Quality Progress - February 2013 - (Page 72)

Back to Basics BY Tony Gojanovic Minimizing Chaos Tips for managing your documents “catastrophic document failure” procedures are some “bucket” labels that undefined acronyms, tiny fonts, overuse is what the auditor said when he saw the come to mind. of color and poor use of white space cardboard box on the table with papers 2. Think trees. The most effective way sabotage an individual’s cognitive ability to arrange the buckets is based on a tree- to process information efficiently and like hierarchical structure. For example, effectively, and is unlikely to keep a reader process and been met with an explosion Figure 1 shows a hierarchical classification interested past the title. Keep in mind: It’s of paper and documents with no rhyme or scheme for classifying a work instruction. not just about conveying information, but flowering out of the top. How many times have we audited a reason to their organization? How often This system of branching and forking also its meaning. 5. Document management. In a large have we found ourselves looking at myriad is a highly effective and flexible method electronic spreadsheets or documents, of classification. Using ideas of pruning organization, there may be many levels each containing a mysterious fragment of and splicing, smaller trees can be joined of document or information use and information? to larger trees or larger trees thinned into development. Authorship of documents simpler processes. may fall on many individuals’ shoulders Much has been written about document control and management. But applying 3. Centralization. The least value- these basic principles can help transform a added activity is to have documents or nightmare into a well-managed system. information in different locations, whether 1. Classification. Organization of a document system begins with creating “buckets” for information. The rather than a few technical document developers. A small group or an individual must it is file cabinets, shoe boxes or on be responsible for managing document someone’s hard drive. classifications, numbering, archiving, One of the biggest failures related to revision control, document consistency, fundamental tool for managing complexity document systems is being unable to find author education and overseeing is breaking a complex system down what you need in a timely and accessible information access. Without centralized into smaller logical pieces that can be manner. Today’s electronic collaboration control and group oversight, junk will be managed. platforms, with their ease of configuration created and stored haphazardly, and will and array of development tools, make it eventually destroy the credibility of the that compose your system? Standards, test possible to have a centralized documentation best document systems. methods, policies, work instructions and system that is reliable and readily accessible. What are the current document pieces Hierarchical classification scheme / figure 1 4. Clarity. Clarity The true test of a document system is how well documents enable an of delivered content organization to function efficiently and will help create thrive. Just as your household must be manageable and organized and clean, so must a document effective user-oriented management system. QP documents. Simple, short, grammatically correct and tothe-point language arranged in a graphically pleasing manner using bullets and tables goes a long way. Long paragraphs, poor grammar, 72 QP • www.qualityprogress.com Bibliography Booch, Grady, Object Oriented Designs With Applications, Benjamin/Cummings Publication Company, 1991. Pink, Daniel H., A Whole New Mind: Why Right Brainers Will Rule the Future, The Berkley Publishing Group, 2006. Tucker, Alan, Applied Combinatorics, fifth edition, New York, John Wiley & Sons, 2007. Tony Gojanovic is a statistician at MillerCoors in Golden, CO. He has a master’s degree in statistics from the University of Colorado in Denver and is a member of ASQ. http://www.qualityprogress.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Quality Progress - February 2013

Up Front
Expert Answers
Keeping Current
Mr. Pareto Head
The Right Blend
Lessons in Labeling
Know the Why
Don’t Lose Patients
3.4 per Million
Quality in the First Person
Career Corner
Statistics Roundtable
Standards Outlook
Six Sigma Resource Guide
QP Toolbox
QP Reviews
Back to Basics

Quality Progress - February 2013