Unformatted text preview: en caused by chance? How
would you use control charts to determine the dispersion type in your company? A Roadmap to Quality 7 Unit 9 - Problem solving 05-87581_unit 9.qxd 09/09/2005 11:49 Page 8 f. Parags. 5, 6, 7 and 8: Give some examples from your company of abnormalities of
the kind described in parag. 5 and the example that follows. Are they always
reported? Are the reports always taken seriously? How would you like to improve the
way people respond to them? Action plan
Draw up an action plan for improving the way your company attempts to recognize
abnormalities, based on the discussions that you have just had. Either write a plan based on
these first discussions, or wait until you have discussed one or two more texts, and then write
a more comprehensive action plan. You might like to follow the 6-Point Structure. Unit 9 - Problem solving 8 A Roadmap to Quality 05-87581_unit 9.qxd 09/09/2005 11:49 Page 9 9.2 Reporting abnormalities
1. If abnormalities are to be dealt with properly they have to be reported. Good
abnormality reports will accurately describe what happened, when it happened and to
whom it happened. This information must then be passed on quickly to whoever is in a
position to act on it. To ensure that employees report abnormalities, you need to:
a. Create a company culture where they are willing to report abnormalities.
b. Draw up rules for making abnormality reports. Create a company culture where employees will report
2. It is important that employees develop the habit of reporting to their superiors when they
feel that something is wrong. However they will often find it a burden to have to write
even a short, simple report. You should therefore:
a. Take every opportunity to explain to employees that there will be no improvement
unless managers know the unpleasant facts; that if the managers are not told these
facts, the results will be bad for everyone, including the employees themselves.
b. Encourage employees to report abnormalities that others may consider not worth
reporting, as, for example, deficiencies in the work place that lead to very brief but
frequent suspension of processes.
c. Establish a relationship of trust with employees. Two good ways of doing this are:
i. Show employees that action will always be taken on a report. In particular deal
with chronic problems by investing in plant and equipment.
ii. Develop the practice of managers and employees solving problems together.
A relationship of trust is essential if reliable reports are to be produced.
3. Ensure that all abnormalities are reported, including:
a. Abnormalities that may seem too minor to be reported.
b. Abnormalities that have been recurring for a long time, and are no longer
considered merely abnormalities (including operational deficiencies). Draw up rules for making abnormality reports
4. The primary rules for abnormality reports are:
a. All abnormalities must be reported to superiors: those identified in every production
process, from the acceptance of raw materials to product shipment, as well as the
conditions in which they have emerged. Reports of abnormalities are important in
themselves, whether they are delivered orally or in writing.
b. Written abnormality reports should have a fixed format. This is to ensure that
abnormalities are properly processed and that recurrence prevention measures are
taken to prevent the abnormality appearing again. This format should be easy to use
and should relate to the actual realities of the work place.
Figure 9.2a Prompt report of abnormality situations
A Roadmap to Quality 9 Unit 9 - Problem solving 05-87581_unit 9.qxd 09/09/2005 11:49 Page 10 c. Before reporting abnormalities observe the following three-step procedure: confirm
the actual problem on the spot, and in a realistic way. This corresponds to the
Japanese problem-solving principle of sangen shugi: confirm the actual problem
(genbutsu) on the spot (genba), with a realistic approach (genjitsu).
d. Report abnormalities at once. Emergency reports must quickly reach those in charge
of emergency action. Some reports may require production suspension, freezing of
shipments, and the sorting and isolation of abnormal products – otherwise
abnormalities may get worse or damage subsequent processes or even reach
customers. These reports must therefore be passed quickly to those with the authority
to decide what to do. Discussion
The following questions ask you to think about how the ideas in the text could be applied in
your company. Some of the ideas may not be relevant to you. Concentrate on what is
relevant. Keep notes of your conclusions – you will need them to prepare your action plan
afterwards. Where appropriate ask yourself the RADAR questions.
Note: Always include in your discussion any figures referred to in the text, if you feel these
are relevant to your company.
a. Parag. 1: Does your company already write up reports on abnormalities? If so, how
useful are they, and how could they be improved? If not, what benefits do you think
they would bring?
b. Parag. 2 gives th...
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