If you’ve ever wandered into a popular juice bar and decided to consume your favorite pressed beverage on-site, you may have noticed a few interesting aspects of the shop’s management that resonate with your role as a quality manager:

  1. Juice bars are focused on health, as they provide drinks, smoothies and snacks that are full of vitamins, antioxidants and other vital nutrients. The best juice bar managers aren’t there solely to collect a paycheck; they are also focused on supporting the wellbeing of the people they serve. Like a juice bar manager, you also seek to improve the health and wellbeing of your organisation.
  2. Fruit and vegetable juices are not everyone’s favourite. Moreover, even fans won’t necessarily go to great lengths to get their dose of juice.  Likewise, quality managers often promote topics that are not very popular.
  3. Juice bar managers are tasked with reaching a wide audience, as otherwise their business is unsustainable. Similarly, your work is done with a vast variety of participants in mind, including your on-site staff, remote workers, suppliers and inspectors.
  4. A visit to the juice bar is a quick stop along the course of your day versus a time-consuming, carefully plotted destination like a restaurant or theatre. This is done purposefully, as the most successful juice bars are those that make it convenient and simple for people to get what they need without much consideration. Effective quality management teams operate in a similar fashion, ensuring that it’s easy for end users to get involved quickly and trouble-free. Like juice bar managers, you’re well aware that although what you produce certainly impacts the way others operate, it’s not the main thrust of what they do.

As you observe effective juice bar managers, one thing is abundantly clear: success lies in how well they reduce friction and meet the target audience where they are. 

So, for example, while a juice bar located near a farm would in some ways make the juice bar manager’s life better — the air is clearer, the costs are lower and it’s more convenient for the manager to get his/her key ingredients — most juice bars are in urban locations, not out in the country.

Meeting customers where they are means putting the juice bar in a central locale like a train station to cater to the constant stream of commuters versus close to the organic farm where the vegetables and fruits are sourced.

This lesson applies to successful quality managers, too: you’ve got to meet members of your organisation where they are. For some teams, this could be close to the coffee machine or, in a more scalable way, on a digital workspace app.

If your team uses Jira and Confluence for ongoing project management and collaboration, then that’s where your quality processes should be. The amount of traction and engagement this streamlined approach affords you is huge.

So put down your pressed green juice and think about the platform you use for your quality management system. Did you choose strategically to increase engagement and reduce friction?

I’m not trying to put the squeeze on you; I’m just encouraging you to drink in the valuable lessons learned at your local juice bar to make healthier IT choices for the good of your organisation’s wellbeing.