One of the key requirements of ISO 9001:2015 is to ensure you have a process based management system. Globally companies are looking for new strategies that can give them a competitive advantage and adopting this approach is one of the most effective ways.
One of the great benefits offered by a process based management system is it can be implemented in a gradual way. It is possible to start with certain processes or projects which serve as a starting point to extend a quality management system to the entire organization gradually.
1. Identify and sequence processes
Firstly, identify all the different types of processes which occur within the organization. These processes may be strategic, operational or support based. Once the processes are identified the impact they have on the organizations needs to be determined so the processes with the most significant impact or organizational value can be prioritized.
The next step is to document the sequence of these processes in order to observe the input and output elements of each process and the interaction between them. The best way to visualize all this information is through a graphical representation, a process map.
2. Describe and document the processes
Describe the different processes by documenting the activities which make up the process, and the key characteristics of the process. By understanding the process clearly its management and future improvement can be facilitated. Process documentation can be presented in a written or graphical way, through flowcharts which outline the existing relationships. Process tabs can also be used where information necessary for the control of the processes is detailed.
3. Establish measures
Establish indicators and controls to determine how affective processes are. Monitor the indicators throughout the process and document the results
4. Improve the processes
Analyses the results achieved along with the process indicators to understand whether the process has in fact achieved its purposes and if it is possible to improve that process.
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.