by Jason Quick
How often do we hear or experience these…?
“I can’t address that one today as I simply don’t have time”…
“…that one looks relatively straight forward, maybe I can delegate that out to Jo Bloggs!”…
“I don’t know why I have to fix this one, it’s just going to happen again!”
As a stand-alone concept, corrective action lists sound great…. they appear methodical and easy to follow. Yet, they have inherent flaws if treated as a stand-alone process. Located at the interface between corrective actions and continuous improvement, lies human error. In this context, we can see that the quick fixes are generally weak, and the potential for re-occurrence is high, with ‘people’ often becoming the root-cause of audit findings, rather than process.
1nsight, a tech company from Sydney Australia, developed a customisable Continuous Improvement (CI) app that keeps their corrective actions ‘F.I.T for duty’, so to speak, with the higher purpose aiming to focus on problem-solving quality improvement, rather than paperwork.
Among other things, the CI app, and the corrective actions arising from the dynamic auditing tool are:
When large numbers of corrective actions exist, it is vital that they are easily found, with the ability to filter the higher priorities from the others. Their system allows for filter auditing and corrective actions by date, person, facility, wing, shift, audit type and so on. They can also be found by keyword, risk assessment outcome and progress status.
In line with whole-systems thinking, corrective actions must be integrated into the greater system and purpose for continuous improvement – they must work to ‘close the loop’. CI allows for the uploading of associated documents including training materials, create relevant notes and force evidence if required. It tops it off with in-built risk assessment tools and dynamic scheduling, which intuitively adjusts audit schedules based on results.
Essential to any continuous improvement software, all corrective actions, both individually and collectively, must be trackable. This can be achieved by linking (in real-time) to BI and CI dashboards that provide an overview from the whole-of-organisation, right the way down to the minutia, which includes compliance history and benchmarking. The set-up aligns with the Pareto Principle, which can assist to identify 20% of corrective actions that account for 80% of the problems.
The extent to which organisation’s value their corrective actions, and how they see them beyond a tick-and-flick. Good software systems have bespoke capabilities that align with your nuances, and ultimately determines the rate of success for continuous improvement.