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Author Topic:   Wrestling The Bull By The Horns
Joe_1
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posted 26 January 2000 08:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Joe_1   Click Here to Email Joe_1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ahhh, the neverending saga of QS9000. Well, here I am once again with, you guessed it, a problem. As mentioned, we are a medium sized machine shop that hosts both CNC and Conventional machinery. We do all types of job shop work and also do "production" type runs of parts. We are both ISO9000 and QS9000 certified as of Sept. 19, 1999. Well, you know how the hype gets built up before the big show, everyone's excited and all of the key players are giving you their 100% support and effort in obtaining this goal. Once the "big show" is over, and you recieve your certification, all of a sudden, there's no more support from the key players of the organization. Now everything's back to normal. Product must be going out the door, no matter if whe haven't completed all of the steps defined in our quality system. "this job's a hot one, must go, no time for inprocess inspections" or "this job doesn't make us enough money to have an inprocess inspection". These are some of the attitudes towards the QS now. It's like the management has given up after the battle's been won!! My question to you is, does this seem to be a "trend" in other companies after succesful registration? Or is this place just gone plain bananas? Also, what would happen if our registrar were to come in tomorrow for a "survelience" audit? Please give me some senarios on what could happen here if this "mindset" continues? Thank you. B
J_1
PS: Mark, the forum is a truly great thing. I have turned here for many, many useful tips and opinions on the ever so confusing QS9000 quality system. The word is spreading, and I'm sure this forum will continue to grow. Thanks.

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Spaceman Spiff
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posted 26 January 2000 08:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spaceman Spiff   Click Here to Email Spaceman Spiff     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My past experience in the automotive industry is similar to what you are going through. Once the battle is won, we (the organization) fell asleep. Oh, sure ISO/QS was mentioned, only as a blunt instruments to beat someone into submission, when it is convenient. Such tactics reduced the certification to a trophy, not a way for life. Certification does not equal change of behavior. Things returned to the way it was prior to certification.

However, the manufacturing group is not totally at fault for the state of erosion. Some of the root causes is that the system was too rigid, either by design or by some rediculous customer requirements (i.e., QS-9000). In the current state of business of running lean and mean in manufacturing (same amount of work with less people) some of the grandeos plans and procedures don't work under the "battlefield conditions." "Wartime" strategies aren't always the most formal ways, but effective to win the battle.

Lastly, the customers should take some of the blame as well, especially the B3. Since they erroneously equate QS-9000 certification with Quality, and that all their suppliers are now QS-9000 certified (whether eraned or purchased), the only distinguishing difference between competitors is... you guessed it, price. So, they've come to a full circle and back to price is everything. I am interested to see a survey of automotive suppliers that if given the choice without retrobution from B3, who would retain their QS-9000 certification.

I am glad to say that I now am away from the automotive industry! ISO isn't much different, but at least I can do away with the prescriptive nature of QS-9000 requirements.

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Chris
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posted 26 January 2000 11:04 AM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Joe_1, I have had the same experience that you are having. To combat this problem I have utilized the only tool I have at my disposal "Internal Quality Audits". Auditing by quarter, we try to audit each element of the standard at least twice a year. These audits are split into several formats, Procedure Audits, System Audits and Follow-up Audits. All findings will result in a Corrective Action Form being issued. Each Corrective Action Form will be audited for effectiveness the next quarter.
I guarantee this doesn't make friends, but it forces the responsible Managers or Supervisors to do one of two things "other than hate auditors." 1.) It forces them to enforce procedures. It is usually easier to enforce the procedures then to complete the Corrective Action Forms. Remember the CAR will be audited the following quarter. Also note that review of open Corrective Action is part of the Management Review Meetings. 2.) It forces them to revise the procedures. The result of this is the procedures are closer to reality then fantasy "and we know most procedures originate more toward fantasy than reality. This method doesn't fix everything but at least it's a tool that can be used in the never ending battle.

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barb butrym
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posted 27 January 2000 07:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for barb butrym   Click Here to Email barb butrym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
......and the system works for itself, even if the players don't......CA followup is the key...just as chris suggested.

Another reason for having the system....cause common sense tells us what joe says happens will happen (in even the most disiplined of companies some time.....)

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sarangk
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posted 27 January 2000 10:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for sarangk   Click Here to Email sarangk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
we are an iso company and i see similar things going on..so i think its the trend everywhere and u r not the only company to sleep after certification. now, we plan to go ahead with QS.. i have never worked before, am a fresh graduate and am responsible to get QS to the company, could i get some useful tips regarding how to get started, and anything you might think of that will be helpful to me,.. replies appreciated. thanks.

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sarangk
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posted 27 January 2000 01:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for sarangk   Click Here to Email sarangk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Where are you Marc?

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Marc Smith
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posted 27 January 2000 02:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Marc Smith   Click Here to Email Marc Smith     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm right here. I don't really have anything to add to what's been said right now.

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Andy Bassett
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posted 03 February 2000 11:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Andy Bassett   Click Here to Email Andy Bassett     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree with everything that has been said here, but it plays on my sense of pride when i leave a company and see a system die. Now i always have this potential problem in mind.

Here are my thoughts,

Is the system based on the company processes or on a standard. IMHO the only company that should have processes based on a standard is a bomb making company. Rewrite the processes to reflect daily activities.

If the QM does nothing all month, make sure he compile stats on every major/relevant process. Stats are hard to ignore if they are publicised every month.

I know this is a little airy-fairy, but it sounds like the company hasnt succeeded in developing or changing its mentality or approach,
Insist on a training budget to train in Problem Solving techniques or Conflict Resolution or Teamwork, these are things that are likely to give much more longer-lasitng value than any ISO cert.

In one current company we have defined all the major processes, and we are now at the stage of showing them/ or training all the necessary personnel. After 8 training sessions the result borded on apathy. Out of frustration i asked the process owners to present their own processes in the Training Group.
Result, much more discussion, interest, interaction etc (Now im bored because ive less to do).

Im no psychologist, but certain groups of people are averse to accepting anything from anybody. Take these people to visit other companies (dont call it anything fancy like Benchmarking).

I guess audits are a help, if they are done right, but audits to me always smack of control management. The Germans and the Japanese build excellent cars becuase the people want to build excellent cars, not because somebody is forcing them.
If you must audit tone them down into Improvement Reviews, or something similar.

Hope that helps

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Steven Sulkin
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posted 03 February 2000 04:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Steven Sulkin   Click Here to Email Steven Sulkin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I would agree with Chris. That's what the Internal Audit and Corrective Action systems are for. But they can be your saving grace or the push off the cliff....

Do-
Win them over by writing corrective actions that make that make sense to them. Write the corrective actions in easy to understand, common sense language. Its not enough for them to just fix the problem, you want them to understand why it makes logical sense to do so.

Dont-
Use CA's to beat them over the head and pressure them into action in front of your management team.

Do-
Use the audits to get buy in. Are you using volunteers from employees outside of Quality? You can use them as change agents. The audit is also an opportunity to explain the benefits you are making to the success of the company to your management team.

Dont-
Report a bunch of meaningless numbers in the management review. Explain what the audits found, what they fixed, and how the company benefited.

Hope this helps.

-Steve.

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Mike525
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posted 03 February 2000 04:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mike525   Click Here to Email Mike525     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've worked in 5 organizations (current one included) that have gone through either ISO or QS certification, and the story was the same each time; once certification was achieved, it was "business as usual." I've almost come to expect nothing else. Why does this happen? For several reasons, from what I've seen - management complacency, cultural change never happened, lack of high level quality champion within the organization, the "we only did this for our customer syndrome" but the one that I would sight the most is that the QMS, be it ISO or QS, was never accepted in the 1st place.

At my current work, we have been working on ISO, then QS, for over 3 years - and yet there are still people within the organizatin that have no inkling as to what is going on - and the sad part about this is that management are the worst offenders. It is truly a case of do as I say, not as I do.
I do agree there are many things that can be done to keep the organization on track - a good corrective and preventive action system, a strong internal auditing group, and intergrating quality planning into the business planning, to name just a few. However, as we all know, quality is driven from the top down, and unless upper managment plays an active role, leads by example, and fosters a culture of acceptance, complacency will rule the day.


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Kevin Mader
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posted 04 February 2000 10:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin Mader   Click Here to Email Kevin Mader     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You folks have said it. Why doesn't ISO Registration (QS) last?

I have to agree stronly with Andy. Too many ISO programs created about the standard (20 elements/20 SOPs) and not about the process. I questioned my registrar on their latest visit, two weeks ago, about the percentage of organizations that create programs about the standard and not the process. In his estimation, and the estimation of the other auditor, over 75% of organizations they audit are have programs written this way. Maybe this contributes to the problem.

Additionally, I offer this: where is the intrinsic motivation? While Top Down management is important, especially when deploying a new culture (as Mike points out), lasting power comes with intrinsic value. How can folks 3 years later in an ISO registered program not know what it is all about? Poor dissemination by management. Leadership is also absent. No one is taking the cause to heart. Effective leaders will influence folks to adopt their philosopy for their own. The philosophy is shared, not commanded. In many ISO organizations (and many others), intrinsic value is missing. Plain and simple.

Kevin

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Andy Bassett
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posted 04 February 2000 03:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Andy Bassett   Click Here to Email Andy Bassett     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Im racking my brains trying to think of something positive to say that may help.

The only other thing i can think of is to survey the whole company. You have to be a little clever, but its always possible to structure a survey to obtain the result you want.

For example try a question like;..do you think it is a good idea to have clear processes in the company... Very few people will honestly answer no to that. When you publish the results you can say '...92% of personnel agree that we need clear processes....'

In addition to structured questions, you will be surprised at the forthright comments people will make, which you can of course report to management in a 'neutral unbiased' sense ie '...one respondee reported that he did not beleive management supported the programme...'.

Lastly apart from the cynical use of surveys you may be surprised at what you can learn from them, you may uncover some hidden problems that you never expected.

PS i have just found a questionnaire that i have used, i can send it to you if you like, here are a couple more of the questions, hopefully you can get a sense of what i am trying to acheive with these.ie

18. Do you believe that a properly constructed and managed Quality Management System could be a benefit to the company.

16. Do you believe it makes sense to periodically review the procedures to find improvements.?

Dont know if that helps

Regards

------------------
Andy B

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barb butrym
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posted 08 February 2000 09:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for barb butrym   Click Here to Email barb butrym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
gotta go with steve on this......couldn't have said it better myself.

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Elberth Ardila Tabera
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posted 09 February 2000 02:17 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
i Think, after the organization "win" the certificate. We (the organization) forgot the goal of the quality systems. No goal isn«t a paper, it is continuos improvement in process, product and people. That isn«t it?

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Steven Sulkin
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posted 09 February 2000 04:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Steven Sulkin   Click Here to Email Steven Sulkin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Although I believe it is expected that there will be a lack of attention to QS after the audit, I do not agree that it is due to complacency.

The supervisors and managers have to dedicate resources according to highest priority (and yes urgency).

Its YOUR job as a quality manager(engineer or whatever), to justify adding resources to improvement projects after the registrar is gone.

No body cares about this quality crap unless you can show them how it makes business sense. As a Supervisor I wont dedicate resources to a quality effort unless it makes overall business sense. I still have to look out for the best interest of my customers.

Recommendations:
Explain to your management why it makes business sense.
Training your auditors so that they how the requirements add value.
Show off your systems that are really working well (mistake proofing, electronic verification to customer spec, etc.).


[This message has been edited by Steven Sulkin (edited 09 February 2000).]

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Andy Bassett
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posted 11 February 2000 05:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Andy Bassett   Click Here to Email Andy Bassett     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Reading Steves reply (which is spot on) and reading discussions in other threads where there is a huge debate about the benefits from ISO/QS, it starts to become blindingly clear that nobody seems able to offer clear evidence that Standards offer any clear benefits.
If anybody has any clear evidence that it does please put it up here, or show me where it is, i could sorely need it, if not for my customers then for my own moral.

Why are there no clear results? If ISO is so good, (and ISO normally contains a large amount of statistics gathering), why can we not prove it.

I have read and studied various Cost of Quality Systems, but they nearly always seem too abstract or complex to implement to in a way that convinces management.

If we as QM's or Consultants cannot offer clear tangible benefits then we are probably not better than second-hand car salesmen.

We need more objective evidence. In this way we can probably do ourselves and our profession a favour by concentrating a little more in this area. ie starting a project with objective measurements, and then presenting (hopefully) improved results at the end.

Steve you are right - Management simply have too many prioritities, apart from ISO they are probably trying to manage the finance, company moral, marketing initiatives, enviromental pressure etc. How do you expect to get their attention when you present them with a complex languaged document like a ISO Standard.

You say show them the benefits, this has to be clear results. Financial results is obviously the best, but probably the hardest to measure.

Ask yourself- Within your project have you been able to prove clear positive results/stats/measurements at regular intervals to the management. If not it is a little understandable why you dont have managements attention.

------------------
Andy B

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Kevin Mader
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posted 11 February 2000 08:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin Mader   Click Here to Email Kevin Mader     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Andy,

You ask some fair, but serious questions. You also present a very good challenge to the Quality profession. I agree with your position.

The problem as I see it (my opinion from here on) is that too often, the management theory used in many businesses is wrong. Too many senior managers managing on financial results, suboptimization, and clearly looking for the quick fixes. Their short-term thinking and near-sightedness does not allow them to embrace concepts of Quality. Good Quality drives improvements in "finance, company moral, marketing initiatives, enviromental pressure etc.". Instead, they substitute 'business sense' to run the organization which is normally blind to holistic thinking. All organizations have many priorities the problem being that they are seldom prioritized. Reaction to the most urgent issues sending organizations bouncing back and forth between events. The organization has no clear organizational AIM. Hence, no hope for improvement. They keep on applying the same old management theory that keeps the dynamics - unmanageable.

Organizations need a new philosophy, a change in theory. ISO can play a significant role in achieving this, provided management does not recognize this as the "instant pudding" solution. Righting the organization may take significant time, great understanding of processes and systems, and leadership from senior management. Organizations need to internalize Quality, not the ISO standard or statistical methods. These are only a couple of tools organizations may use to advance themselves, perhaps at an increased rate. Even at advanced rates, the management with the wrong theory will probably not give the new theory a chance to bring these results. They still are looking for the instant pudding solution. The problem: it does not exist.

Cost of Quality is another of senior managements instant pudding solutions. Sure enough these reports indicate areas of concern. There is no wrong in that. The problems begin with the interpretation. The idea of many organizations is to attack the big hitters, one by one. They forget to consider the holistic event, and run the risk of making things worse. Just more subooptimization. Complexity of these plans is the fault of the creators. Careful thinking about the "vital few" can make the report easier to develop and be more powerful. Many organizations have trouble selecting the "vital few" and begin to measure everything. The are looking for perfection, an accurate portrayal of the Cost position. While their intentions are good, they often meet with failure. Folks don't care about the minutia, they care about the gaping wounds. Also worth noting, the most important figures are "unknown and unknowable." Cost of Quality reporting is important, but not the cure all solution.

As QM's or Consultants we must offer clear tangible benefits to management in the beginning. Minds are not open to new philosophies or theories. We must win their attention and gain their confidence. Selling Quality should be easier, but it is not. How do we make the invisible (or nearly so), visible? Many solutions I suppose, but we must find the one that a particular management group can appreciate. It must be objective. Theory without objective evidence is still theory. That is the challenge as I see it.

Well, enough of my theory. Back to the group...

Kevin

[This message has been edited by Kevin Mader (edited 11 February 2000).]

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Mike525
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posted 11 February 2000 11:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mike525   Click Here to Email Mike525     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In reading back through this thread, my perception is that "quality" is thought of and referred to as if it was alien to the norm of doing business. Statements like "back to business as usual" and "this quality crap" make it sound like quality isn't a normal part of a process, service, or product. And I think this is part of the problem. In thinking back to what Mr Crosby said, that "Quality Is Free!", I couldn't understand what he meant, or how he could make such a statement. Now I believe I know - the cost of quality is the cost of doing business, and they shouldn't be separate factors. With this understanding, if quality isn't an integral part of the process, then we are are failing our customers, and fooling ourselves. Quality should not be forced, it should be a normal part of the process. And, until a company achieves that mindset, it will always struggle with the concept, and (probably) never achieve true and complete customer satisfaction.

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Kevin Mader
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posted 11 February 2000 01:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin Mader   Click Here to Email Kevin Mader     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well said Mike! In addition to your comments about Crosby's statement I add this.

The same system produced the nonconforming product as the conforming product. The cost as the product (service) came of the line were equal. Now add the Cost of Poor Quality (i.e. sorting, MRB meetings, scrap). The cost of producing a nonconforming product costs much more. Quality is free, and always will be. To your point of Customer Satisfaction, you're dead right! The Customer is not willing to pay for this type of waste, and sooner or later, they will figure out that you have left them out of the loop. They will leave you.

Regards,

Kevin

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Spaceman Spiff
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posted 11 February 2000 02:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spaceman Spiff   Click Here to Email Spaceman Spiff     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In certain organizations, Quality is the end result of good management system. Achieving ISO/QS certification does not guarentee Quality results. Conversely, not having certification does not guarantee poor quality. I am willing to go as far as to say that by doing the PAPER excercises per APQP manual, it does not guarentee a Qualty product. Personally I'm not a fan of Crosby's, but this whole thread started with a concern that after the certification, things went back to business as usual.

My challenge is still this: "if" a company still produces quality product even though some of the steps in the Quality System as required... dictated... by ISO/QS were by-passed, is the ISO/QS requirement really value added?

The bottom line is: are we following the "letter of the law" or are we "living by the law"? Until a company's culture transforms, no certification or customer edict can change the way it does business or the quality of its products.

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Kevin Mader
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posted 11 February 2000 04:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin Mader   Click Here to Email Kevin Mader     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Spaceman,

You said: My challenge is still this: "if" a company still produces quality product even though some of the steps in the Quality System as required... dictated... by ISO/QS were by-passed, is the ISO/QS requirement really value added?

My answer: Probably not. Probably just an unwarranted expense. In other words, waste.

Regards,

Kevin

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Andy Bassett
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posted 14 February 2000 01:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Andy Bassett   Click Here to Email Andy Bassett     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Kevin, i would like to follow your train of thought a little further on this matter. You said;

As QM's or Consultants we must offer clear tangible benefits to management in the beginning. Minds are not open to new philosophies or theories. We must win their attention and gain their confidence. Selling Quality should be easier, but it is not. How do we make the invisible (or nearly so), visible?

Just so. Any ideas on how to do this Kevin. On this point i cant help but admire the Business Excellence Model (European equivalent to Baldridge) which is split into 9 parts, the first 5 parts are called enablers ie what you are doing to make the organisation function (ISO would probably be in there somewhere), the last 4 parts are results ie you have to demonstrate what results you have acheived, normally in graphical format (no ISO in here). The results section is relatively clear and relatively objective, and i beleive is likely to be taken more seriously by management.

To firm up on our discussion so far, i think that in the future i am much more likely to start in an organisation by gathering more objective evidence/statistics, including possibly personnel or climate surveys, and then building a system (ISO if it must be) that addresses the company issues and can be measured and presented to the personnel including management.

What do you thin Kevin.

Regards

------------------
Andy B

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Kevin Mader
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posted 14 February 2000 09:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin Mader   Click Here to Email Kevin Mader     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Andy,

Your planned future approach looks like a good one to me. Getting a snap shot of how an organization to me is very good practice for a couple of reasons. First, you are less likely to fall into the traps of your held preconceptions. As you stated, you need an objective look at an organization, free of our own personal bias. Second, looking at the evidence may lead you to recommend a better strategy, especially in the formulation of the Quality System. You may recommend the BEM over ISO, or perhaps another alternate standard would fit nicely. Every situation is different, so finding the right shoe for the right foot might make all the difference.

A climate survey is another good suggestion. What is the culture of your client/organization? Knowing this can also help you determine your approach to deployment (and selection of a standard). Those interested in using Quality to drive an organization might benefit better using a BEM, Baldrige, or ToPK approach. Some may be in a position just to achieve ISO registration because of a customer requirement with no real interest of using ISO for themselves. Who knows? A survey or two may help you find the answer.

To my prior post and ămaking the invisible (or nearly so, visible). Charting, graphs, and reports to management (perhaps some of what the BEM drives) are great ways of showing senior management things that may be difficult to see. Charting for an extended period, for example, may show trends and cycles that may be difficult to spot in a written report alone. Using a Îflow chartâ to show a process can illustrate the complexities faced in a process, show many/few control points, designed or undesigned redundancy in the process, and decision-making points. What we are looking at is making a good presentation to senior management, getting their attention and winning their confidence. Doing this you may open the door for introduction into theory, quality tools, statistical training, and more. Slowly you may blend quality theory with business theory. Force feeding senior management (or the organization for that matter) leads only to hardship and failed attempts. It has to be a collaborative effort.

Some questions that come to my mind are these. Where is the organization today? Where do they want to be (What is their AIM)? Why do they want to be there (What is their motivation)? And what is their Theory (management philosophy)? This helps to create a solid program. Always keep in mind that it is possible that they are giving you perceptions they have rather than things as they really are. It is important to differentiate the ÎWantsâ from the ÎNeedsâ if you will.

Well back to the group·

Regards,

Kevin

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Andy Bassett
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posted 19 February 2000 01:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Andy Bassett   Click Here to Email Andy Bassett     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Kevin Mader:

Some questions that come to my mind are these. Where is the organization today? Where do they want to be (What is their AIM)? Why do they want to be there (What is their motivation)? And what is their Theory (management philosophy)?

Kevin i think you are right, carrying out this exercise can help ensure that the programme they take on is tailored for their environment. Even if it has to be ISO, it will help to do this because there are a hundred different ways of implmenting ISO.

I cant help but feel that we may be going in the direction of management psychology, normally reserved for the MBA's of this world. To my knowledge no tool exists that helps to 'pidgeon-hole' a company and offer a solution for its problems, be it BEM,ISO or anything else. (This sounds like an opportunity for a 'Matrix')

I was hoping a few more people may jump in with suggestions about how to start a programme in a company in a manner that guarantees their attention, but whilst we are loosely on the subject, have you ever come across this problem.

Maybe i have been unfortunate with my customers, but i tend to find that very often during a Business Improvement Process key positions have to be created and filled, and some people may need to change what they are doing (Harder than it looks).
When this happens it tends to take a long time before the dust settles, anything between 6-12 months, and during this time it maybe difficult to advance the programme.

I have faced this problem very acutely in the past, and in the next 2 months i will be talking to a company that i fear also does not have the necessary structure ie No QS Dept, No effective Purchase, no clear Workshop Management etc.

The point is that i will probably have to suggest some structural changes and suggest that they be implemented before i start work. This will not be swallowed to easily.

Kevin - Have you ever come across this problem.?

------------------
Andy B

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Kevin Mader
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From:Seymour, CT USA
Registered: Nov 98

posted 22 February 2000 09:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin Mader   Click Here to Email Kevin Mader     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Andy,

Sorry for the delay in my response. I have been out of the office for a few days (week or so).

Yes, unfortunately your problem is familiar to me. I believe the problem is in their deep rooted belief and trust in Western Management Philosophy. They have a most difficult time breaking from traditional practices, often times tailored about their own business practice. Suggesting change will often meet with resistance compounded by senior managements lack of committment. Your BIP begins to uncover short comings in their processes, and many folks begin to feel threatened. This is natural. Many folks, some with MBAs, are reluctant to hear that they have overlooked many obvious things and have managed poorly. This is because they are too focused on the RESULTS and not the PROCESS (different logic driving their decision making).

Finding gapping lapses in a system can be filled in a number of ways. The easiest of solutions, put some willing and able body in the gap. The other as you mentioned, learn a to do new things (which may be spread to many different functions). This is likely the better approach, but as you pointed out, it is the harder way. People need training and education in many instances. And this process takes time. Western Management folks rely on short-term solutions and quick profits. This collides head-on with the improvement process. This contributes significantly to the failure of deployment of a program (especially without a consultant who will generally keep the group focus) and for failure in the long-term. Deming's "instant pudding" theory I believe is correct.

Now step into an organization with little structure or little AIM. Wow! That's a challenge! The fact that your potential client called in the first place is rather amazing. They may be in an emergency situation, grasping at anything, anyone. This will compound the problem. You may encounter the "Caretaker Syndrom" where folks know that they need help, but are unwilling to rock the boat. If they are far enough along in the sinking process, they may see your efforts as a life preserver, and jump at your suggestions (if their lucky). But if the founding fathers have lost interest in the organization and have plenty of money in their bank accounts, you may want to look for a new client. They may be beyond help.

Your thought to having them institute may be premature. I do not know how much you already now about your client, so my comment may be inappropriate. Large scale understanding of the processes and the system, with their involvement, will likely be necessary.

Regards,

Kevin

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gmac
Forum Contributor

Posts: 17
From:Calgary, Alberta,Canada
Registered: Feb 2000

posted 22 February 2000 10:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for gmac   Click Here to Email gmac     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This thread is very similar to the situation I find myself in i.e. contracted as the Q.A. manager for a drilling technology company whose original agenda was a knee jerk reaction to market demands ISO 9000 , we dont know what it is but we want it. I have been here almost 6 weeks and finally senior management is now beginning to see the light brought about in part after the Senior vice- president spent 8 days personally tracking down various quality documents e.g. NDT reports, material certificates etc, for a drilling rig which was to all intent and purpose physically complete and ready to go to work, but no one had thought to ask the customer at initiation of the contract what documentation he would require to signify completion of the contract. Needless to say when we reviewed the problem areas and compared them to what they will have when they implement a documented quality system a la ISO the problems ( management by crisis ) disappear.

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