Integration of planning, implementation and control feedback

The organization for quality should ensure that the planning, implementation, monitoring and control feedback cycle is properly facilitated. This is an important point. Since quality control is everybody’s business, the organization for quality should be so structured that in making quality everybody’s concern it does not lead to a chaotic situation. In spite of the fact that many functional departments are involved in the maintenance of quality, the integrity of the management feedback cycle should be maintained for effective quality management. One may delegate certain management tasks to particular departments. For instance, one may assign the urgent in-process testing and inspection work to the shop floor people. But certain important considerations must predominate to make this decentralization effective enough, e.g. (a) the quality management personnel should periodically check the degree or strictness to which the in-plant quality control procedures are being followed; (b) they should also check periodically or continuously the finished product quality; (c) the quality management department should provide competent technical support to the shop floor people in helping them to solve day-to-day quality problems; and (d) the inspectors on the shop floor have been trained sufficiently to perform their jobs. These are some of the precautions which need to be taken for the decentralization of the quality management effort. Whenever there is such delegation, a tight control by quality management is necessary.

The organization of quality management should be such that it is not a combination of bits and pieces of responsibilities assigned to different departments; rather, quality management should be a responsibility which is properly organized and which can be properly located. This leads us to the maintenance of a separate functional department for quality management, with its top man ranking high in the organizational hierarchy. The next in the hierarchy to the top man for quality management should subdivide the work along the specialized skills required in carrying out the jobs. Therefore, if it is the work of looking after different product-lines or if it is the specialized work of looking after different functional specialists within the organization, these special tasks should be assigned to specialist personnel. The organization for quality management should, as far as possible, comprise a large span-of-control and few levels of hierarchy. This is necessary to maintain quick feedback of information.

A wide span-of-control is necessary, since a high degree of specialization is very desirable in quality management.

The following points may be remembered in organizing for quality.

1. To ensure that the integrity of the planning implementing monitoring and control feedback cycle is maintained in the total organization for quality.
2. Wherever the responsibility of quality management is to be delegated to different departments, it should be done with many precautionary measures whereby the monitoring and control is in the hands of the quality, management people.
3. To maintain high quality standards, it is necessary that quality management should have top management support. Therefore the highest person in quality management should be of the same level or a level below that of the top-most management of the company.
4. The hierarchy structure of quality management should be kept to as few levels as possible. The span-of-control should be as broad as possible. The division of responsibility at the second or third level of quality management organization should be based on the needs of specialized skills, either product wise, function wise, or technique wise.

Costs of Quality:

Quality management is not only concerned with maintaining the quality characteristics of a product but also with doing the same at least cost. There are basically three categories of cost of quality.

Costs of prevention:

These are the costs to prevent the production of bad quality output. These include costs of activity such as quality planning which tries to ensure that proper precautions have been taken to avoid wrong sampling plans being made or bad quality of raw material entering into plant or improper methods and processes being followed in the plant. —