Obtaining your ISO 9001:2015 certification is an admirable goal. Your business – and its customers – will reap many benefits. However, in order to get that approval from an accredited registrar (certification body), you need to understand the elements of a quality management system.
As a manager, you probably know it like the back of your hand, but it’s worth reviewing, especially if you’re new to quality system management.
The Elements of a Quality Management System
When handled following the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle, the elements of a quality management system can help your business flow as efficiently as possible.
Based on ISO 9001:2015 requirements, the main elements of a quality management system are planning (plan), support and operation (do), performance evaluation (check) and improvement (act).
Incorporating customer requirements and needs is an integral part of the quality management cycle. After all, it all begins with providing customers or clients with the best products and services.
The Quality Management Cycle
What do your customers or clients want? The planning process involves giving them what they need – or perhaps solving a problem that prevents them from receiving exactly what they are expecting.
2. Support and Operation
Managers and other employees who are responsible for the task at hand should work together to fulfill the goals of the plan. Communication among the team members will be a key to success here.
3. Performance Evaluation
Whenever the plan is completed and implemented, the next step is research. Did the plan accomplish what you hoped it would? How did the employees handle the job? Were there any problems? Were there any unnecessary steps that wasted time? Can you save money somehow?
The underlying, two-part question is: Did it work, and if so, could it work better?
If you discover there were problems or that nothing worked the way you thought it would, you can either resolve those specific issues or start over from scratch.
But don’t feel like you wasted time by trying out what you hoped would work. Identifying what will not work is almost as important as identifying what will.
The Leadership Role
At the center of the quality management system is leadership. Leadership must oversee all the elements of a quality management system to ensure that it is flowing properly. If managers discover that there is a problem, they could use the “5 Whys” for root cause analysis and problem solving to find out what went wrong.
Maintaining a harmonious flow in order to be as successful and efficient as possible should be every manager’s goal.
Even if you think the plan worked out perfectly, you could learn the complete opposite from customers.
Customer feedback is one of the most important ways to discover if your business is operating as it should.
Contact Trident QMS for More Information
As this is a simplified overview, if you need more detailed information about the elements of a quality management system as you prepare for your ISO 9001:2015 certification audit, let us know! We can be reached through our Trident QMS website or by phone at 520-314-4343.
We would be happy to work with you to make sure you and your business are ready.