Writted by: Qooling
Quality management is a field that is important for every organization. Although we see more emphasis on Quality when an organization works based on a standard, whether it be ISO or any other. In order to support all the Quality related activities, companies build up Quality departments. These departments are key in maintaining the Quality of the products and services. More often than not, we see that the Quality department becomes responsible for everything related to Quality. However, in the end, every employee that is involved in the processes to produce the product or service has an impact on the Quality and, therefore, should be responsible for that part of the process. The Quality department cannot be responsible for the Quality of every product and service the company delivers or produces; it should be more distributed within the organization.
In the new world, the Quality department is more like an internal consultancy department helping the different departments continuously improve. This way, each department is responsible for the Quality of the output they deliver, while the Quality department helps them improve processes. Making this switch isn’t easy for the company, as Quality departments have been holding this responsibility sometimes for decades. On the other hand, this switch isn’t easy for the different departments either. They are used to having the Quality department solving all the problems. With this new approach, they can no longer do this and they have to step up their game. Fortunately, slowly but surely, more and more companies are embedding this approach to Quality management. In order to do this, transparency is key.
When moving towards this new approach to Quality management, it is important that the company has the right solution to support this. It requires a lot more transparency throughout the organization. The people operating the core processes need to create the NC reports themselves in order to give the consultative Quality department data to help improve the processes. This can only be accomplished if easy-to-use and intuitive solutions are provided. This way, more data will flow into the improvement processes.
The other way is that the Quality department helps with setting up the CAPAs. They can do some CAPAs, but shouldn’t own them all. The responsibility is with the process owners. This way, ownership will be equally distributed instead of being only with the Quality department. Next to the CAPA and NC management, the operational people should be handed the tools to bring Quality to the next level. Great examples are mobile apps for all kinds of checklists and to manage the actions they have to do. This way they can contribute to the management system on the go without much impact on their daily activities. Providing data for the management system becomes a seamless process and part of their normal job.
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To the novice quality manager, ISO jargon can be extremely overwhelming. What is an NCR? What do you mean by OFI? Are we certified or accredited? But before you go and pull out your hair, let’s take a moment to go over some of the most frequently used terms and their definitions with regards to ISO and Management System Certification.