Quality as Religion or Ritual?

Does your company treat quality as “something that needs to be done, and certainly before the auditors come in”?  Do people panic before the ISO / CMM audit?  Do reams of meaningless and un-readable paper get created to show that you “followed a process”?

Or, do you spend time on creating the best product or software that can be written?  On what the client really needs vs. what you committed in the RFP document?

Is quality a religion for you?  Something you don’t consciously think about but follow all the time.  Or, is it a ritual that nobody really understands?