ISO 9001: order and quality for large and small organisations
Every organisation has its own way of operating. That’s quite normal. However, in practice, we see that smaller organisations usually work less systematically than larger organisations. That’s also quite normal.
In smaller organisations, the increase in knowledge, experience and procedures tends to be retained in the heads of the staff. As a result, there is no clearly-defined methodology. This can work well, but it becomes problematical when organisations grow.
The more employees an organisation has, the more important it becomes to document everything properly. Only in this way can its activities be carried out in an orderly and structured manner and its quality be guaranteed.
An ISO 9001 quality management system is an excellent tool for providing order and structure. It also ensures that time, money and other resources are used efficiently.
Nevertheless, many organisations have doubts about introducing an ISO 9001 quality management system. This is a pity, because those doubts are often the result of two stubborn ISO 9001 myths we should forget as soon as possible.
ISO 9001 myths we should forget as soon as possible
Myth 1: ISO 9001 quality management systems are paper documents of little use
We often hear that ISO 9001 quality management systems are ‘paper tigers’: bulky documents of little use. That is nonsense, nothing could be less true.
On the contrary, the ISO 9001 standard is very pragmatic. It provides order and structure, yet leaves enough room for every organisation to decide for itself what information has to be kept, how and for how long for example.
The ISO 9001 standard places the freedoms and responsibilities on the organisation using it. An ISO 9001 quality management system therefore does not have to be (too) extensive. You can match the system to your own requirements yourself.
That brings us immediately to a second stubborn ISO 9001 myth.
Myth 2: an ISO 9001 quality management system means you have to work in a different way
Organisations often think that they have to work in a different way when they implement an ISO 9001 quality management system. That is not necessarily so. Your organisation doesn’t have to work differently ‘because ISO says so’.
The ISO 9001 standard is only a tool for helping an organisation perform its activities in an orderly and structured manner. Although it does say WHAT has to be done, your organisation can decide for itself HOW that is done.
Once more: the ISO 9001 standard places the freedoms and responsibilities on the organisation using it. It’s up to you to benefit from that.
An ISO 9001 quality management system for every organisation
The practical structures of an ISO 9001 quality management system are suitable for all types of organisation. Large or small, commercial, public or non-profit, a properly-implemented quality management system helps every organisation work more efficiently and with better quality.
You don’t have to expect ‘paper tigers’ and you do not have to change the way you work. ISO 9001 works for you, not against you. We would be pleased to help you get the maximum benefit from it.
Any questions or more information?
Do you have any questions about ISO 9001 or about its benefits and consequences for your organisation? Then do not hesitate to contact us. The ISO 9001 team at Pauwels Consulting will be pleased to help you.
Luc Marivoet is a Senior Consultant Engineering Services at Pauwels Consulting. He has more than 25 years of experience in Quality Management functions, providing support and supervising in an international context (Europe and Asia). Luc uses his experience today to set up, implement, monitor and maintain ISO 9001 certified Quality Management Systems and Supplier Quality Assurance activities. Currently, Luc mainly works on projects for the Belgian railway infrastructure manager and on specific subprojects for Life Sciences organizations.