Managing by walking around is a great idea…if you are looking for the right things. With just ten questions, you can perform a quick (but far reaching) managing by walking around quality audit in your plant or office.
The ISO 9000 family of quality standards have received a little bit of bad publicity from over-zealous interpretations of document control and traceability of test equipment to national standards. With a little common sense, what is left is a comprehensive standard that can be used to assess the robustness of any company’s quality system and operating practices.
From ISO 9000, here are the ten managing by walking around quality audit questions:
(1) Management Responsibility. What is our quality policy?
(2) Customer Satisfaction. How do we determine and track customer satisfaction?
(3) Contract Review. How do we verify that all customer requirements can be met before accepting orders?
(4) Quality Planning. How do we ensure quality in new products and/or new services?
(5) Purchasing. How do we ensure the quality of purchased products and/or services?
(6) Process Control. How do we know production, inspection, and maintenance activities are being performed as planned?
(7) Inspection and Test Status. How do we clearly identify and segregate defective materials and parts?
(8) Corrective and Preventive Action. What are our processes and methods to identify, correct, and prevent quality problems?
(9) Handling, Storage, Packaging, Preservation, and Delivery. How do we protect our raw materials and finished products from damage and/or deterioration?
(10) Training. How do we proactively assess training needs and deliver training when required?
There, in just ten questions, is the foundation for a robust quality system. Ask one of these quality audit questions a day as you walk around, and in two weeks you’ll have a good idea of what you have in place and what you need to be working on.
Quality improvement is a big part of my day job as a Professional Engineer. Visit my Operations Engineering page for methods and case studies.