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7.1.6: Regarding Organizational Knowledge

Discussion in 'ISO 9001:2015 - Quality Management Systems' started by mohamed raazith, May 18, 2017.

  1. mohamed raazith

    mohamed raazith Member

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    Dear All

    please explain about organizational knowledge which clause is newly updated in ISO 9001:2015.
    What is best practice to implement the organizational knowledge in an organization.
     
  2. tony s

    tony s Well-Known Member

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    Organizational knowledge is acquired by the organization through their experience and can be used for ensuring the achievement of goals and intended results. Learnings from successes and failures, mistakes, accidents, near-misses, benchmarking, techniques of seasoned employees, feedback from interested parties, etc. are sources of organizational knowledge. Making them available for the people carrying out the current operations is the intent of this clause. You can also check this thread.
     
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  3. Pancho

    Pancho Active Member

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    Information becomes organizational knowledge only when it is incorporated into a process description. Though knowledge need not be written (it can be "tacit" or in the organization's personnel brains), such mode of knowledge is fragile at best. Knowledge becomes most useful when transformed into explicit procedures in the form of management system documents.

    So the best practice is to strive to make knowledge explicit by having a live QMS. Documents should be updated as needed in the regular course of business. An effective continuous improvement process is an important part this. It is the "Act" part of the Deming cycle.

    Other methods include training, lessons learned, management review, etc., with all of them ultimately writing down the new knowledge into the management system documents.
     
  4. BradM

    BradM Moderator Staff Member

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    Organizations learn valuable information during the course of business. This may include not only how to do something very well; but also, what doesn't work well.
    Where does that knowledge go? Does it stay in somebody's head; buried in somebody's desk; or worse, just forgotten?

    So I might develop a framework of determining where this knowledge might arise from. Then when you determine where, how is it captured, then how is it used.
    *************
    This weekend I went to my favorite place Home Depot (a chain of do it yourself hardware stores) to get some supplies to smooth/float a sheetrock wall after removing wallpaper. Home Depot had taken down most all of the signs listing what is on each aisle, and instead listed "bay" numbers. I had inquired about this system last time, and it was explained that what their intent was is for customers to download the Home Depot app to their mobile device. They would then enter whatever they were looking for, and the app would then tell them exactly where to find the item. This system has been in place for at least six months or more that I'm aware of.

    I haven't loaded the app on my device, because frankly, I don't have room. Secondly, I really don't have the desire to... move out of the way (don't want to be standing in the aisles...), turn on device, boot up app, use my air time, hope there is a good signal (Home Depot stores have thick concrete and metal structures; poor signals much of the time), to find where the trowels are (the handle things to place wet "mud" on the walls) and the "mud". Ironically (another subject I guess) why the trowels were at the complete end of the store from the mud; with no arrow/guidance in each section to find the other, is beyond me.

    While paying I was talking to the cashier about all this. Very nice/very polite, but could have cared a less. Understandable, she was a young teenager and probably was thinking about prom or other weekend activities. First, I'm not sure how much she understood the system. I further explained that the whole time I was there (about 45 minutes), I didn't see anyone using their devices. They were (just like I did) simply walking around looking, or stopping an employee when they walked by to ask where stuff was.
    They could at least install a couple of touchscreens at each end of the store. Then people could at least tap in and find where all their stuff is going to be or something.

    • What information did Home Depot use to arrive at this change/system?
    • Was this implementation fully rolled out to all employees? Was this a one-time rollout, or does training occur frequently (to account for turnover)?
    • Suppose I had told this to the senior management. Upon looking they discover it hasn't taken off like they wished. Is there a lesson to learn?
    • Namely, what process (if any) did they use to roll out this plan?
    • Where there goals within the process they were outlined but not fulfilled? Or, were there feedback mechanisms even proposed?
    • Through all of this, did they ever ask/get feedback from a customer?
    So this is not what I would classify as a major failure or anything. Just... maybe not the best implemented idea (does other Home Depot customers know? I only know because I asked.. the right person...)? So, within this is a trove of knowledge for Home Depot.

    They should document how they went about making this decision; document the lessons learned; and formulate a process to minimize hitting those potholes again. Namely, they may want to frame the knowledge in this situation within the context of the customer. Did they even ask customers about this? Did they let them know about this? What value is gained (or lost) from the customer's perspective?

    By adequately capturing and identifying the Organizational Knowledge here, Home Depot can possibly avoid making the same mistakes in the future; whether the same management structure is there or not.
     
  5. John C. Abnet

    John C. Abnet Well-Known Member

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    Good day;
    I agree with and affirm how Pancho described this to you. One of the greatest needs and challenges for organizations is sustainability. The ability for the organization to continue seamlessly if/when a key player leaves the company. In other-words, how to retain and perpetuate the knowledge that existed. To do this, I recommend you substitute the word "knowledge" with "curriculum". Using the "4N,s of Training" concept (NO curriculum = NO training= NEVER happened, = NEVER will happen again), it's easy to see why curriculum is so important. Following Pancho's recommendation, curriculum is best when it is an integral part of the QMS ["...shall determine the knowledge..."]. The previously known "Level 3" documentation (typically work instructions which provide the "how" for performing a task), is a great way to create curriculum and also integrate it into the QMS. Once that curriculum is numbered/identified within the QMS, then it can easily be incorporated into your data base/workbook that indicates what curriculum (work instruction) applies to each job description/title within the company. ["...shall be maintained and be made available..."] Then, when new associates are brought on board, the curriculum linked to their title is trained, thereby, sustaining the knowledge. Regardless of how it is accomplished, this is the intent of 7.1.6. Hope this helps.
     
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