9/19/2006

DOCUMENTATION, CHECKLISTS & PROCESS REPEATABILITY

Filed under: — Doug Contreras @ 6:43 am on
If you ever had the rare opportunity to be in the cockpit of a commercial airliner prior to takeoff, you would undoubtedly have noted the dialogue between the co-pilot and pilot as one reads the list and the other performs the check. As a student pilot I learned of the value and importance of checklists. Starting with my first lesson, my instructor continually stressed that a safe pilot never trusts the pre-flight check process to memory. During my days of training, I can remember reading dozen of stories in flying magazines about how something forgotten ended in disaster.
There is a lot to be said for using the checklist approach in managing a business. Although setting & executing a job or a process from memory may not necessarily produce an unsafe or disastrous result, it can end in a product or process that cannot be sold. Documenting the details of your jobs and processes and using a systematic checklist can help you avoid costly mistakes.

The following is a partial list to suggest some of the things that might be documented in the form of a job specification:

  • Approval Dates
  • Customer(s)
  • Dimensions (Size, Capacity, Weight, etc.)
  • Formulas & Ratios
  • Job Type
  • Line Speed
  • Location of Approved Samples
  • Package Labeling
  • Packaging Count
  • Packaging Details
  • Possible Production Lines
  • Process Description
  • Process Machinery
  • Process Machinery Settings (Dimensions, Pressure, Temperature, etc.)
  • Product Code
  • Product Description
  • Product Name
  • Qualified Operators
  • Qualified Set-Up Personnel
  • Special Customer Requirements
  • Special Tooling
  • Staffing (Number & Descriptions)

Documenting your jobs and processes is only the beginning. Insist that your supervisors and staff methodically use the documentation to check their work!


DOUG CONTRERAS
Visit my profile on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/dougcontreras
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doug@performancedatamanagement.com

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