John Maxwell (An American author and speaker) once said “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way” and these very words could not hold more truth when we look at the importance of Senior managers and their influence on driving QHSE management systems.
So Why is Senior management commitment so important? Below are just some of the reasons:
- If Senior Management does not provide the necessary support towards actively promoting the system, then it is not likely to work
- If Managing Directors do not practice what they preach, then why would lower level production staff or labourers comply with procedural requirements?
- Through senior management commitment and action, it provides a sense of truth and integrity to the Quality/Health and Safety and/or Environmental Policy statements
Consequences of a poorly executed level of Management commitment
Your employees must have that incentive and drive to adhere to all QHSE policies and procedures and this is heavily shaped by Senior management. If people should perceive that the most senior managers in the organisation do not have any interest in Customer/OHS/environmental requirements, regulations or laws then why should they, the employees, care?. It is integral that as a Senior management group, there are established communication channels reiterating the significance of compliance and this can be in any form including:
-Documented policies and procedures
Another major negative consequence of poor management commitment is the continuous breakdown of systems as a result of a lack of resources provided for by Senior Management. Without the adequate resources (Human,Physical, Financial, technological), it becomes a nightmare for any organisation to sustain effective implementation of ISO 9001, ISO 14001 or AS/NZS 4801 programs and at best they might be able to just keep their heads above water.
One final such consequence of a lack of management commitment is the resulting poor culture that has the potential to surface within any organisation. Whether any organisation is trying to promote Health and safety or continuous improvement or even a greater awareness of environmental aspects, it is such that impending outcomes on culture are greatly influenced by a proactive drive shown by Senior management towards achieving these outcomes.
The involvement of Top Management just shouldn’t be an optional exercise
There is just no point in wasting your time and money on trying to implement a management system if senior management are going to focus on other priorities. Without the expertise and enthusiasm shown by Top management, the primary objectives of the system implementation such as continual improvement, reduction in incidents,Minimisation of environmental harm or even improvement in Information Security management will never be realized.
Discover more about ISO programs and significance of senior management commitment by contacting Sustainable Certification TodayRead More
A risk management program is an integral tool/method for identifying risks and ensuring that you are aware of all of them. You can avoid various problems by understanding and managing your risks on a daily basis. There are some steps that are referred to below for mitigating and managing your day to day risks.
Step 1: Conduct a Walk Through of Your Facility
One of the first things that you need to do in order to create a successful risk management program is to conduct an inspection or walk through your facility. One of the key steps here is to pay particular attention to all significant areas of concern and/or worst case scenarios.Many organisations will capture photos as part of their inspection in order to highlight the significance of the issue to Senior Management.
Step 2: Speak to Employees
Your employees are likely to have more intimate knowledgewith your facility than you have. Create a focus group of employees from various departments. Provide a debrief to them and encourage their input about areas that they are concerned with and ask them where they think the most risks exist. Their information is vital to helping you develop and maintain a risk management program.
Step 3: Identify the Major Risks
There are always going to be risks inherent within your organization. Some may be physical while others might be strategic. Some of the most common project risks include:
- Poor leadership
- Staff issues
- No continuity plan
- Lack of resources
- Change in business strategy
You have to pose the “what if” question when establishing the major risks. Break them down into sub-categories. For example, if there is no continuity plan, this might be broken down into smaller categories to include if a particular department goes under, there is a natural disaster, or something else were to happen.
Step 4: Evaluate the Risks
All of the risks that you identified need to be evaluated. This is where the “What if” situation will help you as well. You need to determine the likelihood of a risk actually happening. The “major” risks should be put at the top of the list, where you will put the most attention and allocate the most resources.
Step 5: Develop a Treatment Plan
A treatment plan should be formulated and written to help you identify how you would handle the different risks. It’s also important to assign tasks to different employees. For example, some items might need to be repaired or ordered in order to have a complete plan in place should something happen.
This is where it’s important to have a system and database included with your risk management plan so everything becomes more organized.
Step 6: Train Your Employees
Your employees need to be educated on risk management culture. When you are ready to train your employees, it’s important to communicate effectively. This involves letting all of your employees know and understand the meaning of Risk management and its significance within the business.
A curriculum should be built to focus on the courses that are mandatory. You should also empower employees to be more focused on risk-related topics. Your employees might surprise you. Since they are the ones in the roles, they should have the ability to work on risk management within their position. It might include additional training, allocating resources to minimize risk, and much more.
Step 7: Schedule Regular Audits
Audits should be scheduled on a regular basis. This should include those done by your employees as well as a third-party company. It will ensure that you have as many eyes on what’s going on as possible.
Discover more about a risk management program by contacting Sustainable Certification Pty Ltd
Will Certification Beat Competition? Myth Or Fact?
Competition is fierce in any industry. It’s imperative to understand how to effectively beat your competition. Using third party certification audits will make it easier to identify and locate the various flaws in the system. However, will this be sufficient toconsolidate your position against your competition? The consensus is that it’s not enough.
The Certifications Available
There are numerous certifications you can obtain that will help you to get an edge over your competition. This includes:
- Quality Management Systems (ISO 9001)
- Environmental Management (ISO) 14001)
- CCF (Civil Contractors Federation) IMS or SCIMS
- Food Safety Management (HACCP)
- Information Security Management Systems (ISO 27001)
- Business Continuity Management (ISO 22301)
- Energy Management Systems (ISO 55001)
- Asset Management Systems (ISO 50001)
Whether you’re applying for certification internationally or locally in Australia, you need to review how third-party certification audits will identify and assist in closing the gaps within your system. For example, if you’re looking at achieving ISO 14001 certification, you will have audits thatprovide you with intel on such matters as your environment protection measures, wastage, efficiency, and much more.
Choose the Right Certification
With so many certifications available, you should choose the one that will best fit your company needs and objectives. It is a good idea to spend some time researching your competition. Find out what ISO certifications they have already obtained. if everyone in your industry has an ISO 9001 quality management systems certification, it’s going to be in your best interests to acquire a similar certification. The consequence of the decision to not follow in a similar footpath to your competitors will give them a distinct advantage. Listen to what the government says or your vendors.
The certification itself plays a major role in how consumers choose to do business with you. When you are in a B2B industry, many businesses will elect not to do business with you if you don’t have sufficient certification.
In some cases, multiple certifications provide benefit and can work in tandem depending on the industry you operate in for example in the construction industry, ISO 9001 and AS/NZS 4801 offer numerous benefits both in prevention of safety issues and improvement of overall customer satisfaction. Through having a diligent selection of the right certification, it ensures that the management system will focus on business operations and that you are meeting and exceeding objectives. It will also ensure that you are delivering high quality and consistent results.
Busting the Myths
Knowing the myths that are out there regarding certification and third-party audits will make it easier for you to obtain the truth. It will enable you to more simply schedule your audits with the right certification body. Additionally, it will allow you to focus on what’s needed for your company in order to take it to the next level.
The primary myth is that any certification will help you defeat yourcompetition. The reality is you need to have the certification and regularly schedule your third-party audits to ensure that your methods for ensuring you are across all legislation matches industry best practice.
Another myth is that certification will automatically bring more business. You will need to advertise that you have been certified, which means including the information on your website as well as any printed material that you have for your company. Plus whole of your organisations must adopt the system with enthusiasm.
You will also hear companies talking about how there is no need to use a third-party accreditor for audits. While you could simply have a company come in and see you meet ISO or another certification in terms of qualifications, it’s going to be easier if you work with a reputable name within the world of certification. It will ensure you have the right process in place and that you are truly offering the highest quality and reputable services as advertised.
When you take the time to schedule your audits, it allows you to identify your flaws and provide a better experience to your customers. Make sure you demand the best from your auditors.
Learn more about third-party audits to help you beat your competition by contacting Sustainable Certification Pty Ltd today.Read More
In most cases, it is not easy to quantify productivity in the realm of construction. The construction sector is one of those fields that experience an ever fluctuating environment. Whether it be weather, employee related issues or countless other unforeseen points of concern, managing productivity is an arduous and ever challenging endeavour.
There was a study done by Intergraph that illustrated EPCs suffer billions of dollars nationally as a by product of construction claims involving labor related issues alone. That is huge, to say the least. Even though there are many organizations collecting data on construction productivity (US Department of Labor, US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Contractors Associations, independent contractors, universities, to name a few), this data is various and lacks consistency. Yet, one aspect that remains a constant through most research is the consequential impact of labor productivity.
So, what are some things that can be done to improve overall productivity, improve your bottomline, reduce workplace incidents and decrease the negative impact on the environment? Let us take a look at three simple hacks that can boost productivity.
1. Improve Project Planning
Planning is integral to anything we do. The lack thereof can prove disastrous and a nuisance at the very least. In the world of construction, we all know that planning is a very important ingredient in the mixture of project completion on schedule and within budget.
In order to become better at planning, data should be collected on previous construction projects in order to establish where the bulk of the issues reside. Is it poor timing in ordering materials? On who does this responsibility lie? Were there equipment failures or work related injuries that held things back? How can these issues be addressed? Collecting this data enables any of these issues to be addressed before the next project and find ways to formulate preemptive solutions.
2. Introduce Productivity Training
It should be a known fact that your supervisors can make or break any project. Are they knowledgeable enough to face the growing concerns of a modern EPC world? Do they have sufficient training to keep them up to date with new technologies and environmental regulations? Are they up to speed with local and federal regulations? All three of these aspects are ever evolving. What may have been the case last month could very well not be the case next month.
Most contractors see training employees only as far as making sure they know how to operate new pieces of equipment, as one example. How many implement training in productivity? And it is supervisors who are in the greatest need of this type of training. They need to start seeing outside the box and quit looking at things from a day-to-day view, always looking into the foreseeable future and trying to increase the likelihood that the project remains on schedule and within budget.
Furthermore, the construction industry as a whole should consider the merits of inviting design students to complete their internships on site. This will decrease conflicts between the designers and the contractors, not to mention bring a fresh mind to the design process.
3. Keep On Top of New Construction Technologies
There is a reason for technological development: to make our lives easier. Usually, technological advances come from a direct need from an industry. One of the biggest disruptions being caused by technology as a whole is the construction sector. Whether it is renewable energy disruption, better, longer lasting materials or innovative methods in the construction process, staying abreast of new technology is vital to sustainability.
One technology is 3D printing, which is changing the landscape, so to speak, on many fronts. From facial reconstruction to manmade coral reefs, 3D printing is paving the way for many new cool advances in technology. No other sector is being influenced greater by this disruptive technology than the EPC industry. In an article by Forbes entitled Printing The Future: The Last Bastion Of Blue Collar Labor Is About To Fall, it accounts for $9 trillion in revenues and six percent of the global GDP. Not only this, but 3D printing is making the entire construction process more time and cost efficient by reducing everything down to precise measurements. This means designers can create structures not thought possible before.
With fast evolving technology in the construction industry changing the way we design, plan, manage and build, becoming a more productive company is even easier than before. The three hacks above are not the complete picture by far, but they are a great place to start.
We at Sustainable pride ourselves helping our customers improve their bottom line, reduce workplace injury and environmental impact.Read More
Research shows that eight out of every 10 businesses fail due to poor leadership, communication and product differentiation. Only the best organizations will overcome issues like rising costs, selective customers, sluggish economies, challenging markets and aggressive competitors. An ISO certification is one of the best long-term investments a company can make for their future stability and profitability.
Enhanced Credibility and Reputation
Almost all B2B partners want to do business with companies that are ISO certified because it verifies they maintain higher standards. ISO certification reduces the need for lengthy debates and investigations to determine if the target company understands the principles of quality, communication, process improvements and management oversight. Similarly, ISO certifications build trust and inspire confidence in customers and the public.
Companies that maintain a loyal customer base will be more sustainable and successful. An ISO certification is a full-time commitment, but is a powerful tool for industries that have to deal with watchful critics, such as energy, manufacturing, agriculture and engineering companies. The best marketing and public relations weapon for a lumber production or a natural gas company is an ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management Systems (EMS) certification.
A Commitment to Environmental Sustainability
The ISO 14001:2015 refers to the prestigious Environmental Management System (EMS) that provides a comprehensive framework for planning, implementing and improving eco-friendly policies and practices. An EMS program may be applied to any type of organization, regardless of their specific sector because the ultimate goal is to enhance environmental performance and corporate responsibility. EMS thinking can be integrated into all levels of stewardship, from manual labor employees to top executives.
EMS programs help management to monitor the company’s interactions with the environment, exceed mandatory compliance obligations and resolve risks from various sources. The 14001:2015 program identifies environmental aspects (anything that interacts with the surroundings) in order to minimize negative impacts and maximize position outcomes. The ISO 14001:2015 is the second most popular standard after the ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System program.
Better Product Quality
The continual sale of any product comes down to quality, durability, performance and customer satisfaction. The ISO 9001:2015 depends on proactive participation from leadership who are tasked with continually improving operations, quality control, effective communication and production planning activities. The QMS program is the universal standard around the world for a superior level of quality and product safety. This is especially important for global companies who have B2B clients in unfamiliar countries.
The ISO 9001:2015 program requires leadership involvement, quality objectives, evolving policies and specific requirements. Standard Qualify Procedures (SQP) are detailed job descriptions that outline what task will be done, who will be responsible, when it will be completed and how the results will be evaluated. QMS, along with EMS programs, are the best investments for legal compliance and protection. The American Society for Quality (ASQ), which is a global leader in quality control activities, endorses ISO 9001 programs here.
ISO programs assist employees and management to develop new skills, proactive attitudes and problem solving tools. For example, hazard identification and risk management are important to both the EMS and QMS programs. Staff are actively encouraged and empowered to adopt risk-based thinking in order to uncover previously hidden or avoided problems. Some companies punish employees who report serious quality issues that could impact safety, but ISO programs actually reprimand shareholders and require them to resolve nonconformities through corrective action plans.
Regular external audits through internationally recognized certifying bodies means that organizations must maintain impeccable documentation and high standards. To illustrate, the ISO 9001 requires organizations to create and use daily quality control check sheets that are completed throughout the day. This usually involves a supervisor or team leader randomly checking, testing or measuring a group of products every year.
The most scientific way to increase product excellence and production values is to aggregately analyse quality control data through statistical process control tools and spreadsheets. ISO program credentials are maintained through global certifying organizations that provide audits, support and direction.
We at Sustainable pride ourselves helping our customers improve their bottom line, reduce workplace injury and environmental impact.
Once an organisation pursues ISO certification, its management team must plan and anticipate changes in a sequence of stages. Employees are unable to process changes all at once, and they need time to adjust their attitudes. The management team must consider the impact of changing major work structures and associated processes on many employees and the effects of smaller changes on limited groups of employees. Most importantly, all required changes must take place over time. Managers must implement any change process with sensitivity to employees’ needs in order to prevent unnecessary backlashes to customers. Otherwise, negative employee attitudes could defeat the purpose of obtaining certification.
Why Do It
One way to contemplate obtaining ISO certification is that the process is time efficient. There will be benefits for the organisation, including a better public image and streamlined operations, which usually translate to cost savings and greater efficiency. Employees may also experience increased morale in their workplace and customers’ perceptions of higher value. Quite frankly, people enjoy their work in the certified organisation more, but the process of change could be painful at some points. Management has responsibility to make the case for certification and must provide support during the transition period.
Quality is the Focus
The process of securing ISO certification includes assessing all areas of the organisation and encouraging every group of workers to enhance their focus on quality. An organisation must develop and maintain adequate documentation to show how a standard will be met. An organisation must remove barriers to efficiency. An organisation must implement more quality controls to ensure that instances of poor quality are addressed (i.e. that fewer faulty products reach customers). Root causes of poor quality require remediation.
Managing the Process of Change
Research has shown some negative implications of ISO certification, one of which is the perception that employees must work harder throughout the process. They will have to perform “two jobs” and then “write” about it. At first, if managers haven’t presented the case effectively for ISO certification, employees may have negative responses to the whole process. Whereas employees might have to make some changes to how they do their jobs and develop the right documentation, their efforts will pay off when the certification process is complete. They will work in more streamlined units while enjoying a better understanding of how their work contributes to quality standards and company goals.
Many organisations pursue ISO certification because they want to respond to customer demands for higher quality. They have a dilemma of which certification body to choose for their company. Some of their considerations may include steps that are involved and how they will impact employees. Other considerations will revolve around what certification from a particular body means for the company. Before choosing an ISO certification body, we recommend that organisations consider the current level of quality that’s in place and how employees could use the certification process to raise that higher. This in effect provides long term benefits to customers.
A company can aspire to higher quality standards and produce documentation to show how those are met, but its employees must reinforce those standards over time through their individual and collective behaviors. Otherwise, there will be a temporary improvement in the organisation based on initial efforts, but operating conditions and quality levels will diminish over time. Once employee efforts diminish, the organisation’s reputation will decline, which is bad for worker morale and customer perceptions.Read More
The Top 10 Ways Your Organisation Can Profit Through ISO Certification
Or the benefits on implementing ISO
Implementing ISO is a surefire way to optimise your company’s bottom line performance. From enhanced search engine rankings to the creation of robust marketing opportunities, ISO certification can open countless doors of opportunity for your organisation. Below are the top 10 ways your organisation can profit through ISO certification.
1) ISO certification will enhance your company’s industry image. ISO certification is highly coveted by organisations across a variety of industries. The majority of companies are not ISO-certified, elevating the status of those companies that are certified. For instance, approximately three-fourths of manufacturing companies lack ISO certification, consequently enhancing the stock of the 25% of manufacturing companies that have earned the certification.
2) Costs are controlled as a result of superior use of resources. The ISO implementation process requires organisations to make efficient use of their human resources and company assets. The result is a leaner workforce and a more robust bottom line.
3) Processes are streamlined and consistent, resulting in fewer costly errors. Process improvement methodology is a key requirement for companies seeking ISO certification. Meeting this requirement and earning ISO certification means that your company has strong company policies and procedures in place to help prevent errors and enhance customer satisfaction.
4) You can attract new customers who are required to choose ISO-certified vendors. Some organisations require their key vendors to possess ISO certification. Examples include government healthcare facilities and universities. ISO implementation enables your company to provide products and services to these customers, thereby creating yet another means of increasing your bottom line performance.
5) Organisational deficiencies are identified during the certification process. One of the best ways to optimise your company’s financial results is to identify barriers to success and create a strategic plan to address them. Resolving these deficiencies paves the way for increased efficiency and a healthier bottom line.
6) ISO certification communicates an organisation’s commitment to excellence. Prospective customers are often aware that ISO certification is only bestowed upon companies that adhere to the most stringent requirements. Additionally, companies seeking ISO certification must be prepared to dedicate hours of their time and hard-earned money to obtain certification.
7) Your organisation can participate in government tenders. ISO certification is a prerequisite for most public bidding opportunities and government tenders across the globe. Some tenders and public projects can generate millions of dollars in revenue for the company with the winning bid. This means that ISO certification could potentially double or triple a company’s revenue.
8) Search engine rankings for your company will improve. As the demand for ISO-certified vendors increases, more prospective customers are including “ISO certified” in their collections of keywords as they conduct online vendor searches. Once you post the news about your ISO certification on your organisation’s website, your site’s search engine optimisation (SEO) will improve. This will drive more traffic to your site, increasing your likelihood of conversions.
9) Company roles and responsibilities are more clearly defined. While the ISO certification process is considered to be rigorous by most people, the process also forces organisations to clearly delineate departments and their key areas of focus. With a well-organised workforce, your company will be primed for greater production.
10) Superb marketing opportunities are created. The marketing opportunities that accompany ISO certification are virtually endless. Here are a few ways that you can use your newly awarded ISO-certification to promote your brand:
- Reference ISO certification on your company’s website
- Include news about your ISO certification on your company’s social media sites
- Feature a blog post on the ways that your customer will benefit from your ISO certification
- Employees can include a banner about your ISO certification in their e-mail signatures
Clearly, there is a link between ISO certification and bottom line performance for companies. ISO certification is a powerful attribute that will elevate your organisation to new levels of success. At Sustainable Certification our goal is to improve your business performance through audits and certification.Read More
Maintaining strict worker safety standards remains one of the most important stated goals of companies across the world. Nonetheless, the International Labor Organization has forecasted that as many as 2.34 million people die annually as the result of work-related accidents and diseases. To reduce this unacceptably large number, the International Organization for Standards has drafted a new standard–ISO 45001 –for occupational health and safety.
ISO 45001 is predicated on the widely lauded OSHA standard 18001, which acts in the benefit of worker safety by offering a structured approach to risk mitigation. In 2016, the drafted form of ISO 45001 was sent to ballot. Amongst the 54 countries involved in the voting process, 71% of respondents were in favor of ratifying ISO 45001. Unfortunately, this did not satisfy the necessary threshold for approval, which requires that no more than a quarter of votes go against. To ensure the future success of ISO, whose second round of balloting is already underway, it is imperative that people understand the historic importance of this standard. This article will attempt to consolidate such understanding, by introducing three key benefits of ISO standard 45001. Very importantly this new standard follows the same High Level Structure and is aligned with ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 27001. All new versions of existing standards as well as all new standards will follow the same high level structure
High Level Structure
Annex SL.9 High level structure, identical core text and common terms and core definitions for use in Management Systems Standards from now on:
- Normative references
- Terms and definitions
- Context of the organization
- Performance evaluation
OSHAS 18001 is the most widely utilized worker safety standard, with at least 40 international versions currently in place. Yet whereas OSHAS 18001 primarily focuses on occupational health and safety at the ground level, ISO 45001 attempts to integrate similar standards of protection and risk mitigation at a higher level, one that will affect the larger business processes. In other words, ISO 45001 will act as a natural corollary to upper-level approaches to business risks of all natures. As a result, it will be easier to incorporate a top-down safety philosophy.
In this regard, the timing of ISO 45001 couldn’t be more ideal. That’s because the International Organization for Standards has recently revised both its quality management (ISO 9001) and environmental management (ISO 14001) standards. These standards utilize a common framework as that found in ISO 45001. These commonalities will help to improve the ease with which organizations can integrate ISO 45001 into their pre-existing business processes.
Ease Of Implementation
ISO 45001 also makes significant strides in terms of improving the ease of application of workplace safety standards. This is achieved by adhering to a simple PDCA model. This model, whose acronym is short for Plan-Do-Check-Act, makes it easy for an organization to determine the necessary plan for minimizing risk of worker harm. This model does not simply focus on worker accidents–a common shortcoming of past workplace safety standards. Instead it also addresses concerns covering everything from long-term illness and health issues, to workplace absences, to psychosocial risk.
The “Plan” phase of this model focuses on organization-wide implementation to ensure two things: first, that workers have access to the appropriate training and skills; and second, that the necessary controls are put into place prior to the “Do” phase. During the “Check” phase, these key elements are identified and addressed in a systematic order to ensure that the system works according to plan. The “Act” phase involves the establishment of best-practice workplace routines. It also recognizes the importance of worker input in recognizing OH&S needs and determining how to best meet them.
Recognition Of Workplace Diversity
ISO 45001 has been carefully designed to consider the incredible diversity of workplace models present in the world today. It is meant to be just as easily applicable to small businesses as to global corporations. It also recognizes that non-standard employment patterns are becoming more and more common, and attempts to regulate worker safety in a way that can be accommodated within any employment framework. In this regard, ISO 45001 is a forward-looking standard, one that successfully marries theory and reality to create a safer work environment for all.
Organizations that embrace process excellence, ISO and systems thinking tend to create innovative, fun, and productive organizational cultures. This is because quality assurance focuses on system optimization instead of blaming individuals for product, process or system deficiencies. Some of the top influences of ISO on workplace culture add value to job roles and corporate bottom-lines.
Quality assurance leverages subject matter experts and teams to improve all aspects of an organization. This results in teams and process management becoming integral to an organization’s culture. Whether it is Kaizen events or quality audits centered on ISO standards, implementing quality requirements encourages more teamwork among employees. Breaking down silos between functional departments and stoking collaboration are direct byproducts of ISO initiatives.
Substantive Process Improvement
ISO and quality assurance drives substantive process improvement that has a lasting impact on organizational culture. A systematic, disciplined approach to process enhancement teaches employees to tackle problems in a professional and effective manner that permeates through teams and functional departments. Employees are no longer willing to settle for marginal improvements, when they know what quality can do to products, processes and systems. A focus on system optimization has a transformative impact at all levels of an organization.
Lower Internal Failures
ISO leads to lower internal failures in products and systems that lead to less frustration among employees and managers. Higher efficiencies and levels of quality have positive impacts on morale and the way that teams view their efficacy. The net result being a more confident organization that thrives on low levels of internal defects and failures. These types of organizations are more profitable and successful places to work. This has a positive long-term impact on everyone involved with an organization.
Higher Job Satisfaction
As an employee, it feels good to produce a high-quality product or service and get recognition for it. These are realistic outcomes in an organization that embraces quality. High job satisfaction can lead to all sorts of positive results, including a friendly, happier place to work. Employees are nicer to one another and do not blame each other, when they adopt systems thinking. Going to work and enjoying what you do has a lot to do with your co-workers. Employees that enjoy their jobs are simply easier to gel with.
Less Non-Value Added Work
Organizations that follow ISO standards eliminate non-value added work and replace it with actions that benefit the customer or the business. The process of identifying non-value added work is an acquired skill, but once employees know how to spot it, it transforms the work they produce. An organizational culture that promotes the identification and removal of non-value added work is one that is efficient. Cultures that fail to promote efficient process and system development will lose profit margin over the long run.
Less Employee Turnover
ISO initiatives make work easier and more efficient for stakeholders throughout an organization. As a result, employees make fewer mistakes and get a chance to succeed in their roles. Fewer employees tend to change their jobs or quit because work is fun, meaningful and less frustrating. This is good for organizational culture and operational efficiency for multiple reasons. Employees with years of experience add more value to organizations, because they can leverage their experience and knowhow to improve efficiencies and customer experiences. Cultures that value and encourage employee longevity gain a competitive edge in the marketplace over both the short and long-term.
For additional information how to improve organizational culture thru implementing ISO, please contact us today. Quality assurance and process excellence tools have transformative powers and can take your company to the next level of success.
While ISO 2008 required a documented procedure of preventative action to be implemented when appropriate after the corrective measures had been taken, the approach was a reactive response to an adverse event or nonconformity. In ISO 9001 2015, the notion of preventative action has morphed into a more proactive preventative approach applied in all the main processes of the quality management system: planning, design, development, manufacture, customer support and service. In this new standard, the measure is called risk-based thinking or RBT.
Understanding Risk in Context
Let’s first attempt to understand what is risk. The answer may ultimately be subjective when considering what risks are in the context of an organisation. However, one common explanation is, where there is risk, there is a chance or probability of something adverse happening or a chance to exploit a resulting opportunity. The end-product of risk is uncertainty and deviation from that which is intended. According to the new standard, this deviation could be positive or negative.
What is Risk Based Thinking?
While there is no definition for Risk-based Thinking (RBT) provided in ISO 9001 2015, there is some explanation in ISO 9001 and TC 176. This clause tells us that RBT is something we do “automatically in everyday life.” Some have described RBT as being a common sense measure. Perhaps the old adage is true;
“Common sense is not so common,” Voltaire
Where to Apply RBT
The new ISO standard states that RBT should be applied in each of the processes that make up the quality management system. However, each process of the quality management system holds varying levels of risk regarding the organization’s ability to meet its quality objectives. Because of this, more careful and formal planning and controls are needed for certain risk areas than others.
Understanding Opportunity as a Risk
When considering the context of the new standard, opportunity, is not merely the positive side of risk —but a set of circumstances in which an outcome is impacted to some degree, by either action or non-action. There is less risk involved when choosing to exploit an opportunity for a positive outcome than there is in failing to act when the result would have negative, neutral, or less than positive consequences. Therefore, each potential scenario is relevant to RBT in weighted amounts.
Planning and Implementation of RBT
RBT, as the standard requires, should be applied in the planning and formulation of the complete quality management system. This begins with a requirement for top management to identify and include both internal and external parties who have an interest in the effectiveness of the QMS. Those whose end goal is to achieve the production quality goods and services. For the same reason, top management is to identify both positive and negative issues that present opportunities and risks that are relevant to quality goods and services as these will need to be taken into account when planning and implementing the quality management system.
The Fluidity of Context of the Organisation
Because the context of the organisation is not a static trait, the risk potential also changes. It is important that an enterprise can appropriately evaluate risk potential, mitigate those risks and identify opportunities in the ever-changing environment of organisational context. While it is not a requirement, one suggestion for to successfully plan, implement and follow through with RBT in any number of risk areas is to utilise the following process:
Plan – Identify and plan to address the risk.
Do – Implement the plan to avoid, eliminate or mitigate the risk.
Check- Asking how effective your plan was at risk avoidance.
Documentation of RBT Processes
It is important to note that there is no explicit requirement for the process to be formalised into a written document nor is there any stipulation to retain documentation for recordkeeping. However, you must be prepared to present some form of evidence that suggests you engaged appropriately in risk-based thinking, as this process does require significant forethought and “what-if” or scenario planning.
Summary of the Requirements for RBT
Promote awareness of risk-based thinking allows leadership to determine and address various risks and opportunities which we otherwise might have missed.
Provide the necessary resources for RBT in all areas of risk or opportunity, remembering that risk is implicit whenever the conditions determine it suitable or appropriate
Monitor, measure, analyse and evaluate the effectiveness of actions taken to address the risks/opportunities.
Correct, prevent, or reduce artefacts, improving the QMS and updating risks and opportunities as needed within the changing context.
Consider including some evidence of risk identification and evaluation having been performed, if this action supports or adds value to the organisation.
Benefits of RBT
An organisation is responsible for its ISO application to have risk-based thinking and identify the actions it takes to address the risk including evaluation of opportunities as a risk. The standard, by applying risk-based thinking, greatly increases the likelihood of a company realising the following benefits
Proactive stance to prevent poor outcomes
Greater ability to recognise opportunity
Improved consistency and quality of products and services
Increased customer confidence and satisfaction
In summary, RBT is the next obvious step-up from the previous standard which was reactionary. Successful companies will have the common sense to intuitively incorporate proactive risk-based thinking into the existing quality management system. When properly implemented, RBT ensures greater knowledge of risks and better prepares the organisation to deal with those risks. It promotes a thought framework in which missed opportunities are also calculated as potential risks. It increases the likelihood of reaching objectives while reducing the possibility of undesirable outcomes.Read More