Closing Out Corrective Actions and Verifying their Effectiveness

T

tracey

#1
Closing out Corrective Actions

Good morning cove members, I have found myself in a delicte position and was wondering if any one might have some advise on how to handle this. As the MR my job is to issure that all corrective actions are close out and their effectiveness verified. There are two CAR's that are currently open. One was to be addressed by Dec 13/02 and the other Feb 13/03. I have written several emails to the person who is responsible for preparing the action plan. In the last email I stressed the importance that these CAR's be delt with. The part that I'm having the greatest problem with is that this person is my direct boss. We are a small company therefore being the MR is a small part of my job, yet one I take serously. As the MR I answer to only the owners but in my daily job i answer to this manger. To go to the owners I feel would be wrong yet I know its probably what I should be doing, Another way of handling this I thought might be writing another CAR to this person for not addressing the last two he was given.
Any advise would be greatly aprreciated:confused:
 
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SteelMaiden

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
#2
First step - go to this person in person, instead of e-mails. Sit him down and ask what you can do to make this go away. Does he know what is expected? Offer your help in investigating the problem and finding corrective actions.

2nd step - You could attempt to resolve this by scheduling a meeting with the owners, the manager and yourself (include anyone else that should be in the loop). Explain how important it is to your certification that these issues are adressed, explain that you have offered your assistance in planning corrective actions and that you have gotten nowhere. Be very definite that the lack of commitment will keep your company from being certified, put it in writing and send the minutes out via e-mail and keep a copy of your sent message.

And then stop worrying about it. You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink. When you get a nonconformance, pull out the minutes and remind everyone that you told them what was going to happen. Why did they hire you to do the job if they aren't going to listen? (I ask this occasionally myself, it seems to bring them back to reality)
 
T

Tom Harris

#3
Re: Closing out Corrective Actions

tracey said:

Good morning cove members, I have found myself in a delicte position and was wondering if any one might have some advise on how to handle this. As the MR my job is to issure that all corrective actions are close out and their effectiveness verified. There are two CAR's that are currently open. One was to be addressed by Dec 13/02 and the other Feb 13/03. I have written several emails to the person who is responsible for preparing the action plan. In the last email I stressed the importance that these CAR's be delt with. The part that I'm having the greatest problem with is that this person is my direct boss. We are a small company therefore being the MR is a small part of my job, yet one I take serously. As the MR I answer to only the owners but in my daily job i answer to this manger. To go to the owners I feel would be wrong yet I know its probably what I should be doing, Another way of handling this I thought might be writing another CAR to this person for not addressing the last two he was given.
Any advise would be greatly aprreciated:confused:
Hello Tracey

A couple of thoughts/ideas spring to mind. They might of course not apply to your case but they have all been encountered in similar cases I know of.

1 Might it be better to communicate about such important matters by means other than email?

2 Presumably the delay in addressing the CARs has serious business implications (mounting costs or scrap, lost business, increase in credit notes, customer complaints, whatever)? Have you these spelled these out clearly?

2 Since your boss clearly doesn't think the CARs are important, would there be a serious business downside if you just tore them up and moved on?
 
N

Nosmo King

#4
SteelMaiden said:

Explain how important it is to your certification that these issues are adressed

Be very definite that the lack of commitment will keep your company from being certified,

When you get a nonconformance
Surely these are not the arguments that matter --- not with all managers anyway??

Better to stress the $$$$ downside of inaction -- if there is none, why worry?
 

SteelMaiden

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
#5
Nosmo,

In my experience, most managers do not have the capability of understanding that you are in the QMS business to save money until the system is running well and you can show them the numbers. Companies typically go for the certificate first and then when the results start to show improvement they finally buy in. Don't believe me? Read through the forums, you see it time after time. There is no buy in (usually) until long after the company is certified and you can start showing that there are dollars saved by all the work that was done implementing the processes. If your company is one that sees the value in the QMS before implementation, you are one of the lucky ones. I have been directly involved in the certification of three systems, and indirectly (intercompany "consulting") with seven others. We went through the same scenario with all of them. Ignored corrective actions until the registrar came down hard and management saw that they might not keep that piece of paper - Oh, my, what will we tell our customers?:frust:
 
N

Nosmo King

#6
SteelMaiden said:

I have been directly involved in the certification of three systems, and indirectly (intercompany "consulting") with seven others. We went through the same scenario with all of them.
Then may be a different approach is called for?

As a wise man[?] said "if you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got!" Emphasis on a 'QMS' -- a construct with no value -- and on 'certification' will often get the management reaction you have experienced, I agree with that.

What appeals to me and to my fellow senior managers is hearing our quality people talking in our terms, not theirs. Often, the problem is that the quality expert is not "capable of understanding" or communicating well - except about ISO 9000 certification!!
 

SteelMaiden

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
#7
Well, Nosmo, We are lucky that you have graced us with your presence. Without you, I wouldn't have realized just how wrong I've been all these years. Shucks, if I would have just changed my ways long ago, everything would have been perfect. Dag, how could I have been so stupid?

When I grow up, I want to be just like you. Self-righteous and judgemental.:rolleyes:
 
T

Tom Harris

#8
Nosmo King said:

Then may be a different approach is called for?

As a wise man[?] said "if you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got!" Emphasis on a 'QMS' -- a construct with no value -- and on 'certification' will often get the management reaction you have experienced, I agree with that.
IMHO you are correct, Nosmo. If it ain't working, try something else!

Negative or null management reaction to a new concept is often caused by the way the topic is put across by the practitioner. This applies as much to 'quality' as to any other management tool.

PS don't be put off by SteelMaiden's response - just try keep a balanced debate going.
 
T

tomvehoski

#9
Tracey,

I used to be in a similar situation when I was MR in a small company. I used an access database to maintain all of my CARS, including audits. Weekly I routed a summary of all open issues to all managers and executive management. I was lucky that our general manager bought into the program and reviewed the reports on a regular basis. If anything went late, he followed up with the assigned manager without me having to go after people. He would not allow anything to be late, and I would not change a due date unless I was given a good reason with backup material (waiting on lab reports, need capital expenditure, etc.).

You might want to notify your owners about EVERY CAR on a regular basis. This way it will not look like you are "telling" on someone for the ones you don't get back on time. If your top management is involved enought, they should take over the problem of getting middle managers to complete their actions.

Tom
 

Mike S.

Happy to be Alive
Trusted Information Resource
#10
Nosmo King said:

Often, the problem is that the quality expert is not "capable of understanding" or communicating well - except about ISO 9000 certification!!
Does it sound to you like Tracey is "not capable of understanding or communicating well" and that this alleged deficiency is the reason the Boss keeps ignoring the CAR's he/she is responsible for? I don't buy it. I've been there too many times myself. Some folks tend to blame the messenger and say the message wasn't clear enough, but I think that is often a cop out. This guy who is not acting is a BOSS -- a MANAGER. Don't we expect something from them? A show of LEADERSHIP maybe? This reminds me of a thread of months ago. If this MANAGER doesn't understand the importance of CAR's at this stage of the game he/she is probably in way over their head being a manager. If Tracey is mistaken and needs correcting I would expect a MANAGER to speak with her and clear things-up, not ignore her. From the info. given I'd say the "manager" is the one "not capable of understanding or communicating well" in this case.

Regardless, at this point I'd speak to the "manager" personally and get a difinitive answer from him/her -- either they will help resolve the CAR's by such-and-such date or they refuse to cooperate, at which time it would be time to ask the owner what should be done next.
 
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