Why ISO standards are important?
There are several different documents in the ISO 9000 family of standards, but ISO 9001 is the only ISO standard that requires certification. ISO9001 is an internationally recognized Quality Management System.
Your Company Needs A Strategy That Provides:
ISO Compliance For Future Growth Of The Company In International Markets
Quick Referencing Capabilities, Easy Access, Easy To Use
A “Drill Down” Capability For Accessing Any Level Of Detail As Needed, (Without Having To Wade Through Pages Of Unrelated Documentation)
Clear Performance Measures and Global Metrics For Top Management (Output to “Digital Dashboard”)
Includes An Integrated Method Of Performance Appraisal And Assessment (Including Assignment Change Protocols That Protect Organizational Integrity)
A Systematic way to change behavior--that ultimately serves and strengthens every employee-manager relationships
Double Duty: Documents serve as stand alone training documents
CP - Company Policy
MO - Methods Overview
WF - Work Flow Diagrams
PD - Process Descriptions
WI - Work Instruction
HT - HOW TO Documents
AS - Associated Documents
Company Documentation Strategies & ISO Requirements?
Determine if your company is motivated to develop continual improvement strategies to comply with external requirements like eventual ISO certification.
Making Promises: It turns out that the cure for implementing good continual improvement is the same cure for increasing the integrity of your company’s products and actions.
Why Do We Need Documentation? We’re Already Doing Our Jobs?
If your work was a game, documentation would be a tool for describing the rules and the strategies of your game. The concept of looking at documentation in this light can help you understand the importance and necessity of good documentation—that is easy to follow in a crisis, easy to update, and consistently makes sense to people in your field as well as others outside your field of expertise.
Imagine that you are playing basketball on an ever-changing team. Some people have been at it a long time, and know all the ins and outs of the game. Others are new, and have special talents to bring. Still others have never held a basketball, and have yet to learn exactly how the game is played. One of the old-timers offers, helpfully, “See that hoop? The idea is to get the ball into the hoop. Oh, and you have to bounce it in between, and try to keep the other team from getting the ball or making their shots.” A lot is lost in the transmission of this information. The basic idea is conveyed, but not how you actually play the game, or even what the strategies might be. With many teammates being helpful to the new players, a lot of information is given, and a lot of information may be missing. The format of the information delivered may be difficult to understand. When you have played basketball for a long time, there is information you take for granted that can be very helpful to a new person—if it is presented in a format that is easy to follow.
If this new person had detailed rules to study and refer to while practicing, they would have:
1. A set of diagrams of potential plays;
2. A clear step-by-step way to implement those strategies;
3. A list of the skills required in play;
With this degree of clarity, there is a good chance the first day on the basketball court, the new person’s first day, could be productive and fulfilling. This use of documentation for basketball serves another purpose. The remaining players are less likely to be called away from the game to explain, point out problems, and teach newcomers the game. They have more time to be productive playing basketball.
Are Documentation Standards Really that Important?
Documentation creates a standard against which people can measure their performance, and see immediately what is going well, and what needs more work. There is less room for misinformation – everyone is working off identical sets of rules and strategies. When the structure is set, the players are free to master the skills needed, and create new plays to stretch their game. People may argue about whether or not a player was traveling with the ball - however, no one is arguing about what traveling is. Traveling is clearly defined, clearly documented.
The same is true in the business world. Having a set structure of standards (rules & strategies) written down in simple clear language that is easy to follow, assures that employees know how to do their jobs. As in the analogy of traveling with the ball, no one will argue or be confused about what the work is. With good documentation, a quick check will reveal the way each employee is supposed to complete the work. It can also clarify what to do when facing major unknowns. The focus stays on the work, and what it takes to perform that work in an efficient and professional manner.
Clear Communication is Really that Important?
Good documentation can only be produced by clearly understanding the fundamentals of a process. Vague communication is a problem in nearly every relationship. How many times are we positive we are being completely clear in our communication, only to discover later that the other person missed a key piece of information we assumed was obvious?
Few people fully realize how easy it is for information to be transmitted or received incorrectly. The problem is in the method of communication and the assumptions people carry or bring with them to the workplace.
Good documentation eradicates assumptions. Literally following verbal instructions does not always mean the worker is performing the correct procedures. The “fault” that must be repaired is always the manager’s responsibility—not the worker’s. Once clear guidelines or procedures are established the employee can be responsible for his/her part. The system of communication is then maintained and improved by both parties as problems arise.
Good documentation sets the groundwork, eliminates wasted time and energy, and keeps the focus on the work being performed. It will speed up performance, create a structure by which to measure that performance, and provide clarity and dependable measures.
ISO-Approved Terms & Definitions
POLICY: A definite course or method of action to guide and determine present and future decisions. It is a guide to decision making under a given set of circumstances within the framework of corporate objectives, goals and management philosophies.(A Statement of Intent, or Guiding Principle).
PROCEDURE: A particular way of accomplishing something, an established way of doing things, a series of steps followed in a definite regular order. It ensures the consistent and repetitive approach to actions (Describes way processes are managed).
PROCESS: A set of interrelated resources and activities that transform inputs into outputs with the aim of adding value. Resources include personnel, facilities, equipment, technology, methodology and finances. The aim is adding value if quality related.
ISO 9001 Changes:
The philosophy has shifted to the "Plan-Do-Check-Act" improvement cycle. This process approach is centered around eight principles. The traditional eight ISO quality management principles to be used by management as a guide towards improving performance are as follows (see MCTS Profit-Ability Principles):
1. Customer/ Market Focus: Organizations depend on their customers and therefore have to understand their current and future customer needs, meet their customer's requirements and strive to exceed their customer's expectations.
2. Leadership: Leaders establish a unity of purpose and the direction of the organization. They need to create and maintain an internal environment in which people can become fully involved in achieving the organization’s objectives.
3. Involvement of People: People at all levels are the essence of an organization. Their full involvement creates opportunities for their abilities to be used for the organization's benefit.
4. Process Approach: A desired result is achieved more efficiently when activities and related resources are managed as a process.
5. Systems Approach to Management: Identifying, understanding and managing interrelated processes as a system define the organization's effectiveness at achieving its objectives.
6. Continual Improvement: Continuous overall performance improvement is the objective of a successful long-term organization.
7. Factual Approach To Decision-Making: Effective decisions are based on solid information and objective data analysis.
8. Mutually Beneficial Supplier Relationship: An organization and its suppliers are interdependent and a mutually beneficial relationship enhances the ability of both to create value.
ISO 9001:2008 & 9001:2015 Key Changes
The new requirements and the format of the ISO 9001:2008 & 9001:2015 standards communicate the systems nature of the standard. The emphasis on planning and top management involvement establishes it as a true management system. Product and service quality are included, but they are not the only aspect of the customer’s experience. Understanding and improving customers’ perception of how well you meet their requirements is a requirement of the new standard. This is established at the top levels of management and communicated throughout the organization.
Back to ISO Documentation...…
ERP & Hoshin Kanri…
Profit-Ability Improvement... (¬Click here to see definitions)
Profit-Ability Management Principles... (¬Click here to see definitions)
People, Empowerment & Profit-Ability… (¬Click here to access articles)
Hoshin Kanri & Deming's Plan-Do-Check-Act... (PDCA) Cycle…