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Iso 9000 documentation

Successfully implementing an ISO 9001 Quality Management System depends on


developing a clear understanding of seven aspects of the program, including:

1. The purpose of a quality management system

The principles of quality management are:

Quality is achieved through conformance to defined specifications in terms of


performance, price, and delivery and is not just limited to how a product or service looks
or performs.

Customer satisfaction is achieved by understanding the customer requirements and using


methods to ensure that these requirements are consistently met.

Controlling and improving processes are achieved through the use of documented
policies, procedures, and continual improvement activities.

The ISO 9001 Quality Management System is a business system designed to make it
easier for companies to comply with these principles.

The system establishes both the rules for identifying the customer requirements and the
policies and procedures for providing organizations with the means for delivering
products and services that comply with these requirements. It also creates a means for
ensuring consistency, stability, and the continual improvement of the processes used in
running a business. It's based on documentation and demands effective information
management, operational discipline, and accountability.

The ISO 9001 Quality Management System was developed and is managed by an
internationally recognized organization. The system was originally implemented in 1987,
subsequently revised in 2000, and is currently used in over 130 different countries by
over 350,000 companies.

2. The benefits of a system

An ISO9001 Quality Management System has the potential of providing several


significant benefits, including:

Improved Profitability - Profit improvement results from more productive employees,


better organization, better suppliers, better infrastructure, and systematic continual
improvement programs.
Employees are more productive because the system establishes standards for hiring and
training, requires employee involvement, and demands accountability.

Documented procedures create better organization, which promotes consistency and


reduces the number of mistakes.

Qualification criteria, auditing procedures, and the use of performance measurements


improves supplier performance.

Controls and policies placed on the management of the infrastructure including the
buildings, machinery, tooling, software and hardware, and the general working conditions
result in more reliable and better working conditions.

Corrective and preventive action programs and other continual improvement processes
provide a mechanism for preventing problems from reoccurring, finding and fixing
problems before they occur, and developing new and better ways of doing things.

If effectively implemented a quality management system can eliminate duplication and


process variability, lower cycle times and inventories, and reduce both in-house and field
failures.

Improved Customer Satisfaction - Customers benefit because:

Policies and procedures for managing process information, measuring instruments, and
the verification and validation requirements result in better products.

Procedural changes and improvements in supplier performance result in better deliveries.

Changes in the way customer communication and product development are managed
result in better customer relations.

Increased Sales - ISO 9001 certification is an internationally recognized accomplishment.


It's a bragging right but more importantly it's a promotional opportunity. It opens doors to
prospects that treat certification as a tipping point or a supplier requirement, and it's a
means of letting your customers know that you comply with a set of internationally
recognized management standards.

Improved Job Satisfaction - Job satisfaction improves because:

The system includes change processes that provide all employees with an opportunity to
make a difference in how a company is managed.

There's comfort in knowing what you're responsible for doing, and

There's security in knowing that the system creates a more competitive position.
The instructions bridge interrelated responsibilities, which eliminates confusion and
reduces conflict.

The key word to remember is "potential." The benefits don't come automatically and
won't happen without a genuine commitment starting at the top, a system that is well
composed and managed, and a long-term commitment.

3. The components of the implementation process

The three components of the implementation process are: 1) documentation, 2)


information management, and 3) operational changes.

Documentation - On the surface it may seem that developing the ISO 9000
documentation shouldn't be that difficult. You must have a manual that includes a policy,
objectives, scope, and the interaction of the processes; and you must have written
instructions for:

1. Managing the quality system documents

2. Managing the quality system records

3. Conducting internal audits

4. Controlling nonconforming product

5. Implementing corrective action

6. Implementing preventive action

The standard also hints at the need for additional instructions, e. g. referring to the work
instructions, section 7.1 states "shall determine the following, as appropriate," but
technically, aside from the manual and these six instructions, anything more is optional.

The reality, however, is that in order to get the most out of a quality management system
a great deal of additional documentation is required. A primary function of the system is
to establish consistency and eliminate misunderstandings, which is best facilitated with
clear and unambiguous written instructions. Policies, which are a pervasive part of any
system, have absolutely no value if they're not in writing, and enforcing accountability is
extremely difficult if the responsibilities are not spelled out.

Information Management - Extensive information management is another integral part of


the implementation process. Just keeping track of all of the records associated with the
quality system is in itself a daunting challenge. Then there are training records, records of
all of the customer complaints, warranty claims, and past due shipments. There's also
sales and purchasing records, traceability documentation, product development records,
verification and validation records, incoming inspection records, and internal and external
non-conformance records.

All of this involves gathering, managing, and analyzing information, which is an


unavoidable requirement of the ISO 9001 standard.

Operational Changes - The final component of the implementation process is the


operational changes, which are the changes needed in order to meet the procedural
requirements of your system. These include such things as training, instrument
calibration, housekeeping, product traceability, product preservation, managing
nonconforming materials, auditing, and the implementation of the corrective and
preventive action activities. It's not good enough to say what you're going to do, you
actually have to do it.

System documentation and information management are the paperwork part of the
system. The operational changes are the action part and represent the part of the
implementation process that makes the system work.

4. The system content

An ISO 9001 quality management system is not limited to just the processes and
procedures required by the ISO 9001 Standard.

Section 0.3 in the Introduction of the International Standard states:


ISO 9004 is recommended as a guide for organizations whose top management wish to
move beyond the requirements of ISO 9001, in pursuit of continual improvement of
performance.

Section 0.4 states:

This International Standard does not include guidance specific to other management
systems, such as those particular to environmental management, occupational health and
safety management, financial management, or risk management. However, this
International Standard enables an organization to align or integrate its own quality
management system(s) in order to establish a quality management system that follows the
guidelines of this International Standard.

The implications are: 1) you're encouraged to use the ideas in the 9004 standard and
therefore not limited to building your quality management system exclusively around the
requirements in the ISO 9001 standard, and 2) you're free to combine processes and
instructions from other systems.

What makes this significant is the fact that the ISO 9001 requirements are far from
inclusive. There's nothing, for instance, in the standard to address inventory control, yet
this is a major concern for most companies and a logical addition to a quality
management system. The same can be said for product costing. It's difficult to develop
the cost of quality if you're not costing your products. Nor is there anything in the
standard to regulate environmental, safety, business planning, or financial concerns, all of
which have a significant impact on the way most people run their business.

The objective is to create a system that effectively manages the important activities of
your business, which means that if something is not included in the standard but
nevertheless important to your operation, not only can it be included it should be
included.

5. The system structure

The authors of the standard have also made it clear that the outline of the standard is not
meant as an outline for the quality system documentation.

Section 0.1 of the Introduction states:

It is not the intent of this International Standard to imply uniformity in the structure of
quality management systems or uniformity of documentation.

It is also noted that every system is:

[i]nfluenced by varying needs, particular objectives, the products provided, the processes
employed, and the size and structure of the organization.

The message is that you're responsible for structuring your own system. There is no
process list and no procedure list anywhere to be found in the standard, and nowhere in
the standard is it suggested that you should use the outline of the standard as a basis for
identifying your processes or developing your procedures.

To the contrary, a persuasive argument can be made that to do so is a mistake. It limits


the scope of the system because it removes the need for thinking about the processes that
are unique to your operation, and it bogs down the implementation process because it
causes you to design procedures around requirements rather than developing procedures
to meet your needs, which can be like pushing a square peg into a round hole.

6. The "process approach"

While the "process approach" is one of the eight quality management principles listed in
section 4.3 of the ISO 9004 standards, and the use of the "process approach" is
recommended as a means for structuring your ISO 9001 system (refer to section 0.2 of
the standard), neither standard provides a clear explanation of what a process approach is.

The ISO 9004 standard defines the process approach principle as:

A desired result is achieved more efficiently when activities and related resources are
managed as a process.
The ISO 9001 standard defines a process as:

An activity using resources, and managed in order to enable the transformation of inputs
into outputs.

Our way of interpreting the meaning of a "process" is to group related activities based on
defining inputs and outputs. For example, the inputs and outputs of the human resource
process may be defined as:

Input = Rules for making sure employees are informed and capable of performing the
assigned responsibilities

Output = Capable, competent, trusted, and motivated employees

A process that defines the management of the infrastructure of an organization may be


described by:

Input = Rules and policies for managing the tangible assets used to support the business

Output =Fewer disruptions, a better working environment resulting in fewer mistakes,


better efficiency, better throughput, and more satisfied customers

Policies and procedures that affect such things as hiring, training, and performance
management would be part of the human resource process. Housekeeping, machinery
maintenance, network maintenance, and the maintenance of measuring devices would be
part of the infrastructure process.

The authors of the 9001 standard explain the "process approach" as:
The application of a system of processes within an organization, together with the
identification and interactions of these processes, and their management.

Our way of interpreting the meaning of "process approach" is to think in terms of a


common objective for a set of different processes. An objective might be the continual
improvement of the management system, which is what is used in the illustration shown
in the standard; or an objective might be the growth and profitability of the organization,
which is what we use in our 9000 Advisers system model. It's the objective that binds the
processes together and determines how the processes interact. It is also an explanation
that fits the model illustrated in the ISO 9001 Standard.

Structuring systems based on this interpretation of the "process approach" result in


systems that are more personal, flexible, and easier to develop. You're not handcuffed by
the outline of the ISO

Standard, and you're not limited by the requirements of the standard. You establish
processes that represent the particular needs of your operation and develop the policies
and procedures that bring about the desired output of these processes. Then you make
sure these policies and procedures accommodate all of the requirements of the ISO 9001
Standard.

7. The basic compliance requirements

Under certain circumstances it is possible to request an "exclusion" if for some reason


you find it impossible to comply with certain requirements within the standard. The
requirement must be part of clause 7 of the standard, you must provide an explanation
and the justification for the request in the Quality System Manual, and your alternative
solution must not affect the ability "to provide product that meets customer and
applicable regulatory requirements." (Refer to sections 1.2 and 4.2.2 of the standard.)

Procedures that are added to your system as a result of ideas taken from the ISO 9004
Standard, or from other systems, or simply because they are an important part of the way
you run your business are not subject to the compliance audit for ISO 9001 certification.
Only the requirements specified in the ISO 9001 standard are audited, but unless you
have been granted an exclusion you must comply with all of these requirements.

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