Verifying and validating
By Craig Cochran - North Metro Atlanta Region Manager, Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute When I first got into quality, I really hated verifying the effectiveness of actions taken to correct a problem. All of the people whose actions I was verifying were older, wiser, and more experienced than I was.Who was I to say that their actions were effective or ineffective? People just want to get paperwork off their desks or out of their in-boxes as quickly as possible.The following telephone conversation illustrates the type of communication to engage in prior to verification of effectiveness of corrective actions. Do you mind if I drop by your department today and verify the effectiveness of actions you've taken on the late order problem? You're not being targeted, I can assure you." Jill: "Okay, I understand. and we'll be happy to show you what we've done." You: "Thanks for all your cooperation.I’ll see you about 10."As this discussion indicates, people don't always understand the intent of verifying effectiveness.Verification is not an act of suspicion or disrespect; it's simply a necessary part of problem solving. You are seeking evidence that the causes of the problem have been removed or reduced. Sometimes the best you can hope for is a reduction of the causes.In a perfect world, each problem cause would be removed. The cause is still there, but it manifests itself less frequently or less severely.
You're taking a representative subgroup of all the available evidence.
What is the customer's perception of an improvement? Have customers noticed a change in the quality of goods or services?
Keep in mind that these could be internal or external customers.
A 100-percent investigation of evidence is not necessary or particularly effective.
Take what you believe to be a balanced and representative sample of the evidence.
So the best option is to remove the cause, but the next best option is to at least reduce the cause. You are seeking objective, factual evidence that your problem causes have been reduced or removed.