Internal Process Audits - 7.1 Planning - How do YOU audit it?

normzone

Trusted Information Resource
#1
Several interesting threads fringing on this subject on the front page today, but that's not why I'm here.

I'm here because I think I've identified a weak spot in my auditing practices, and I'm seeking your counsel in how to best approach it.

The usual constraints - small company, limited resources, developmentally adolescent systems.

In my previous lifetime I was sheltered, I suspect. Our external auditor did not dig deeply into the 7.1 Planning of Product Realization, and our efforts to address it were accepted. But now I have a new post at an even smaller company, I'm the QA manager, and we're getting to know a new auditor.

I've always found Planning to be one of those things that everybody feels they do. And, in reviewing the standard, it appears that they do. Sales does some planning, as does Engineering, Purchasing, Materials, Integration & Testing all have a role to play in planning.

So now to the meat of my question. My approach to internal audits is to loosely structure the practices that the company uses to turn customer fantasy into saleable product in process groups to help map how the corn goes through the goose ( or insert analogy of your choice here ).

And in training a new team of internal auditors, I realized I've always given planning short shrift. So the rock I'm stuck on is this: Do I define planning as a process group deserving of it's own audit, or do I acknowledge that it exists across all disciplines by the nature of our business, and sprinkle it's components across the existing process groups ( Management, QA, Sales, Design, Purchasing, Integration / Test, Customer Service ad nauseum?

I am primarily asking for your input on how YOU personally address this. I will not be ungrateful for general advice and philosophic input, but YOUR personal approach is what I'm seeking here.

As always, couldn't do it without you folks - :thanx:
 
Elsmar Forum Sponsor
#2
Well, it depends...:notme:

This is one of those areas where the "one size fits all" approach of the standard, doesn't really work too well, IMHO. The depends is going to be based on what you do - custom work or standard products and this will drive complexity of planning, who gets involved etc.
 

normzone

Trusted Information Resource
#3
We build computers and associated gear for military and commercial applications, so it's a mix of standard and custom for us, heavy on the custom.

Well, perhaps I have just answered my own question. In a search for "auditing 7.1" I turned up this quote from [Randy(Super Moderator)]:

" And please don't waste time auditing 7.1....Audit everything from 7.2.1 to 7.6 that is applicable to your system and that's your proof of verifying 7.1...Pay attention to it though and you'll see what I mean "

So I checked it out and I see what he means - you cover all the ground addressed in 7.1, it's just spread out across the process groups of Management, Sales, Design, Integration & Test, at least when viewed through the rose colored glasses I use to view our organization through.
 
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S

silentrunning

#4
I have never audited any of the point 1 clauses. They seem to be a preview of things to come and are more of an outline of things covered later. Since we are now process auditing it really seems unnecessary.
 
B

bluepagen

#5
I agree with all that has been said, each process has some planning built in. Evident when department meetings are held. But we have a planning department that reviews the enginering specs, any outside process, inspectioin points - first article, in process and final, and any machine operations that have to take place, painting, nde, and then store in the warehouse, where it will be pulled for assembly and testing. This department that reviews all the steps needed, put it on a job router, and the router is what the shop follows. This is our method of planning that we focus on. The operation has all the inputs, with who, with what, a method of measuring effectiveness and outputs. It is a process.

I have been in smaller machine shops when auditing our vendors, and each, regardless of size, has had a job traveler in a clear protector, or a router with drawings or instructions.

Hope this helps.
 
W

Wilderness Woody

#6
Well, perhaps I have just answered my own question. In a search for "auditing 7.1" I turned up this quote from [Randy(Super Moderator)]:

" And please don't waste time auditing 7.1....Audit everything from 7.2.1 to 7.6 that is applicable to your system and that's your proof of verifying 7.1...Pay attention to it though and you'll see what I mean "
.
Very much agree with this perspective... we do not audit 7.1 as we build in planning to all appropriate processes since PCDA cycle is how the real world gets things done!

Supporting processes, shop floor management software environment provide the structure and framework to direct and document planning and execution of product realization. Evidence can be demonstrated through the review of procedures, open and archived plans and retained records (data).
 

somashekar

Staff member
Super Moderator
#7
The system operates on the PDCA cycle and within the system several processes, sub processes or supporting processes also operates on its own PDCA cycle. Each of these processes have inputs, processes these inputs and adds value, and delivers useful outputs for an other process to take it forward.
How much each process have a grip over their inputs, use all the inputs to perform tasks, and deliver all outputs must be very clear to them., and this must be assessed in the auditing.
What are your clear outputs ?
What are your inputs that you process ?
Why do you want them ?
How do you use all of them ?
Do you add your inputs as well ?
What are they ?
How do you get feedback about your outputs ?
How do you use the feedback into your inputs ?
Such questioning and assessing the connections in each response will show the presence of good planning or absence of same.
 
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Big Jim

Super Moderator
#8
There is one topic that you can audit effectively by itself in 7.1, and that is how you plan for production of each work order/traveler/router or whatever you call it in your company. What you do here is the main thing you use to provide control of production for 7.5.1. If you are looking over traveler development before you audit production, you are auditing 7.1.

I view the aspects of planning for 7.1 in both a big picture (macro) perspective and the little picture (micro) perspective. Building the traveler fits the micro planning. It is easy to audit. The big picture planning (macro) may be harder to audit, and may include such things as how big of a facility you need, how many employees are needed, what equipment is needed, what computer system (hardware and software) is needed, and so on.
 
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