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Informational Internal Audits - Wear multiple hats what can and can't I audit (so I'm not auditing my own work)

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And the managers should be engaged in the audit to have them witness this travesty! Once the see if for what it's worth, the action is going to be swift in understanding why and thus remediated. Anything else, and you will clearly have identified a cultural issue (if people can't speak about their process in front of management there's a problem) which will be in need of urgent action.

Doing audits without the full engagement of top management will simply ensure the QMS is NEVER seen as a means to improve business performance, that everything is done simply to keep a certificate (of dubious value) on the wall and that employees see managements' "commitment" as more rhetoric.
On one hand this is exactly what I'm hoping for - to expose a problem that some employees have no idea we have processes or choose to ignore them(I have no question this is the reality). Here is my concern though, some of these people have been with the company for more than 10 years and are very well respected - they feel the way the business was run when there were 5 of us was better than it is today with processes, and ISO certifications. They think ISO and quality is a waste of time. So I would expect a lot of emotions when this situation is confronted / exposed. The manager typically hides this from auditors(although also complains how difficult it is to work with these people), and I'm not sure how a well respected employee is going to respond when it becomes evident they have no clue as to what our processes are and it's going to be documented and reviewed by the management team. Keep in mind a lot of people at our company still feel ISO and quality are silly bureaucracy and I'm trying to change that, and I'm a bit afraid we're going to alienate these people further... Maybe conflict is inevitable, rip the bandaid off?
 

Ninja

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they feel the way the business was run when there were 5 of us was better than it is today with processes, and ISO certifications. They think ISO and quality is a waste of time. So I would expect a lot of emotions when this situation is confronted / exposed. The manager typically hides this from auditors(although also complains how difficult it is to work with these people), and I'm not sure how a well respected employee is going to respond when it becomes evident they have no clue as to what our processes are and it's going to be documented and reviewed by the management team. Keep in mind a lot of people at our company still feel ISO and quality are silly bureaucracy and I'm trying to change that, and I'm a bit afraid we're going to alienate these people further...
One mans view (mine)...

It sounds like ISO was laid over the top of things, and now it's getting a few holes in it and reality is shining through.

Step 1: For you alone...Answer this question: "Why should the employees care?" Your answer has to be in the normal language of those employees.​
Step 2: Get management on board with the reality that they "did ISO" poorly, and that the best solution is to embrace it over again from scratch.​
Step 3: Bounce your answer from #1 off of the line workers and see what kind of colorful responses you get...then revise it and try again...​
It isn't "quality"...it's doing the job right and having something to be proud of...powder puffs with ties on use the word "ISO"...lets get real here...show me the difference between the new guy's junk and your good work...we need to understand how you do it so well and the new guys cant.
Old time employees don't care about ISO...but they do care about doing something to be proud of (most of them IME).
Step 4: Build your QMS from the ground up, starting with those well respected employees...but in the boundary of the standard.​
Then all of the sudden you don't have this problem anymore, and you have a supportive workforce that don't fight you...and you're a hero.

Step 5: ask for a raise.​

Aside: No, I'm not calling the auditors or quality professionals here "powder puffs"...but that is often what the old time employees perceive...many by desire to grumble, many from the mismatched vocabulary.

HTH
 

Coury Ferguson

Moderator here to help
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On one hand this is exactly what I'm hoping for - to expose a problem that some employees have no idea we have processes or choose to ignore them(I have no question this is the reality). Here is my concern though, some of these people have been with the company for more than 10 years and are very well respected - they feel the way the business was run when there were 5 of us was better than it is today with processes, and ISO certifications.
Make sure to can support that with other interviews with others. 1 Person isn't enough to identify a possible existence of a failure, in my opinion.
 
On one hand this is exactly what I'm hoping for - to expose a problem that some employees have no idea we have processes or choose to ignore them(I have no question this is the reality). Here is my concern though, some of these people have been with the company for more than 10 years and are very well respected - they feel the way the business was run when there were 5 of us was better than it is today with processes, and ISO certifications. They think ISO and quality is a waste of time. So I would expect a lot of emotions when this situation is confronted / exposed. The manager typically hides this from auditors(although also complains how difficult it is to work with these people), and I'm not sure how a well respected employee is going to respond when it becomes evident they have no clue as to what our processes are and it's going to be documented and reviewed by the management team. Keep in mind a lot of people at our company still feel ISO and quality are silly bureaucracy and I'm trying to change that, and I'm a bit afraid we're going to alienate these people further... Maybe conflict is inevitable, rip the bandaid off?
Look, they had "processes" when they were 5 people. They just didn't call them that. They called it purchasing or production or whatever. Then ISO comes along and adds all this nonsense language they need to understand. Strip the ISO away. Everything is still all there. Always has, always will be. We had the same issue. As soon as I took ISO out of the conversation and focused on good business practices everything was put in place. They employees have no clue they are complying with ISO -- because they aren't. ISO could go away tomorrow, we would still do what we do.
 
I disagree with you on this.

Let me give a life experience here.

I performed an Internal audit last week. I looked at 10 identified process.

During the Leadership (one of the processes) interviews it was found that this information (Quality Objectives) was not flowed down to the floor level. It was admitted to by the Management Team. This also was validated by interviewing floor personnel. They knew where the Policy was, but had no idea what the Quality Objectives of the Organization were. This just supported my conclusion that paragraph 7.3 was not met. This was documented as a minor area of concern in the audit report.

Am I still going down the wrong path here?
In your case they had no reason to know because nobody told them. That's different from the formal "Quality Objectives of the Organization" vs. how is your department measured, or what are your numbers.
 
when it becomes evident they have no clue as to what our processes are
But this isn't an accurate statement is it? Of course they know the processes! They do them every day. What they actually do, may not be reflected accurately in the documentation or it may be accurate but not user friendly. THAT'S what needs fixing. People will tell you all day long about what they do - rarely does the QMS capture that - for many reasons. If you approach it that you DO good stuff and the QMS needs fixed, they will help.
 

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Well, picture this. A start engineer that won't commit his code to the source code repository. This repeatedly winds up with other engineers begging him to check his code in because they keep having to rewrite it, after they realize the bug he fixed is a bug again because they don't have his fix(ownership is well aware of this). This engineer is super talented and the owner thinks he is god, so puts up with it.

The company has asked repeatedly for him to follow processes - submit PTO requests so we can track when he is in the office, and when he is off and how much time he has used, nope he's got better things to do. The company gets a large tax credit for R&D hrs and asks all engineers to submit their time weekly - nope he's got better things to do he'll fudge his hrs when the owner says he needs them for tax purposes. We want ECOs in order to push changes to production, nope why would he need any approval / review, he's way smarter than anyone else(this actually stopped after enough push back). When the bureaucrats aren't around he'll goof on the dumb inefficient processes they create at lunch, and unfortunately if the owner is apart of the group laughing - he wants to fit in, and he doesn't want to upset his start engineer.

A lot of the young guys look up to him - he's their leader. They think he's cool that he doesn't follow the rules - stick it to the man :) Whenever an auditor comes around, only the manager is allowed to talk to the auditor and the manager covers up all of this(we have processes and we have records, and I'll fast talk you out of any possible finding you think you might have or I'll fudge the record as soon as you look the other way). When auditors ask to talk to engineers, the answer is they have a tight deadline tomorrow they are not available, the manager can answer any questions you have... To be fair their are engineers that see the problem with this approach and are seeing value in quality / ISO to varying degrees(I'm trying to win these people over).

So in our internal audit we could go talk to the star engineer and his followers and expose this problem formally, is that a bad idea or a good idea?

I exaggerated a little here to make my point, but for the most part what I said is pretty accurate. Oh and by the way the manager that hides him from auditors is afraid of him and complains about him often, but because the manager knows the owner thinks he's god, it's just a big ugly political game... By the way there are multiple owners and one of them is pretty close to alignment with myself, but wouldn't want to upset the other owner that is close to the star engineer.
 
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Ninja

Looking for Reality
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A start engineer that won't commit his code to the source code repository. This repeatedly winds up with other engineers begging him to check his code in because they keep having to rewrite it, after they realize the bug he fixed is a bug again because they don't have his fix
Seems pretty simple binary solution...
1. Discipline - We do things this way, and if you don't, you must not work here. (obviously not the preferred choice)
2. Assist - Someone else commits the corrected code since he wont.

Leaving it uncommitted wastes everyone else's time...which translates to money (labor time wasted)...which impacts the company.
The company requires it, or the company does not require it.
If it is required, he either does it, or someone else does it in his stead.
 
Embedded: All what you described costs money. Pure and simple. The management clearly don't know what that costs them. If you can enlist the help of the CFO, estimate the cost of a year of all these work arounds. That'll get the CFO's attention and usually they have an upper hand. If not? Tidy up your resume...
 


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