When analyzing data, be sure to connect the dots to continual improvement

As in many ISO standards that are based on ISO 9001, there is the requirement to analyze data that has been collected as part of the quality system. Such standards as ISO/TS 16949, AS9100, and others state this quite clearly in clause 8.4 Analysis of Data. Not only should information and metrics be looked at for such items as customer satisfaction, product conformity, process trends and suppliers, but there should be some sort of evidence as to how analysis of these items drive continual improvement.

As consultants and auditors, we occasionally run into situations where a company can show us literally walls of hanging data including SPC charts, Pareto diagrams, pie charts, bar graphs and other like items. We have seen entire “war rooms” devoted to this type of information, yet when asked of management to explain how all of this colorful wallpaper drives continual improvement, the answer sometimes becomes a deer-in-the-headlights stare and struggle for an answer. A word of consulting advice – don’t let this happen to you!

Make sure the analysis of data can be tied to continual improvement initiatives, corrective and preventive actions and other methods of becoming a better organization.

Visit g3iso.com for more info on continual improvement!

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