Embrace Change and Unlock the Doors to Creative Risk Management

Susan Moore, Compliance & Self Assessment, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, Arlington, TX, USA

Keywords: Embrace Change with Unconventional Risk Mitigatio, Team Together to Identify and Reduce Risk, Knowledge in Numbers

Industry: All

Level: Intermediate


Embracing change is critical to any company s future. Our company has remained focused and delivered value to our customers by embracing change with a continual improvement mindset. We challenge our processes and minimize risk with a robust self identifying process as we continue to expand and meet our customer s needs.

Traditionally, the self assessment process creates awareness to procedures, documents and processes employees work to within their company. Usually they are conducted by a few assessors. Our company s self assessment program takes a different approach because it continues to create awareness, yet instills process ownership from the general manufacturing workforce to the highest level of management. With a team approach we concentrate on preventive action opposed to corrective action. This creates an atmosphere of awareness in numbers. The more aware our employees are of the procedures and the requirements within; the better they can follow and/or change them to above all meet the requirements of the Standards. This process can also be easily adapted and implemented with suppliers assessment needs. Our company developed a system tool with the added bells and whistles that mimic our process; but a simplistic spreadsheet could also be used to enhance the self assessment process.

The process begins by identifying risks and scheduling assessments. Two unique process elements are: 1) Lessons Learned 2) Assessment Plans. Both are associated with corresponding documents and communicated prior to the start of self assessment activities. Before progressing to the assessment review both of these elements are shared with assessors and/or teams.

In a team environment, Lessons Learned shared by one team or site can be shared and knowledge built throughout production manufacturing departments. Teams have the ability to submit the Lessons Learned and they are then attached to corresponding documents. The Quality Organization and Production Management also provides Lessons Learned by trending their data and audit results. Turn any negatives into positives by sharing Lessons Learned with all divisions/locations of your company.

Assessment Plans have the capability of directing assessments toward a path of risk, in simplistic understandable language. Innovative and applicable plans bring self assessment to an understandable level so everyone can participate and mitigate risk. Creative assessments motivate individuals and teams to look for deficiencies or provide different views to enhance a process. By our employees identifying the risk; they take ownership and address the issues before there is a potential risk to our product, people or process. Leadership can easily be trained and inspired to incorporate creative ideas into any assessment plan with their teams. Positive reinforcement for value added assessments can be taken to a whole new level company wide. Our goal is to be audit ready and keep our people and product safe. We are conducting proactive assessments instead of reactive assessments.

Teaming together, management and team members can have a voice to formulate plans for improvement. Management has a sky box view and can trend assessment data, identify the risk and communicate with teams. This part of the process builds trust within teams and management. The data also confirms we are working to our requirements and procedures before they become an audit finding. It is imperative we follow through the validation process when risks are identified and actions are taken to ensure the assessments are effective and value added. This approach takes self assessment to a new level by including the general work force. Actions can be tracked to closure and re-evaluated for effectiveness. The scope of the assessment can be enlarged to incorporate additional teams, functions or sites. If actions were deemed ineffective the assessment documentation can provide insight for a path forward.

Audit success stories, Lessons Learned, Self Assessment templates and training ideas will be shared during the presentation to confirm the success of our process and to make a self assessment program easy to implement for any company.

Our customers, like those of other companies, are counting on us to meet their most critical needs and by looking at self assessment and embracing change in our standards, processes and procedures we can mitigate risk to the lowest level and provide stellar products second to none.