Congratulations to GATE for being recommended for ISO 9001:2015 and OHSAS 18001 certification! To learn more about GATE's services, visit http://www.gateinc.com.
Congratulations to Walkup Company for being recommended for ISO 9001:2015 certification. Learn more about their products and services at http://www.walkupco.com/
'Twas the night before training when all through the office,
Not a device was stirring, not even the bosses,
Materials were laid out on the tables with care,
In the hope that trainees would soon be there. . . .
We awoke to a Houston under a fluffy blanket of snow on Friday December 8th, eight years since the last snowfall on December 4th, 2009.
Kudos to those to braved the elements and made it to our ISO 9001:2015 Basics Training Workshop. Feedback from the class included the following comments:
“Learned about risk management, management of change and all 2015 ISO. Had fun during the review of quality management principles with the hot ball. The workshop experience today was very entertaining, very descriptive and full of practical advice on the way around ISO 2015.”
“Better understanding of the sequence and interaction of key QMS processes and the definition of changes from ISO 2008 to 2015. Had fun with the clay exercise.”
“Learned ISO 9001:2015 clauses – all new to me. Had fun during the bouncing ball exercise. The workshop was fun, educational and very helpful.”
“A new thing I learned was the concept of “Context” as used in 9001:2015. I had fun learning the “CLP SOPI. The workshop was a positive, engaging experience – very dry material that was presented in a way that was not boring and difficult to follow.”
“Group activities contributed to learning effectively and memorizing faster & of course, CLP SPOI. Cheers!.”
Ingredients for a Work Instruction
Pay close attention on this one….
Congratulations! – You have just made tomato soup.
It seems like I'm asked at least every other day for a work instruction template. The example above, while typically referred to above as a “recipe”, is a basic form of a work instruction. As for a “work instruction template”, there’s no hard-and-fast rules to follow on what a work instruction should or shouldn’t look like; there’s no ISO 9001 requirement; there’s no standardized format or template that everyone is supposed to follow.
Communication in written form requires a sender, a receiver, a message and an action / result. In the above example, the sender is the author; the receiver is the cook; the message is the recipe; and the result is tomato soup.
What content is required? Work instructions should be developed with the user in mind, and should convey information as necessary to achieve desired outcomes (in the above case, “making soup”). How simple or how complicated this instruction needs to be is a matter between the author and their intended audience (the user), with adequate consideration given to the complexity of the task at hand (or lack of).
What a work instruction looks like, the information contained within, is up to the individual preparing. Some work instructions include sections on “materials”, “equipment”, “personnel”, “related procedures”, etc. Some work instructions don’t. Some companies even have specific rules (i.e., a company style guide) and how these documents should be formatted.
In any case, the Written Instruction Template can be, and definitely should be, whatever works best for you, your organization and the outcomes your trying to accomplish.
It’s cold today and now I’m going to have my soup.
Small Business Tips and Advice
We’ve all heard stories – a company has spent a king’s ransom and several years attempting to get ISO 9001 certified. I’ve personally been introduced to companies that have spent 2-3 years or even longer, with little or no accomplishments to show. Unless you’re doing something wrong, getting ISO certified DOES NOT take that long, particularly if you’re a small business.
Plan Ahead and Then Execute
Aside from having, or at least having access to someone that has, a general understanding ISO 9001’s requirements, you need to be thoughtful of planning and execution (I mentioned this in a previous post also). Once you start down the road to ISO 9001 certification, you’ll have a specific number of requirements to meet. How long this will take is a matter of planning, and how committed and dedicated you are to the outcome.
I have to emphasize committed and dedicated at this point, as most companies don’t fail because of technical understanding. If you have a question, buy a book, search the internet, ask a friend who knows. Most companies fail either because they fail to plan, or fail to execute. They lose focus. Another shiny object comes along that they want more.
Now, sometimes we all need a helping hand, and it would be counter-intuitive for me to criticize the use of consultants to aid this process along. However, I’m not a big fan of anyone that promises that you can “get certified in 30 days”. Legitimacy concerns aside, I just don’t think the end result is going to be very good. A management system is a system for managing your business. It’s likely taken you years, if not decades, to grow your business up to this point; should you be looking for the quickest solution?
I do think that most small businesses can be certified within 1 year; most can be accomplished within 6 months, or even as little 4 months. I can’t remember a time I’ve been proven wrong on this point.
Save Some Money
I’m not talking about being cheap or frugal. I mean you establish a budget, and set aside the financial resources accordingly. This won’t necessarily be cheap; however, it doesn’t have to be overly expensive. The terms “expensive”, “reasonable” and “cheap” are all terms which are relative to the size of your wallet, as well as the expected ROI. As stated above, a management system is a system for managing your business. A poorly designed or poorly implemented management system can wreak havoc on your bottom line; should you be looking for the cheapest solution?
Without knowing your business details, I can’t provide much insight here on what this will cost. All I can say on this point, is to make sure to get several quotes, check references and compare your options. And make sure you’re comparing apples to apples. Not all consultant are equal.
Consider Your Business Goals
Most of us are not designing satellites, developing the cure for cancer, or building nuclear weapons. Some of the biggest criticisms of ISO have been the extent of documentation required, and the complexity of the ISO standard when applied to a small, simple, business. You may have heard that ISO 9001 doesn’t fit small businesses, service companies, etc. - it does; it just may not fit in the way that you’re approaching it. Stated for a third and final time, a management system is a system for managing your business. What has worked for other companies might not be suitable for you. Cost-saving, cookie-cutter templates and “canned” approaches to compliance likely won’t be a good fit, as each business has its own character and ways of operating; should you be looking for the easiest solution?
Be wary of anyone that tells you a specific task, method, activity or approach is “required by ISO 9001”. That’s often a ploy to avoid logical discussion. ISO’s requirements focus on outcomes; the standard is pretty ambiguous when it comes to stating how things should be done. Remember, ISO 9001 was originally intended as an auditing standard, NOT a design standard. If you meet the requirement, and you can prove the required outcome is achieved, how you accomplish it is your decision.
Getting ISO 9001 certified doesn’t have to take long, doesn’t have to be cost-prohibitive and doesn’t have to mean a disruption to the way you do business. In fact, ISO 9001 certification can be achieved in a short time, with a reasonable budget, without distracting from your day-to-day business operations. If any of these concerns arise during your certification efforts, something is going wrong; take some time to figure out what is happening.
Our ISO 9001 Blog
Information, thoughts and periodic updates from MAS Solutions' QMS Consulting Group.
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