Successfully introducing a CAPA (corrective action) system
Introducing a new corrective action system it to your organization is an excellent logical step which will boost your improvement culture and make your business better. Done correctly, a CAPA upgrade should make life easier for your employees, customers, and suppliers.
Deployment should be a breeze, but sometimes things don’t always go according to plan. Problems can pop up when rolling out any new system regardless of how easy it is to use, effective it is and labor-saving it is. CAPA and issue tracking systems often rely on the engagement of large and diverse teams, any engagement issues can quickly escalate to cause significant deployment problems. Here are some examples:
- The new system looks strange and unfamiliar
- Operators don't know how to use it
- Why would I risk my precious time to learn a new system?
How to manage the change
Prior preparation and planning prevent particularly poor performance. This is so true when dealing with the introduction of a new system. The key to success here is planning and marketing. This may feel like hard work initially, but the rewards will be great and will save you a lot of late nights in the future.
Create a plan of events from the start which cover the following core elements:
Understanding the logical need for change
- Create a supportive change team (allies) who believe in the change
- Understand the benefits and what will happen if you don’t change.
- Consider all stakeholders.
- Determine exactly what you need from a corrective action system
- Define the current constraints
- Select or design your preferred solution
Define the right solution
Marketing and promotion
- Communicate change vision to affected teams (Why is this required? What are the benefits for me?)
- Run a pilot, collect feedback and listen
- Provide limited training to pilot test teams and generate interest
- Market project status and results
- Define rollout plan with critical influencers
- Provide training for all affected teams
- Roll out
- Provide excellent user support
- Continually market and promote the program
- Make corrections fast, as needed
- Keep monitoring and reporting project status for six months to senior teams
- You're done!
Other things to consider
Any new system must be better and easier to use than your previous method of working for it to be quickly adopted by a team. If it’s not better, then it's going to be a hard sell. The advantages may not be immediately apparent to everybody, so it's essential to understand and communicate the benefits for all stakeholders right at the beginning of the project.
Building system familiarity with potential teams as early as possible is also beneficial. Tantalising screenshots will build curiosity early on, be ready to engage and support your teams as they request more information
That's all the main points to consider, if we think of anything more we will update this page.