Working in the defence industry is a popular career choice for quality professionals.
Gary Illingworth, CQP FCQI, is chair of the CQI Defence SIG and head of quality EW and AS UK at Leonardo Airborne and Space Systems.
He has 40 years of experience in the defence industry, including 20 years of experience as a quality manager. Here he gives his top five tips for success for quality professionals in the defence industry.
Become an expert
To work as a quality professional in the defence industry you have to know that it’s the right career for you. Don’t just fall into the industry, instead be hungry and ambitious. Become an expert by developing a view on the aspect of quality you want to progress your career in.
Understand the language of business
Create a planned approach, which is aligned to the needs of your business. It is vital to learn the language of your organisation to get your message across and maximise engagement. For example understanding cost, customer satisfaction and new business could be the key to making a difference in your industry. Make sure you have a strategy complete with aims and objectives to ensure your work is delivered and continually review it for relevance.
Manage by facts and not opinions
Too often managers are led by the opinions of others in their team and in their organisation only to find they have made crucial errors on projects and missed vital details. Information capture and integrity are the basic requirements for good and timely decision-making and this is the heart of any business large or small.
Find the point of influence
Knowing the point of influence (where you can make in impact) is crucial for ensuring you are influencing your organisation and catering to stakeholders needs. Remember, preventing things from going wrong is far more rewarding than fixing something that is broken.
Operate in your stretch zone
Enjoy your work and have fun because you will spend a huge amount of your life at the workplace and with your work colleagues. This should bring its own rewards, not just financially but by delivering personal satisfaction and enjoyment. Operate in your stretch zone to continually push yourself and find new ways to meet your ambitions.