Several Nonconformances with same Root Cause with just one CA

Q

QAMTY

#1
Hi all

Please advise on the next

In an internal audit, we resulted with several nonconformities, and all of them ocurred because the key personnel on those positions left the company
e.g.
Production process: A follow-up of the production was not performed, because that person had left the company at that time.

Quality Inspection: some products were not inspected, because, the person in that position was absent.

What the company did, was to assign persons temporarily in that positions to finish the jobs.

There were 6 cases similar to this.
In my opinion , I think I can do a CA, of one NC, and determining that the root causes can be , persons absent, and as action plan, this is a task for HR, to solve why people is leaving the company.

Do you think is possible? I don´t want to make all the CA, more papers, more follow-up, more time consuming, if finally the root cause would be the same.

In the CA problem field, I´ll refer all the Audit reports, instead of writing each finding.

Please advise on this
Thanks
 
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Bev D

Heretical Statistician
Staff member
Super Moderator
#2
Re: Several nc´s same rooot cause with just one CA?

You can have one CA, but the cause is not that the person left the company and the solution doesn't belong to HR to keep people from leaving the company. you - and your organization need to think about this differently, you need to dig deeper as to cause and solution. People will always be leaving - they get sick, pregnant, get a better job offer, retire or they die.

think about the situations: when the person left why wasn't there someone else who could do the job? what prompted management to assign an untrained, or less capable person to complete the job?

you may have an employee retention problem (excessive turnover) and that would be a separate effort to solve...
 

hogheavenfarm

Quite Involved in Discussions
#3
Re: Several Nonconformances with same Root Cause with just one CA?

This is more of a systemic issue, not a local one. Retention of tribal knowledge is a system that either was not in place or was not utilized. Competency issues are also involved if untrained people were moved into positions they did not understand and were not trained for. I see more than one root cause here. If one of our welders calls in sick and we have the painting guy do some welding, we have created a potential nonconformance environment.
Maybe we have cross trained the painter to perform welding, in that case we are fine. Maybe we have detailed procedures that anyone can follow, either way, those issues need to be addressed, and should be part of your QMS system.
 
P

PaulJSmith

#5
Re: Several Nonconformances with same Root Cause with just one CA?

You might want to examine each of these instances individually, rather than assuming upfront that they are the same thing. Going into a RCCA investigation with preconceived notions is rarely a good thing. Investigate each one in-depth, and let the results decide if they are from the same root cause.

Production process: A follow-up of the production was not performed, because that person had left the company at that time.
Are you sure this is a personnel issue? Do you have a plan in place to cover duties for separated personnel? If so, is cross training adequate?

Quality Inspection: some products were not inspected, because, the person in that position was absent.
Same questions as above, except regarding absenteeism. Also, how well is your Release of Product process working if this can happen?

What the company did, was to assign persons temporarily in that positions to finish the jobs.
Here is an opportunity to review your training system. How were those people chosen? Was training adequate?

There were 6 cases similar to this.
In my opinion , I think I can do a CA, of one NC, and determining that the root causes can be , persons absent, and as action plan, this is a task for HR, to solve why people is leaving the company.
It is good that your internal audit process is finding these things. Unfortunately, it is less good that similar circumstances happened 6 times, and it wasn't caught until you performed an internal audit. Your periodic monitoring system might benefit from a review as well.

I am not convinced that what you have is an HR problem. There might indeed be a problem there, but it looks to me like it is only contributing to greater systemic issues.

Do you think is possible? I don´t want to make all the CA, more papers, more follow-up, more time consuming, if finally the root cause would be the same.
If they all turn out to be the same, there's no reason you cannot address it this way. Again, though, I would perform separate investigations and let the data come to that conclusion.

In the CA problem field, I´ll refer all the Audit reports, instead of writing each finding.
I, personally, would not do that. I like documents to be as stand-alone self sufficient as possible. Reference it? Absolutely. Rely on it for the details? Not me. If it works for you in your system, though, go for it.

That's my :2cents::2cents::2cents:.
 
Q

QAMTY

#6
Re: Several Nonconformances with same Root Cause with just one CA?

Thanks to all of you, your inputs are very appreciated.
 

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Staff member
Admin
#7
Lots of good responses so far. :agree1:

It may be true that there is a common factor (key personnel) in these NCs, but as has been pointed out, this is a system issue. The questions become:

1) Who is assigned responsibility to do what? (Resources)
1a) How do these assigned persons know they are expected to do XYZ at any given time? (Planning)
2) How has the organization prepared to have adequate coverage of persons to do XYZ? (Resources, planning, scheduling, plus competency - cross training?)
3) What arrangement is in place to prompt a substitute of X competent substitute, without disrupting that person's required scheduled outputs? (Planning)

Yes, Randy is correct that this is management of change, but that is a big subject. The organization needs to decide who, and how persons are to fit into a schedule in times of need. A matrix approach can help with this sort of planning, but in itself may not be enough. Cross training can be the key factor, but the cross trained person must also be available. I have a client who actually keeps track of how many skills and tasks they load people with, in order to help them understand when they have stretched too far.
 

Big Jim

Super Moderator
#8
Something that should be standing out here is that this is not a problem for lower management to resolve. Top management needs to take responsibility for something like this and look for meaningful answers, not just something to patch things up until the next crisis.

I have the sense that trying to pin this on the same root cause may be an attempt to patch it up and move on without real improvement. I could be wrong, but that's my tingling.
 
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