Continuous Improvement in ISO 9001:2000 - Separate Procedure Required?

Raffy

Quite Involved in Discussions
#1
Continuous Improvement

With the inclusion of Continuous Improvement in ISO9000:2000, Does it mean that we have to generate a separate procedure for Continuous Improvement? Any samples? Please comment.
Thanks in advance,
Raffy
 
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Kevin Mader

One of THE Original Covers!
Staff member
Admin
#2
I see a continuing theme amongst contributors (as presented in Raffy’s request for Continuous Improvement) regarding the inclusion of specific procedures for activities. I have these thoughts.

First, ISO9000:2000 is generally specific about what documents must appear in your Quality Program. It is also clear that we should prepare documents as appropriate. Here is the problem. What is ‘appropriate’? The answer: different for everyone. There is no one single answer.

It would be difficult for anyone to say what is appropriate for anyone else’s Quality Program, at least with any strong degree of certainty. Respondents do their best here to offer their personal insights, and from what I have read, done a pretty nice job at it. Still, this sometimes leads to bad results. It is clear to me that the requester must understand that the responses are meant to help them, not govern them, in their decisions. The requester must understand what it is the Standard is asking. It would be simple for me to say, “Yes Raffy, create a procedure or if you would like, I’ll send you mine.” The harm comes when the requester plugs in a solution but does not understand why to plug it in or not to. What worked well elsewhere might not in another situation. Slight modifications to complete transformations of the procedure might be necessary. Who would know?

So the question is, “Do the folks in your organization need this procedure to do their work properly?” If the answer is yes, create the procedure. If no (and not a stipulated requirement), then don’t. Folks that don’t ask this question generally create monstrous Quality Programs that folks will not read or keep up to date. The bear trap snaps! You have a problem.

There is nothing wrong with requesting forms or procedures from folks here at the Cove or elsewhere for that matter. Comparisons and evaluations might lead you to insights of your own and are important. You may even elect to use a received document unchanged. What is important is that those with responsibility act responsibly and do the work necessary to understand the requirements of the Standard, the Organization, and most importantly, the Customer. These factors and more will shape your decisions.

Someone else long ago here at the Cove mentioned training (perhaps it was Barb). I echo that statement. A well trained and educated workforce (and I don’t necessarily mean “Degreed” people) will supplant the need for procedures. Training on Continuous Improvement, the tools and methodologies, would go further than a document few would read. Still, it is important to understand that standardization of processes is a very important in the elimination of variation. It does not stand by itself. A balanced approach with good risk management should yield desired results.

Just my thoughts. I would like to thank Raffy for asking the question.

Regards,

Kevin
 
D

Dan Larsen

#3
Kudos (again) Kevin. Well said and nothing to add :)

Except for the fact that I "borrowed" your thoughts for my future reference (I will give you credit, Sir!)

Dan
 

Kevin Mader

One of THE Original Covers!
Staff member
Admin
#4
Please borrow. I do quite often from the contributions here. Lots of ways at looking at things, many that I have not seen. Lots to learn.

Common questions like Raffy's often bring out solid thinking from the group. I enjoy seeing them.

Kevin
 

Raffy

Quite Involved in Discussions
#5
Hi Kevin,
Thank you for your immediate response. You're right regarding what is actually appropriate for a certain system. And I don't have a clear view what could be appropriate in our system, but now with the answers that i've received...now...I got a clearer picture, probably I could discuss this from our group.
Actually we have a continuous improvement that were been discussed during our management review, however there is no procedure on how to make one. But we speak in general terms, e.g. transition between hard copy to electronic media... etc.
For the question,"Do the folks in your organization need this procedure to do their work properly? Yes, for us to have a standard to follow.
Can you send me a copy of the procedure on continuous improvement? and can I also borrow your thoughts for my future reference?
Thank you very much.
Raffy
 
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