I work with many companies within many different industries. My primary focus is the implementation and/or remediation of quality management systems. Over the years, I have come to realize that quality management is just good business!
I often hear statements like, “I have to do this because ISO said so” or “it’s an ISO requirement to do it this way.” In reality, ISO is just a standard integrating the value of quality into your business strategy. The standard identifies key business processes and infrastructure with a quality focus to set a foundation for sustainability and growth. So, let’s take a step backwards before we dive into the ISO 9001:2015 standard. (NOTE: While I reference the ISO 9001:2015 standard in this article, the principles discussed are applicable regardless of the standard you select.)
Imagine you are an entrepreneur starting a new business with some friends. What are some key elements you need to consider for your company?
I could go on, but hopefully you get the point.
The structure of ISO 9001:2015 can be used as a model for business structure. Just looking at the high- level outline you can see the following basic business requirements.
As you can see, these considerations should align with the overall strategic plan whether it is a new business or a Fortune 500 organization.
As you can see, each of the elements of the ISO standard is something you should implement for good business practices. The best approach I can recommend is that conformance to the standard is to evaluate your business and what you are doing in relation to the standard requirements. It starts with a requirement to align a quality management system (QMS) with the strategic direction of the organization. In other words, don’t look at quality as being a stand-alone process/activity. A focus on the value of quality should be built into every aspect of the business. After all, quality is just good business!
In subsequent blog posts, I will take on each of the elements in detail, addressing ways you can build your business with the value of quality through ISO.