Sunday, August 22, 2010

IA Catchwords- Series- 5

Frequency of review is not followed

Reviews and Meetings are essential for sustenance and growth. Discussions take place on the various issues pertaining to customers, operations, and business. Top Management conduct these meetings to identify and resolve those that had been pending due to decisions from the top management. The frequency of review is normally fixed taking into account the status and importance of the activities being reviewed and the availability of participants. Once planned, it is necessary to follow the routine. It has been observed that while Business reviews are done as per the schedule, the QMS reviews are invariably either delayed or cancelled. In order to avoid such incidences, it is suggested that the reviews are integrated with the Business reviews and/or done in 2/3 tier structure. If the reviews are not carried out or not effective, the result would be a weak system resulting in not meeting the Business Objectives.

Instructions were not available

Instructions are essential for effective planning, operation, and control of processes. They are a means by which information is passed on to carry out or test processes. They need to be clear, and unambiguous and provide Do's and Don’t's. Verification of availability of instructions to ensure process effectiveness is necessary, where the absence of such instructions would adversely affect the process performance. This includes visual, dimensional, functional, performance, comparison with standards/specifications, etc.,

Look at /Look for

"Looking at" is a powerful tool for an auditor. One looks at the documents, records, processes, people, equipment, measurements, data, etc., It is a phrase used to convey the observations in precise terms. This phrase is invariably followed by the phrase "looking for". One looks at the operations, documents, and records for conformance. In fact, it is a logical combination of observation and result.

Mapping of defect classification is not done

Defects are observed and recorded. In order to analyze the causes of defects, and identify corrective actions, they are to be prioritized. A good practice is to classify them according to their impacts on the final result. There are many ways of defect classification- such as impact-based, cause-based, results-based, process-based, product-based, customer-based, project-based, etc., The type of classification is influenced by the objective of the process/project, type of defects, and the stage of defect observation. Once the classification is done, investigation is carried out using a mapping technique. Mapping is done using techniques to identify patterns, and trends that might indicate causes.