How do you combat boredom in Quality (in Small company)?

B

Bob_M

#1
OK... I work in a small manufacturing company around 25 people total right now. We've just finished our Upgrade Audit 94-to-2000 (Zero NCs). To the best of our knowlegde overall our systems including the QMS are finally working the way we want them to. (Things are not perfect, but they typically run very smooth including vendors, manufacturing, and customers).
Technically I now have no major QUALITY projects on my horizon.

What do other people with smooth running systems, little to no daily busy work, few projects, and limited daily quality concerns do to keep from being totally bored? Please list ideas OTHER than continual improvement and 6sigma. That's pretty obvious...

Note I'm not totally with out stuff to do (but I'm not the best self starter or self-manager). I am also the company's Engineering and sorta the MIS/computer guy. I also have a very messy office and filing system that needs to be cleaned/organized/fixed. We have an on going Engineering Project and I have some computer projects that are in process or will soon be.

I'm more concerned about becoming TOTALLY bored with my (QUALTIY) job.

For the last 15 months since I became the QM learning ISO, upgrading our system, passing the audits, and getting the QMS up to OUR standards/needs has been my main driving force/goal. Without any other major Quality related goals, I forsee this part of my job getitng very boring :eek: . Being so small, most of our continuous improvements are likely to be small and 6sigma type of projects seem like a waste of limited resources.

Other than working on the small CI projects and trying to learn new quality related tools/info, does anyone have suggests on how to keep from being boring in a 1-person Quality Department that typically has very little to do?
I know I shouldn't complain or ask for trouble (or more work), but I really am worried about being bored at work!
 
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RoxaneB

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
#2
Promote involvement of company employees within the community - tree planting, mentoring, apprenticeship programmes, etc.

5S - judging by the sounds of things, your filing system/desk might be the perfect pilot programme!

Set up an Employee Request System - a suggestion box...topics range in everything from the nasty odour in the change room to H&S concerns to environmental issues.

Implement a Communication Lunch - employees take the last lunch of Friday off to sit down with the big boss who talks about Customers, the market, where things are going, etc. with food and drinks provided by the Company

Malcolm Baldrige - figure out how close you are to being world class!

How's that for starters? :)
 
N
#3
Have a good look at ISO 9004:2000. See if there are ways that the eight management principles can be further integrated into your company. BTW, I find there is a little lull in activity after audits. I think it is normal. You have already discovered one of the ways most of us cope...THE ELSMAR COVE FORUMS. Not hard to see who has too much time on their hands around here;)
 
J

Jimmy Olson

#4
You can avoid boredom by spending all your time on here :vfunny:

It is kind of hard to avoid boredom in quality at times, especially when everything is going so smoothly. Is it wrong of me to want something to go wrong? :vfunny:
 

Wes Bucey

Prophet of Profit
#5
No fires to fight?

Neil said:
. . .
BTW, I find there is a little lull in activity after audits. I think it is normal.
. . .
I think Neil has his finger on the pulse of the situation. After most big projects are complete, we humans have "withdrawal symptoms" because we had become addicted to the adrenelin rush as we scurried to put out all the fires we encountered along the way.

New mothers have been known to have "post partum" depression following the birth of a child. Is giving birth to a successful ISO registration much different in terms of the pain and stress in the months leading up to the certificate of registration?

Now might be a good time to clean up all those niggling little details that didn't seem "important" while you were pursuing the "big picture" of registration. RCBeyette has some interesting suggestions.
 
T

Tom W

#6
Man did you just open yourself up on this one. Try some of the suggestions already or take up yoga. :vfunny:

Actually the continual improvement one isn't really all that bad. I think we talked in the Audit thread about the changing to the system and things like that. You are right to feel bored after the audit and a big series of updates, etc. Through your internal audits you may find some busy work but hopefully not much.

The Cove is a great place to get ideas and solutions to being bored in your relm of quality. The 5S idea is a good one, especially in a small company. You might not have to look to hard for ideas, they seem to pop up quick. Good luck!
 
#7
My biggest fear is that you will appear to be bored. If folks think you have nothing to do, you might end up without a job. I would look for ways to make yourself useful to the organization. Sorta like a utility infielder. Under the banner of TPM, work with maintenance in maintaining equipment. Under the banner of process improvement, help out manufacturing in actually making product. Work with the sales team, or engineering. The key is to make folks like the idea you are around and are willing to help.

My two pennies
 
C

C Emmons

#8
I cant speak for everyone else, but I decided to cope with this through driving my MIS department crazy. Ties in with continual improvement but boredom gave way to thinking up new things to do, and as a result, by internal audit reports are on line, my corrective action system is on line, my management review is going on line, and we put out a new website for our customers and built in an on line complaint system that dumps directly into our CAR program.
Boredom is sometimes a good starting point for new ideas!
 
S

Squid

#9
I can empathize with you, I am bored out of my skull. So now I spend a lot of time on here. I also find myself going out of my way to justify my existence to my bosses. When something comes up, I jump all over it like you know what on you know what. On thing I have found myself doing over and over again is reading all docs in our system, rereading the standard to the point of memorization. Every now and then I will find something we can do differently and then since I am a numbers cruncher by nature I put together feasibilities and spreadsheets for the things I have come up with. Who knows one of these days I might get senior management buy in and then really have something to do. I know this probably doesnt help but who knows. Good luck. Or we can play chess online.......
 
B

Bob_M

#10
db said:
My biggest fear is that you will appear to be bored. If folks think you have nothing to do, you might end up without a job. I would look for ways to make yourself useful to the organization. Sorta like a utility infielder. Under the banner of TPM, work with maintenance in maintaining equipment. Under the banner of process improvement, help out manufacturing in actually making product. Work with the sales team, or engineering. The key is to make folks like the idea you are around and are willing to help.

My two pennies
I definately don't want to appear to have nothing to do. If I'm not doing anything, why do they need me!!

I am very helpful and eager to help others, but I'm looking for things to keep MY department busy.

C Emmons, I am the MIS department (mostly) so I'd be driving myself busy! I do have some computer related ideas. We just started buying some of those 6in1 printers, and we have an old copy of Adobe Acrobat and I have plenty of ideas on how to use the scanner/pdf maker. :)
----
There is stuff I can do but no major QUALITY projects yet.
I guess I am having some withdrawl.
Spending too much time here on anywhere on the web might get me in trouble, espeically since we recently upgraded to a full T1 connections. MUST FIGHT URGES!!! :caution:
---
I will take the suggestions, but please keep them coming. I'm sure I'm not the only bored Quality Manager in a smooth running company. :bonk:
 
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