Functional Responsibilities and Priorities of Senior Management
The following are some of the functional responsibilities and priorities of senior management.
1. Management By Wandering Around (MBWA)
Management should wander around visiting various departments and plants within organization, speaking to customers and suppliers. By doing this, management will be aware of what is happening around, various customers behavior, to their supplier and the quality of their project etc. MBWA reduces the paper work and encourage subordinates to write only messages of top priority required for permanent records.
2. Strategy of problem solving and decision making
Senior management will not take final decision, instead, it will make sure the team’s decision is aligned with the quality statements of the organization. By delegating authority and responsibility, the problem solving and decision making work will be pushed to the lowest appropriate level.
3. Strong information base
Senior managers should be quite knowledgeable in quality improvement by reading books and articles, attending seminars and communicating with other TQM leaders. Proper training should be given to the employees in TQM tools, techniques and requirements of the job and safety.
4. Recognition and Reward system
Senior managers should celebrate the success of their organization’s quality efforts. They should personally participate in award and recognition events to promote TQM. The recognition and reward can be in the form of a phone call combined with a sincere ‘thank you for a job well done‘. Quality council should be formed to establish recognition and reward system and also incentive compensation system.
5. Spending most of the time on Quality
Senior managers should be dedicatedly and actively involve himself in the effort for improving the quality by serving on teams, coaching teams and teaching seminars. They should demonstrate, communicate and reinforce quality statements. Ultimately, they should spend about one third of the time on quality.
Senior executives must communicate quality values to managers and supervisors and to groups outside the company. Hence, strong communication is necessary to create awareness of the importance of Total Quality Management and provide TQM results in an ongoing manner.
7. Identify and encourage potential employee
Every person has some talents and potential. Most of these talents remain hidden as they are not recognized and no opportunity is provided to reveal them. The senior management has the responsibility to explore these talents and inspire the workforce to make use of these towards TQM efforts.
8. Accept the responsibility
The responsibility for the quality of output from the work area rests with the senior manager. There are so many problems related to workmanship, design problems, accounting problems, etc., which are normally controlled by quality control department.
It is essential that the senior management should accept the responsibility and accountability for whatever the output is from their respective areas. It is also their responsibility to formulate action plans for improvement.
9. To play a role model
Each manager is responsible for setting the standards for quality through their own action and behavior. The steps taken by the senior management to improve quality should be revealed to all employees.
Only if the senior management follows the basis principles in first place, they can expect a total commitment and quality from their employees. This is because, the employees always have their eye on the performance of management and understand the hidden intentions behind the management’s actions. Thus, an honest behavior and commitment is essential on the part of the management. This commitment must be revealed through allocation of resources, organizing the work, setting policies, goals and performance standards, establishing operating procedures, measuring and rewarding performance and setting priorities.
10. Remove road blocks
TQM demands a total change — a cultural change and thus resistance may arise from different levels. Top and middle managers resist it as they are not familiar with it. Furthermore, because of fear over job security, loss of authority, increased workload, loss of power, doubt about top management commitment and fear of failure, the middle level management resists TQM. However, this misconception must be removed to achieve better working environment to produce better quality.
In addition to the above responsibilities, Senior management should assure also the following.
1. Study TQM, and investigate how it is implemented elsewhere
2. Establish policies related to TQM
3. Establish ‘priority of quality‘, and ‘customer satisfaction‘ as the basic policy.
4. Check if the quality improvement programmes are conducted as planned.
5. Visit other companies to observe TQM’s functioning.
6. Attend TQM training programme.
7. Teach others for the betterment of society and the surroundings.