10 Simple Steps You Need to Transition Your ISO

So you can’t get your management to support your ISO transition project. Management is committed to quality but has heard this is a simple project and has instructed you to get it done as quickly as possible. Or you are a small organization with one boss and one sidekick. You can’t afford the help from experts… and you’re the sidekick. Whatever the reason, if you have to work on an ISO transition and you have little resources beyond yourself here is a list of 10 things to get you going. If your solution is larger, more sophisticated, then you need to do them in a more sophisticated manner.

Here is a list of 10 things for you to do to transition your ISO (you can choose to do them more or less):

  1. ISO 9001:2015 is very flexible about procedures. Technically you don’t need any procedures at all – so long as you can prove your intentions some other way. Verbal evidence is an acceptable approach although not casually. All people “involved” in a process need to give a consistent version and the narrative has to be able to explain conformance. So make sure everyone is very familiar with the answer… and the standard.
  2. Because you will never remember how you have determined an ISO solution, leave all your current documents in place and add extra documents for new and changed processes (keep them short and simple – yes this is the converse of number 1).
  3. Make sure you have an organizational purpose (a mission) and a strategic direction (e.g. growth) – make sure they both relate to quality.
  4. Generate a list of internal and external issues that affect the organization’s quality, this could include political, economic, social, technology, legal, environmental, and ethical issues.
  5. Generate a list of people who have an interest in your quality and what it is they require of it.
  6. Generate a list of risks to your business operations – throughout (considering all of the above).
  7. Generate meaningful SMART objectives… with metrics, responsibilities, targets, and programs. SMART stands for Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-Oriented.
  8. Generate a list of communications that you might want to send and receive because of the quality system (include to who, by who, when, where, what, how, etc.).
  9. Have a simple way to record changes to quality (e.g. a log or an agenda item).
  10. List “knowledge” on your job descriptions (knowledge requirements to do the job) as distinct from “skills.” Rewrite/reorganize your job descriptions.

Finally, make sure that top management reads section 5.1 and can talk at length about the topics listed in each sub-clause with tangible examples to prove they are leading the organization in these topics and are committed to them.

Yes, this is an oversimplification and your QMS is all about having a means of being deliberately successful which is hard to achieve with 10 plus topics. But we all live by lists and in principle, they are still relevant.

Need more? Feel free to ask about our transition program.

Also, if you just want to ask a few questions, feel free to do so.

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