Can formal document control requiring QM signoff live with continuous improvement?

Quality Manager sign off and continuous improvement can't work well together

  • Agree

    Votes: 3 33.3%
  • Don't Agree

    Votes: 5 55.6%
  • Undecided

    Votes: 1 11.1%

  • Total voters
    9
B

BrianHu

#1
I've just taken over a role that includes ISO9000 managment.

I want to have simple and effective processes which enable continuous improvement by the people in the process. I want to develop systems thinking within the company so that people critically think of how well processes work and and link together.

Our existing document control procedure requires the quality manager (me) to sign off and approve all procedures. Where these are in a specialised technical area then my review adds little. Publishing documents on our electronic document control system applies the document identifier and registers the submitter as document owner - so we have a document control process.

So that people can continually review and improve their processes, I don't see that I add any value in signing off their procedures - what I think is best is that new or changed procedures receive peer review.

So, cam formal document control requiring QM signoff live well with continuous improvement?

What are your comments and suggestions?

Brian H
 
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Mike S.

Happy to be Alive
Trusted Information Resource
#2
Brian,

I think you can do it either way, whichever way works best in your situation is the way to go, IMHO. In the small companies I've worked in ( < / = 250 employees) I have required that I review all doc's (levels 1, 2, & 3) as part of the approval process. In some cases I cannot add anything on a technical level, but I make sure the "little things" are done -- a proper approval by the responsible person, hardcopy control (if required), electronic copy control, proper document numbering, an acceptable format with the required sections, etc. But I am sure you can also find a way to control these things even without the QM review if you work together with the affected folks and there is some discipline exercised. And there are probably folks who will post after me to explain how they do it!
~~~~~~~~~~~~
Edited by Marc: It would not take all the post because you had a 'formula' in there and without spaces it would not render as it passed through the php parser.
 
K
#3
No Value

The QM here wants QA to sign off on all procedures. I wrote the Document Control Procedure to limit that requirement to level 2 procedures; level 3's and work instructions are departmental. He finally looked at a work instruction from manufacturing and discovered nobody from QA signed off on it. We are now discussing this very issue.:confused:
 

E Wall

Just Me!
Super Moderator
#4
FROM MIKE S Unable to post fully

Helping Mike out since he's having problems posting. The problem seems to be the combination of the > , \ , and = symbols in front of the 250 employees. As you can see I changed to a tilda and it works. Here is the message he is trying to get out:

Brian,

I think you can do it either way, whichever way works best in your situation is the way to go, IMHO. In the small companies I've worked in (~250 employees) I have required that I review all doc's (levels 1, 2, & 3) as part of the approval process. In some cases I cannot add anything on a technical level, but I make sure the "little things" are done -- a proper approval by the responsible person, hardcopy control (if required), electronic copy control, proper document numbering, an acceptable format with the required sections, etc. But I am sure you can also find a way to control these things even without the QM review if you work together with the affected folks and there is some discipline exercised. And there are probably folks who will post after me to explain how they do it!

Mike S.
 
#6
QM sign-offs

In several companies I've worked with, the QM signs off on the procedures from a doc control and format standpoint to ensure the procedures do not violate the rules for doc control. The content of the procedures is signed off by the department or activity manager.

Where these are in a specialised technical area then my review adds little.
This is often true. The QM is probably not the expert on the best way to perform the process. Leave that (and the corresponding procedure development) to the process owners. On the flipside, the process owners are probably not the best ones to determine if the document naming, numbering and format meets established conventions. This is where the QM review can be valuable. It is also the ideal time to add the document changes to the master list (if applicable).
 
#7
No argument

If so, why would a quality professional need to do the latter? Seems to me like a pure admin task.
Not going to argue that Jim. Larger organizations I've worked with have had a "Document Controller" who performed the function. In other organizations they left it up to the QA or QM because "they have the expertise". Most "quality professionals" I know do have a bit of administrative duties on their plate. After all, we know that without such duties, the quality professional would have nothing to do but drink coffee all day! :rolleyes:
 

Mike S.

Happy to be Alive
Trusted Information Resource
#8
Jim Wade said:

* someone else can check naming conventions, page numbering, layout, typos, spellos and so on on?

If so, why would a quality professional need to do the latter? Seems to me like a pure admin task.

rgds Jim

I agree with you and db, Jim, a Q Pro need not be the one to do it, but in small to mid-sized companies this is often a hat the QM or his/her assistants wears in my experience. In one former company we had a Doc Control person who did nothing else, just doc control. Now, in IMHO, for a 250-300 person company this is not a full-time job unless you overcomplicate and "bureaucratize" things WAY too much to ensure your job security, which this person did. Getting a L3 procedure done, or getting a customer drawing accepted and filed, or getting a copy of a customer drawing, required about the same amount of paperwork and headaches as a home mortgage loan. It was crazy, and this person was sooooo protective of her ideas and her turf that she was eventually canned for her poor attitude and lack of cooperation. Seems to me, especially in today's "lean" (slimmed down staff) companies of smaller size, this is usually the QM's balliwick. JMO of course.
 
E

energy

#9
value added review?

Not discounting the importance of a value added review:rolleyes: , which is another hazy description for a normal review, here's what and why we do what we do. All cognizant parties review a draft submitted by someone, agree on the content (no more value added review than that is normally required) and the procedure is put into an "official" looking format for final review and subsequent release. The fact that WE decided that a procedure is needed, to possibly fill in some technical gap that cannot be accomplished soley through on the job training, is what we consider "value added".:rolleyes:

Recognizing the Doc Control issue and formatting, which is the QA Mgr's job here because nobody does it better, :vfunny: the QA Mgr creates the document based on departmental input. The Review and Authorization block will contain the QA Mgr as the authorizer for the "Q" procedures, who is also the MR. In the case of selected Departmental level 3's, the QA Mgr is shown as the "Originator" and the respective Department Manager is the "Authorizer". It's a simple system.

And let's not forget the most important thing. It's always nice to see the QA Mgr's title on all documents, especially when he/she is the MR. :biglaugh: :biglaugh: Hey, that's why I have a job. Butt out, Jimbob!:agree:
 
T

tarheel

#10
QM Signoff

Whether you can judge the technical merits, you should be able to look for adherence to the proper format, etc. More importantly, you should also review for references making sense, making sure the procedure is not duplicating anything already in the system. After all, shouldn't the MR be the expert on the QMS?
This doesn't relieve anyone else from responsibility, just a reality check.
 
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