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Policy Deployment
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Policy deployment is a process for ensuring that a company's policies for quality, cost and delivery (QCD) are understood and implemented from the highest to the lowest levels in the company.

You might ask why you should introduce policy deployment when you already have a process for cascading objectives throughout the organisation.

The problem with an objectives cascade is that although an objective is appropriate when it is set at the top of an organisation, it might not make sense or seem relevant when it reaches the departments and individuals.

Imagine a company wants to reduce its costs by 10 per cent. The traditional method of cascading objectives would see a 10 per cent budget cut imposed on every department. This may be a good objective for the company as a whole, but does it really make sense to impose a flat 10 per cent cut on every department? Some departments may be able to reduce their budgets by 20 per cent, while others may need a 5 per cent increase to be able to function at all.

Another company might have an objective of improving customer satisfaction by 15 per cent, but what does that mean to a person who never meets a customer? The answer to these questions is provided by policy deployment.

The way the system works in practice is that the policy is cascaded to the next level down and is also translated across the organisation. It is this translation that makes it relevant to every person and every department.

Cross-functional communication of policies is also very important because it binds the functions together in pursuit of the company goals. It helps functions co-operate instead of selfishly pursuing their own objectives at the expense of others. It is this subtle but important distinction that separates policy deployment from managing by objectives (MBO).

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