Write A Good Problem Statement
I’ve learned over the years that writing a good problem statement in your NonConformance Report is probably the most important part of any investigation. If the problem isn’t stated clearly, then it becomes too easy to misinterpret the problem and lead the investigation in the wrong direction. A Good problem statement should tell someone ‘who, what, where, and when’….the ‘why’ will be addressed in the actual investigation.
Start Your Investigation Immediately
Every investigation has an assigned timeframe (specified in your Standard Operating Procedure) in which it must be completed….that means approved and closed out. So the day the NonConformance Report is initiated, the clock starts ticking. If you wait until you have very little time left before you begin, then you most likely won’t complete a through investigation and may find yourself revisiting the issue. Set up a timeline that will include milestones along the way so that you are working on the investigation little-by-little….before you know it your NonConformance Report will be completed and on-time!
Consider All Possibilities When Determining Root Cause
In your NonConformance Report, you want to make sure that you consider everything that may be contributing to the problem and rule each one out until you’ve gotten to the most likely root cause(s)….yes there can be more than one root cause. Sometimes our workload gets a bit crazy and it becomes too easy to quickly jump to a premature conclusion.
Verify That Your Corrective Action Was Effective
Give yourself enough time to evaluate whether or not the the problem has truly been corrected. For example, if the problem used to occur whenever you manufactured product X, then you would want to make sure you have at least three cycles of making product X after your corrective action has been implemented. If the problem hasn’t occurred during the three cycles, then you most likely got to the root cause.
Let me know what your experience has been with NonConformance Reports and if this post has been helpful.