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"Sticky" Processes Part 2. Continuous Improvement

Standards 9001 Quality / Tuesday 21st of June 2016

Make Processes Stick

In the second part of this Blog on making changes to processes and how to embed and make them "stick"  we look at:

Continual improvement

Having introduced a new process successfully shows real commitment by everyone involved. However, it’s not the end of the story. It can’t be, because the demands on your business are always changing. The new process signifies a major improvement, but you need to keep adjusting and tweaking to make the most of new opportunities or customer demands.

Within ISO 9001:2015, there are two routine tasks that can really support your efforts; Audits and Management Reviews. Many people will be turned off at the mention of ISO 9001:2015 but these two activities have real benefit if they are introduced properly.

Consider the Internal Audit as an ‘Investigation’. If you were to sit with your management team and ask what could be improved, you might get some useful feedback. If you asked what the problems were, you would get another raft of feedback.

If you were to collect all this feedback and go and investigate the process; (e.g. talk to the operators, watch the activities in action, look at the records and any other information), you would be able to validate or clarify where problems or opportunities do exist.

Using that first-hand information, you are now in a position to go back to the Management Team and decide what to do about it.

Guess what - by following that process you have done a really useful Internal Audit, and you’ve also completed a Management Review. It is now for the management team to consider what actions to take from this review; implement them and monitor going forward.

For the purposes of ISO 9001; 2015, you do need to put some structure to this, but that’s easy if you’re getting good results because everyone will want to do more!

If you are implementing change within your organisation, then we would love to hear about and share your experience. Alternaively, if you could do with an external view, or to do some of the analysis and change implementation, then please get in touch.