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.