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When to avoid "What Works For You" guidance...

Discussion in 'ISO 9001:2015 - Quality Management Systems' started by Andy Nichols, Aug 12, 2019.

  1. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    Frequently, we see in all manner of forums a sage post: "Do whatever works for you". I recently saw this answer is response to a question about management review and a non-conformity which was related.

    The problem with following this guidance is, it presupposes the poster with the question knows HOW a requirement in ISO 9001 (etc) should work! Which is in itself a paradox, because if they did, they wouldn't be asking the question!

    Let's be clear here. Many organizations are doing things which, on the surface, look like it complies with an ISO requirement, but it's unlikely to be effective. Take internal audits, for example. Many organizations might be tempted to conduct one audit a year. It's common place. It can be explained away as "It works for us", because many organizations don't know WHY internal audits are in the ISO 9001 requirements. It "works for us" because the CB auditor has never found an issue to report - but that's all they know.

    However, would the leadership be able to describe the function of internal audits? Experience shows probably 98% of top management have few ideas, beyond avoiding CB audit nonconformities, or talking about "continuous improvement" - in fact they can't actually point out a real, measurable improvement! Yet, some will still make the claim "It works for us"...
     
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  2. tony s

    tony s Well-Known Member

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    Maybe the next time somebody says "it works for me/us", he/she needs to define what does "works for me/us" mean?

    In one readiness assessment (prior to transition audit to 2015) I performed on a government agency, I've recommended to them that instead of doing a separate once a year management review - the agency can make use of the existing quarterly Management Committee meeting as their venue for reviewing their QMS. At the closing meeting, I told them that integrating the requirements of the standard into the existing practices will add value to their QMS, making the management review as an integral part and will avoid redundant meetings. The head of the agency quickly turned down my recommendation and asserted "why would I make things difficult for us, if we were certified to ISO 9001:2008 by having once a year management review, then we'll just continue with it!" So, for this agency, as long as the CB is happy - "it works for them".:(
     
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