ISO 9001:2015 has brought a variety of new concepts to the field of standards and certification. One of these concepts involves the process of aligning the Quality Management System with the organization’s own strategic direction. And, understanding this relationship in order to maximize a company’s efficiency and potential.
Understanding the company’s context while ensuring quality in both the policies and objectives stated by the board is paramount, as well as both factors being in line with the body’s general strategic direction. Members of the company must then verify quality checks in policies, compatibility with the strategic direction, and all while making sure that the QMS is in line with all mentioned factors.
Knowing your Strategic Direction
Knowing the strategic direction for an organization may seem like an easy and simple enough task to undertake, but there is more to it than meets the eye. Strategic direction refers to the path of actions you are utilizing to achieve the goals you and your company has set out to do in the basics of organizational strategy. The creation of achievements and goals are a common step that a company takes during the building process. You may know it as the Mission and Vision Statement of the company, something that I am sure you have noticed written on the organization’s walls for all to see. It is a statement where the founding members state their agenda on where they see the company headed, as well as laying out the plans step by step in order to make sure they are going the right direction. This will guide the company’s course of action through the years of growth and progress.
Utilizing Quality Objectives towards the Strategic Direction
Quality objectives are the target statements that will be looked upon when considering more growth and progress in a company. These objectives provide bullet points for consistent and continued improvement all around the organization, and each objective has a specific layout or plan to ensure that the motives are in line with the scope of the vision of the company. For an example, if the organization’s formulated mission statement involves the improvement in quality of their product while still maintaining a competitive edge on quantity and creation, the quality objective would involve a specific targeted percentage of growth in an X number of time. This would give an outline and guide on the mission’s landmarks to make sure that the company grows and develops as planned and in the same level of the timeframe they provided. Of course, the quality objective must be realistic enough to foresee some roadblocks and adjust accordingly. This would ensure a grounded approach to the goals, and will be of prime importance when trying to meet the standards set in the creation of objectives at the time estimated.
Lack of Strategic Direction
In earlier stages of progress, a company may delay the creation of the mission and vision statements, leading to a vague strategic direction for the entire process. This should not be the case, as if you are applying ISO 9001:2015 or undertaking the transitional process from using an ISO 9001:2008 to 2015, the creation and having an overall mission and vision is paramount to a company’s initial growth. These goals create a critical role and aspect in the successful implementation of the requirements provided by the QMS. A lack of an overall vision would lead to several problems along the way, such as the decreased focus in specific standards; an inferior demonstration of the company’s quality policies, objectives, and management review. The best way of getting a head start in this process is definitely the creation of a unified and specific vision under the company’s umbrella, ensuring that all the elements involved have a general direction where they need to focus, as well as an easier time creating and maintaining standards set by the QME. These factors will create a steady form of development and improvement for the company, and may even provide ways to improve relations with customers, build rapport, all while growing your business. This is what application of ISO 9001 is all about.