OK, so here we are. We have been asked and answered a question in Part 1. We have looked at why the question came about in Part 2. Now we’ll look at how (at least) one approach for dealing with the requirement.
Do you remember that I said there was a NCR written to the IOP in the AS9100 Registration Audit? Well, that was because there was no dotted line around Continual Improvement as a Management R&A Process (MRP.) We argued that Continual Improvement was a result and not a process but the auditor challenged back that because it was a stand-alone with no relationship to MRP the organization had misrepresented its processes and actually had five, not four processes as claimed. The interim correction was to place the dotted line around it, thereby including it in the MRP and Corrective Action was to re-draw the IOP and reposition Continual Improvement as a Measurement, Analysis and Improvement sub-process.
Figure 5, in its present form, is simple and elegant and is ‘father to the man’ (Figure 1) in Part 1. You will note that each of the four processes include a finite number of sub-processes that may include related sub-sub-processes (yes, I meant to say that) but does not muddy the presentation by including everything. It also clearly depicts the four Key Process Indicators (KPIs) which are themselves determined by a combination of sub-processes.
You will note that there are two major divisions COPs (Customer Oriented Process) or the Realization Process (old clause 7, now 8) and MOPs (Management Oriented Processes) support processes (everything else) broken into neat little packages that identifies a concept without including every element. This aids internal auditing – you can focus on either Realization or QMS which then facilitates identification of status and importance (remember that one?)
Within each of the 4 processes are the sub-processes and this shows how the pieces relate to the whole.
Continual Improvement, as mentioned earlier is included in the Management R&A Process but is not really a sub-process. It is more a planned result and is included to demonstrate commitment to improvement. (This was the only thing that might have, and did give rise to question and trying to explain it away by saying it’s an expectation that planned results will be achieved didn’t work.) Move along – these are not the droids you’re looking for… Correction took care of the problem and corrective action repositioned it where it rightfully belongs.
Now, as you move toward transition, process definition and sequence become more important and as we are reminded, as auditors, all you have is the IOP. If you ‘nail’ this one, everything else falls into place. You might also want to document Tuttle Diagrams for each “process” to describe inputs, outputs and how planned results are achieved because that will be the next question. The easier you make it for the auditor, the smoother the audit will go.
So how do we do that? Well, Mr. Philip Crosby (Remember him from the Quality Gurus?) makes it very easy. Basically, just recreate the diagram below (copy and paste from our website or Google it until you find a workable version) and connect the dots.
The process model worksheet is a simple yet powerful tool for defining new processes, analyzing an existing process to make it zero defect. It is very useful even to explain a process. The steps are as follows;
1. Name the process
2. Scope the process by defining the starting activity and the ending activity
3. Identify the outputs, customers and output requirements
4. Identify the inputs, suppliers and input requirements
5. Define the controlling inputs
Once this much is clarified, the work/process under consideration can be well understood, so that it proofed to perfection
Once you’ve defined your processes and sub-processes, mapped out their interaction, have identified inputs and outputs then you can decide which process (and sub-processes) are most important – KEY, and it very becomes easy to determine what you will measure to find out how effective your system actually is.
I hope this post series has been helpful.