Quality Assurance processes often require holding reviews and documenting decisions made by stakeholders. Common examples include CAPAs Review Board, Complaints Review Board, and Design Review.
There’s a misconception that for regulatory purposes, the results of review meetings must be recorded as minutes. This is why many companies use the traditional method of capturing notes and decisions in either a “minutes” document or spreadsheet. Every time the team meets, the documents are updated, creating some inherent issues:
- The focus is on recording the review event — not the actual processing and resolution of each item, aka the data that really matters.
- Minutes make it virtually impossible to keep track of what was decided when. In the future, if you want to revisit an issue, you have to dig through pages of old meeting minutes.
- Recording minutes in a stand-alone document is often a redundant process. You can choose a format (more on that in a minute) that both records action items and resolutions and serves as your official record of the meeting.
It’s important to note that in most cases, the only compliance requirement is that a review is held. This means that if you want to record decisions so it’s easier for your team to follow up on issues, then you have permission to do so.
You’ve got to optimise for information retrieval (read), not capture (write).
Make the most of your valuable meetings time with Jira
The good news for Jira users is it’s simple to organise and record critical review meetings decisions in a way that ensures the data will be easily retrievable in the future. Here’s how:
Step 1: Prepare and organise for a review meeting (i.e., a CAPA Review Board [CRB] meeting).
When a CAPA issue is processed in Jira, you can flag it so you know it needs consideration in your next CRB meeting. Either put the CAPA issue in a dedicated status, for example, “Ready for CRB” or “Pending CRB,” or, if there is no specific workflow status, you can instead use a label. For example, add the label “pending_crb” to the issue.
You can then use Jira’s search to create a list of all issues that need to be discussed at the next CRB meeting. All you have to do is create a filter called “Pending CRB” and share it with the board members. You can even send them filtered results just before the meeting so that they have a chance to prepare.
Step 2: Documenting the CAPA Review Board notes for each of the discussed CAPAs
During the CRB meeting itself, navigate to the filter “Pending CRB” and go over each of the issues on the list. Update each item to reflect the decisions made during the meeting.
To document that an actual CRB was held, there are two useful approaches:
- Less formal: define a new field called “CRB minutes.” This is a “long text” field that allows you to add updates each time a CRB is held. Simply append to this field the details of each meeting (date, participants), and include the notes from the discussion of each topic.
- More formal: Define a transition on your workflow with an electronic signature. On the transition screen, you will have the following fields to record:
- Meeting attendees
- Meeting notes
- Electronic signature (of the person recording the notes)
Each new meeting notes and signature information on a given issue is automatically added to previous notes.
Step 3: Finding all the CAPA Review Board notes for a particular issue.
This critical step is now super easy — it’s all existing in Jira. Just navigate to the issue in question and review the “Meeting Notes” field. It will indicate all the events when the CRB discussed the issue, and what was decided at each event.
Keeping meeting minutes is an old-school way of covering your bases without considering any other uses. Jira not only documents what was done but also gives you a clear path forward so your meetings will be even better in the future.
Blog posts in this series:
- Managing CAPAs in Jira: key questions answered
- Improving your CAPA SOP with Jira – an action plan
- How triaging customer issues helps streamline CAPA
- Compliance, usability and culture in quality management
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