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One quality process that every company has but few are truly comfortable with is their Corrective and Preventive Action Program. People view it like the in-law that protocol demands you invite to Thanksgiving Dinner that no one really wants to deal with who doesn’t know when to leave. The biggest issue seems to be consensus about when and why to create CAPA's. Another inhibitor of effectiveness appears to be how CAPA's are viewed by senior management.
It’s the end of summer and Labor Day is rapidly approaching. Many folks are squeezing in that last drop of vacation time before the kids head back to school. In that vacation mindset, let’s take a little lighter look at the quality profession.
Okay, I am officially outing myself as an old fart! I knew what I wanted to talk about this week but no matter what title or description I came up with it screamed crotchety old person. The subject this week is personal investment and responsibility in one’s job. In my opinion, based on decades of walking shop floors and talking to all kinds of people, I’ve reached the following conclusions. In general people have a real and significant investment and pride of accomplishment in their job. This seems to remain a truism no matter how dirty, dangerous and thankless the job appeared to me. It was still “their job”. Formal education seemed to have little or nothing to do with the work ethic and pride of accomplishment demonstrated by the people I have encountered.
I would have to say that one of my favorite Quality activities is performing audits and training auditors.
My colleagues and I have addressed various approaches to formal Risk Assessment. We have talked about the methodology for utilizing Risk Assessment tools for overlooked areas such as Supply Chain Management. We even conducted a webinar on best practice for assessing and managing risk.
In the last blog I vented my most annoying compliance issue. This week I thought I would switch gears to my most amusing and embarrassing Quality moments.
I started out my day with a quick chat with a colleague concerning a client project she is working on. It concerns calibration and I could hear the tone of a righteous lecturer creeping into my voice. After a very long career in Quality, I realized there are certain subjects that really get my blood pressure up and yank my chain. I began thinking about all the different Quality Compliance issues that have me talking to myself.
Fenway Park was the perfect setting for the IBS and Simatic IT joint user forum this past week in Boston.
A couple of blog posts ago I wrote about a warning I had once received to carefully distinguish between fads and fashion versus legitimate innovations and quality tools that stand the test of time. Risk Assessment is certainly not new but it seems to currently be the popular kid in the class. The idea of risk analysis as part of Design and Process FMEAs have been the standard within the Auto Industry for many years. Likewise, Risk Assessment is and has been an important element of Environmental Risk Management.
My Grandfather was a wise old farmer and he once made an observation I have never forgotten. We were at a barn raising. Yes, they do still actually have them in the part of Kentucky I come from. There was one young man, in particular, who seemed to be everywhere yelling instructions and searching through tool boxes and kegs of nails. My Grandfather pointed him out and said “Mary, never confuse motion with accomplishment”. I quickly began to see what he meant. For all his exhortations and constant motion he was actually contributing nothing to the work taking place and was impeding progress in some situations.
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