The effectiveness of a quality management program in a business is largely dependent on the three levels of management: top, middle, and supervisory (lower).
The managers at each of these levels must monitor, direct and control the quality management program as it applies to their areas of responsibility.
In most of the cases, the top management has responsibility for setting the company goals which includes even quality. These goals typically focus on broad-based, long term issues, profitability, market share, competition, and growth. Through the establishment of goals and the development of strategic plans to achieve those goals, top management ultimately determines the level of quality that is required in product design and the degree of commitment to quality management necessary to achieve this quality level in the final product. Though the middle management and workers are the ones who put the operation and goals into action, top management must make the initial, strong commitment to quality management so that all the areas and functions within the entire organization share a common commitment.
The role of the middle managers in an organization is to implement the strategic plans that are developed by the top management. Middle level focuses on designing and controlling the production process according to the specifications laid out in the product’s design; i.e. the middle managers must make sure the product conforms to specifications. Middle level management must also design and implement an effective prevention and quality appraisal system for the various stages of the production process. Finally, they are also responsible for customer service programs.
Supervisors have the responsibility for directing and controlling the operations in the production process designed by middle management. As this level is the first line of management, supervisor’s time is spent in managing personnel such as machine operators, servers and clerical staff. Direct quality monitoring and control is done at this level. As a result, managers at supervisory level have the responsibility of identifying and seeking solutions for quality problems. When problems are identified supervisory management works with middle level to correct and improve the production process. In most cases supervisory management collects and reports quality-related data to the quality manager or appropriate middle manager.
Initiation of Quality Management
Program (i.e. setting goals/strategic planning)
Implementation of the Quality Management Program
Supervisory Management/Lower Level
Monitoring and Controlling Quality