What can I show as evidence of Continual (Continuous) Improvement?

Anerol C

Trusted Information Resource
#1
Hi to All,

The company that I'm working on is being audited for ISO 9000 certification during this week, tomorrow Continual Improvement will be audited? I'm not sure what is the correct evidence to show that we are continual improving or what should I show to the auditor in order to demonstrate that we meet ISO 9000 requirement? :confused:

Are metrics enough to show continual improvement? What if some of those metrics are not being improved? Please advice,
Thank you very much for your time...........
 
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BradM

Staff member
Admin
#2
Re: What can I show as evidence of Continual Improvement?

Hello Anerol!

I would think that your measurements would be something you have already been keeping track of. Saying, that your improvement would be something management would be interested in. But hey, sometimes things are what they are.:D

Over the past 12 months, has your QMS benefited your organization? How has it benefited?

Has customer complaints gone down?
Has scrap rate gone down?

Do you have any control charts showing that your processes have improved and become more stable?

You mentioned some metrics not being improved. Why? Do you need to develop a better game plan, or was the target/optimal value achieved? Were their improvement goals met?

Hopefully, the organization has improved with the QMS; otherwise it could be argued that it is producing no value. Be able to demonstrate how the organization has improved.:2cents:
 

Anerol C

Trusted Information Resource
#3
Re: What can I show as evidence of Continual Improvement?

I would say that in general the company has been benefited from QMS, e.g one year ago we didn't have an electronic document contol/ CAPA system, we didn't have a formal school and qualification program for welders, there were not a calibration system in place... (Can I mention this during the audit?).

For the metrics: Customer complaints have been reduced almost 50% compared with last year, training hours per employee have been increased....

But has I commented there are other metrics that are not being met, action are being taken but I don't think they are doing dramatic changes to current status......

AC
 

BradM

Staff member
Admin
#4
Re: What can I show as evidence of Continual Improvement?

Well... I certainly would not hide anything. But... I also would not freely offer your sub-optimal measurements of success.:agree1: However, stating deficiencies/gaps in your system that have been fulfilled since a year ago is continual improvement, IMHO.

The reduction in customer complaints is a good one. In the first paragraph, you mentioned increased systems, training, and a calibration program. Do you have fewer failures due to inconsistent approach? Have you had less rejected material due to inadequate measuring equipment? Are there a few more measurements that show improvement within your system?
 
C

Craig H.

#5
Re: What can I show as evidence of Continual Improvement?

I would say that in general the company has been benefited from QMS, e.g one year ago we didn't have an electronic document contol/ CAPA system, we didn't have a formal school and qualification program for welders, there were not a calibration system in place... (Can I mention this during the audit?).

For the metrics: Customer complaints have been reduced almost 50% compared with last year, training hours per employee have been increased....

But has I commented there are other metrics that are not being met, action are being taken but I don't think they are doing dramatic changes to current status......

AC
ALL of these are evidence of improvement. The fact that you are measuring something is an improvement, even if efforts to improve the measurement have been unsuccessful. (Sorry, Brad, can we agree to disagree?)
 

Patricia Ravanello

Quite Involved in Discussions
#6
Re: What can I show as evidence of Continual Improvement?

Hi to All,

The company that I'm working on is being audited for ISO 9000 certification during this week, tomorrow Continual Improvement will be audited? I'm not sure what is the correct evidence to show that we are continual improving or what should I show to the auditor in order to demonstrate that we meet ISO 9000 requirement? :confused:

Are metrics enough to show continual improvement? What if some of those metrics are not being improved? Please advice,
Thank you very much for your time...........
Hello Anerol,

Your performance metrics are the best tangible evidence of continual improvement, but you must first understand the difference between corrective action and continual improvement.

When you define your metric objectives and monitor performance, any actions taken to move the process performance toward the "objective" are considered "corrective actions"...since you are not yet at your objective.

Once your reach your Objective, any actions taken to further improve your process performance may be considered "continual improvement".

That is why, when reviewing your performance metrics, if your stated objectives have been met, the next question managers need to ask themselves is, "Does an opportunity for Continual Improvement exist, what would it be...do we have the resources to implement it?". Any action then taken to further enhance performance is an improvement.

Contrary to what some of the others are implying, simply reducing "customer complaints" by 50%, while admirable, is not an "improvement" until you've actually meet your stated/planned objective.

Regards,
Patricia Ravanello
 
C

Craig H.

#7
Re: What can I show as evidence of Continual Improvement?

Hello Anerol,

Your performance metrics are the best tangible evidence of continual improvement, but you must first understand the difference between corrective action and continual improvement.

When you define your metric objectives and monitor performance, any actions taken to move the process performance toward the "objective" are considered "corrective actions"...since you are not yet at your objective.

Once your reach your Objective, any actions taken to further improve your process performance may be considered "continual improvement".

That is why, when reviewing your performance metrics, if your stated objectives have been met, the next question managers need to ask themselves is, "Does an opportunity for Continual Improvement exist, what would it be...do we have the resources to implement it?". Any action then taken to further enhance performance is an improvement.

Contrary to what some of the others are implying, simply reducing "customer complaints" by 50%, while admirable, is not an "improvement" until you've actually meet your stated/planned objective.

Regards,
Patricia Ravanello
I respectfully disagree. Any movement toward the goal is an improvement from where we started.
 

BradM

Staff member
Admin
#8
Re: What can I show as evidence of Continual Improvement?

Contrary to what some of the others are implying, simply reducing "customer complaints" by 50%, while admirable, is not an "improvement" until you've actually meet your stated/planned objective.

Regards,
Patricia Ravanello
Why wouldn't it be? Let's assume my stated objective is to have a customer complaint value of say 14%. It's running at 32% now, but that's way better than the 51% a year ago. That is a metric, measurable, and objectively demonstrates an improvement.
 

Stijloor

Staff member
Super Moderator
#9
Re: What can I show as evidence of Continual Improvement?

Contrary to what some of the others are implying, simply reducing "customer complaints" by 50%, while admirable, is not an "improvement" until you've actually meet your stated/planned objective.

Regards,
Patricia Ravanello
Patricia,

A personal example if I may....

I used to weigh 275 pounds. (I am 6' 3" tall)
In May 2003 I started a weight losing process.
My personal objective was 200 pounds.
I modified my eating and moving habits.
In December 2003, I reached my objective of 200 pounds.
I feel that I have improved considerably.

What do consider my process: Continual Improvement or Corrective Action?

Just curious....;)

Stijloor.
 

Patricia Ravanello

Quite Involved in Discussions
#10
Re: What can I show as evidence of Continual Improvement?

I respectfully disagree. Any movement toward the goal is an improvement from where we started.
Why wouldn't it be? Let's assume my stated objective is to have a customer complaint value of say 14%. It's running at 32% now, but that's way better than the 51% a year ago. That is a metric, measurable, and objectively demonstrates an improvement.
Hi Craig and Brad,

You're both right...in street language, going from 32% to 14% is an improvement.

But, you're wrong in ISO-speak...you're not in an "improvement" mode, until you've actually achieved your objectives. Then, any action taken to further enhance performance is a "continual improvement".

Out of curiosity, how do you distiguish between a corrective action and a continual improvement?

Patricia
 
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