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QMS 2015: Strategic Direction

Discussion in 'ISO 9001:2015 - Quality Management Systems' started by Wally Licuanan, Nov 17, 2016.

  1. Wally Licuanan

    Wally Licuanan Member

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    My organization's strategic direction is always changing (im in a software development company) that the documentation requirements (org charts, objectives, job descriptions etc) cannot keep up.
    My question is , can this be considered an NC? In what ways? How and why?

    Thanks in advance for your inputs guys :)
     
  2. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    Welcome! If your strategic direction is always changing, I'd suggest that it's a problem! Either it's not strategic direction which is changing but something else, or that the leadership maybe haven't understood or maintain their vision of what the company's "vision" for the next few years is. Clearly, if you try to develop a QMS when the direction keeps changing, the QMS won't work! Doesn't really matter about what audit findings you get!
     
  3. Paul Simpson

    Paul Simpson Member

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    Hi, Wally. I'm not convinced the strategic direction is changing. If you are a software development company that goes a long way to describing your strategic direction. All the other items you mentioned may change.
     
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  4. tony s

    tony s Well-Known Member

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    An NC is a non-fulfillment of a requirement. Let's look at one requirement e.g. Clause 5.1.1b says "Top management shall demonstrate leadership...by: b) ensuring that the quality objectives...are compatible with the...strategic direction of the organization." Are your current objectives compatible with the strategic directions?
     
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  5. hogheavenfarm

    hogheavenfarm Well-Known Member

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    I am in a similar situation - our company's 'strategic direction' involved installing truck bodies, then stainless rail components, then architectural steel, now architectural glass -
    The strategic direction seems to be go in whatever direction the economy is developing. We still make items for all of these areas, but focus changes often. To pin down TM to a single 'direction' seems impossible, as I think they are not even sure sometimes. That all said, why should a company be mandated to a 'strategic direction'? Is this telling the company how to perform it's business? Just playing devils advocate here, points along the way are well taken, as Andy pointed out, adapting the QMS is an ongoing problem. To Tony's point, does 9001 require a company to have a strategic direction? If the strategic direction was to simply put your effort into whatever sector is growing, is that not a strategic direction?
     
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  6. tony s

    tony s Well-Known Member

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    It's a good question which persuaded me to take a look on all statements in 2015 with "strategic direction". Let's have a look:
    • Clause 4.1: "organization shall determine external and internal issues that are relevant to its purpose and its strategic direction...";
    • Clause 5.1.1b: "Top management shall demonstrate leadership...by...ensuring that the quality policy and quality objectives are established for the quality management system and are compatible with the context and strategic direction of the organization";
    • Clause 5.2.1a: "Top management shall establish, implement and maintain a quality policy that...is appropriate to the purpose and context of the organization and supports its strategic direction";
    • Clause 9.3.1: "Top management shall review the organization’s quality management system, at planned intervals, to ensure its continuing suitability, adequacy, effectiveness and alignment with the strategic direction of the organization".
    Though there is no precise statement that requires having strategic direction in the same manner as for the quality policy (cl. 5.2) and quality objectives (cl. 6.2), IMHO strategic direction is a "generally implied" requirement. It's like answering a question such as "Does ISO 9001 require a top management?"

    3.6.4 of ISO 9000:2015 defines requirement as "need or expectation that is stated, generally implied or obligatory" with a Note 1 that says "Generally implied" means that it is custom or common practice for the organization and interested parties that the need or expectation under consideration is implied".

    If nonconformity is defined as "non-fulfillment of a requirement" (3.6.9 of ISO 9000), then not having a strategic direction constitutes an NC.
     
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  7. Wally Licuanan

    Wally Licuanan Member

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    Thanks for your inputs guys!

    Now i get a clearer picture of what strategic direction is based on your inputs. I think got it confused with quality/ company objectives since our company's vision is the same. Management is changing the objectives to adapt to the changing needs of the market.

    Just like what hog mentioned, their company is "branching out" to other areas to adapt to the economy. I think this is fine as long as risk assessments are made prior to these changes.
     
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  8. Qualmx

    Qualmx Well-Known Member

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    Tony s

    Could you share a document where strategy is determined?
    I think is not necessary to have it documented but auditor may ask you what is your strategic direction and I think that would be useful to have such document, I have seen somewhere that some people include vision, mision, values.

    Thanks
     
  9. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    What size of business are you in? In small(er) businesses there's no value in writing down the "strategic direction" of the organization and no auditor should be asking for it. Don't forget that the whole idea of the QMS is to determine WHAT needs to be written down. Why create documents, when you already have a place to discuss this and record it? By creating documents to suit ISO requirements, you are going against the fundamental premise of ISO 9001! You should never document things to suit an auditor because they may never ask for one.

    BTW - the strategic direction isn't the vision and mission statement etc. It's more likely to be an articulated description of what the company is going to being doing in the next 12 - 36 months, expressed in terms of revenue, markets, headcount and so on.
     
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  10. hogheavenfarm

    hogheavenfarm Well-Known Member

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    " ...BTW - the strategic direction isn't the vision and mission statement etc. It's more likely to be an articulated description of what the company is going to being doing in the next 12 - 36 months, expressed in terms of revenue, markets, headcount and so on..."

    Precisely why lower echelon would not be privy to it. I would never hear of any of this information, nor would it ever be shared. TM keeps pretty quiet about thsi stuff, even meeting off site many times when they discuss it.
     
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  11. Qualmx

    Qualmx Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Andy
    What I wanted to say it was that some people at working in the strategy, consider mission,values and vision.
    On the other hand.
    1 -how to show the auditor that we did a strategic planning?
    2- dont you think it would be useful a written paper as a guide for us, for the activities needed for the strategic direction? That paper would be for me, strategic planning.
    Please shed some light on me.
    Thanks
     
  12. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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  13. Golfman25

    Golfman25 Well-Known Member

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    How do you determine strategic direction without strategic planning? Granted it may not be anything more formal than a few conversations at lunch, but it's done somehow.
     
  14. Neo113016

    Neo113016 Member

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    As a company you have a vision and it is the reason why you are there in the first place. There will always be changing plans but the main focus would always be the dream of your company of what it wants to be.

    You can understand this further by listening to Simon Sinek's "Understanding the Game that we are playing."
     
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