Nine Do’s of 9001:2015 ISO Implementation for Beginners
Learn how to ensure successful implementation of ISO 9001 by keeping in mind the following nine do’s of ISO implementation:
1. Hire a Consultant
You will definitely need one to guide you through the entire planning and execution process. The consultant will also help you prepare the necessary documentation, which might seem intimidating at first. The documentation involves developing all your policies, procedures and templates that will help you improve quality and maximize efficiency at your organization. The consultant will also train the in-house team for ISO (9001) implementation.
2. Sensitize the Entire Staff
It is important that the top management makes it clear at the outset why the company is going for ISO (9001) certification. The staff needs to understand that the ISO certificate is much more than just a piece of paper that the company wants to proudly display with its name.
As you begin implementing ISO, the employees will be required to work in a particular way according to the laid down processes and procedures. This will involve becoming more organized and getting used to monitoring and accountability. Generally speaking, people resist change; and if you fail to convey the seriousness of your intent to improve quality at the outset, the in-house ISO implementation team will find it hard to ensure compliance with the ISO requirements.
3. Develop an in-house Team for ISO 9001 Implementation
Preferably, you should strive for a cross-functional team from your core departments. Since ISO (9001) is about improving the quality of your businesses processes, it is important to have representatives from the core departments. For instance, if it is an IT company, the representatives from development/quality assurance department should be part of the team.
4. Keep the Team Small
A big team will make it hard to pin down responsibilities. If it is a mid-size organization, four is a good number. Just make sure that you chose people who can-and are willing to– take additional responsibility, have the ability to work in a team, and can perform under pressure. The nature of responsibilities for each team member should be clearly defined to avoid the game of ‘passing the buck.’
5. Figure out a way to Control Documents
Document control refers to identification, and traceability of changes made to the documents. Clause 4 of 9001:2008 involves document control procedures and processes. And this is the clause where non-conformances are often found. One way to deal with it is to assign the role of document controller to one person in the in-house ISO team. S/he should be responsible for controlling every document.
A good tool to manage document control is Visual Source Safe). This software allows you to track and back-track different versions of your documents; it also keeps a record of when the changes were made and by whom.
6. Your Management Representative Matters
MR is the person who will be responsible for guiding the ISO team and ensuring implementation of ISO. Ensure that the person given this responsibility understands what Quality Management System entails. Choose someone who can get things done, and survive resistance from the staff members when it occurs.
7. Make sure the Quality policy and Quality objectives are Monitored Regularly
Quality policy of an organization is important. It concisely states the company’s intention and direction. The policy, however, is not a static document and can be improved/changed if the company wishes so. Thus it is important that the policy is discussed and reviewed in every management review.
Quality objectives state how you intend to implement the policy. They should be quantifiable and regularly monitored to make sure you are on the right track.
8. Strive for Immediate Resolution of Non- Conformities
Try to close non-conformities as soon as they are raised. If you put them on the back burner for too long, you can forget about them. Moreover, the nature of some NCs may demand immediate redressal and keeping them pending may impact quality objectives.
9. Schedule Regular Management Review Meetings (MRMs)
Regular MRMs (at least twice a year) show management’s commitment toward ISO implementation. They help you keep track of non-conformances, the corrective actions taken, and the quality objectives achieved.