality is the focus of operational managers who oversee the company’s production activities on a daily basis. These individuals work with employees and measure output and productivity. Process quality management ensures the company has limited waste of resources and little to no cost overruns.


Most companies develop internal policies or operating standards relating to design and process quality. The design quality policies can focus on the resources used to produce each product. Companies will outline the minimum acceptable resource quality, which in turn will impact the overall design quality of goods and services.

Process quality policies can be individual to each department in the company. These policies direct the number of employees for each process, sequential steps to complete functions and expected output. This helps managers maintain an even work flow in the process.


Design and process quality standards help companies gain a competitive advantage in the market place. Design standards can help business owners and manager create the best product in the market place, which consumers will find more valuable than other products. Process quality standards help companies refine and streamline their business operations to lower costs and produce goods and services at the cheapest cost possible. Combining these two quality standards typically results in strong market share and customer retention.