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Closing the Training Gap

Discussion in 'ISO 9001:2015 - Quality Management Systems' started by Jessica R, Mar 18, 2020.

  1. Jessica R

    Jessica R Member

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    Hi All, I'm new to the forum, so go easy on me...
    As of last June, I took over the role of Management Rep; the company I work for is a <20 person manufacturing facility that has been in operation for about 60 years. Our documented QMS was HUGE, to say the least, and grew in size with every new release of the ISO 9001 Standard. I re-constructed and re-wrote our QMS based on Standard requirements and what we actually do. During the rewrite, I worked one-on-one with each department to fine tune the processes and ensure that I had a complete understanding of each process (which was extra helpful because I'm the QM, too).
    What I found was during the life of the previous QMS, everyone knew the holes in the system and knew just what to say, what evidence to provide during an audit, and when they could unnoticeably deviate from procedure.
    With the new QMS release and multiple attempts at training, there are internal NCs popping up all over the place! Despite working side-by-side with each department manager/supervisor and walking thru each process step we are still breaking procedure and bombing audits. The common reply starts with, "That's how we've always done it" or "that's how so-and-so trained me (6 years ago, so-and-so not here anymore)".
    Now, in all fairness, metrics show we are still getting the overall job done. Has anyone had similar issues or have suggestions on a method of training that will stick?
     
  2. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    Welcome, Jessica!

    You sound as if you took on a monster! Don't be defeated, of course! When you ask about training, may I ask WHAT training?
     
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  3. tony s

    tony s Well-Known Member

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    Are the NCs raised against the revised QMS documents you made?
     
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  4. yodon

    yodon Well-Known Member

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    For lack of a better analogy, sounds like you ripped off the band-aid and opened some new wounds. I expect it'll be healthy in the long run. @Andy Nichols gave excellent advice: Don't be defeated! Persevere and prevail.
     
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  5. Jessica R

    Jessica R Member

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    Absolutely! We had company wide training together (in an on-site classroom) over 3 sessions to cover top to bottom - policies, procedures, where/ to review these documents, etc. The first 2 sessions were pretty typical in style - presentation on a projector, any questions?, mild interaction. Session 3 (after 1 and 2 yielded no retained information), I made it interactive - money, candy, music, and gag buttons that made farm animal noises with instruction to press anytime a "keyword" was used. No, I'm not kidding.
    As an estimate, the QMS rewrite only actually changed what we do about 10% of the time - this was to close gaps in processes, or rather, the former "holes".
    It seems like the resistance is not intentional. Everyone knows what you want to hear when you ask, but applying actions to follow the process flow (yes, they are ALL flow charts now) just isn't always happening. It's the strangest thing.
     
  6. Jessica R

    Jessica R Member

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    When appropriate, yes. Most NCs raised, do not get documented. I know... "WHAT?!?!" Documented NCs are perceived as a reprimand regardless of how much icing you pile on it, and if I knew nothing else... perception is reality. Almost every instance is either someone trying to do something the "right" way and did not realize the impact of the decision made or they just weren't paying attention. My rule of thumb while we work thru this curve is: when there is no impact to customer requirements or product quality and we are able to correct the error, I likely bypass a documented NC; if an impact to the customer or quality or correction is not possible, I always generate a documented NC.
    I look at the process steps, the actions that occurred and review Standard requirements (if in question) and we take corrective action steps that address the root cause. I work side-by-side with the source to discuss a start to finish resolution. If that means changing the process/procedure, that's what we do.

    Here is my most recent incident: Receiving is a separate process from Receiving Inspection, but they are performed by the same individual. Receiving steps include entering the part number, and quantity into the EPDM system to show parts are in the building but release to the warehouse is pending inspection. From the moment the boxes were opened, the visual inspection failed. He notified me of the findings, I reviewed parts, agreed with the disposition to reject them back to the supplier (at which point he is supposed to electronically send the record to me for QM notes and stamp), the supplier was contacted and provided an RMA, parts went out, reprocessed, returned and reinspected.
    The issue: Parts were never initially receipted into the system and the first record of inspection was never created.
    We were able to correct the document trail to maintain timelines, events and records to tell the story of what really happened.

    With this incident, if the process/procedure had been followed, a non-conformance would not have occurred.
     
  7. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    Jessica:

    Before anyone launches off into "training", it's best to start off with defining competencies. For each job, your quality system should lay out the basic competencies required for someone to complete their tasks. Once these are defined, each person can be evaluated against the defined competencies and, where they are found to not meet the requirements, and any training needs identified. Can I ask if you'd considered this approach?
     
  8. Jessica R

    Jessica R Member

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    Oh yes. I restructured all of that too, along with the org chart, Process interaction chart, and revised Job descriptions according to defined "Roles"
    Each manager is assigned an employee(s). Each employee is assigned at least 1 Role. Each role has a competency plan (training list). Each of these elements are part of our quality software that manages the structure for us. Maintaining competency is as easy as clicking the Gap Report button, and scheduling any training on the report. Every employee has a signed Job Description for each Role in which they are trained.
    Above each process step in a procedure is the Role responsible for that action. Policies define non-negotiable or broad-range responsibilities (ex., Preservation of Product - PRD OPR (Production Operator, any level) is responsible for ensuring that product identified as scrap during the assembly process is placed in a red bin.)

    As I am not considered part of "TOP MGT" - I found myself constantly chasing top management around to approve my authoritatively-flirtatious revisions.
     
  9. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    Hmmm... In my world, I've never seen a "competency plan" (or a training list) before. If I may explain how I understand (being a professional trainer) things should go:

    Management determine the competencies to be demonstrated per role. For example (a simple example we can all relate to) - making scrambled eggs:

    1) Checks for the date code and can describe stock rotation of eggs in cooler (first in, first out, use by/best before dates)
    2) Checks cleanliness and availability of equipment needed for production of scrambled eggs (bowl, whisk, pan). Ensures anything not clean is not used/replaced
    3) Prepares additional materials (salt, pepper, butter, milk) in suitable quantities to support process in suitable containers
    4) Breaks eggs into bowl, avoiding broken shell pieces

    and so on...

    These can be demonstrated and any issues which fall short can be corrected, through training or awareness, supervised experience (OJT) etc.

    Training doesn't equal competency.
     
  10. tony s

    tony s Well-Known Member

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    Did the "right" way lead to nonconforming products?

    Is their "right" way the one you mentioned: "That's how we've always done it"?

    If you need to develop a "training that will stick", you may need to include a comparison of their previous performance (e.g. production yield, product acceptance rate, rate of material defects at production, etc.) against their current performance (i.e. Pre-Jessica time VS With-Jessica time). If they and the top management become aware that "new" ways are better, I believe, the training will stick.
     
  11. Jessica R

    Jessica R Member

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    I thank you all for your feedback, this has been a very helpful experience.
    In conclusion, I'm understanding now that I am/we are on the right track. The difficulty is bringing awareness to how "off-track" we have been with respect to ISO requirements and closing risk gaps. The various "how we have always done it" methods could continue to work for us if we agreed to never increase volume in our current capacity and never change staff. ;)
    Thanks again everyone for talking some things thru.
     
  12. Jessica R

    Jessica R Member

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    Nonconforming products - No, not commonly
    The "right" way - is usually a question of what should i do here? and a quick answer of Oh, well, we used to.., instead of .. Maybe I should glance at my Procedure.

    While a comparison would be great, most data wasn't recorded correctly (we're working on that too) and other data, Pre-Jessica, was not electronic... I'm ambitious and all, but, no. :D
    I am keeping track of things now, and I can say that we don't have the same type of customer complaints (quality) that we had before and we have much better supplier communication - resulting in better material coming in. So I have a little bit of validation, just lacking the measurement data.
    Thank you!
     
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  13. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    Would you be prepared to share an example? It might not be the content that's the issue...
     
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  14. Guy Léger

    Guy Léger Member

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    According to ISO 9000, a "non conformity is a non-fulfilment of a requirement"(standards, specifications, procedures, plans,...). The best method of training can be to highlight all the documentary requirements applicable in each department, and to make awereness training sessions in relation to these departments...The main purpose of the training is just to allow each employee in each department to know non conformities cases in the processes and activities in which he intervenes...
     
  15. Jessica R

    Jessica R Member

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    What kind of example would be helpful?
     
  16. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    One of the procedures you'd like your folks to reference. Sanitize it and post it here.
     

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