Does each company department have relevant functions?

K

Ka Pilo

#1
As always in these situations, it is best to see what the standard says - which is '... they should be established at relevant functions and levels.'

I don't read that as saying every department has to have them. I think I would ask why they are different from the rest and possibly an OFI might be appropriate.
Prompted by the above post from "Some departments don't have Quality Objectives - Non Conformity?" thread, I'd like to pose the following: Does each department have relevant functions? My own response, speaking from experience in different companies I have worked with, I'm going to make a strong statement about it, YES - all departments have relevant functions. It is nearly impossible that I'll change my mind.

So, Sir Colin, you may want to expand on and explain your quote above, Sir. The floor is yours. What is a function?
 
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Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#2
Why would there be a department if it didn't have "relevant" functions? Every department has functions that are "relevant" to the company or it wouldn't exist.

If your question is "What is a function", you're asking for a very basic definition.

func·tion

noun /ˈfəNGkSHən/
functions, plural

An activity or purpose natural to or intended for a person or thing
- bridges perform the function of providing access across water
- Vitamin A is required for good eye function

Practical use or purpose in design
- building designs that prioritize style over function

A basic task of a computer, esp. one that corresponds to a single instruction from the user

A relationship or expression involving one or more variables
- the function (bx + c)

A variable quantity regarded in relation to one or more other variables in terms of which it may be expressed or on which its value depends

A functional group

A thing dependent on another factor or factors
- class shame is a function of social power

A large or formal social event or ceremony
- he was obliged to attend party functions

verb /ˈfəNGkSHən/
functioned, past participle; functioned, past tense; functioning, present participle; functions, 3rd person singular present

Work or operate in a proper or particular way
- her liver is functioning normally

Fulfill the purpose or task of (a specified thing)
- the museum intends to function as an educational and study center


To sum it up for purposes here:

What is your function in the company? = What do you do in the company?

You could also say: "What are your responsibilities?" In asking that you are asking what a person's function is.
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#4
As Colin says, the standard doesn't say every department *has* to have them. That's not to say it isn't a good idea. Some will be more vague than others - For example, what would "Quality" objectives be in a sales department? Sales, for example, would typically not have a direct effect on the quality of the product.
 
T

The Specialist

#5
Prompted by the above post from "Some departments don't have Quality Objectives - Non Conformity?" thread, I'd like to pose the following: Does each department have relevant functions? My own response, speaking from experience in different companies I have worked with, I'm going to make a strong statement about it, YES - all departments have relevant functions. It is nearly impossible that I'll change my mind.

So, Sir Colin, you may want to expand on and explain your quote above, Sir. The floor is yours. What is a function?

I think that as an issue of semantics you are absolutely correct. Everyone, every department, any action - big or small has a 'function'. However, some companies I have worked for (usually fortune 500/ bluechip companies) have stretched the imagination when it comes to creating 'functions' within the organisation!
 
#6
Prompted by the above post from "Some departments don't have Quality Objectives - Non Conformity?" thread, I'd like to pose the following: Does each department have relevant functions? My own response, speaking from experience in different companies I have worked with, I'm going to make a strong statement about it, YES - all departments have relevant functions. It is nearly impossible that I'll change my mind.

So, Sir Colin, you may want to expand on and explain your quote above, Sir. The floor is yours. What is a function?
I think there is an issue with language. The standard is stating that any particular objective has to be passed down to each relative department, level or function in relation to that objective. Now, to be sure not all departments, levels and functions are relevant to all objectives. So, Colin is correct. If I have an objective relating to supplier performance, not every function or level will deal with that objective. However, any level or function impacts (or is impacted by) that objective, the objective needs to be rolled out to that level or function.

As far as in general having functions that are not relevant, I would ask why have a function that has no relevance? Of course, they you might be putting most senior management types at risk of being booted.... :notme:
 

somashekar

Staff member
Super Moderator
#7
Therefore, it's crystal that we need to establish quality objectives for each department.
Sorry brother ... No.
I have a story.
In a printing plant that runs 24x7 for heavy demand of food packaging material, the machine was rather old, and a new machine of bigger capacity was ordered that would come only after an year or so due to various internal factory matters. The top management of this plant had only one objective that he had established and was keen on its monitoring and measurement.
Minimize the number of breakdowns and improve preventive maintenance and its time by suitable spares planning and optimize the production speed.
Reason: A breakdown causes a lot of inline material to be rejected and the startup again has wastages, thereby delivery volumes and time both get effected.
Relevant functions :
Production: To optimize the running speed in consultation with maintenance depending upon the machine capability and type of material loaded, so as to avoid over running faults and breakdowns.
Maintenance: Plan spares and take up preventive maintenance during all model changes on the machine, such that the maintenance time goes hand in glove with the new load setup time, and down time is reduced.
Top management wanted to know at what rate the machine is running and how many breakdowns occured.
So you have set objectives that relevant functions are together working out and that is that.
Customer requirements were met and was consistent with the set quality policy.
Remember that objectives can be reviewed and revised and new objectives can be established.
 
S

Sardokar

#8
Sales, for example, would typically not have a direct effect on the quality of the product.
Um ...

isnt the quality of the product its ability to meet customer requirements ?

How then can sales not have a direct effect on the quality of the product ?

dont they have a big role in understanding and determining the requirement of the customers ?

if the sales representatives understands customer requirement wrong we will not send a correct proposal to the customer ... the quality of the product is automatically affected

in our company sales and presales determine the customer requirements , then these requirements are reviewed by our technical department to make sure we can provide them and we buy them from the supplier (or provide installation/support )

or am i missing something ?
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#9
In some companies sales does. In some companies sales doesn't. Many companies make goods or provide services in "off the shelf" fashion (e.g.: rubber ducks for kids), while some companies make things based upon what a specific customer, or group of customers wants (the company designs and/or builds to specific customer requirements).

There is also a difference between "ideal" vs. reality.

Sales is typically an input into product/service design. Now - Whether you can assign measurables (goals/quality objectives) with regard to that input, as well as whether that input affects the "quality" of the product (as opposed to what customers want) even when design listens to them is debatable. Just because customers want something doesn't mean it is a "quality" aspect.
 

harry

Super Moderator
#10
I suspect that there maybe some misinterpretation of the word 'function' used in the context of departments as well as management practices.

Departments are usually structured along functions such as human resources, marketing, administration, and sales. Departments can also be structured along the lines of customer, product or geographical region.

Thus, function refer to 'specialty skills or occupation' such as marketing, administration, R&D. etc and not what each of these individuals do (employed to do).

From the free dictionary

1. The action for which a person or thing is particularly fitted or employed.
2.a. Assigned duty or activity.
2.b. A specific occupation or role: in my function as chief editor.
 
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