Quality System Deviations in The Lean Machine
We just updated the quality system deviations tutorial in The Lean Machine, and it turned into a whirlwind tour of 6 other modules, as the deviation module is essentially used as a way to evaluate any mishap to determine the correct course of action, which is usually best handled in another TLM module.
The use of this module is mostly dependent of whether your organization is capable of correctly capturing and processing the different possible types of quality deviations, or whether as part of the organization’s learning curve, everything needs to be funneled through this module so that it is both easily captured, and appropriately addressed.
A classic example might be when material is received from a vendor that is not within specifications. Someone without a refined sense of how a quality system should work might think we need to initiate a corrective action for this event, when single material events really just need to be captured in the Rejected Materials module so that the proper disposition of the material can be determined, and the event added to the data available for trending, both for this particular material, and for this particular vendor.
At some point defined in your procedures, this data is then analyzed and evaluated with the reporting tools for this module to determine the need to take either corrective or preventive actions. Also, as part of the Material Review Board process, it might be determined that a corrective actions is needed, but dispositioning the material would come first.
When the nature of your business, or the training needs of the workforce, make it difficult to get quality system events processed appropriately, the deviations module can be a handy tool for establishing some control, and serves to gradually train the workforce in quality system principles.
Before this module was built, The Lean Machine had an employee suggestion module. It occurred to us that being able to capture something anyone in the organization sees as needing to be improved, could very well need to be handled as a quality system deviation depending on what it is. So it made sense to us to combine these two systems and simply provide a way to classify the employees contribution as either simply a suggestion, or as Planned, Unplanned, or Critical deviation.
This gives the quality manager a simple way to open a portal to the whole organization that can be used to capture and process anything they come up with so that good ideas are not lost, and problems don’t go for years without being discovered and addressed.