Dronkers, John J. (1987, ASQC) Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA
If "Quality-the Universal Equation for Excellence," then the implementation of programs that will achieve quality ought to be a universal concern. If this holds true, then certain questions must be answered, and the answers will be situation specific before a quality assurance program is designed and implemented. For instance; What is quality? Which standards apply? How are those standards translated into programs? How are the programs implemented? And perhaps a host of other questions. Quality may be a universal concern, but the answers to these specific questions are local; and the answers have often been wrong, as evinced by the many failures that have been reported.This paper discusses as aspect of QA program implementation that often has been overlooked: existing organizational structures. The paper's premise is that existing organizational structures have a great deal to do with an organization's culture and therefore must be considered when implementing QA programs.The paper will review major quality assurance programs descriptions as are found in several standards and in the writings of Crosby, Feigenbaum, and Juran. The review will show that quality assurance programs are concerned with both quality achievement and demonstrability of that achievement.Next, a review of organizational structures will be considered. Two traditional ones: hierarchial and matrix structures, and an emerging one, parallel structure. Characteristic traits of each and their importance will be discussed.The paper will conclude with suggesting a method for implementing QA programs to existing structures. The method contemplated places the QA professional in the role of change agent. The method's basis is a critical review of what is needed in a QA program, and what already exists in the structure.