An often-heard reason for wanting to obtain an ISO 9001 certificate is that the certificate is demanded by clients. This is often the moment for many organisations to become acquainted with ISO 9001. However, not many organisations choose to use ISO 9001 as a tool to support and structure a growing organisation. ISO 9001 however is very suitable to support a growing organisation and to ensure that the strategic objectives of the organisation are achieved. In this article we provide tips and tricks, linked to standard elements, to make this possible.
Context analysis, risks and opportunities
The purpose of the context analysis is to identify internal and external issues. These are issues that can affect the direction of the organisation and the achievement of its strategic objectives. By determining these issues by means of a SWOT analysis, the points that need to be worked on in order to achieve the strategic objectives are identified. The information from this analysis is processed into concrete action points within the management system by determining risks and opportunities.
Under ISO 9001 there is a requirement to establish quality objectives, draw up action plans, monitor progress and make adjustments where necessary. Therefore quality objectives are ideal for dividing the strategic objectives of the organisation into smaller annual objectives. In this way, the strategic objectives within the organisation are ultimately converted into operational objectives that can be tackled at all levels of the organisation.
One of the most important issues within a growing organisation is monitoring the available resources. These may be time, financial resources or, for example, equipment and materials. Within ISO 9001 ‘resources’ is an important component that must be managed. This creates sufficient moments to reflect whether there are still sufficient resources within the organisation to support growth.
Roles, responsibilities and authorities
Often, the greatest challenge of a growing organisation is the number of tasks and responsibilities. These must be structured and employees must become familiar with the roles, responsibilities and authorities within the organisation. ISO 9001 forces organisations to think carefully about this, without having to work with fixed job profiles. A role-based classification creates a flexible organisation that can grow along with it.
Communication is important in every organisation, the large and the small ones. Because of the dynamics in a growing organisation, it is even more important to get everyone on the same page. By thinking about the consultation and communication structure in the organisation, it can grow along with the size of the organisation.
Growing organisations work with suppliers more and more. Processes are outsourced and the purchase of products and services is becoming increasingly important to support growth. It is important to work with the right partners. ISO 9001 requires organisations to perform a supplier assessment at least once a year. This assessment provides the necessary reflection to determine whether the chosen supplier is still the right partner and fits in with the organisation’s growth.
Processes and evaluation
Within growing organisations, processes are regularly adapted, or extra steps are added to processes to ensure that the processes deliver the correct output. One of the most important elements of ISO 9001 is that processes must be mapped, secured and regularly evaluated. Through this evaluation, the processes are regularly assessed for completeness and quality. This is important for a growing organisation.