Pathological anatomy at work

    We continue the topic of quality management, start here .

    What is quality - let's say, figured out, is the degree of compliance with the requirements of the consumer. You may not agree, at least with my categorical, but there seems to be no obvious blunders in this definition.

    The definition is understandable, but this is not enough for quality management. This is some kind of basic, fundamental value, the purpose of the system, and not a guide to action. What do you need?

    What should we do to improve our quality? And what quality should be improved? Everyone has heard that there is a quality product, and there is - the quality of the process. What is the difference? What is more important?

    Or maybe efforts should be directed to the requirements of the consumer? Leaving the quality in place, and convincing the consumer that his demands are not justified, and he needs something completely different - not what he asks. For example, to convince the buyer that sausage from chicken is better than sausage from meat. Is it easy, right? Chicken - dietary, less fat, easier to digest, and cheaper. If you convince buyers of this, they will change their requirements, and the quality of the product will increase dramatically.

    What is it going to work out? Quality control? In the end - yes, but the path is a bit strange. We will not manage quality, but requirements. Is there such a field of knowledge - requirements management? In IT, in particular. Although, if you watch TV, they are only engaged in what requirements management seems to be called “propaganda”.

    I will try to tell you what I managed to learn in my life about “normal” quality management.

    Product and process

    On the one hand, we understand the difference between the product and the process. A process is a system, or a part of it, that exists constantly and produces a product . Sausage (concrete stick) is a product. Everything that produced it is a process (equipment, people, technology, recipes, logistics, storage, etc.).

    On the other hand, this difference is so clear that with quality management it is simply overlooked. If you have been to factories - well, such standard, conventional factories, engaged in some kind of mechanical processing, you may have found yourself at the holivars between production and quality (Quality Department, QMS and their ilk). The guys from the production almost always say the same thing: quality is the quality control .

    What does OTC do? Product controli.e. finished product. They measure it, analyzes are carried out, tests, etc., according to the results of which they decide whether to release (more precisely, skip ) the product or not. If not - then either in the sump, or for rework.

    What happens on a holivar when a marriage is discovered? The logic says: fine, hurray, we found the marriage, did not miss it further, something must be done with the production process so that the situation does not happen again. Marriage didn’t happen by chance? Somewhere there are problems - with materials, equipment and its configuration, workers, technology, design, etc. We must understand, look for reasons, think all together. So after all, production workers?

    And those that answer? Yes, yes, of course, we will figure it out, find it, fix it, everything will be fine.You just miss the marriage further, otherwise our plan is on fire . A corresponding piece of paper is drawn up, the presence of which fully approves of ISO 9001, such as the “product acceptance certificate with deviations”, the market for it is corrected, or the application, such as “do not ship a good customer”. This is still a good scenario, as it is simply an indication from above - “Quality Control, do not stop people from working”.

    The product is concrete, the piece of iron, that is, corrected, ensured quality , all well done, plan, bonus, corporate. And the process remained in place.

    To mess around with the process is very dreary . This is a long, tedious, ungrateful job. Fix the product - much easier. It is understandable, short in duration, easily measurable work.

    But the way out, or the exhaust from managing the quality of a product, is almost always the same — the quality of one particular product . Release PP, car, desk, bridge, etc. Remember how Transformers had it? "Lenny, get the hammer, here you need to fix something."

    And the process continues, and continues to generate new units of products. And again, OTC will find a marriage. And again, the production promises to prevent more marriage. And again everyone will believe.

    Product and process boundaries

    In real production, it is not very difficult to determine the boundaries of the product and process. Here's a sausage, that's all else.

    And how to be, for example, in a closer example to us - the work of an information system? I apologize, but the example will be about 1C.

    Take a simple, easily measurable example - the calculation of cost in SCP (who does not know - this is such a program for managing a manufacturing enterprise, and there is a calculation of cost - such a lengthy procedure). Let's take not a methodical aspect (how it closed), but a purely technical aspect - the holding of the document “Cost Calculation”. We define two indicators of quality: spent or not, and how much time was spent.

    The first indicator is not always relevant, but it also happens - this is not carried out, that's all. That memory is not enough for him, then because of the locks it drops, then the 1C server will hang. It is measured by an indicator of the “Boolean” type - yes or no, spent or fell. In terms of quality management, this indicator is called “alternative”.

    The second indicator is simpler and clearer - holding time, measured in seconds. In terms of quality management, this indicator is called “quantitative”.

    For example, for a customer, the technical parameters of costing calculation are important. Met, perhaps, such a picture? Some consider the cost price at night, some - in a separate database, some write tearful posts at an affiliate conference - help, not considered, falls.

    Where is the process, and where is the product? The simplest case is when the cost calculation is not carried out at all, and you are asked to make it work out , at least somehow. This means that you are asked to release a product , because the current process is not capable of it at all - the yield of a good product is zero, a solid marriage.

    But it is impossible to release such a product manually - in any case, you will have to change the process. Only not on a permanent basis, but temporarily, so that the product at least some turned out. There are many options how to do this.

    For example, it is necessary to ensure the absence of locks at the time. The simplest thing is to drive all users out of the database, or work in the just-made copy (and then transfer it to a working document with all the movements). Another option is to conduct outside the transaction. Of course, it is necessary to put a prohibition boundary (if it was not there) - this will also reduce the likelihood of blocking.

    Then you need to make sure that the server 1C does not fall. First of all, remove the restrictions on memory on rphost - it happens that they will put 1-1.5 GB, and the calculation of the cost price wants more, and the process on which it hangs falls. You can experiment, find the right value later, now you need a product from you, so you just remove the restriction. Users are not in the database already.

    Then it is necessary to remove the negative balances in the registers (if the calculation goes to the RAUSE). Train accountants how to do it, to explain to them the impact of negative balances on the settlement rate of just once - it is necessary product release . What to do, we sit down and fix it manually, at least the most glaring cons. At the same time, we check that there are no billions in sums - for this, some primary documents will have to be recast.

    So what else? And, yes - it is necessary to remove the obsession in the redistribution. Many accountants like to make bundles of products themselves from themselves, but not once. To calculate the cost price, this is evil, because the number of nodes increases many times over.

    It would be necessary, of course, to explain to them that it is impossible to do this, that a normal methodical solution should be sought, and notif only the wiring formed . But when to do it? Not right now, right? It is necessary to calculate the cost. Product release .

    Okay, we quickly rework the bundling - we change the type of operation from “Nomenclature Acquisition” to “Production”, so the calculation of the cost price is easier for them to swallow.

    Just in case, we also install the server under the platform 8.2 - it works more successfully on large operations.

    We try - oh, it was spent! Spun very long, but still - it worked! We will finish some more so that the wow effect is stronger.

    We see that too many entries in the cost-accounting register are bad. So, what about indirect? Well, of course, as always - “everything for everything” is distributed, hence a huge number of records. We take for the chief accountant's cap and try to find out what the accounting policy says about the distribution of indirect ones. Where should costs be allocated? Here is the salary of AUP shop number 1 why falls on the entire production of all the shops? And the 25th expense of shop number 2 why in the cost of shop number 3? Glavbuh, answer, how should something be?

    The chief accountant, as it should be, says: it must be so that it closes . The product must be released. 25 account is empty - and thank God. What is the cost structure? But who looks at her according to accounting? All the same, economists in Excel then their cost structure is riveted, according to the data of the primary organization, and not according to the results of closing.

    Well, how can a meeting be organized? Explain to them that they do not use all the capabilities of the system, that instead of taking into account they have a boiler? What do they have in paper accounting policies, but in reality are they different? No, of course, not before. An urgently needed product of the required quality should be released - so that the cost calculation can be carried out, at least, in 15 minutes.

    Well, quickly we agree with the chief accountant on changing the ways of cost allocation - we edit the layout schemes so that the indirect costs of the production units are closed "on themselves", i.e. only on your release. We make more accurate cost allocation of non-production units. And voila - there are half the number of entries in the cost accounting register. Costing is carried out in 15 minutes.

    The product is released, its quality meets the requirements of the consumer.


    You might think that to do so is not art of IT - well, as I wrote above, abut and product release .

    And the quality management classic says: fine, well done, beautiful! Now, after working on the product, you know what's wrong with the process ! Come on, run to the input process, and make changes!

    This is a feedback loop, one of the key models in quality management. It is based on the well-known "continuous improvement". I saw a problem in the product, found its cause in the process , corrected, looked at the result. And so - to infinity.

    Why run to the entrance process? Well, it seems, it is clear that the next costing calculation also happens, and takes the same 15 minutes. What you will do depends on the context.

    If you are a “called out” outsourcer, then limit yourself to recommendations, sign the act and leave. Or maybe you will not give recommendations - you will remain a unique savior of the product.

    If you - local, fixed, then, with a high probability, also "go away" - back to your computer. Moreover, in terms of the career of a factory programmer, this will be the best solution. You after all leave the winner , as Zidane from Real.

    If you say, “eh, not so it will not work, let's fix the accounting”, then very quickly turn from a winner into a loser - an ugly bore that always whines about how things work incorrectly.

    In the example described, the feedback loop is usually very short, and it is not a loop - a meeting with an analysis of errors and their causes and a plan of measures for elimination. Well, promises from all participating services to “start a new life on Monday”. Implementing a plan is no longer necessary, because there will be no second meeting. Exactly the same as at the production halls and the TCI.

    Although, if you look, you have in your hands a list of improvements to the process.

    A little mess with the server settings, find the balance of performance and limitations to ensure comfortable user experience and cost calculation.

    You will formulate several rules for the design of the primary organization in order to avoid looping redistribution, issue them in the form of instructions and automate the control so that no one is mistaken, intentionally or accidentally.

    Bring the same settings for the allocation of costs in accordance with the accounting policy, so that the goal was not “to close”, but “to obtain an adequate assessment of the cost of production, according to the structure and amounts”.

    Create a simple tool to monitor the presence of negative balances, and impute its use in the responsibilities of accounting. At the same time, take the opportunity that exists in 1C - the background recalculation of the cost of the regl.job to see problems every day, and work with them every day, rather than when closing a quarter.

    It seems simple, yes? Everything is known and understood, no magic. But will youdo you do this No, of course. And why?

    Nobody needs that - is that the answer? You can, of course, argue, but in reality it is.

    Management attention

    Oddly enough, but the main problem of quality management is management's attention, or rather its absence. About this and in the ISO 9001 standards it is written, and the auditors are constantly talking, and the QMS is often the most zachuhanny department.

    The attention of management is not to the quality of the product, but to the quality of the process . Including management process. But the management does not want to deal with the processes that produce the product - only by the products themselves.

    After all, they called you at the moment when it was impossible to release a product, or it was blatantly of poor quality. A bad one, especially a very bad product, is a signal to which management responds. And the emphasis does - fix the product. Putting order in the process goes trailer, and only after the product is fixed. Especially if it is not internal, but an external product - the one that is shipped to customers. If it is not there, or it is of very low quality, they simply will not buy it - and this is a real, understandable and obvious problem.

    If you talk with employees of quality management services - frankly, not in the language of slogans and standards - they will say the same thing: the management does not care about quality . On marriage - do not give a damn, because it is a loss. On the process, its adjustment and improvement - deeply do not care. Not in words, of course, but in practice. Whether it is a franchisee 1C, automobile plant, the production of packages or poultry farm.

    The consequences of this approach, in my personal opinion, are simply horrendous. What do you think, what are they? Is it that enterprises do not work efficiently? Or is that a lot of effort is spent on correcting products, and not on creating a process that will eliminate marriage?

    No, that's not the problem. In the previous article I said: I do not know of any other profession in which the same number of people who do not understand anything in their work would work. Yes, I apologize if I offended anyone - there was no such goal. But for the time being I will remain unconvinced. And now it seems more understandable why no one can manage quality.

    Because the ability to control quality atrophies . A man, after all, cannot do what he does not do.? But it does not, because there is no such task. If, by some miracle, a problem arises, then there is no one to solve it, and the task has to be buried.

    Lack of management attention becomes a smart excuse for quality managers - no one needs it, so we don’t .

    All that remains is surrogate quality management, which breaks the feedback loop from the product to the process input. Surrogate quality management is the implementation of standards.

    We know that quality problems. We vaguely understand that the process is to blame. We cannot build a logical chain from the effect to the cause, or we don’t want or don’t give it, it doesn’t matter. The result is one - we will not. And then what to do? Implement some ready-made solution!

    There is no need to go far for examples. In quality management, the standard set is ISO, 5S, 6 sigma, Lean (lean manufacturing). Take the standard, do what is written there, and you will be happy. And it will be? Does your company have an ISO certificate? Happiness come?

    Or the introduction of information systems, such as ERP. What is not a tablet? Does it solve any problems? Or just creating new ones? You need a TOC. You need Scrum. Need KPI. You need a protein diet. You need to run in the morning. You need Klinskoe beer.

    It doesn't matter what. It’s not what improves the processes, but what probablywill improve the processes. Regardless of actual performance, cause and effect. Just blindly lupim the processes, as if from a cannon on sparrows, and run to look at the result. No result? Well, probably, the gunners of us gunners quality managers.

    In general, attempts at least to change something, even blindly - this is already quite good. We do not know exactly what needs to be done, but we are doing at least something. Some people do not change anything in the system.

    If several times blindly bang, then maybe we will learn to shoot? But no, there is also a need for feedback - look through the binoculars, where he got, and adjust the scope. So, alas.


    In principle, you can control: product quality, process quality, customer requirements.

    Product quality management is the impact on a specific unit of a product or service. The remaining units of the product remain unchanged, as well as the process of their production.

    Process quality management is the impact on a system that produces products in order to improve the quality of all units of products.

    Product quality information can and should be used to adjust the process.

    To control the quality of the product should only be a last resort, when the result is needed urgently.

    Actually, “quality management” is the quality management of the process. So originally conceived.

    Attention to products and their quality shifts the focus of management, from the inputs and internals of the process to its output - the product. As a result, the process lives its life as it should.

    If someone says that he controls the quality, but does not make changes in the process - there is a possibility that he ... well, this ... tells a lie.

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