Communicating Requirements Throughout The Company


When asked how to manage quality, the first thing Joe Steinreich says is, "Set an example." Communication helps managers and supervisors understand what employees go through to meet their requirements.

Constant com­munication of shared values and expectations

  1. Through rewards and recognition, frequent meetings, personal con-tact, and training, successful companies teli managers, supervisors, and other employees exactly what is expected of them.
  2. World-class perform-ers make sure every message reflects the same central themes and key requirements.
  3. The Ritz-Carlton has its Gold Standards, Motorola has its five initiatives, and Engelhard-Huntsville has its Quality Operating Sys­tem.
  4. By communicating the same basic requirements över and över, in a variety of venues and situations, leaders help their people internalize those requirements and act on them naturally.
  5. And their systems hum as many voices become one.


Managers and employees mutually discuss the working relationship, ever mindful of the need to enable and empovver ev-eryone in the organization to achieve the stated goals.


  • Service companies have long resisted the idea of measuring their per­formance.
  • When FedEx became the first service company to win the Baldrige Award, an honor it received in no small part because of its mea-surement system, other service folks were quick to claim that FedEx was really no different from a nıanufacturer: it handled com-modities—in this case, packages.
  • Not at all like an insurance company. Not one bit like an ad agency. Nothing like a bank. Nope, they said, we cannot measure what we do.
  • At Motorola, each month, business units submit charts on their qual-ity and cycle time performance to the corporate quality division, which selects specific charts to discuss during the corporate performance re-views, held eight times a year.
  • During these four-hour meetings, quality is the first item on the agenda, and issues of quality and cycle time typically take up half the meeting. (When Robert Galvin was chairman, he would leave the meetings at this point, before the group discussed financial is­sues.
  • The message: If quality and cycle time are improving, the bottom line will improve with them.)
  • Divisions hold quality review meetings at least monthly, but it is com-mon to see weekly and daily quality review meetings—and even hourly meetings in the factories.
  • Motorola conducts quality system reviews of its majör business units and suppliers every two years. Seven-person teams spend a week auditing the unit's system.
  • Ninety days after the audit, the team presents its finding. The general manager must then respond with plans for improvement.