Having the opportunity to participate on the Quality Management Committee has been an extremely rewarding experience for me personally and I am confident the team members that have provided support to this effort have benefited as well. The systems approach to management has significantly elevated each committee members understanding of department relationships and if continued has the potential to facilitate a higher level of performance company wide. When you consider the consolidation efforts ongoing throughout our organization this might be the ideal opportunity to establish a process template that could simplify the transition and serve as the foundation for continual improvement. With that end in mind we must make the template simple and easy for our personal to understand or this effort may stagnate.
As you know our department had 19 employees when you began working with us and we were planning on hiring an addition 6 people within the next sixty days. Once you were done we were down to ten employees doing more work with less effort and more efficiency than before, remarkable!
Although I have not always had a full appreciation for third party involvement you have done a very good job providing objective input, coaching and I have come to appreciate your inclusion style of guiding us through the process. Committee members without process development experience were allowed adequate time to involve members of their department, give them a sense of belonging and feel they are part of the big picture. Teams outperform individuals and with the approach you have taken the results will have lasting value.
Any success that the construction and purchasing departments have realized in the timely development of flowcharts and documents to support the certification process is a direct result of teamwork and management commitment to this project. Jon Wojtowitz and Mark Stover are long standing champions of organizational structure, stability and predictable performance.
Our approach to produce support documentation for the construction operating binders were very simple and started by developing a list of what was going to be in the included. Second, we identified the tasks we performed and developed a process flowchart timeline. Third, we used existing, produced new or modified existing documentation to support tasks identified on the flowchart and finally we assembled the support documentation into two binders.
The purchasing department started their document development process in October 2004. With everyone in the department involved throughout the process it has been a most valuable team building experience. Mary Haymore has done an outstanding job as facilitator. In addition to documenting existing processes the purchasing team has developed several performance enhancement tools over the past several months that will be included in our document binder. It should be noted that we have recently lost two purchasing agents and after careful review of our workload and a more defined understanding of our processes they will not be replaced at this time.
Being involved in the ISO 9001 certification process has been a great learning experience and taken my understanding of a systems approach to management to the next level.
It is critical that we have an organizational structure that controls responsibilities, relationships, authorities, people and their functions, which govern how they interact and connect with one another. We need a well defined set of procedures that will control each individual process or activity along with the inputs and outputs and explain who has authority and responsibility, which supplies, suppliers, materials, equipment and documents that are required and when.
Aside from potential savings a process approach management strategy will establish balance, people will perform with confidence and have less stress when they clearly understand performance expectations. When expectations and accountability are clearly defined throughout the process cost can be measured and a foundation is established for continual improvement.
With any large organization I think most people would agree that it is paramount that there is a clear understanding of the relationship between departments. If management at any level does not support this very basic concept then we will never effectively position our organization to reduce cycle times.
If the desired outcome of our local process is to establish the foundation for a national initiative it is also important that we create lasting value by focusing on department relationships rather than who or what job description is responsible for getting the work done.
From: Ed Matatall, Pulte Homes Las Vegas
Re: ISO 9001:2000 Certification Process