While overall management commitment is necessary to the success of quality management, commitment from the organization’s executives is vital. Executive management sets the tone for the whole effort by visibly supporting quality management.
Every employee, including other managers, will wait to see where executives prioritize quality management. If quality improvement is not “number one” with executive management, it will not be with anyone else.
After receiving their initial quality management training, executive managers should operate as a Process Improvement Team (PIT) to improve at least one management process before moving quality management down the organization.
This is a visible sign of commitment and the best way for management to understand what quality management means. Ideally, each layer of management will do the same thing. A challenging process to study is the preparation of the annual budget, but starting with a simpler process may be more appropriate.
Executive management should develop a quality policy and mission, vision, goals, and values statements. They also show commitment to quality management by establishing new quality standards calling for error-free performance. This goal will not be pursued or achieved, if executive management does not establish the need.