Creating a QMS at a Distance
Can an ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System be developed in real-time with a consultant over the internet? Of course, it can. But like any other use of software and technology, we need to understand both the strengths and weakness of the tools were considering.
Using readily available online meeting tools as part of an organization’s efforts to achieve ISO 9001:2015 compliance, companies can greatly reduce on-site consulting time and cost, through the use of web-based "virtual workspace" to increase productivity, as well as reduce both time and money spent on travel. Since most consulting assistance, and related outcomes, are organized around scheduled meetings, moving these activities online is just having the same meeting in an alternate format.
It should be noted however, that online “virtual” or “remote” activities have inherent limitations, particularly being, they can only address those areas and activities that can be viewed online on a computer screen; other activities may likely require a more “hands-on” approach, which can usually only be satisfied by time spent on-site. To completely address all ISO 9001:2015 requirements, the ideal approach is combination of both virtual (off-site) and physical (on-site) consulting services.
Using Remote Technology
With today’s technology, it is possible to collaborate with anyone, anywhere, using almost any web browser. In many cases, only an app or website login is required. This approach does not require any specialized software, so it can be scaled easily, at low or no cost, with limited technical expertise.
As of this writing, some of the best online platforms for virtual meetings are shown below. I am sure there’s others, but these are the ones we use regularly, with the best results:
All the services noted above include user authentication and encryption, as well as some having multilayer security, in order to ensure that your information is always secure. We have however, found that organizations have widely varying levels of IT policy and controls implemented, so it is always best to consult and/or confirm with your IT department prior to stating which type of application is preferred and/or allowed.
Remote Auditing Techniques
It is also possible, using the same technology as above, to audit these systems either partially or completely. The overall approach used, and its adequacy, will depend on the organization, the scope of its management system, and the products and services that are being provided.
In certain cases, such as professional services, a remote audit may be enough to cover all areas. In other cases, such as in the manufacturing of products, remote auditing may be incorporated as a part of the organization’s overall audit program, but planning should still consider a physical assessment of activities as necessary to ensure not only the system has been implemented correctly, but also to ensure that appropriate physical controls have been implemented and are being maintained. In this later case, remote auditing techniques would be adequate for a portion of the audit, but not its entirety.
On the road again . . . this time our client in Jersey Village hosted the Training Class for participants from three companies. Class participation made the day fly by. Check out some comments:
“Great explanation of the framework of ISO 9001:2015. Had fun all day. Workshop was a great overview and introduction to ISO 9001.”
“Learned about continual improvement, organization documentation, analysis and evaluation, process approach and evidence-based decision making.”
“I understand why ISO is important and why we need to use it. I had fun when we used the cars to understand the concepts of ISO. It was easier to understand. Today my ISO training was fast but very good in understanding how important ISO is to have at our job.”
“Better understanding of the ISO process. Good day. Good experience. Liked the focus on QMS processes and Section 8: Operations.”
“Learned different ways of looking at clauses. A lot of good knowledge passed on concisely.”
“Learned about Annex SL and what it is. Mind map – nice examples. Had fun using the cars for examples; discussions on actual examples with current situations. A lot of information in one day! Trying the remember the musts vs should/mays. I enjoyed talking through the different areas again. I only need to hear again 3-4 more times!”
Took the show on the road for two days to a client who hosted Internal Auditor Training at their Houston Headquarters. An advantage of being on-site was that participants completed an audit of their own Quality Management System, live.
Feedback from training participants included the following:
“Learned more about ISO 9001:2015. The entire session was fun. Instructor was amazing and kept the training sessions lively.”
“Learned what ISO means and had fun working on the audit.”
“I learned the different clauses to audit against and to ask open-ended questions. I had fun throughout the entire class. Instructors were very knowledgeable and had great personalities.”
“I learned more details on ISO 9001. Great presenter! I really enjoyed the style and dynamic of the training.”
“I learned ISO 9001 objectives and how they relate to my company. I had fun listening and debating the observations and nonconformances.”
“I learned the relationship between ISO 9001 and PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act). I had fun all the time. Training class was very dynamic and informative. I really enjoyed. Thanks.”
“I learned how to perform an audit. Had fun during lunch!”
“Good experience. Very interactive workshop.”
“I learned the clauses of ISO 9001:2015, 4-10. I enjoyed interviewing Mxxxxxxx” (name has been blocked for privacy reasons).
Thanks to all who attended our April training class. It was a packed house and a packed agenda. Learning about ISO can be like learning a new language, if you are new to the concept. As you'll see from the participant comments, we did actually learn a little of a new language (and a lot about ISO!).
Feedback from participants included the following:
“Learned about ISO 9001 processes and had fun with the Hot Ball Review. The workshop today was awesome and exciting.”
“Learned that processes involve a transformation. Had fun with the modelling clay exercise and listening to music – try Irish next time. Good workshop. Change of techniques good to keeping me awake.”
“Learned how to better identify processes from functions. Had fun assembling an item from my partners direction. Had a great time and gained a better understanding of the ISO system.”
“The new thing I learned was the process. Had fun when we counted with the rubber balls. Very informative on how the process works.”
“The new thing I learned was ‘sources of inputs, inputs, activities, outputs’. Had fun counting to ten in Irish.”
“Learned Quality Management Principles. Had fun playing with my ball. The workshop was informative.”
“I learned about performance evaluation. Had fun bouncing the ball learning Irish. It was fun. Not too repetitive. Actually learned something.”
“Learned more of my own company. I had fun when inappropriate jokes were made by the teacher. The workshop experience was entertaining.”
“Learned all about Context – involved the way you manage a company. Had fun – customer focus and improvement."
“Learned how this all ties together. Had fun playing with the balls. Very good training. It gave me a new perspective on ISO Certification and showed how everything ties together.”
“Better understanding of 2015. Had fun with class involvement and bouncy ball."
“Learned that I still have trouble staying focused in an 8 hour class room. But I can still read though!”
“Learned how to relate ISO to my specific company and policies. Had fun listening to your Irish accent”
“This is a great way to identify organizational statements and exactly what to do. Learned series reliability – the 95% probability. Had fun with the bouncing balls.”
Most people visit our Texas State Capital, the beautiful city of Austin for parting. We took training on the road. Two days exploring the latest editions of IATF 16949:2016 was almost as entertaining as the sights on Austin's famous 6th Street!
Feedback from the class included:
“Learned about the key points important to IATF that are not as key to ISO 9001. I had fun with the details of the cars – what is needed to fulfill the specified function of the car. The workshop was long but very informative. Moved at a good pace. Day 1 worksheets were good to reinforce the lessons learned.”
“Everything ties to our core processes defined in our context. Had fun when the Quality System team had mapped the same (almost) core processes on Day 1. The workshop was thought provoking on improvement activities; the experience was an introduction to IATF (no prior formal training on IATF 16949) and how to gauge effort needed to implement IATF 16949.”
“Learned a variety of IATF requirements. Clarified the ‘layout’ of the standard in such a way that it made more sense and became more understandable. Epiphany re: product roadmap applicability to product improvement requirement. Workshop – extensive information while remaining interesting and engaging; a level of clarity for both ISO 9001 and IATF that I had not had before.”
“Good re-training of ISO 9001:2015. Good explanation of IATF 16494 requirements. Instructor is very well versed on the standards. For improvement: IATF Standard access was interrupted, perhaps due to Wi-Fi connection. Suggest for instructor to have a downloaded copy.”
“I learned which procedures I need to update to meet requirements. Had fun listening to new requirements; listening to software guys – typical response upon learning ISO requirements. Good hands-on experience from consultant. Ability to apply common sense to standard requirements. Better understanding of IATF requirements. Understanding of which procedures / requirements need to be updated.”
“I learned the details of IATF 16949 and reasoning behind changes to the standards. I had fun discussing detailed applications of the standards and engaging in dialogue with team and Mark. Workshop experience was well-paced, informative, well prepared and productive.”
Participants at our Internal Auditor class did a great job applying their knowledge and understanding of the ISO 9001:2015 Standard to auditing a live ISO 9001:2015 certified Business Management System.
Comments from the class included:
“I learned that some clauses can be identified / cross path with another during the audit process. I had fun when we identified the internal audit steps as a group.”
“I learned the ISO 9001:2015 standard. I had fun setting the dancing feet with the steps in planning an audit. Actually doing a mock audit helped to understand the standard much better. I learned a great deal in the workshop. Thank you.”
“I learned to audit from processes, rather than the standard. No more audit checklists. The training was fun and enjoyable.”
“I learned that time management is essential to auditing and you should have an audit plan prior to the audit. I had fun having group discussions; gives me an opportunity to learn from others.”
We delved deep into Context in our ISO 9001 Basics class today. With the organization's context and key processes determined, the rest of the clauses of the ISO 9001:2015 have meaning and a practical application.
Feedback from participants included the following:
“Learned about items needed for 2015. Had fun during activities. I really enjoyed the class today. It was a lot of information in a short period of time.”
“Learned about risk-based thinking, how it should be monitored and measured. Had fun in the ‘Listen and build with the clay’. The workshop experience was excellent and very educational.”
“Learned the changes to the new standard. The whole course was enjoyable.”
“Learned all the new requirements, main changes and what to watch out for. Had fun in the review. On packets, the blank page could be lined for notes.”
“I learned it’s all about ‘context’ and the new standard focuses on top management. I had fun playing games and group exercises.”
We spent some "quality" auditing time with a group who attended our 2 day ISO 9001:2015 Internal Auditor Training course this week.
Comments from the class included:
“A new thing I learned was Risk Assessment and ways to organize the information. I had fun with the steps on the floor activity, music with activities. Nice presentation – easy and straight to the point. Nice environment.”
“Learned about audit planning and what nonconformances are being found with the audits to the 2015 standard that weren’t before. Had fun doing the audit planning exercise with the footprints.”
“I learned that auditing is like solving a puzzle. Not everything is always straightforward, but it requires interpretation relative to procedures and standards. I had fun during the audit and the closing meeting.”
“I learned how to do a legit audit. Learned a better way to approach an audit; better understanding. Had fun for the whole 2 days.”
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