Top Management Role

The word “management” comes from the Latin manu agere, “to lead by the hand”.

According to ISO 9000:2005, 3.2.7, Top Management is defined as the, “person or group of people who directs and controls an organization at the highest level.”

Top management, through their leadership and personal involvement, can create an environment to fully involve people and effectively operate a quality management system. They can demonstrate their commitment through the following actions:

1. Learn
Determine your customer needs and expectations. Understand the ISO 9001 requirements, especially those that relate to management responsibilities.

2. Imagine
Envision the quality policy and objectives needed to meet requirements and achieve your vision.

3. Plan
Identify a management owner for each process. Formulate your strategy to achieve quality objectives and then manage change along the way. Adopt the “process approach” to ensure the system processes are working well together.

4. Share
Promote the policy and objectives throughout the organization. Communicate your direction and values regarding quality. Make relevant information available.

5. Train
Ensure the necessary competence is available for effective and efficient operation of the system.

6. Manage
Direct and control the organization to meet its objectives. Use the Management Review meetings to review data and make decisions.

7. Lead
Lead the organization by personal example to establish unity of purpose and develop employee trust. And, be a role model for ethical behavior.

8. Support
Create an environment that encourages the involvement of people. Provide the necessary resources and supporting services.

9. Delegate
Define responsibilities. Make assignments. Provide resources and authority. Hold people accountable.

10. Participate
Be actively involved in implementing and maintaining the system. Send a clear signal on its importance.

11. Observe
Leave the office and see the work being performed. Find out about possible obstacles and frustrations.

12. Listen
Listen carefully to your customers and act on their feedback. Be willing to hear internal concerns and understand performance issues. Generate rapport with employees.

13. Promote
Raise the awareness level. Encourage involvement. Set a positive tone. Expect results. Be patient.

14. Measure
Request performance data on processes and products. Keep score of conformity and effectiveness.

15. Analyze
Look at measurement data for trends and patterns. Examine the results of internal audits. Request changes for improved performance.

16. Review
Examine status and performance of the system on a regular schedule. Seek improvement ideas.

17. Act
Make informed decisions based on facts. Avoid paralysis by analysis. Follow up on assignments. Support the corrective and preventive action process.

18. Improve
Establish continual improvement as a permanent objective. Monitor gains and set higher targets.

In other words, perform the basic management duties of directing, controlling, and improving the organization.