Boss perceives quality is not the front burner topic - How to keep it going?

S

Sooner

#1
Our org. has been ISO9000 registered for about a year..the boss perceives quality is not the front burner topic among line supervisors that it was during the registration process..his question: How do other companies sustain the involvement of first and mid-level managers???..any suggestions out there??
 
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Randy

Super Moderator
#2
Thumbscrews may be appropriate for some.

Seriously, your internal audits and the observance of non-conformaties coupled with preventive and corrective actions should be motivators.

Also if top management utilizes the information gained from your internal audit program and ties it in with the good old periodic performance review of the 1st and mid-level management some continued interest may take hold.

If the continuation of the "profit side" of the business is at stake then the stockholders will be the ones to generate interest amongst the top level management to keep conformance on the front burner.

Just a guess on my part...then again the "Rack" may work also...


[This message has been edited by Randy (edited 25 July 2000).]
 

RoxaneB

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
#4
Never was one for cattle prods and thumbscrews...except in the...oh...right....this is a family-style forum...okay... :eek:

We recently noticed a decline in our product quality. Nothing significant, but enough to start raising the alarm bells in both Quality departments (QA and QC) and with senior managment.

Pow-wow was called and the chiefs started tossing out ideas as to what the cause was.

I asked if anyone had looked at the nonconformities detected inhouse and by the Customer and looked for trends. Apparently not and, you know that old saying, "She who asks the questions, gets the job."

So...*insert Mighty Mouse theme song here* and "Here she comes to save the day!"....trends noticed...spikes in the system. Repetition with complaints, nonconformities and root causes. The resolutions to which just addressed the surface wound and did nothing to fix the internal bleeding.

We called in those people who were involved in the occurrence of the nonconformances and showed them the $$$. What it cost to make the product, what it cost to mess it up, what it cost to appease the Customer and what it cost for us to figure out all of these costs.

We asked for reasons why the problems happened in the opinions of those involved. We asked for their solutions. In essence, we got the people involved!!!

They care about their jobs and don't wish to be seen as mindless autonomons. They have pride! They have self-worth! They have opinions! All management had to do was listen and realize that some of these ideas were not only good, but practical, too.

This anecdote factors in the first 3 of the 8 Quality Management Princples.

C - Customer focus - We realized product quality was going the wrong and made a commitment to fixing it.

L - Leadership - Making the commitment to address the problem so that we can continue to move forward.

I - Involvement of people - When the people are involved, they take more pride in their work. They are less likely to let things 'slip through the cracks'.

FYI, we're back on the right track again! :D
 

Wes Bucey

Quite Involved in Discussions
#5
RCBeyette said:
Never was one for cattle prods and thumbscrews...except in the...oh...right....this is a family-style forum...okay...
Roxane has done a good job of making my point that the change in the culture is more important than the changes in the process. Often organizations have processes "on the books" which just aren't being followed by the "troops" because the troops don't perceive a "top down" dedication to the processes.

I'd be willing to bet this week's ration of margaritas that many of you have stories about bosses who OK projects, then disappear except when it comes time to criticize because the project seems to have bogged down.

In my opinion, there is still a lot of value in "management by walking around." When the troops see the top bosses are involved and connected, it goes a long way toward cementing and solidifying the good attitudes necessary to maintain a good process flow.
 
Q

qualitygoddess - 2010

#6
Sooner said:
Our org. has been ISO9000 registered for about a year..the boss perceives quality is not the front burner topic among line supervisors that it was during the registration process..his question: How do other companies sustain the involvement of first and mid-level managers???..any suggestions out there??
The first year goes quickly when registered! My suggestion for keeping it going runs along the same lines as Randy and Wes. Use the QMS to keep it going. Take a good look at the metrics. Are they the right ones? What should they be to keep "quality" on the front burner? Setting objectives with "stretch" targets at lower layers in the organization may help.

Using a measure like cost of quality (COQ) might help all people in the organization see the dollars associated with quality. Maybe you only spend 1% on preventive actions, and 99% on corrective actions. Since your company will reap more benefit from those actions that are preventive in nature, perhaps the management team can devote resources to preventing problems before they can occur. This brings the the whole QMS to a new level!

Final thought -- don't let quality off that front burner. After 7 years as Q manager at a local small business, I left 2 years ago to pursue other professional interests. The company, in their infinite wisdom, pulled the rug out from under my replacement. He lost resources and the focus of management on quality. They thought since things were going so well related to quality, that resources could be shifted, and nothing would happen. This company is now really struggling, and has lost significant business due to product quality and delivery issues. Metrics! Goals! :whip:
 
J
#8
Our org. has been ISO9000 registered for about a year..the boss perceives quality is not the front burner topic among line supervisors that it was during the registration process..his question: How do other companies sustain the involvement of first and mid-level managers???..any suggestions out there??
Not wanting to sound flippant, but quality should not be the topic. It should be the underlying principles and tools used to advance the other "front burner" topics.

By this I mean that last year, during the registration process it really wasn't "quality" but rather "registration" that was the topic or goal. So the question should be what is the goal for this year:
Process improvement?
Cycle time?
Reject reduction?
etc.
etc.
etc.

Once the goals are determined then "Quality" system helps them to define, measure, document improvements.

It is up to the managment to determine what the goals are.

James
 

RoxaneB

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
#9
James...are you talking about process stabilization?!?! ;) Whatever in the world does that have to do with quality?!?! :notme: (hmmmm...apparently I have no qualms about sounding flippant).
 

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Staff member
Admin
#10
One major hurdle is translating some of QA's gobbledygook into language that Management can relate to and take an interest in. It helps to have ways to show how efforts to improve are done, not just say "reduce defects" and so on.

Raising awareness of value can help in such a competetive business climate. Quality cost calculators can help with decision making, but I agree Management gets to set goals. Offering real life examples of recognizable goals being achieved through QA could help win over that one needed influential person.

To help understand quality's potential one could look at examples like those offered through the Baldrige Award process. Texas Nameplate Company used the process twice, to move the company "to the next level."

http://www.quality.nist.gov/Texas_Nameplate_98.htm

http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/Texas_Nameplate_PDF_final.pdf
 
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