The Craig Gregersen Case

Post: Terri_Krause_Wk1_DQ1_Part 1: Louise_Craig_Gregersen_Case_Study

Author: Terri Krause Posted Date: October 21, 2014 3:13 PM

What the Training Department needs: Objective I (Louise) believe our objective with this project is to provide a training vehicle that can help bring our employees (and eventually our extended 3rd party “partner” groups) up to speed on the aspects of product liability as it relates to them personally, and as a member of the global Electron Corp team. This includes giving a broad overview of the major issues and potential consequences both on the individual, local, and global corporate levels; helping each employee find where he/she fits in the picture and what compliance will look like in action; involving employees in the quality/safety process from the standpoint of their role and contribution; and preparing them to know: 1. What constitutes a potential problem, 2. When to seek help, 3. When to report issues, and 4. What the processes are, that are required at each stage of the product lifecycle. What I believe would be most beneficial is a training program template and long-range plan that can: 1. be adapted by country, product type and role in the chain of responsibility (including some type of resource that can be made available to vendors and 3rd party partners); and, 2. will inform personnel (and later, product partners) of current product liability issues and concerns as well as the part each of them plays in the design, quality and/or safety process, and ultimately in the success of the company.
Parameters: The parameters need to be fairly tight as far as the initial training; but, job aids and an online knowledge base could possibly augment the training if it could be done in a way that it was organized by user type and level, product, standard, need and country and make up for the limited amount of classroom time we can allocate per trainee.
Timeline and Scope It would help if the initial training date could have a short deadline (I am hoping for 5 to 6 weeks max); but, since we are only trying to build initial awareness of the major issues and concerns (casting a vision in other words) the scope can be less detailed as long as it covers the basics and critical concerns by product, country/region, standard, and role. Because pressure is on everyone (especially the training department at this point) to deliver something due to the existing product liability environment; and we are talking about a worldwide, large-scale endeavor; your proposal needs to indicate how you plan to deal with scope, multiple languages, and delivery methods (i.e., who will be trained/where will they be trained/how will we do the training/how will we train our trainers, etc.).
Delivery with Emphasis on Global Unity and Buy-in The training would be best if it is creative and interactive, both to keep interest and also to reach the extremes of the trainee pool, as well as to transcend cultures. You may want to use well-known published industry cases as they may greatly enhance the sense of urgency; but, these should probably be country or at least region specific to ensure relevance; and, Standard specific to allow for practical application of the concepts and principles being presented. Using a short example of an issue that another country or region is dealing with could also help create a sense of unity and camaraderie so that no region begins to think it is alone, or singled out, in this difficult process. If the training exercises can involve the individual players so they begin to take ownership of their part of the quality and product liability issue(s), I believe that would really help us with global corporate buy-in. This could be done by asking ahead of time for some examples of situations that have either been questionable in the past, or that employees are concerned about currently; and, then together with Legal, determine a methodology to allow trainees to share and process their examples as part of the course. I think we need a solution that can take a very large and complex subject and without introducing principles that we could be called to account for later, still teach a process or methodology along with indicators that can serve to reduce some of the anxiety our employees are beginning to experience. This will allow them to trust that they understand what is required and that Electron is going to make sure they have all of the resources, knowledge and skills necessary to succeed.
Interpersonal Issues Because legal created a training effort that did not work, it would be good to look first at the content of their course, as it shows the areas they believe are important. Also, if we can move them into more of an advisory role, it will be more fitting to their skill set and allow them to save face. We need legal as much as we need engineering, marketing, and every department to partner with us to provide a solution that fully meets the overall need of the company. Legal is currently a little sensitive because management determined their prior attempt was ineffective, so it will take tact and diplomacy to get them working with us to create an effective program. I thought an outside provider might help it not appear that the responsibility was taken away from legal and given to the training department; hence the reason for calling you, Craig. After reviewing their prior curriculum, if any can be used in some way as part of the course, it might go a long way in mending fences and fostering a more unified effort. We will also begin to reach out in an effort to enlist their support in the advisory capacity.
Other Considerations: Extended Supply/Delivery/End-User Chain Product liability extends beyond the walls of our plant and even beyond our employees. Because of ISO and the other governmental regulations, the entire chain of responsibility needs to be cognizant of their part and the extent of the requirements relative to the role they play. The course will need to reflect an awareness of claims, promises, purchases, fact all third party companies who directly or indirectly participate in our product line; while at the same time not taking on additional liability. Perhaps, general guidelines and principles can be conveyed; and then reference materials made available for more case/situation specific questions. If we can develop this course with the intent that the parts relating to third-party groups will be portable and customizable for later distribution, that would be most helpful.
Other Considerations: ISO 29990:2010 We have protocols and ISO 29990:2010 standards for training that we are required to meet as well; so, we will need you to become familiar with the standards for non-formal training programs. I will give you all of the info I have today to help expedite the process and you can call me with any questions you may have, or I can put you in contact with our Chief Quality Officer.
Evidence of Results We really need something effective and measurable, so we will want to build in Levels 1-4 evaluation tools even if only at a basic level in order to gauge the effectiveness of our efforts, as well as to know if we are achieving our ultimate goal of positively contributing to the bottom line through increased design, safety and quality measures.
In Summary In a nutshell, training needs to be able to fully inform, involve and equip each person who potentially might play a part in the product liability process to partner with Electron to operate at all times with a quality and safety mindset; being aware of standards, rules and procedures; and exercising a firm commitment to do all he/she can to deliver a safe, well-designed, well-constructed, profitable, quality product within the parameters of governing regulations and ethics.