The Language of Management is Money

by Graeme Payne
(Atlanta, Georgia, USA))

Joseph Juran said that the basic language of upper management is money. (Juran's Quality Control Handbook 4th edition (1988), page 4.4.)


Juran also discussed this in chapter 3 of the 3rd edition (1974) but I don't have a physical copy for reference.

His basic view is that the quality professional must be able to communicate in three language styles. (We are speaking about professional terminology here, not your native tongue or dialect.)

1. The quality professional can use quality terms and language when communicating with quality peers.

2. He or she must also be able to communicate to production staff using terms used in production departments and by the people performing the work or service.

3. He or she also MUST be able to communicate with upper management using terms used by managers.

At management levels, almost everything is discussed in terms of MONEY: income, expenses, dividends, savings, return on investment (ROI), life-cycle costing, value-added or non-value-added, and so on.

Therefore all quality professionals must be able to monetize quality problems, issues and benefits in order to effectively communicate them to management.

Costs must be balanced by benefits. Capital expenses should have low payback periods and/or high ROI.

Your own function must be positively presented as a value-added process in the company.

If you cannot communicate what you have to say to managers in monetary terms, they will be polite but ignore you.

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Great Reminder
by: cubit42

Thanks for bring this back to my attention. I now remember reading this years ago when I was taking Juran's course. Ust as true today as it was 20 years ago!

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Management is Money
by: Anonymous

Hi Graeme :

What you say is the key point in selling quality to management, I?m not sure if you read the report or not yet , but in step 7 ( dollarize your case ) this is the key step to be done.

I want to share with you HOW to do this , we all KNOW that language of management is money , so I wonder if you can share with us an example to demonstrate how to dollarize a business case.

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nice
by: Morbis

Well this is not something new. Almost all the managements are behind money and that is what they root for. But there are very few ones that are doing a good job serving for the people and not for themselves. I respect them!

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