Hierarchy of a company

6 Replies

Hierarchy of a company

Posted by Markus McDonell on Jul 15, 2019 2:08 pm

Hi all-
I am looking for some feedback or insight into who a Quality Professional should report to with a company. Should we report to a COO, CEO, President, CFO, CCO? 

Any feedback or data would be great so I can better understand the most common structure. 

I personally believe that we should not report to a COO but rather someone more independent. 

Re: Hierarchy of a company

Posted by Duke Okes on Jul 15, 2019 3:23 pm

It will depend on what level of quality professional you're talking about ... VP, Director, Manager, Engineer, ... and how large the company is (e.g, number of employees, number of sites), what industry they're in (e.g., level of product risk) and the degree of quality philosophy (big Q, little q).

Re: Hierarchy of a company

Posted by Janet Lentz on Jul 17, 2019 7:22 am

Conventional wisdom would dictate that reporting to someone in operations is a conflict of interest, but I have seen this work well in many organizations. 

Re: Hierarchy of a company

Posted by Markus McDonell on Jul 19, 2019 12:19 pm

For the sake of conversation lets say, mid size company, with a high focus on continuous improvement and quality, and the position/level would be top manager level.

Re: Hierarchy of a company

Posted by Jeremiah Genest on Jul 19, 2019 1:00 pm

There’s another thread on this matter elsewhere in the forums where I linked to a recent study that showed in the pharma industry (heavily regulated) place in the organization is not a deciding factor to effectiveness of the quality organization.

my thoughts are it depends on the corporate culture. It depends on what you mean by quality (quality as product integrity or quality as excellence). There are a ton of factors.

i also like to point out that much of the quality field is not necessarily tied to the quality profession. Take Lean for example - anecdotally it certainly feels like a majority of lean practitioners do not have a title or position that is traditionally quality.

Re: Hierarchy of a company

Posted by Gretchen Peterson on Jul 22, 2019 10:19 am


I wanted to add some research into this conversation's mix. 

You might want to review ASQ’s Global State of Quality 2 Research: Discoveries 2016
In particular, take a look at Theme 1, p. 16 for information about quality governance. 


Gretchen Peterson MLIS Research Librarian gpeterson@asq.org

Re: Hierarchy of a company

Posted by Mingzhi Deng on Jul 22, 2019 1:32 pm

Let’s view this question from the angle of ISO 9001-2015.
5 Leadership
5.1 Leadership and Commitment
5.1.1 General
Top management shall demonstrate leadership and commitment with respect to the quality
management system by……

Obviously top management, a person or team, who leads the organization to serve the customers, should take the ultimate responsibilities of Quality.
In fact, some mandatory standards such as those relate to military requirements and nuclear safety etc. all put the top management under the spot light.
So, letting Quality Head to report to CEO rather than COO or CFO makes much more sense in terms of customer service and legal concerns.  
Major Deng, Mingzhi (ASQ CMQ/OE)