Training in Regulated Industries LO25342

From: John Zavacki (
Date: 09/17/00

Replying to LO25310 --

Winfried says:

>What are the conditions necessary so that attention to a quality system
>does not distract attention from quality?
>For me, this a bit like asking, once again, and again in another form the
>old question: What distinguishes a learning from an ordinary

I too, live in a QS9000 world, with fifteen or so plants and quality
managers. In the one which I was most instrumental in developing, the key
to truly understanding quality as opposed to the standard came from
developing organizational learning habits in the community, by bringing
understanding of the factory as a community to all of those living in it.

We spent a lot of time on dialogue within the upper management community,
thinking about how our principles should interact with the regulations
imposed by the customer and the government and the union. We spent a lot
of time learning, for ourselves, the relationships of the practices of
quality to the standards, and we spent a lot of time talking with the
people who run the machines and make the parts about how to make it all
work better. We made one part of the factory a learning laboratory,
developed the documentation required based on the new way of working and
then moved the concepts out to the next cell and the next and the next.

After struggling with old ideas and equipment for three years, our first
new product launch went well, with the only areas of concern coming from
the larger organization in which we are imbedded and, of course, the
customer. The learning histories for launches are now a part of the
culture and we get stronger with each new one, using the discipline and
creative problem solving earned to do the day to day operations and to
find better methods as we work.

I ignored the poorly written procedures, the rubberstamped work
instructions and the other symptoms of compliance mentality and
concentrated on helping people to understand all of the good things we
could do and how we could do them. Now that they're habits, we've
documented them, on an intranet, so that they can change as we do.

John Zavacki


"John Zavacki" <>

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