Job Titles referenced in Procedures

#1
We are a small business, so many staff members serve in different functions (wear different hats so to speak)

We are in the process of updating the system manual for IATF. I am running into a lot of procedures and instructions that reference job titles that simply have never existed at the company. For example, the purchasing processes references a Purchasing Manager as having the responsibility for that process. We haven't had a person with that title in the 15 years I have been here. In the past, the General Manager was considered the "acting" Purchasing Manager.

I considered this update as a good time to change the process owners and responsibilities to the titles of the actual people in those roles. I was surprised at the level of push back I have received on this change. The MR, who updates the manual, is very upset. "You're turning the system manual into job descriptions!" "Every time we add a new position, we have to change the instructions?!"

I honestly thought the responsibilities were vague and misleading because of templates used as the basis for the manual before my tenure there. I didn't realize they were written that way intentionally. I still think its the wrong way to go, in my opinion. The way I am reading the standard is the process owners need to be clearly identified, and there should be evidence of their competence in that role. To me, listing a title that no one has occupied for decades would be a non-conformance to that requirement.
 

Sebastian

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#2
Instruction describing activities have to identify roles (positions) in organization which perform them. Job description creates link between individual person, its position and these activities. In companies with corporate culture, revision of job description does not require change of instruction. In companies with very basic organizational structure, it can be opposite.
Section 5.3 requires assignation of responsibilities and authorities, so job description can be evidence of addressing this requirement. It also requires its communication within organisation, so how do we communicate "who is who" in instructions we have, when positions do not match? Additionally there is requirement e) which clearly requires review/revision of our system when e.g. position changes are planned.
 
#3
Use job titles in the procedures, and have a separate list of people and the roles they currently undertake. That way you only need to update the list when (for example) you appoint a "real" Purchasing Manager.
 

AndyN

A problem shared...
Staff member
Super Moderator
#4
We are a small business, so many staff members serve in different functions (wear different hats so to speak)

We are in the process of updating the system manual for IATF. I am running into a lot of procedures and instructions that reference job titles that simply have never existed at the company. For example, the purchasing processes references a Purchasing Manager as having the responsibility for that process. We haven't had a person with that title in the 15 years I have been here. In the past, the General Manager was considered the "acting" Purchasing Manager.

I considered this update as a good time to change the process owners and responsibilities to the titles of the actual people in those roles. I was surprised at the level of push back I have received on this change. The MR, who updates the manual, is very upset. "You're turning the system manual into job descriptions!" "Every time we add a new position, we have to change the instructions?!"

I honestly thought the responsibilities were vague and misleading because of templates used as the basis for the manual before my tenure there. I didn't realize they were written that way intentionally. I still think its the wrong way to go, in my opinion. The way I am reading the standard is the process owners need to be clearly identified, and there should be evidence of their competence in that role. To me, listing a title that no one has occupied for decades would be a non-conformance to that requirement.
I'd agree! Does your "MR" understand the requirements? Certainly a good auditor might well make an issue as you suggest, but it sounds like this also happened under ISO/TS 16949 - so don't hold your breath! How have your internal audits dealt with this misalignment of responsibilities? Didn't it ever become an internal nonconformity?
 
#5
In retrospect, I think it should have been changed long ago. It had come up numerous times, but changes never were approved. After our top management change, I have been given ownership of the manual. This major update seems like a great opportunity to change it, and the increased emphasis on process ownership and competence gives me further justification to make these instructions reflect reality. The MR, who is one of our owners, is the only one that can actually change the documentation though.

The MR took an overview class for IATF with me. I also took the IATF Internal Auditor training as well, and have been an auditor for more decades than I care to admit. I doubt she has actually read the standard however.

We are having a meeting to discuss it on Wednesday. It just boggles my mind that this is where I hit resistance, and to the screaming level. I am just getting started. I may have to add Kevlar to my wardrobe before this is over.
 
#7
I
We are having a meeting to discuss it on Wednesday. It just boggles my mind that this is where I hit resistance, and to the screaming level. I am just getting started. I may have to add Kevlar to my wardrobe before this is over.
Kevlar ? You kids today have it easy - back when I first got into the field, Kevlar had not been invented yet. Each day before we left work we had to check under our cars for new wires with a mirror - uphill, both ways, in the snow :D
 
#8
In procedures mention job positions acronyms.
Use job descriptions where responsibilities and authorities are set, also mention the acronym defined for each job positions.one person may wear several hats (positions ).
Hope this helps
 

Colin

Quite Involved in Discussions
#9
I agree with the general sentiment here - roles, responsibilities and authorities need to be defined. If you are getting push back for trying to put them in procedures (lets face it, no one likes too much in procedures), you could draw up a responsibility matrix, it would also help in terms of ensuring that you know where your weaknesses may be regarding organisational knowledge too.

When I am writing procedures, I usually have a responsibilities section up front where I briefly outline who the key players are and what their involvement is. That way, it doesn't impact much on the content of the procedure.
 
#10
We are a small business, so many staff members serve in different functions (wear different hats so to speak)

We are in the process of updating the system manual for IATF. I am running into a lot of procedures and instructions that reference job titles that simply have never existed at the company. For example, the purchasing processes references a Purchasing Manager as having the responsibility for that process. We haven't had a person with that title in the 15 years I have been here. In the past, the General Manager was considered the "acting" Purchasing Manager.

I considered this update as a good time to change the process owners and responsibilities to the titles of the actual people in those roles. I was surprised at the level of push back I have received on this change. The MR, who updates the manual, is very upset. "You're turning the system manual into job descriptions!" "Every time we add a new position, we have to change the instructions?!"

I honestly thought the responsibilities were vague and misleading because of templates used as the basis for the manual before my tenure there. I didn't realize they were written that way intentionally. I still think its the wrong way to go, in my opinion. The way I am reading the standard is the process owners need to be clearly identified, and there should be evidence of their competence in that role. To me, listing a title that no one has occupied for decades would be a non-conformance to that requirement.
A agree with your people. Think of it in terms of functions, not titles. Your problem is if you put say, GM as "purchasing manager" what happens when you hire a true Purchasing Manager? Now you have to change everything. Or worse, when you make the GM the President and go without a GM -- now you're changing everything again.

Most organizations have the same basic functions: Purchasing, engineering, production, etc. Keep your procedures at the functional level. You can then highlight who wears what hat separately. You then you have the flexibility to divvy up responsibilities and functions without going back into procedures. Good luck
 

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