Decision Matrix to help Operator driven Continuous Improvement

L

lawsotx

#1
Our company has tried many ways to get Operator improvement ideas...but in the past, the ideas submitted generally requested or required that someone else (i.e. Engineering, Facilities/Maint.) really be responsible for handling and implementing the improvement idea. This created issues because these support groups already were working on projects.... and with limited resources, it came down to a matter of prioritization. Often the CI ideas were not implemented, which cause some negative feelings by the operators.

So now it has been determined that each manuf. cell will manage and have ownership of their CI ideas. They will be posted on their Tier boards and the area Supervisor will have the ability to approve/reject those ideas.

found that many of the proposed ideas are in fact potential process changes. The types of things that again would need Engineering resources to determine feasibility, etc. Plus, we also have process change notification agreements with many customers.

So to get to the point...some of us from QA and Engineering are trying to come up with some sort of decision matrix to help the supervisors/operators differentiate between those ideas/suggestions they can implement themselves....and those that need to be passed to Engineering, HSE, Maint, etc. Has anyone had to deal with this kind of issue...any suggestions on how to resolve? Any experience with this type of decision matrix?
 
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K

KLDLetts - 2012

#3
I would be interested in seeing a decision matrix for this too!

That being said, we have recently revamped our CI idea program at our plant. Previously, our operators would submit their idea on a paper form and submit it to their supervisor/crew leader and then it would either be acted upon or lost. (Which is why it needed to be changed). Or the operators would just go ahead and change their process and QA/Engineering/EHS would find out about it when there was a complaint/breakdown/incident. So we had several large gaps in our program.

Now we have an online submission tool for ideas, and have assigned each manager in the plant an area that does not report to them to have the responsibility to follow up on the ideas. We review all submitted ideas at our weekly staff meeting and either approve, decline or request more information for each idea. The idea is then assigned to either the responsible manager or the department that needs to act on it. Our maintenance department then only has to deal with approved ideas, and they are prioritized so that the team doesn't get swamped.
 

Golfman25

Trusted Information Resource
#4
The problems with this type of continuous improvement system is the number of suggestions and them getting
"lost" in the system -- leads to discouragement by the employees, kind of a "why bother" attitude. Two things I have done to help allevate this is a running list of suggestions -- they only get removed when they either have been completed, or otherwised answered by management. Thus, people can see their ideas on the list -- it is not that it was ignored, just may be a lower priority. Second, rather than have a constant stream of various suggestions, we create a "topic" for suggestions. So for example, we'll ask specifically for setup reduction suggestions.

As far as making a determination between self implemented ideas and process changes, you might need a higher level review of the ideas. Anything questionable might have to go to a "review board" to help decide. Could be as simple as asking someone in QA and Engineering what they think. Good luck.
 
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