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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.
There are not a lot of compelling pluses I can point to for getting older but there are some diamonds among the rust. The events I’ve seen and the people I have met take some of the sting out of the creaking of aging. Over the decades I have had the amazing opportunity to meet some of the people who pioneered and shaped the discipline of Quality Control and Quality Assurance.
“Who’s on First”: The Value of Clear and Accurate Communication
“If you don’t know where you’re going any road will take you there”. This is a quote from a keen observer of human nature, the great Yogi Berra. I quote him frequently and in this particular observation he is totally on point. One of the keys to identifying and correcting issues is removing as many variables as possible in order to zero in on what works and what doesn’t. If you can’t reliably baseline a process you get trapped into either a false sense of security that everything is fine or you get entangled in chasing false issues.
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