Archive for November, 2010

Are your leaders committed to quality?

November 5, 2010

Here are some of the root causes of top managers being disinterested in quality:

1. Too few quality professionals create opportunities to help their leaders to understand quality and how it is delivered while reducing costs.
2. Too few leaders understand how quality equates to least cost when delivered by a process-based management system.
3. Too many leaders delegate their responsibility for quality instead of their authority to make it happen.
4. Too few leaders have developed their system awareness message for orienting their employees.
5. Too few leaders regularly produce a “State of the System Report” so the employees know what their system does well, does less well and what the leaders are doing to improve their system.
6. Too few audit team leaders verify the evidence of competence of the leaders to do this.

How about this lexicon to help leaders to understand quality so they can confidently demonstrate their commitment to customers, quality and their system?

A. Quality: creating more successful customers.
B. System: parts that work together, an organization should be an example of a system.
C. Process-based Management System: interacting processes necessary to establish and fulfill the policy and objectives of the organization.
D. Process: work of cross-functional teams applying resources (Note 1) and controls (Note 2) to add value to inputs (data, information and materials).
E. Process Approach: determining, establishing and managing the processes necessary to establish and fulfill the policy and objectives of the system.

Note 1. Resources = facilities, equipment, skills and knowledge
Note 2. Controls = methods, procedures, care and coordination

Selling the system standard (such as ISO 9001) can stop a leader from understanding the value of their system.

Management systems are instinctively understood and respected by organizational leaders when they show how the core process converts the needs of customers into cash in the bank (or continued funding) while the support processes sustain the core process. Leaders can then explain the obligations and benefits of their system to the employees.