Engaging Top Management

Laura Halleck

Starting to get Involved
#1
I recently (3 weeks ago) joined a small (< 50 people) start up company which is still in the development stage of designing a product that will be used on passenger vehicles. I have been tasked with getting us ISO 9001 certified within 18 months, so I'm working toward the 2015 revision. We are planning to build the relevant requirements of TS 16949 into our QMS, but will not be able to get TS certified since we will be outsourcing our manufacturing (no manufacturing on site other than development prototypes).

The CEO comes from the high tech / start up world and is not very familiar with quality, a QMS, or ISO 9001, but has committed to supporting this initiative as he understands it is necessary for us to get business from the automotive OEMs.

I attempted to schedule time with him as part of my gap analysis activity so that I could have him walk me through the process of strategic planning and provision of resources. He has asked me to send him the relevant requirements from the standard and maybe some examples of what I'm looking for so he can prepare for our discussion.

Does anyone have any examples of the type of information I should be sharing with him or any other suggestions for how I can proceed in this area?

Thanks in advance for your help.
 
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RoxaneB

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
#2
To be honest, I would not send him any requirements...maybe just more details about what you're looking for. Why? Because you're doing a gap analysis. This is where he describes the process and the gaps to the requirements are identified and analysed.

The process he follows or adheres to neither wrong nor flawed...it simply is what it is.

Once the gaps are identified and analyzed, the organization can develop a plan to close the gaps.

Just my $0.02 (Canadian). :cool:
 

Laura Halleck

Starting to get Involved
#3
RCBayette, I agree with you and hadn't originally planned to give him anything, but he got a bit defensive about meeting with me. I think that he is uncomfortable because he knows he is a bit out of his element and doesn't want to appear foolish. I plan to give him at least a basic outline of the requirements so he can feel more confident that he understands what its all about before we meet to discuss it more.

I really want to make sure to address this properly as I think this could be a defining moment in whether or not I'm able to develop a good relationship with him which will affect how the QMS develops going forward.
 

dsanabria

Quite Involved in Discussions
#4
I recently (3 weeks ago) joined a small (< 50 people) start up company which is still in the development stage of designing a product that will be used on passenger vehicles. I have been tasked with getting us ISO 9001 certified within 18 months, so I'm working toward the 2015 revision. We are planning to build the relevant requirements of TS 16949 into our QMS, but will not be able to get TS certified since we will be outsourcing our manufacturing (no manufacturing on site other than development prototypes).

The CEO comes from the high tech / start up world and is not very familiar with quality, a QMS, or ISO 9001, but has committed to supporting this initiative as he understands it is necessary for us to get business from the automotive OEMs.

I attempted to schedule time with him as part of my gap analysis activity so that I could have him walk me through the process of strategic planning and provision of resources. He has asked me to send him the relevant requirements from the standard and maybe some examples of what I'm looking for so he can prepare for our discussion.

Does anyone have any examples of the type of information I should be sharing with him or any other suggestions for how I can proceed in this area?

Thanks in advance for your help.
Start the discussion with the Quality Policy, then move on to Management Review and what the requirements are, then turn into the responsibility of Management Review and at the corner - turn to Management responsibility / customer focus.

OK, take a break and then tell him that the next topic has to deal with risk based processes and introducing to the Quality Manual. Bottom line - educate him of the requirements.
 

Michael_M

Trusted Information Resource
#5
Have the standard with you but do not pull it out unless needed. The standard is badly written until you understand the concept of what it is trying to tell you.

I would also overly state something along the lines of:
We can choose our own way of doing things within the requirements of the standard, as a basic example, a standard would say something like "we must travel to New York City". How we choose to get there is up to us. We can choose to drive, fly, take a train, or even walk. We just have to define 'how' we are going to get to New York City.

Most people I know think the standard say 'thou must do it this way and only this way!!!'. I would make sure he understands that the standard says what you must do, how is your choice.
 

SmallBizDave

Involved In Discussions
#6
I would go further, in that any significant preparation on his part will bias your results. For a gap analysis all you want to know is how it is done today. Document that for your gap analysis and then compare to the standard.

If you lead him too much in what you're looking for or let him think too much about how it should be done he may tell you what he thinks you would like to hear rather than simply how it actually is done today. Making sure he understands there is no wrong answer is key - "just tell me how you do it, even if you don't do much." It may also be that he doesn't do it in any formal way and doesn't want to admit that. That's ok, too (today).
 

John Broomfield

Staff member
Super Moderator
#7
StatsGeek,

This phrase worries me: "not very familiar with quality". If we're not all in the business of understanding and meeting customer requirements what are we doing with our lives?

So, you may have given him the impression that quality is something else.

Better to respect the fact that he is familiar with quality and to ask him for a session first to understand what his organization does to convert customer needs into cash in the bank. Include suppliers and customers in analyzing the interactions with his organization. By doing this you are determinin processes that are essential to organizational success (see 4.1).

Use his language, not your's or ISO's.

Then you could ask him who should own each of these processes. Help him to understand that he owns the process for "investing in continual improvement" and start by who he engages in developing policy, objectives and the management system to fulfill those objectives.

You can them work with each of the process owners (who know how the processes actually work and interact with other processes) in developing your organization's process-based management system so it is documented (start with deployment flowcharts) to the extent necessary for effective planning, operation and control. Help the process owners to engage their cross-functional process teams in reviewing the flowcharted procedures for as-is accuracy.

Not only are you developing the QMS, you are completing the "gap analysis" as you go.

Try not to be precious about quality. Here at the Cove we are ready to help keep it real.

John
 

somashekar

Staff member
Super Moderator
#8
If you are in his trust and he is not that person who will look over your shoulder on what you are doing ..... wait for him to schedule the meeting with you. Get him to have a copy of the ISO9001 standard for a start.
 
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