Rogue Supervisors, Excessive CAPA’s, and Blind Management, A Trifecta for Despair, Non-compliance, and Employee Turnover
Rogue Supervisor– A dishonest or unprincipled supervisor
Rogue supervisors, does anyone know one? How do you know they have gone rogue? Is it a quality your company seeks out under the disguise of a ‘new direction’? What do you do if you have one?
In the regulated world of medical devices, many procedures and processes are documented to maintain compliance with FDA and ISO standards. I have also found them to be useful guides for businesses that require direction, and helpful for understanding product challenges through tracking lot numbers to the device history records, and back to the raw material if necessary. The procedures help ensure standardization of the manufacturing process from start to finish. Approved processes are critical to making the same high-quality part over and over year after year. What company is going to grow and be sought after by many customers if they have known high failure rates in the marketplace?
So, where can rogue supervisors create this much havoc? The most dangerous place I can think of is in Production. With direct influence over their production team, creating an atmosphere about the written documentation everyone ‘trained’ on as mere guidelines and not necessary to be followed as written/approved for each order. Bad things can and will happen. When you ask your production supervisor how they have completed a process, and they reply “We don’t do it that way,” a red flag shoots up. What is the point of process validation if changes occur willfully order after order?
The result is non-conformances which lead to an influx of new CAPA’s (Corrective and Preventive Actions), resulting in a monthly increase of open CAPA’s. This high level of reactive activities in a production environment steals resources from continuous improvement activities and is also a moral killer. When the offending supervisor is not stopped and held accountable, the site begins to turn into an out of control entity. Certain senior management types can add insult to injury by allowing the offending production group to stall or reject the corrective actions portion of the CAPA and then point the finger at others for their inept business practices. This non-action is the perfect example of Blind Management!
Blind Management – Senior or site management that is given information about issues, and chooses not to see the problem or delegate to properly correct situations
‘Blind’ managers will listen to your concerns but do nothing. They won’t accept your ideas to improve the ’system,’ they protect the wrong people, and they discourage the manufacturing and quality engineers by allowing the lunacy to continue under their protection. This group likes looking at the metrics in green (good) but spend little effort discussing and truly directing a proper course of action for the red (late) items.
Companies on this course soon see high-quality employees leaving the company. This is the first sign of a longer pattern of extended turnover. Next, the good employees begin to leave. The only group of employees that won’t leave on their own are the bad or trouble causing team members. They rarely leave on their own, and they take good employees and drag them down to their low level if left unattended. Sadly, I have seen this process happen from the east to west coast with various sizes of companies.
What you choose to do at your company is of course up to you.
The above blog was constructed from a summary of events at various sites where I was able to observe, participate in, and learn a great deal. Whether you work at a brand name company or a small through midsize entity, no size or brand name site is immune. As the title suggests, nothing good ever comes from Rogue Supervisors, Excessive CAPA’s, or Blind Management.
If you have other topics of interests, or you would like me to expand on a prior blog, please send your ideas to me via this link and I will be happy to review them for a potential new blog.