Mobile lines

Making Quality real at Shell


Bottom curve
In a global organisation, a focus on quality can make an enormous difference to time and cost. But embedding it in people’s minds doesn’t just happen – it requires a smart strategy to make it a core part of everyday work.
Employee engagement
Brand and communication

The challenge

The way people spoke about quality across the business lacked consistency, which indicated that it wasn’t something people easily understood and put into practice as a concrete part of their daily work. Which in turn meant more errors and defects would creep into tasks.

We had to bring quality alive so it wasn’t a vague concept but a set of practical actions. We needed a consistent message – what quality is, how it adds value, shows up on projects and goes hand in hand with safety.

Shell Quality project bowline shell how we work
Shell Quality project bowline
shell how we work

Our solution

We devised a consistent, memorable way of communicating quality, not simply as a set of actions but including values and behaviours which underpinned and made sense of the actions. We also explained the point of quality – the benefits it has on individuals and their projects. Our work included:

  • Co-designing a set of succinct values and another set of memorable behaviours with the global quality community.
  • Creating interactive guides – an introduction to quality and its purpose and an onboarding guide for quality practitioners.
  • Building the quality and projects SharePoint page – for quality teams and the wider project community.
  • Supporting and increasing two-way communication and transparency via Yammer.
  • Creating memorable slogans that made sense of quality – ‘Today’s quality is tomorrow’s safety’.

Around 90% of the quality community were consulted within this process, ensuring that the decisions were made with them rather than imposed on them. We brought together a number of quality champions in a workshop to come up with idea about how to engage their colleagues. The engagement itself included face to face sessions and webinars.

The resulting sense of involvement and ownership greatly increased the effectiveness and impact of the work.


27% decrease in defects

28% increase in quality ‘observations’

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