Whittling down procedures and processes

C

CallMeBea

#1
I have inherited the administration of the 9001 manual as part of a restructure.

I hope its ok that I disguise the activity of the business and use euphemism I have seen here of a tea making procedure for my examples?

I’m not happy with the way that the processes are at the moment. We have one long register of ‘Business Procedure’, which include everything from Management Review to How to Stir in the Sugar to Process for Ensuring that the Tray is Clean to Controlling the Levels of Teabags in the Pot. They are numbered BP1, BP2, etc up to BP127

I have pulled out all the 6 necessary procedures of the management system and some other useful high level ones and reviewed them with the help of the management team. I’m now kind of at a loss with what to do with the others, they seem more like work instruction or simpler process. It seems they fall into two main categories

- Ones that have been documented ‘for the sake of it’ (I gather my predecessor was pretty good (bad?) at doing this
- Ones that have arisen because there is some problem, for example the Milk Procurement Department was not listening to the Production Department and so there wasn’t available milk in the morning for the tea so some procedure was devised whereby at 4pm every day some assessment will be done and communicated in a certain way between departments.

Some of them are very out of date, others seem to be be up to date, but I don’t know if the working practise reflects what is happening. There is a separate register of Operational Work Instructions for example ‘Operation of the Kettle’, ‘Safe working of the Fridge’ etc and I feel like somehow they should be combined.

Can anyone advise me. I feel a little overwhelmed by these. I don’t want to just randomly make stuff redundant or archive it but it seems some are cross – department so its not a simple matter of just meet with each dept to see what is necessary to keep.

I hope this is the right section also. Its my first time posting so please be gentle!
 
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hogheavenfarm

Quite Involved in Discussions
#2
I have had to do the same. I inherited 77 procedures and 128 forms. I combined similar (necessary) procedures structured along the lines of our major processes (purchasing, design, etc) to end up with 9 written procedures and one category I call "Special Procedures" where everything else went. I then went to work on the forms assigning them to the procedures I had created, then reviewing them for usefulness and necessity. It was narrowed down to about 50. Again, creating the category "Special Item Forms" allowed me to group the single use and project stuff out of the way.
It is an ongoing process, but I continue to eliminate and then combine what I cannot eliminate.
 

Kronos147

Trusted Information Resource
#3
I think there are procedures and work instructions there mixed together.

Procedures, in my opinion, are more high level and deal with addressing requirements.

Work instructions are more about how to get a specific task done, and it is what management uses to train the employees. Work instructions are the proof that the company is not relying on "tribal knowledge" and gives the audit program an ability to 'preview' the audit responses. Work Instructions is a big thing in the Boeing bible. Every audit I had from them as a customer wanted to see these in place.

I suggest you separate the documents accordingly, then audit. The useless stuff can be obsoleted, and the useful stuff reviewed and updated as required.
 

Mark Meer

Trusted Information Resource
#4
A documentation nightmare I'm sure is quite common.

In my experience your situation is difficult to tackle, because, once something is in place, it can be often be difficult to justify getting rid of it.

We've implemented a ton of controls over the years that I personally think are redundant or unneccessary. I've brought this up with higher management, and they're VERY reluctant to discard any controls without ample evidence that it will not impact the system...

So, my suggestions:
1. Conduct a risk-management review of all the stuff you think is just MUDA, to justify that removing them won't negatively impact the system.
2. Discuss with higher-management so they are on board with all the proposed changes.
3. Do the changes piecemeal so that, in the worst case, if the changes DO affect the system, you can pin-point what needs to be reinstated.

Good luck!
 

Mark Meer

Trusted Information Resource
#5
On a related note:

Anyone know what the implications of a "major overhaul" to a certified system is in terms of communicating with your registrar?

In otherwords, if you're planning to re-write, merge, discard, etc. system procedures and forms that were the basis of certification, is there any onus to report this to the registrar? ...or is it ok, as long as all the changes go through the certified system (even if it means that at the end, the system will be drastically different)?
 

Marcelo

Inactive Registered Visitor
#6
Anyone know what the implications of a "major overhaul" to a certified system is in terms of communicating with your registrar?

In otherwords, if you're planning to re-write, merge, discard, etc. system procedures and forms that were the basis of certification, is there any onus to report this to the registrar? ...or is it ok, as long as all the changes go through the certified system (even if it means that at the end, the system will be drastically different)?
It depends on the rules of your certification scheme.

Generally, major overhauls require re-evaluation (and sometimes your registrar may even not allow your certification to be valid until re-evaluated).
 

normzone

Trusted Information Resource
#7
Been there, done that.

It's not enough to have senior management involved - get all the players at the local level together and find out if they're actually doing these things, and if it affects their lives, or if these are just documents created by somebody who liked to write.

I don't think your auditors will have a problem with current documentation that reflects what people are actually doing, and is auditable because it produces results and records.
 
#8
On a related note:

Anyone know what the implications of a "major overhaul" to a certified system is in terms of communicating with your registrar?

In otherwords, if you're planning to re-write, merge, discard, etc. system procedures and forms that were the basis of certification, is there any onus to report this to the registrar? ...or is it ok, as long as all the changes go through the certified system (even if it means that at the end, the system will be drastically different)?
I can't imagine a registrar who would have to "approve" such an improvement! If they do, first off, find another!

Secondly, the only real thing you want to avoid is the "shock factor". If you have had the same auditor and they didn't know you were going to do this, then let them know ahead of time and frame what you have done as an improvement - put it into your management reviews etc. Make sure you've audited the changes too. After that, go ahead and make the changes/improvements. It's YOUR system!
 

John Broomfield

Staff member
Super Moderator
#9
I have inherited the administration of the 9001 manual as part of a restructure.

I hope its ok that I disguise the activity of the business and use euphemism I have seen here of a tea making procedure for my examples?

I’m not happy with the way that the processes are at the moment. We have one long register of ‘Business Procedure’, which include everything from Management Review to How to Stir in the Sugar to Process for Ensuring that the Tray is Clean to Controlling the Levels of Teabags in the Pot. They are numbered BP1, BP2, etc up to BP127

I have pulled out all the 6 necessary procedures of the management system and some other useful high level ones and reviewed them with the help of the management team. I’m now kind of at a loss with what to do with the others, they seem more like work instruction or simpler process. It seems they fall into two main categories

- Ones that have been documented ‘for the sake of it’ (I gather my predecessor was pretty good (bad?) at doing this
- Ones that have arisen because there is some problem, for example the Milk Procurement Department was not listening to the Production Department and so there wasn’t available milk in the morning for the tea so some procedure was devised whereby at 4pm every day some assessment will be done and communicated in a certain way between departments.

Some of them are very out of date, others seem to be be up to date, but I don’t know if the working practise reflects what is happening. There is a separate register of Operational Work Instructions for example ‘Operation of the Kettle’, ‘Safe working of the Fridge’ etc and I feel like somehow they should be combined.

Can anyone advise me. I feel a little overwhelmed by these. I don’t want to just randomly make stuff redundant or archive it but it seems some are cross – department so its not a simple matter of just meet with each dept to see what is necessary to keep.

I hope this is the right section also. Its my first time posting so please be gentle!
Bea,

I would start again. You can then engage the users in developing their process-based management system so the system that actually runs the business also conforms with the standard.

Invite the users to identify the useful documents and archive the rest.

Clause 4.1 is the key and was probably ignored thus far by your predessor and your auditors.

Search the Cove for tips on developing a process-based management system.

John
 
Last edited:

Helmut Jilling

Auditor / Consultant
#10
I have inherited the administration of the 9001 manual as part of a restructure.

I hope its ok that I disguise the activity of the business and use euphemism I have seen here of a tea making procedure for my examples?

I?m not happy with the way that the processes are at the moment. We have one long register of ?Business Procedure?, which include everything from Management Review to How to Stir in the Sugar to Process for Ensuring that the Tray is Clean to Controlling the Levels of Teabags in the Pot. They are numbered BP1, BP2, etc up to BP127

I have pulled out all the 6 necessary procedures of the management system and some other useful high level ones and reviewed them with the help of the management team. I?m now kind of at a loss with what to do with the others, they seem more like work instruction or simpler process. It seems they fall into two main categories

- Ones that have been documented ?for the sake of it? (I gather my predecessor was pretty good (bad?) at doing this
- Ones that have arisen because there is some problem, for example the Milk Procurement Department was not listening to the Production Department and so there wasn?t available milk in the morning for the tea so some procedure was devised whereby at 4pm every day some assessment will be done and communicated in a certain way between departments.

Some of them are very out of date, others seem to be be up to date, but I don?t know if the working practise reflects what is happening. There is a separate register of Operational Work Instructions for example ?Operation of the Kettle?, ?Safe working of the Fridge? etc and I feel like somehow they should be combined.

Can anyone advise me. I feel a little overwhelmed by these. I don?t want to just randomly make stuff redundant or archive it but it seems some are cross ? department so its not a simple matter of just meet with each dept to see what is necessary to keep.

I hope this is the right section also. Its my first time posting so please be gentle!
It certainly sounds like you have a mess. Here are some basic suggestions, but it really sounds like you would benefit from a little training and understanding first...

1. Redefine your processes. Some are the business processes - Sales, Engineering, Purchasing, Manufacturing, Warehousing, Shipping. Other processes are adminstrative - Management, Quality, Maintenance, Training, Calibration, Internal Audits, Corrective Action, etc.

2. Align your existing documents to the processes you just redefined in step 1. They have to belong to ONE of your processes. If they belong to two or more, you will need to modify that one to make it align with one process.

3. Some processes will have too many documents, after you do the exercise in step 2. Those should be deleted, combined, streamlined or whatever seems appropriate.

It is about the processes, not the procedures. Focus on the processes and let the documents line up with them.

Good luck...
 
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