Archive for August, 2007

Friday, August 3rd, 2007


Internal Auditing: A Tool for Effective Process Mapping

Internal audits are often scheduled, and therefore conducted according to the ISO 9001:2000 clause structure. Most organizational audit systems start with a formalized checklist where auditors ask questions to ensure employees know their jobs, check for available procedures, and determine if documents and records are being utilized. These audits are mostly focused on judging conformity than evaluating effectiveness. Looking clause by clause, the quality management system may appear conforming, yet be fragmented and ineffective.

Auditors must adopt the process approach and assess the quality management and operational system through its natural workflow. Of course, this requires understanding the business, its processes and the integration of linkages that drives effective auditing and process mapping. Audit planning and interviews should identify for each process:

Inputs: What, when, and from whom?
• Resources: With what people, materials, equipment?
• Methods: How done (procedures and instructions)?
• Controls: How monitored and controlled?
• Measures: What are performance indicators?
• Outputs: What is delivered, when, and to whom?

Auditors should view the quality management system as a set of integrated processes (by understanding the interfaces and interactions). Adopt the process approach for your audits. Add value by looking at more than just conformity. Evaluate the linked processes for their “effectiveness”. Verify their controls and identify any process risks. Also, determine opportunities for improvement. Auditors can promote the process approach through their own audit methods.

Share with us and our readers what method you and your company use to identify and document the Six “Process Based” outcomes identified above.

We will post all examples and discuss best practices next month!

U.S. Workplace in Need of Team Builders

Wednesday, August 1st, 2007
Performance Improvement Solutions for Your Business Needs August 2007
In this issue

  • U.S. Workplace in Need of Team Builders
  • Revisions for AS9100 Aerospace Family of Standards
  • OHSAS 18001 Revised for Health and Safety
  • Quality Measurement Data Specification
  • Training Courses
  • Greetings!

    Welcome to Sustaining Edge Solutions E- Newsletter

    Our newsletters provide guidance on operational and quality systems ISO 9001, AS9100, ISO/TS 16949, TL 9000, ISO 13485, ISO 14001, and others. This includes process improvement methods Six Sigma, Lean Enterprise, and other topics of interest to our readers.

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    U.S. Workplace in Need of Team Builders
    Audit

    According to a survey conducted this year by the International Association of Administrative Professionals and Office Team, 67 percent of the professionals surveyed said they would hire an applicant with strong soft skills whose technical abilities were lacking.

    Only 9 percent would hire someone who had strong technical expertise but weak interpersonal skills, and 93 percent said technical skills are easier to teach than soft skills.

    Soft skills are commonly considered the ability to organize, collaborate, communicate tactfully and to analyze and solve problems. Anila DeHart, human resources manager of employee and career advising for the University of Arizona, said that “soft skills” is a term she has yet to embrace. “We don’t call them soft skills” she said. “They’re critical.”

    While many soft skills are intuitive, ways exist to improve or acquire those skills. “Everything is learnable,” DeHart said. “Success depends on how willing (the employee) is to learn these skills. Ownership is equal: Both employee and the employer have to be invested.”

    Here is a list of soft skills cited as being most in demand at their companies (multiple responses were allowed).

    • Organizational skills: 87 percent
    • Verbal communication: 81 percent
    • Teamwork and collaboration: 78 percent
    • Problem solving: 60 percent
    • Tact and diplomacy: 59 percent
    • Analytical skills: 45 percent

    Revisions for AS9100 Aerospace Family of Standards
    notebook

    The International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG) is revising the IAQG 9100 family of standards. Since the IAQG 9100 standard is published as AS9100 in the USA, we will refer to it as AS9100 in the remainder of this article.

    AS9100 uses ISO 9001:2000 as its foundation, with additional aerospace requirements highlighted in bold, italic type. The ISO 9001 standard is being amended with publication expected in May 2009. This revision is driving an update of AS9100.

    According to Buddy Cressionnie in a recent Quality Progress article, the objectives for the AS9100 revision include improving supplier performance and customer satisfaction by:

    • Focusing on product quality and on-time delivery,
    • Allowing its common interpretation for auditors and organizations, and
    • Taking into account newly identified stakeholder requirements.

    The first draft of the AS9100 revision is planned for later this year, with publication expected in mid-2009, depending on the release date of the ISO 9001 amendment. The AS9110 (Maintenance Organizations) and AS9120 (Stocklist Distributors) standards are undergoing a similar revision process. Since they use AS9100 as the baseline, they will trail the AS9100 revision by about six months and are expected to be released by the end of 2009.

    AS9101 is a checklist that must be completed during other-party audits. It is being revised as a more process-oriented tool and to apply to AS9100, AS9110, and AS9120. The first draft of the revised AS9101 checklist is expected later this year. It will be introduced into the audit process as organizations make the transition to the 2009 versions of AS9100, AS9110, and AS9120.

    AS9115 is a new international software quality standard and will be confined to “deliverable” software. It will be framed around the existing Americas standard, AS9006, and will bring in elements of European Technical Report TR9109, ISO 12207, and other standards. It is targeted for release in December 2008.

    AS9100 Training
    Click on one of the courses below to view its description and calendar.

    Understanding and Implementing AS9100
    AS9100 Process Based Internal Auditor

    OHSAS 18001 Revised for Health and Safety

    OHSAS 18001:2007 specifies the requirements for an organization to control its Occupational Health and Safety risks and improve its performance. OHSAS 18001:2007 has been issued as a British Standard and supersedes OHSAS 18001:1999, which will remain current until 2009.

    There have been a number of significant changes made to the standard to reflect its widespread use in more than 80 countries and by approximately 16,000 certified organizations.

    The principal changes include a much greater emphasis on “health” rather than just “safety” and significantly improved alignment to ISO 14001:2004 for use of integrated management systems.

    The key changes between OHSAS 18001:2007 and OHSAS 18001:1999 include:

    • The importance of “health” has been given greater emphasis.
    • OHSAS 18001 now refers to itself as a standard, not a specification or document as in the earlier edition. This reflects the increasing adoption of OHSAS 18001 as the basis for national standards on occupational health and safety management systems.
    • The “Plan-Do-Check-Act” model diagram is only given in the Introduction, in its entirety, and not also as sectional diagrams at the start of each major clause.
    • Reference publications in Clause 2 have been limited to purely international documents.
    • New definitions have been added and existing definitions revised. Including improved compatibility with ISO 9001:2000.
    • A new requirement has been introduced to consider the hierarchy of controls as part of OH&S planning.
    • Management of change is now more explicitly addressed.
    • A new clause on the “Evaluation of Compliance” has been introduced, as per ISO 14001:2004.
    • New requirements have been introduced for participation and consultation, as well as, for the investigation of incidents.

    Transition Period
    For organizations that have already achieved certification to OHSAS 18001:1999, or are in the final stages of achieving it, a two year “transition” period will allow them to make the change to using the new standard. The transition period will end on July 1, 2009.

    For organizations just starting the path towards certification to OHSAS 18001 and looking for guidance, they can still use the sister standard OHSAS 18002:2000, which provides guidelines for the implementation of OHSAS 18001. While OHSAS 18002 is aligned on a clause by clause basis against OHSAS 18001:1999, it does contain valuable advice on what must be done to achieve compliance. A revised edition of OHSAS 18002 is planned for publication at the end of the 3rd quarter of 2008.

    Quality Measurement Data Specification

    According to AIAG News, automotive manufacturers and suppliers lose millions of dollars and weeks of product development time from the lack of interoperability from proprietary quality data collection solutions. The Quality Measurement Data (QMD) Specification enables the seamless exchange of quality measurement information between disparate and proprietary gages and reporting tools, solving this data integration problem by reducing as many as 1,500 data formats to one single open reporting format.

    Currently, companies are forced to integrate data to or from numerous disparate data sources. These proprietary, integrated quality data collection solutions cost manufacturers and suppliers enormous amounts of money because of the lack of interoperability among gages and reporting tools.

    Now, with the QMD Specification, gages will be able to exchange data used in Statistical Process Control (SPC) and Measurement Systems Analysis (MSA) studies to different reporting tools. Developed in fully extensible XML XSD with an accompanying data dictionary, this document constitutes a common language for quality measurement. It describes a non- proprietary and open standard for variable, attribute, and binary quality measurement data. The QMD Specification helps companies recover some of the costs, wasted time, and resources from data integration by enabling gages to communicate with more reporting tools and reporting tools to accept data from more sources.

    The publication is available in CD and electronic document formats for a list price of $78. AIAG members can purchase the QMD Specification at a discounted rate of $39. To purchase, visit the AIAG Website or call AIAG at 248-358- 3003.

    The QMD Specification has been tested and validated by many companies. For more information on the specification, visit the QMD Website

    Training Courses


    Our July-September course schedule is now posted on our website
    .

    To see the course description, schedule, and on-line registration click on the course title below. Courses are awarded Continuing Education Units.

    Understanding & Implementing ISO9001:2000
    ISO 9001:2000 Process Based Internal Auditor
    Documenting Your Quality Management System

    Understanding & Implementing AS9100B:2004
    AS9100B: 2004 Process Based Internal Auditor
    Documenting Your Quality Management System

    Understanding and Implementing ISO/TS16949:2002
    ISO/TS16949:2002 Process Based Internal Auditor
    Documenting Your Quality Management System

    Understanding and Implementing ISO14001:2004
    ISO14001:2004 Process Based Internal Auditor

    The Five Pillars of a Lean Workplace Organization
    Continuous Process Improvement
    Lean Six Sigma

    All courses can be delivered at your company. Don’t see a course, location, or date that fits your needs?

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