I'm losing Management Support - I'm losing everyone else's interest


Dan De Yarman

I'm losing support from upper and middle management. I'm losing everyone else's interest who is on the implementation team. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get people enthused again about QS-9000 T & E Supplement. This is the first time I've ever had to manage a project, so any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance for your help.


Laura M

With a March 2000 target you obviously need upper management support. In my previous
experience, I had our consultant "audit"
management responsibility - upper management.
I told him to treat us like a 3rd party audit. You may also want a pre-assessment with your registrar. Management needs to decide what to do. In my case, the consultant and the 3rd party auditor were kind enough to tell upper management that I knew what I was doing, understood the standard, and they needed to listen to me. Sometimes mgmt. thinks that since its "your project" you do everything, and that ain't the was it is with ISO/QS. My management was also told at preassessment that with 6 months left, we weren't going to make it. That challenge motivated alot of folks. I also scheduled a Management Review meeting - and pointed out the "majors" in our quality system- along with solutions. By the way, we made it - that was Nov. '96 and have had successful continuing assessments every 6 months. The company is 3000+ employees. I'm no longer with that company(my choice), but from what I here, they are still doing well- my audit team is still in tact and mgmt is still listening! Good luck



Fully vaccinated are you?
Don't despair - it's a difficult road but not impossible. However - realistically some efforts fail because of this.

A couple of things to bear in mind. One is that you can't keep everyone interested all the time. The flow goes in waves. Initially there is a 'high' of importance. As the project wears on, the wave typically goes lower and lower as people try to get their regular business done. As the registration nears - about 6 to 8 weks before the audit - things pick up again. Panic sets in about 2 to 3 weeks before the audit and the last week is often a combination of panic and fear.

So - we know there will be waves of emotion in the project. Are you in a trough?

You main concern should be whether deadlines are being met. If they're not, there is a problem (obviously).

At one client plant the folks did practically nothing for 6 weeks. They bored quickly,, I guess. I, as a consultant, could not 'tell' people what to do (I have no authority). I went to the plant manager and in so many words said the effort had stalled and told him there was no reason for me to come back again. He got every upper level manager in a meeting and laid down the law. Everything went well after that. I have also had clients where top management did not want to be involved and actually did very little. I have 'quit' a couple of clients because I know no one cared, there was nothing I could do to and I knew the failure would ultimately be blamed on the consultant (me).

I feel your pain, so to speak, but I have no specific suggestions other than to document ('special' project status report) the situation 'for your protection' and go to the highest person you can (your boss?) and inform him/her/them of the situation and give them a copy of the project status report. Then, get on with life.

I expect some of the others here will offer better advice - but these are a few things to think about.

Laura M

Marc makes some great points. The project plan updates work well. Make sure you have a responsibility column. I don't know if you're having trouble implementing, or determining your procedures. Set up columns on your plan for both. If you have the luxury of a color printer - code your tasks red/yellow/green - for behind schedule/defined, not implemented/and complete. No one wants their department red! I also broke the standard down for departments with their specific responsibilities. Note: as Marc points out, some companies do fail because of your concern. Upper management, in my experience, supports it by making resources available, and saying "I support this" They will never say they don't support it.(unless they pull the plug altogether) But the employees working on it need to decide to get the work done. Celebrate a few successes...stay positive.
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