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Not Done Until You Verify It March 17, 2011

Posted by Tim Rodgers in Management & leadership, Quality.
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Here’s a short post on one of my pet peeves, so please bear with me. Lately I’ve been receiving team updates that include the status of action items. Very often I’m told that an action item is “closed” because someone has taken some action, but there’s no follow-up or verification that the action was effective in resolving the issue.

A typical example is a report on part defects from the previous month. The factory quality team in my department will present a table with a list of all the part defects found, in each case the supplier has been contacted, and the supplier has promised that corrective action will be taken. The table shows these issues as “closed.” They’re not “closed,” at least not until there is some measurable evidence of improvement in part quality. If improvement isn’t detected, then the corrective action did not address the root cause and obviously the issue isn’t closed. I’m teaching that you’re not done just because you found someone to agree to fix it … it has to actually be fixed.

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