Ultimate cheat sheet to ISO 9001

Implementing an ISO 9001 quality management system involves thorough research, strategic planning, and regular reviews. This guide outlines essential steps, including mapping processes, setting up dashboards, and conducting quarterly management reviews to ensure continuous improvement. Learn how Citation Certification can support your ISO 9001 journey.
Ultimate cheat sheet to ISO 9001

Today we’re going to talk about how to implement an ISO 9001 Quality Management System.

The first thing to do is your due diligence and research. Part of doing your research is reading the standards and working out what an ISO 9001 management looks like. We suggest starting with Googling and have a look at the resources out there on the internet, or the Citation Certification website – it’s filled with learning resources. We suggest downloading our ISO 9001 Gap Analysis Checklist.

What are you doing? What are you looking for? What are you involved in? Have a look at these considerations, and do some searching – don’t forget to click the images app when you do your Google search, and see what quality management looks like and what’s involved with ISO 9001.

What I want you to do is look at the management review, and then I want you to prepare for a strategic planning day with the key people in your team. Figure out who are the key influencers that you’re going to get together to start talking about this management system that you need to implement. I want you to run a half-day session, a half-day planning session, and I want you to be thinking about the management review and the parts of the management review standards, or the parts of the management standard that talk about management review. It’s down at the bottom of the standard and I want you to plan that half-day session. Now, it’s my strong recommendation that you plan to run that session on a quarterly basis.

One of the things you’re going to need to do is refine your planning. Look at the management review, and take note of what it’s looking for and what it’s asking you to consider – those are going to be your agenda items for that half-day planning session with your key influencers. Implementing a management system in your organisation is going to be the number one thing you do; the first step is to run that strategic planning day. It can go for half the day, it can go for longer but not shorter, it needs to be about three and a half hours, and I want you to talk about the agenda items which are a part of the management review inputs and the management review outputs in each of the ISO standards.

How do we run that session? We prepare. The rest of the points that I’m going to cover in these 10 hacks are going to contribute to that discussion, so listen up closely because they are the things that are going to be part of the management review and your preparation for that planning session.

Okay, so running the session. You need to think about what happens after the session before you start the session. What I want you to be doing and getting ready to do is to write an action plan, write a list of actions, a list of tasks, a list of things that you need to do as a result of the discussions that take place in that three and a half-hour management review or meeting.

Remember, one of the things you are going to do is write down a date for the next meeting. Plan the next four meetings, plan the very first one, and then plan the next four on a quarterly basis throughout the year. I want you to be thinking about this from a management review perspective.

The items we need to talk about improving are, in their very simplest form, discussions about how you can improve the things you need to improve within your organisation. You can write yourself a list, go and improve those things, and then come back and do another meeting and another list. That’s a management system, a quality management system, or a business improvement management system in its simplest form.

We are going to make it a bit more strategic and powerful for your organisation as we map out the other parts.

One of the items is to teach your team how to map their processes and look at process mapping. I don’t want your team to have more than one process map each for individual teams or departments in your organisation. It should just be a high-level flow of what happens in each of those teams and, at the top, what the high-level process flow is from marketing to a customer placing an order in sales to finance to production, or whatever it might be, or value-add process, to collecting money, to post-delivery activities.

It’s very important to get your team to start thinking about mapping out their processes and procedures. This should be a part of what they do, irrespective of whether they have a quality management system or not.

OK, now it’s time to set up your dashboard of statistics. What are the top 10 things you want to measure in your organisation?

From a quality management system perspective, I would highly recommend running a net promoter score to gauge your customers’ satisfaction. Then look at lost time injury frequency rate from an OH&S perspective, and your carbon footprint from an environmental perspective. Think about what the key parameters are, the key 10 parameters you can start to measure. Eventually, over time, you may flesh that out into 30 key statistics, but for now, let’s talk about the key things. A quality management system’s ultimate modern measure would be a net promoter score. Here at Citation Certification, we use SurveyMonkey to help us run net promoter scores, and if you purchase the commercial edition of SurveyMonkey, they provide templates for that.

Setting up your dashboard of statistics is really important when you start to think about what might be the 10 big numbers you’d like to record for your organisation: number of leads, number of sales, amount of revenue, number of happy customers, net promoter score, number of safety incidents, carbon footprint, corporate social responsibility metrics, and data security numbers.

Now, remember that you are still setting up and haven’t yet run your quarterly session. In the quarterly session, we will talk about how we are tracking as an organisation against those numbers. Then, ask the key influencers at that meeting where they want to go. Do you want to measure these numbers? Do you want to know these numbers? Do we want to keep running with these numbers? We start to build our processes, controls, improvement programs, and plans to achieve our goals. In that quarterly session, we will ask, “What are our goals? What are our objectives?”

A specific question to ask is: In thinking about the next 12 weeks, what does success look like for you? This question helps focus on business improvement. When you convene the next quarterly meeting, ask this question. It’s crucial for continual business improvement.

Next, map out who does what and who is responsible for those key numbers. This will identify responsibilities and clarify roles, reducing bureaucracy in your management system. Everyone should know their objectives, targets, and goals, allowing them to make decisions and pursue their career paths autonomously.

The next tip is to report weekly on your numbers. If weekly sounds too frequent, adjust it, but regular reporting is essential.

The last hack is: When you encounter issues, write them on your issues list or action plan. Start your list now with items like getting ISO 9001 certified, running a half-day workshop, writing an action plan, teaching your team processes, and setting up your dashboard.

In the next few weeks, consider what could go wrong. Think about risk-based thinking and the opportunities and risks mentioned in the standards. If you have time, we highly recommend running a SWOT analysis to look at strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This adds to your issues list.

Certification made simple

Citation Certification offers expert guidance to help you achieve ISO 9001 compliance. Contact us today to get started.

Take your business to the next level

What are you interested in?
Your data will be processed inline with our Privacy Policy.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.