What skills are most important for a new Quality Manager

outdoorsNW

Quite Involved in Discussions
#1
For someone seeking to move up from a quality engineer to a quality manager, other than people management, what skills become more important as a quality manager?
Are there skills that become important for a quality manger that a quality engineer rarely needs?
What quality engineer skills tend to not be needed?
For those of you that have made the move, what were your biggest surprises?
Any other advice?
 
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Tagin

Trusted Information Resource
#2
other than people management, what skills become more important
I'm a one-man quality dept, but I'd say: managerial skills, which is much broader than just the people aspect. You are holding the vision of where the QMS is going, maintaining a high-level perspective, and are able to realize those high-level ideas into pragmatic, actionable projects. You are the steward for quality in your org. You are the one that the big quality headaches get escalated to, and you need the ability to make thoughtful decisions about quality and process, and be able to back them up with rational arguments. You may have to deal with financial aspects, in terms of budgets, projections, etc. Your ability to operate effectively dualistically at a high-level perspective while still able to concretely address a specific issue is in my mind quite important.
 

optomist1

A Sea of Statistics
Super Moderator
#6
loosely quote a great manager/leader (discipline independent):
1) does the "right thing", in lieu of merely "doing things right"
2) motivates and inspires his/her team to do the things they thought very difficult if not impossible
 

Johnny Quality

Quite Involved in Discussions
#7
1) Spine
2) Separating common causes and special causes of variation and acting as needed
3) Listening
4) Knowing what is needed from you and your team and providing resources as needed
5) Viewing and implementing Quality as organization wide and not a department
6) Shielding your team from the shouty and pound the table types
7) Making decisions for the betterment of the organization and the customer
8) Getting stuck in with the front line as needed
 

Mike S.

Happy to be Alive
Trusted Information Resource
#8
Lots of good stuff above.

I'd add, a thicker skin and the understanding that sometimes it's gonna be a lonely place to be. You'll have both internal and external customers badgering you at times. You may develop a sense of dread every time the phone rings or an email pops up. You have to make sometimes unpopular decisions that may cost your company money - at least it will appear that way because it is much easier to quantify the cost of scrapping or reworking a lot of bad parts than it is to quantify how much you might have saved the company by not letting crap go out the door. It's a much tougher job to be QM than QE.
 

Ed Panek

QA RA Small Med Dev Company
Staff member
Super Moderator
#9
Sydney noted the most important one. As a QM you should already know the QMS requirements; that's a given. Your ability to persuade people or lead is most important. If your CEO is not convinced quality is given any consideration you will probably fail or have a stressful work day.
 

blackholequasar

Involved In Discussions
#10
I always find that the path of Shigeo Shingo had a good approach:

Respect every individual
Lead with Humility
Seek Perfection
Embrace Scientific Thinking
Focus on Process
Assure Quality at the Source
Flow & Pull Value
Think Systemically
Create Constancy of Purpose
Create Value for the Customer

https://lean.nh.gov/documents/Shingo Model Handbook.pdf

.. but I really have to agree with @Sidney Vianna -- half of it is convincing others to be accountable
 
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