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Author Topic:   Job Titles & Responsibilities
Marc Smith
Cheech Wizard

Posts: 4119
From:West Chester, OH, USA
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posted 08 May 1999 01:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Marc Smith   Click Here to Email Marc Smith     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Subject: Re: Use of Job titles /Darracott/Hernandez
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 1999 12:48:29 -0600
From: ISO Standards Discussion

From: "Hernandez,Carlos"
Subject: RE: Use of Job titles /Darracott/Hernandez

Hello,

Following are my observations as to job titles, and department responsibilities in the manufacturing world:

>From: JDARRACOTT@aol.com >Subject: Q: Use of Job titles /Darracott

>Job title selection - Comments please.

>I am a facilitator who works with chief executives
>in order to develop documented management systems
>which comply with the requirements of ISO 9001. I ]
>sometimes assist with the maintenance of the
>management system.

>1. Usually either enhanced or new activities are >introduced into an organisation. These include:

>a) Maintenance of the documented management system >incuding the training records, forms control etc.

training records - Duties of the Human Resources Department forms control - Engineering Department

>b) Testing.

Actual testing, (if you are referring to testing as a result of training), administrated by the various departments.

Records submitted to and maintained by the Human Resources Department

>c) Inspection.

Inspection Supervisors report to the Quality Manager, inspectors report to the supervisor.

>d) Checking and approval of work.

Individual managers and supervisors, are responsible for work in process. Final inspection is done by an inspector.

>e) Internal auditing.

Internal auditing team comprised of varied talent from throughout the organization.

>f) Formal management review meetings.

The Chief Executive calls these meetings.

>It seems to me that responsibility for all these
>activities rests with the chief executive, his
>existing managers, supervisors and operatives.

See above.

>2. If a new job of QA Manager or Quality Control
>Manager or Quality controller or Quality Manager is
>introduced it is easy for the existing management
>to deny responsibility for the above.

The QA Manager reports directly to the Chief Executive. No one can delegate their responsibility to this level of senior staff. I have seen the title of Director become more fashionable than Manager recently. Director conotating senior staff, while Manager carries a connection to "middle management".


>3. I prefer to assign responsibility to the existing
>Office manager, Chief inspector, in line managers
>and chief executive.

One of your current office managers will become the Quality Manager. The QA Manager/Director orchestrates the above activities for internal auditing requirements, (and ISO, QS, etc..). However, the working responsibility lies with the various department managers and supervisors/line managers. The QA Manager/Director also serves as the administrative focal point of Quality for the company regarding customers and other businesses.

I worked at a company that eliminated the QA Manager position in a cost reduction scheme. The Quality Department then came under the management of the Engineering Department. It didn't work. There were too many "conflicts of interests". Not to mention that the Chief Executive and Engineering manager did not have the time or energy to deal directly with the customer. The cost? = big money and many customers! They then tried to place the Quality Department under the management of Production. It failed even worse than the first experiment. The cost? = bigger money and many more customers! They then re-instituted the senior staff Quality Manager position, prior to attempting ISO9000 certification.

>4. I think I am out of line with current practice
>bearing in mind that 8 out of 38 recent new
>members of the British Standards Society have the
>job title of QA Manager or quality control
>Manager or Quality controller or Quality Manager.

What is "current" practice? And, where?

>I should welcome the views of our group so that I
>can use them for the benefit of my associates.

>J M Darracott BSc
>"Jdarracott@aol.com"

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Marc Smith
Cheech Wizard

Posts: 4119
From:West Chester, OH, USA
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posted 08 May 1999 01:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Marc Smith   Click Here to Email Marc Smith     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From: PNaish@aol.com
Subject: Re: Q: Use of Job titles /Darracott/Naish

A rose by any other name?

Is the name as important as the person who is responsible?

In the past there has been much discussion locally in Quality Professional circles about Quality Assurance versus Quality Control. Even ASQC changed to ASQ.

We have worked with a number of different clients across the USA. I have found that the title of the person was not the key to the sucess. In fact in 2 companies the CEO did not want ISO but the CEO's direct reports did and for the right reasons. They were and are very successful in establishing and maintaining the quality system. They even went beyond initial implementation and have made great strides in improvement using good techniques. In one case there is a Quality Manager in the other no person or group has Quality as a part of their title. They all have it as a part of their job description however.

In the cases cited the people who wanted to make it happen did. Additionally of the clients we have where the CEO is involved over fifty percent of our clients do not have a Quality organization as such. Their management representative is one of the senior management people. This puts them at the management level necessary to get the system effectively implemented.

I am a personal advocate for not having a separate quality department. A recent experience at a new client site was further evidence of my feelings on it. Shortly after walking in, I overheard the production manager, the quality manager and a customer service person discussing a customer return. Both the customer service person and product manager were repeatedly asking the quality manager why he let it get out the door wrong. When the production manager was asked by the quality manager why he built it wrong, the response was that they rely on quality to make sure it is right it isn't their job. This same theme was repeated several times during my visit. At the closing meeting I made a presentation which pointed out how costly this thinking is and how the customer is jeopardized everyday by that thought.

When I was at Intel years ago and we were replacing our inline inspection process using QA inspectors with manufacturing inspection and QA process audits I had a similar experience. The Line Supervisor called me over because our inspector had rejected something. As the engineer for the area I could overrule the reject and authorize it shipment. In the new process to be in place one month later the supervisor would be making some of these decisions.

When he asked me to "buy off" the reject, I had one questions for him: what would you do next month when this is your call? His response was I wouldn't ship it I would have them fix it. Next I said: "Why are you trying to get me to Buy it off then?" His response: as long as quality will buy it off I don't have to take responsibility for the customer not accepting it. When I have to take responsibility then I will not send it.

Not all production managers and supervisors are like the 2 in question so don't misread these examples. However, from a sheer cost standpoint why do we keep wanting to add people at no value added to the product as policemen to keep the bad from going out (Or the system running right) rather than reducing cost and having the people responsible for the area responsible for what goes out.

While I am not traditional in my thinking on quality engineers and managers, I have seen success in over 30 companies who felt this way and were successful in not having quality departments.

So again: A rose by any other name?

Phyllis naish at Pnaish@aol.com

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Dawn
Forum Contributor

Posts: 245
From:St. Marys, PA
Registered: Sep 98

posted 10 May 1999 11:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dawn   Click Here to Email Dawn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am a Managemntet Rep for an organization where I work directly under the VP of Tech. & QA. Recently a QC Tech was promoted to Quality Lab Supervisor. There seems to be some conflicts of interest where my job and hers comes in and I see alot of possible power struggles in the future because I have already seen them transforming due to this promotion. Is it OK for a Mgmt. Rep. to work under a Quality Lab Supervisor or must the Rep be directly under the Head of Quality? Any comments would be appreciated.

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Don Winton
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From:Tullahoma, TN
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posted 10 May 1999 12:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Don Winton   Click Here to Email Don Winton     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I personally have never been a fan of the 'job title' or 'job description' thing. It tends to create the types of confrontations described by Phyllis. However, I also realize that most like the concept and people in general like to have a 'label' they can apply to their function. That is fine.

quote:
I am a personal advocate for not having a separate quality department.

I agree. This also tends to create confrontations as described above. Management (or whoever) tends to see the 'quality' department as policemen that are responsible for catching the errors prior to shipment rather than building quality in.

quote:
In fact in 2 companies the CEO did not want ISO but the CEO's direct reports did and for the right reasons.

Sorta puts a new spin on the 'it must come from the top' paradigm, don't it? But, the senior staff did want it for 'the right reason.' I wonder how they dealt with the CEO's attitude when implementing the system and how they addressed it down to the lower echelons?

quote:
·they rely on quality to make sure it is right it isn't their job.

Typical!

Regards,
Don

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Kevin Mader
Forum Wizard

Posts: 575
From:Seymour, CT USA
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posted 10 May 1999 02:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin Mader   Click Here to Email Kevin Mader     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Paradigms, paradigms, pardigms. Somethings are hard to change (if they can be at all).

For me, titles satisfy others needs to be distinguished amongst the ranks. I guess if I had to pick a side of the fence to stand on, then I would be on the side that would do away with them. I would rather deal with a name and a face, their input, and a mutual exchange. Dawn, merit is in what you say and do. Actions speak to who you are, an achiever or a blow-hard. Sadly, if your organization is hung up on titles, then you stand to be overlooked no matter how well you fair in your daily business, or labeled the exact opposite of your actions. This culture (organizational charts, hierarchical) is predominant in the Western hemisphere and not at all surprizing. Don't forget, ISO is supposed to clear up the gray areas by clear delineation of responsibility and authority, so fall back on that should the need arise.

Don, to your point as you have stated many times; labels aren't important. Being called "gurus" on occasion, flattering but not important. Just call me Kevin or Kev. What ever, it doesn't matter. In fact, I like the fun labels folks have in this Q&A forum: The Cheech Wizard, the Wizard Warrior, The "Chief Dummy" and Batman. Certainly the Chief Dummy is not a dummy at all and is demonstrated time and again by each of your contributions here. So for the labelers of the world, I won't buck your systems as I am fairly neutral about the whole thing.

To Marc's post:

Quote:

When he asked me to "buy off" the reject, I had one questions for him: what would you do next month when this is your call? His response was I wouldn't ship it I would have them fix it. Next I said: "Why are you trying to get me to Buy it off then?" His response: as long as quality will buy it off I don't have to take responsibility for the customer not accepting it. When I have to take responsibility then I will not send it.

Quality is EVERYONE'S RESPONSIBILITY! How often is this simple fact overlooked on a daily basis. This past week, I ran into two managers for a rather well knowned building supply chain. Long story short, I had quite a few problems with both in the way the provided me, the customer, with customer service. I asked each manager during our discussion who did they think they worked for. Puzzled looks from both. Both answered identically. They gave the regional managers name. I suggested to them, that they, including the regional manager, worked for me; the Customer. Well they fell back on their heels and said to me 'but of course', but they thought that I meant something else. I don't think they really thought that at all, and I told them so. With true Customer focus, the answer should come easily and undistorted. Just a closing thought.

Back to the group...

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Don Winton
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From:Tullahoma, TN
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posted 11 May 1999 12:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Don Winton   Click Here to Email Don Winton     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Is it OK for a Mgmt. Rep. to work under a Quality Lab Supervisor·

Yes, it is provided the 'irrespective of other responsibilities' clause and sub-sections are adhered to. You may also have some difficulties with the 'supplier's own management' clause, but I would need more details.

quote:
Quality is EVERYONE'S RESPONSIBILITY!

I preach this a lot also. I have ingrained it here and it has taken root, somewhat. Everyone knows that they have the authority to reject parts, stop jobs using questionable material, etc. Seems to be working OK, but the program only has a year under the belt. Time is the ultimate test.

quote:
For me, titles satisfy others needs to be distinguished amongst the ranks.

I tend to agree here, somewhat. I do not have as much a problem with titles as when titles are used AS labels. For example, the title Quality Manager tends to label that person as the person responsible for quality of product, which is misleading. The title, as a preferred (?) interpretation, would be the person responsible for Quality Management. Even this is somewhat misleading, hence my preference for the term 'systems' management.

Kevin, your problem with the 'building supply chain' is somewhat typical within the traditional 'service' areas, I believe. The systems management methods (which include Customer Focus) have not seemed to taken hold here. Why? Unknown, I just know I have witnessed many examples of the incident you described, across many of the service sectors. Particularly annoying is the sales clerk on the phone with a pal while waiting on you (personal example).

Regards,
Don

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Kevin Mader
Forum Wizard

Posts: 575
From:Seymour, CT USA
Registered: Nov 98

posted 11 May 1999 01:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin Mader   Click Here to Email Kevin Mader     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Don,

I chuckled to myself on your sales clerk example. I bought gas last night, clerk was busy yacking away on the phone. I almost paid for someone else's gas. Maybe I should have? It would have been cheaper and perhaps the clerk would need to explain that one in the morning. Chance are: it would have done little other than bother my own conscience. Too bad.

Regards,

Kevin

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John C
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From:Cork City, Ireland
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posted 12 May 1999 10:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for John C   Click Here to Email John C     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Whichever way we go, the introduction of a non-operational manager gets between the other managers and their responsibilities. This is always bad and, at the extreme, it can split the organisation up into the 'numbers chasers' and 'the quality police'. The result is probably disasterous.
With this in mind, I looked over the valid, rational role of the Quality Manager and I couldn't find any. I used to think that the quality manager held the resource of quality technique application, but sending in a quality resource, eg quality engineer, from another department, immediately introduces split focus and an escape route for both departments. Would a manufacturing manager accept a dotted line supervisor, or a dotted line manufacturing engineer loose on his line? Hardly likely! Still less an independent one, from a department specifically identified as independent? Why then would a manager accept an independent quality engineer or inspector?
I used to think that the quality manager's job was reduced to measuring and reporting, but the first line responsibility is for the individual managers to measure and report. Take that responsibility away from them, and the expertise to do it, and you take the measuring resource out of the hands of those who are best informed to use it effectively.
So now it boils down to the existence of the independant Quality Manager as a response to the implied or suspected lack of judgement or integrity of the individual managers. Well, I can't argue with that one. But does it take a 'quality manager' to do that?
There is already one individual identified who fills the bill on all counts and that is our old favourite in clause 4.1.2.3. (note that ISO 9000 says nothing about quality managers, despite having thought of everything.) It's the Management Representative. Through audit, the Mgmt Rep can measure everything, evaluate the performance through process implementation and performance data, and report. It doesn't have to be a full time job. It doesn't become a 'responsibility' for anything other than the measuring of the implementors and the measurers. If the auditors are independant, and the reports are not tampered with, then the independance feature is covered. It fits the bill exactly and removes one company car from the overhead.
rgds, John C

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