One of the many fun duties I have in my current position is what is called a “CAR Champion”. The acronym stands for Corrective Action Report or Corrective Action Request, depending on your company. What it basically means, is a process or product did not create the desired or required result and something needs fixed. I’m the person who creates the report with evidence of the failure, the requirement that failed to be met and assigns names to the report that become responsible for actions to be taken. Let’s just say, it is a job duty that can make someone not the most popular person in the building. Even though I may be largely an evidence gatherer and assignment messenger, it’s still my name they see in the email from our system saying (in their interpretation) “you messed up now fix it.”
Any established quality system is going to have a corrective and preventive action program. A corrective action is; taking action on a nonconformity that has already happened. A preventive action is; taking action on something that has the potential of resulting in a nonconformity. It is common in my experience that supervisors and managers are not exactly “thrilled to bits” at receiving communication saying they are responsible for either action, as it is only seen as a failure. The aspect that most of them miss, is that taking decisive ownership of a corrective or preventive action request can result in positive improvements in their departments, provide a multitude of leadership opportunities throughout the process, promote team building moments and development opportunities that can identify other leaders in their company.
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