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How do you keep organized with so many job duties?

Discussion in 'ISO 9001:2008 - Quality Management Systems' started by Nikki, May 16, 2016.

  1. Nikki

    Nikki Well-Known Member

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    I am the Quality Systems Manager for my company. I am the ONLY QMS employee.


    When I was hired, over a decade ago, the company was only ¼ of the current size it is today. During that time, a lot of the QMS and Quality functions fell to me. Over the years, I have been able to slowly delegate some of the responsibilities to the appropriate departments – but my work-load is still quite full.

    · Customer complaints – including the investigation and re-testing of the products themselves. This includes writing the investigation reports, and obtaining the approval for credit, replacement, return.

    o If there is a return, replacement or credit, I complete more documents and pass them around to the appropriate people, communicate that a return is on the way, and if we are paying for shipping costs.

    · Customer Specification Reviews – I track each specification, and after its gone through all 3 reviews, I scan it into our system. Sometimes specs are provided and an order is placed the same day. Which means, I am being pressured by Sales to get the review completed.

    · Log in Production Time Sheets – I log the times the machines are running and not running by employee, machine, date, etc. (11,000 entries so far and counting)

    · Audits – Customer / Registrar (of course).

    · CARs – Tracking and implementing

    · Calibration of all equipment – We have a PM system – but it’s not up to par just yet – still being worked on.

    · Non-conforming material

    · Supplier Corrective Actions

    · Tracking / Trending of Quality Objectives / Goals

    · Arrange Production Meetings / Management Reviews

    · New Employee Orientation

    · Tracking of Training by employee

    · And lets say a bunch more, but I don’t have too much time to list it all.


    So my issue is that I have ALL of this stuff to do – and while I have been doing this job for a long time, I find myself losing grasp of completing each step in a timely manner. Mainly because of the complaints and spec reviews. Those two tasks come up several times a day. I could be updating the nonconformance area, when a Sales person comes up to me and says here is more samples for that complaint – can you test them now? So I put that other project on hold and go back to complaints.


    I don’t feel I can pass any of these responsibilities onto anyone else. We are all busy.


    I was curious what type of organization process you would use to help get your work done in a good time?


    Thanks!
     
  2. Claes Gefvenberg

    Claes Gefvenberg Moderator Staff Member

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    In my case it is mainly by extensive use of Outlook. Not just the calendar, mind you, but also lots of tasks, both repeating and single instances. I have tasks set to as far ahead as 2020...:D I also have a fair number of rules set up to deal with different things. It works pretty well, but need I mention my fear of network problems?
     
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  3. Jennifer Kirley

    Jennifer Kirley Moderator Staff Member

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    It would be impossible for me to manage my affairs without a planner I adapted from a version used by one of my fellow auditors. I will make edits and attach it, hopefully this evening. I know it is not possible to directly apply this tool's format to your needs, but it could be adapted to show different types of tasks.

    May I also offer I saw a set of free calendar tools online.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2016
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  4. Eric Twiname

    Eric Twiname Well-Known Member

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    I tried to go electronic...

    Some use Outlook
    Some use Google Calendar
    Some use XL
    ...none worked for me and the way I work (out of sight, out of mind) so I keep paper lists on my desk top.

    There is something so rewarding about crossing something off a list by hand...it is silly, but it feels good.

    HTH
     
  5. normzone

    normzone Well-Known Member

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    [Nikki], I too am the sole QA employee - Inspectors work under Production, which sounded wrong to me when I got here, but it's working for us. And my internal audit team is made up of veterans, rookies and prospects recruited or drafted from staff and rank & file. Managing that is more work than doing it myself, but there are benefits as well.

    And my caseload is similar to yours. I use a combination of the Outlook calendar and paper lists mentioned above. I do cherish the moment I get to complete a task - that satisfaction comes infrequently.

    It's like that old stunt you'd see on television in days gone by, with the guy spinning plates on poles, seeing how many he can get spinning at once.

    My suggestion is that you take an hard look at your delegation abilities - everybody is busy but some of what you handle is outside of what I would consider a traditional QA role. Granted, small companies are like that, but you need to actively push back on anything that you're able to. How many people are in the organization at it's 4x growth point ?
     
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  6. QA Bee

    QA Bee Member

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    Hi Nikki,

    I am the sole QA Manager here too. I have some help (part-time) with filling and scanning only. Even Document Control and Regulatory falls on me:(

    But, I totally agree with Eric above. I work with paper lists (I keep a notebook) and work off of that every 2 days and create another list once its all checked off or keep adding more to it.
    Agree, Satisfaction is rewarding when you check off an item.
     
  7. hogheavenfarm

    hogheavenfarm Well-Known Member

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    No help here, just me. I keep a white board behind my desk - I check it off as I go and add new things as required.
     
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  8. normzone

    normzone Well-Known Member

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    Oh yeah, that too. I have two of them as a matter of fact, so I guess I do all of the above. I've always tested out that way though - I learn equally through being shown, doing, listening, but writing it down seems to be key to me.
     

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