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Operational Process Documentation

Discussion in 'ISO 9001:2008 - Quality Management Systems' started by Vicki Sherlock, Nov 11, 2016.

  1. Vicki Sherlock

    Vicki Sherlock Member

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    Hello,

    I'm new to quality forum so apologies if a thread like this exists already.

    I work for a company which has had ISO 9001:2008 certification for 4 years now and during this time the company has grown significantly.

    When we initially set up the management system we ensured that all the key operational departments kept a written training manual with all the key processes included for that department. For example our customer service team have a process of how quotation requests should be handled. These manuals were controlled by one individual within each department and this was updated when process changes occured.

    Recently with the growth of the business and the number of process improvements being made we are finding that keeping these process manuals up to date and relevant is becoming a struggle.

    With that we were wanting to know how other businesses 'documented' operational processes and ensured that they were updated when changes were made. We were considering the use of videos but this seems just as time consuming to update. What ways have others seen of keeping operational processes documented and updated?
     
  2. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    Vicki: Welcome! Before it's appropriate to answer, I'm sure that it would be useful to know more. I'm personally intrigued that you're finding it difficult to keep these documents up to date. Can you tell us more about what that situation is? Is the the detailed nature, the volume of changes, the frequency or what?
     
  3. MCW8888

    MCW8888 Well-Known Member

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    Welcome aboard the QFO. Do you have a document control procedure? Procedures do not have to be paper copies. They can be electronic media, video. If you have a procedure for the frequency of review and update of these documents and videos you can implement your document control procedure and audit it for compliance. I hope this helps.
     
  4. Pancho

    Pancho Active Member

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    Welcome Vicki!

    How are the process improvements that you mention currently communicated/implemented? Are they transmitted by email, or in meeting minutes? Soon they exist only in some employees heads?

    You did mention that "manuals were controlled by one individual in each department". I guess this often becomes a bottleneck.

    I would recommend you empower everyone in the organization to edit and maintain the qms documents. You can do this with dedicated qms software, or, imho easier, with a wiki. A wiki is a website that anyone in your organization can edit. It keeps a log of every change, time and author, providing accountability and a ratchet that accepts good improvement only. It has worked extremely well for us for several years.
     
  5. Vicki Sherlock

    Vicki Sherlock Member

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    Hi Andy,

    I think the main issue we have had recently with keeping them up to date is that we've had a big shift in staff and as such the responsibility for the documents has not been passed on.

    The operational manuals are very much how to guides and in some cases are quite extensive however changes are only minor but frequent (so for example one of our softwares has an update and this changes the process slightly in terms of fields required for completion).

    We do have a document control process and I am responsible for the primary QMS documents (which are updated following any changes) but the operational documents are normally maintained by the individual departments.

    Pancho - how to you ensure that the changes on the Wiki are authorised? Do the Wiki's have some sort of review and release function on them?

    Thanks all for your input. It is certainly useful to get some ideas.
     
  6. Pancho

    Pancho Active Member

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    Though there are some wikis that allow you to set up a workflow, we don't use that feature. Instead, we empower our personnel to self-approve their changes. The process owner reviews subsequently, after the changed document is already live. You can read some more about this here: Using a wiki for document control.
     
    Atul Khandekar likes this.

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