Role of Senior Management in Implementing Quality
In your work, and in all business organization, senior management is the responsible personnel to establish the organization strategies.
It is the senior management who has to create the strategic atmosphere and organizational environment for Total Quality Management (TQM) to thrive. They have to ensure that resources are provided and directed towards building a quality management system.
The CEO has to get personally involved and has to spread the knowledge and clear the air about any misconceptions regarding TQM to his senior managers. He also must exhibit patience and believe that TQM is a long term strategy and must not expect immediate financial benefits. The CEO must also ensure an accurate reflection of the needs and expectations of customers to enable the organization to make quality improvements, through performance measures like failure statistics, customer surveys and complaints, lost sales, customer returns, unaccepted tenders, etc.
Senior managers must create an atmosphere which promotes teamwork, co-operation and participation from all members in healthy decision making, and effective two way communication. An important responsibility of the top management is to assign the roles and responsibilities to responsible personnel who will assist them in the deployment of total quality management. The responsibility of ensuring that all employees know why the organization is heading towards TQM, and what potential benefits will result in their area or function or process, lies with the senior managers.
Senior managers must also realize and accept that there is no single or best way to implement TQM. They need to learn from experience, attend courses and seminars, study about the best practices as far as TQM is concerned, and consult other organizations in the same industry who have introduced TQM successfully. Senior managers must be ready to understand and apply the statistical methods in problem solving and decision making like SPC to make sure that the improvement effort is based on fact and data and not opinion or myth.
Their responsibilities can be summed up as:
Disseminating the idea of total quality
Setting standards like zero failure
Monitoring quality performance (quality costs)
Introducing a quality system based on 'prevention' rather than detection
Introducing process control methods like Statistical Process Control (SPC)