ASQ - Team and Workplace Excellence Forum

Online Edition - June 2000

Issue Highlight - Safe Return Doubtful
--- Much of the attention in human resources seems to be about how to recruit and retain good people. The conventional wisdom is to offer people the possibility of big benefits and instant wealth.

In This Issue...
The Real World at MTV
New American Revolution
Basic Training
Bringing Values to Life

Peter Block Column
Views for a Change

Heard on the Street
Diary of a Shutdown

Views for a Change
Consultant Q&A

H. James Harrington Responds:
- If your organization is strongly committed to quality there is little need for a separate quality function. In a committed organization each function-development engineering, executive management, product engineering, manufacturing, sales and service-will be able to handle its part of the quality system without additional checks and balances. Executive management will always read and use the quality reports in preference to financial reports. Product engineering will ensure that the design is manufacturable and determine with a high degree of confidence that the product is reliable and will perform to specifications throughout the product's life. Manufacturing will ensure that all employees only perform jobs they are trained to perform and will provide them with all the time necessary to do their jobs correctly. Manufacturing engineering will design the manufacturing process so that every operation has a Cpk of 1.4 minimum. The sales department will never promise to deliver a product that will have to be expedited through the manufacturing process, and, of course, they would never tell a potential customer that the product would do something that it was not designed to do. The purchasing department will always select the supplier that provides the very best quality regardless of the price because they understand that your product cannot be better than the parts that go into it. The information technology function puts running the quality reports ahead of all other reports including the financial reports and billing activities. The major financial report is a poor-quality cost report that covers both manufacturing and external quality cost. It also includes all indirect poor-quality cost. That's what a committed organization does all the time and with these types of organizations a very small group of quality professionals is needed. They have very little to do other than organize the monthly quality top management reviews and document their results.

- Oh yes, in these types of committed organizations that are made up of trusted employees, the financial job is also very simple. Payroll consists of rolling a barrel of money out and everyone helps themselves to what they feel their contribution is worth. Now, if you don't have this type of organization, you will need a more formal quality organization with the associated controls. I like to have a quality assurance function headed up by a senior vice-president of quality that reports to the COO. Quality assurance is then divided into three groups

- 1. Quality Engineering
They are responsible for being part of the concurrent engineering team. They certify the manufacturing process and define the test plans and the quality reporting system. They prepare the quality plan for each program and maintain the quality manual.

- 2. Quality Control
This is the group that audits to ensure that procedures are being followed by manufacturing, engineering, finance, sales and service. This ensures that corrective action is taken when deviations are identified.

- 3. Quality Laboratories
These laboratories include the Failure Analysis Laboratory, Calibration Laboratory and receiving inspection.

- This is a check and balance system that helps the organization keep its commitment to quality at the forefront of its operations. In this type of organization, quality assurance is responsible for ensuring that the customer gets what he or she expects and when the customer is dissatisfied, quality assurance takes immediate action to correct the problem and prevent it from recurring.

Vincent Ventresca responds

June 2000 News for a Change Homepage

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