From Michael Haycock, Sr. BRC Quality Consultant
Tid – bit
noun : A small and particularly interesting item of information.
In regards to processes and quality improvements, there is a great deal of effort put into dealing with nonconformity and corrective action to understand why a process or set of processes are not working properly. How much effort is made in dealing with and improving the interface between processes (departments and functions)? The interface is often ignored because there is no specific owner (or perhaps multiple owners) and identifying the weaknesses and correcting is more of a challenge.
“Communication and Understanding”
A home owner had a problem with his plumbing. It appeared that there was a serious obstruction somewhere in one of the pipes. He called the plumber, who was there in a short period of time. The plumber went downstairs and within 5 minutes there was a large bang on one of the pipes…and the plumbing was working properly!
The plumber came upstairs and said the charge would be $100.
“$100 for 5 minutes work?” said the home owner. “I could have hit the pipe!” And he demanded an itemized bill for costs.
The plumber thought for a minute, made a couple of notes on a piece of paper, and handed it to the home owner. The paper read:
Hitting the pipe – $5.00
Knowing where to hit – $95.00
TOTAL BILL – $100.00
The challenge is most likely not in the doing, but rather in knowing what to do. We are certainly faced with risk in the “doing”. Greater risk is not knowing what to do. The greatest risk is in not recognizing there is risk…or, if we do recognize risk, focusing on probability rather than consequence.
You have one chance in a thousand of hitting an iceberg…and so it goes.
“Value Added Auditing”
While I did a complete article on this I still believe there is some specific, particular value in looking within the organization and understanding and determining where the RISK presents itself. We know that ISO 9001 requires us to look at the complete system. Yes. However, does it not make sense that if we had a particular concern in design…or production…or shipping…that the time we would spend in these areas would actually provide the organization with greater value?
While the requirement for any of the management systems is that the “system” is audited, the value is to spend more of our audit time where we have our greatest potential risk…and consequently the greatest potential “pain”.