80:20 Management Consulting

80:20 Management Consulting
part of the 80:20 Group

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Demistifying ISO9001 part 1

the ISO9001 standard (whilst good for its purpose) is a boring document that can be quite difficult to comprehend for a first timer. There are certain sections of the standard that can seem really difficult to apply to some industries if you haven't been through the process before.

For example lets look at Product & Service Provision.

7.5.3 Identification and traceability
Where appropriate, the organization shall identify the product by suitable means throughout product realization.
The organization shall identify the product status with respect to monitoring and measurement requirements throughout product realization.
Where traceability is a requirement, the organization shall control the unique identification of the product and maintain records (see 4.2.4).

For a company in a service industry, this requirement can be as confusing as hell.

Sometimes it's a matter of tweaking the terminology a bit and asking the question in a different way.

If you were an accountant for example your product is your time, advice, reports etc. So in this case, what kind of identification methods do you use to differentiate clients? Do you have a numbering system for reports? How do you track your time spent with a client for invoicing.

The next paragraph is a bit trickier. How do you identify the status of the work you're carrying out throughout the process? Using the accountant example again, how would you identify work in progress versus work completed? Perhaps you save all work in progress in a separate folder and mark it as draft?

The final paragraph may apply to you, it may not. What you need to ask yourself is "Does the product/service I'm providing need to be tracked or identified in some way. If it does, you need to keep records of it as per your records control procedure. Using the accounting example again, the product might be a tax return. You might save them with an individual file name or reference number and this would be listed somewhere (ie. records control register)

I hope this helps make at least one requirement of the standard easier to apply.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for this. ISO registration might seem to be a very complicated process and quite boring for some, but it's really necessary that we stress the importance and benefits of getting ISO certified. It assures your customers and gives your company the certification that you produce only quality goods and services, while maintaining prime management principles.
    Barton Wilson