The Organization of Quality Department

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elfie

#1
Hi everybody,

This semester, I'm writing a master thesis and my topic is about the organization of quality department.

As I was looking for some general informations on the internet, I found a lot of interesting discussions here, so now I would like to ask my own questions to you.

Here below is the questionnaire I'm sending to organizations in order to analyze the results to write my thesis:

Part 1: The view of quality and its relative importance
  • What is the meaning of quality for your company? What does it represent?
  • At which level of importance does the company place Quality? (compared to other factors for example)
Part 2: Responsibility of Quality
  • Could you depict the company's overall organization chart?
  • Is Quality Management a separate and distinct department or is it part of each organization? For what reason(s) this choice has been made?
  • Which department(s) is (are) in charge of:
      • Establishing the quality management system?
      • Controlling the quality?
  • How is (are) this (these) department(s) organized?
  • What is the size of this department? (number of people, area dedicated..)
  • How are distributed the roles and responsibilities?
  • How is it placed in the company organizational diagram?

Part 3: Management of quality
  • What is the company’s policy concerning quality?
  • Is there a manual of quality? What are the procedures and standards used? How is it documented?
  • Is there a quality assurance plan?
  • How do you communicate the policies regarding quality so that everybody is involved?
  • Do you have a strategy of continuous improvement? Can you describe it?
  • What is your strategy concerning competitors’ quality?
  • Are there audits made regularly in order to check the level of quality?
  • How do you evaluate the relative cost of quality in the company?

If you could answer this questionnaire, telling me in which company you are working in, it would help me a lot and I would be very grateful.
I understand that it could be confidential information so you can reply to me by private message.

It is very hard to get in touch with the quality department of companies to get an interview so it would be so helpful if I could have some answers here.

If you don't feel that the questionnaire i accurate regarding the topic, feel free to answer anything that you think that could help me.

Thanks a lot in advance, I'm waiting for your anwers!

Elfie
 

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Staff member
Admin
#2
Hi Elfie, welcome to the Cove! :bigwave:

These questions are the sort that would take a long time to get worthwhile information. What is your subject - what are you trying to "prove"?

I was wondering if these questions represent the topic sections of your thesis. Are you planning to compare QA Dept makeup among sectors? Among small/medium/large companies? Among companies of various age? Nonprofits vs. corporate vs. private? Trends and impacts driven by economic stresses and/or globalization? Trends in emerging QA like is education, medical and service? The ability and value in new ideas or the continued viability of established methods like TQM?

I apologize if I am in effect usurping your efforts, but if you asked more direct questions that don't require explanations of much depth yet could be attached to factors, you may be able to reveal some patterns. Then, maybe you can form some focus groups in which to do some qualitative exploration.

I hope this helps!
 
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elfie

#3
Dear Jennifer,

Thanks for your reply.
My topic is just "the organization of the quality department", so I have to check how it is organized regarding the organization structure, what are the roles and responsibilities, and how it is managed. The idea is to find some common points in the differents organizations to see if there are general patterns.
The questions represent what came to my mind as I was doing a quick litterature review on the subject and that seemed relevant to me for the topic. I will see after some replies to this questionnaire if there are things that are useless and what are the most important for my study.

Actually my topic concerns the luxury companies, but I generalized it in order to be able to compare the results and to highlight the differences, if there are some.
 

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Staff member
Admin
#4
Please forgive me, but I have a few questions.

What literature did you quickly review to decide upon this topic?

How do you define "luxury companies?"

How do global corporations with various sites and functions fit into your model? Their QA department organization and their roles and responsibilities are bound to vary quite a bit.
 
E

elfie

#5
I didn't decide upon this topic, it has been imposed to me.
I based my researches on google and e-books... that's how I found that I maybe should separate the fields of quality assurance, quality control and quality organization... but not sure yet all this is relevant.

I haven't been given any precisions on what is the meaning of luxury.

I'm aware that said like this, the topic could be very wide and the corporations vary a lot from one to another. I was planning to interview the most famous luxury companies, such as Dior, LVMH, things like this...

I know I must look like I don't really know what I'm doing, but the topic is not very precise so I'm trying to have as well a better vision on what I should do and how I should process...:confused:
 

Randy

Super Moderator
#6
I didn't decide upon this topic, it has been imposed to me.
I based my researches on google and e-books... that's how I found that I maybe should separate the fields of quality assurance, quality control and quality organization... but not sure yet all this is relevant.

I haven't been given any precisions on what is the meaning of luxury.

I'm aware that said like this, the topic could be very wide and the corporations vary a lot from one to another. I was planning to interview the most famous luxury companies, such as Dior, LVMH, things like this...

I know I must look like I don't really know what I'm doing, but the topic is not very precise so I'm trying to have as well a better vision on what I should do and how I should process...:confused:
OK elfie please accept that there will be something lost between my Texas-Arkansas English and you having to translate into French:lol:

You're topic looks very good, but your initial approach was probably flawed. Right now all you're really suffering from is academia run amok when making its demands while its not being able to fall back on not much more than reading its own books and theories. (Not always but more often that not true) and shoving you into the lion's den in the process.

You have probably come to the best place for your answers and help and my 1st suggestion would be to contact directly some of the professional here that actually work in Quality Departments such as Claes, ScottK, Jennifer Kirley, Adjit, Ironmaiden, Carrie Spears, even old Jim Wynne for examples and ask them, they are good folks.

Also use the "SEARCH" tool we have...Your Thesis involves doing research and that could entail doing much more than just sending out a survey (I know, I have a Masters as well)

A couple of our members also teach university level business and management course, go after those guys like a hungry dog after ground meat (Craig Cochran and Steve Prevette immediately come to mind)

But take this to heart, there is not absolute right way to set up and manage a Quality Department, but there is a wrong way, and that wrong way, is the way that doesn't work.
 
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E

elfie

#7
Hi Randy,

I'm very happy that you're telling me that I'm in the best place to have answers. :D Thank you a lot for the contacts you gave me, I'm going to contact them.

I know I have to do a lot of researches and that the survey is not enough at all. I'm already trying to look for informations but it would also be helpful to get some answers to my survey in order to have a better vision of where I'm going, I think.

I'm new on this forum so I don't really know how to use it very well yet, but for sure I'm going to look for informations... :)

I understood after Jennifer comments and questions that I should reshape and re-focus my topic because it is so wide...
 
A

Al Dyer

#8
Welcome,

Under your responsibility section my comment would be that a quality department should have the autonomy to do their jobs without fear of reprisal from other entities in the company. In my situations this has meant the quality department be accountable to no other department but to facility responsible management. In the two companies I worked for we were responsible to the owner of the company who gave us the responsibility and accountability to breed an atmosphere of improvement.

After that it was up to the "Quality Manager" to decide how the department was structured to best ensure meeting inter-departmental goals.

As mentioned, search the databases and you will find what you need and keep asking questions!

Al...
 

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