Not too long ago, many organizations considered ISO and quality management systems as just another bureaucracy, a mandatory requirement to work with global clients, a marketing element, or merely a stamp that looked good on their documents.
However, today, amidst this raging Coronavirus Pandemic, it is these same companies that are dusting off and reviewing their Continuity Plans, Communication Plans, and work procedures or remembering how they evaluated performance indicators to have measurable elements of how this crisis will affect them.
The tools of ISO management systems are at our disposal in times of crisis and it is a good time to put them in play.
In this series of posts, we will attempt to explain how ISO helps companies overcome the COVID-19 crisis. We will start with the most famous ISO standard, the 9001.
ISO 9001: Quality Management
ISO 9001 establishes change management processes that are required in the face of any external event such as COVID-19. With ISO 9001, we will already have tools in place to plan changes, considering their purpose and consequence, the integrity of the quality management system, the availability of resources and the allocation of responsibilities.
Another important contribution that has been revealed these days is the need for a Communication Plan. ISO 9001 certified companies already have a process to determine internal and external communications that include what, when, to whom, how and who communicates and therefore helps them manage how to give information to different stakeholders.
Other important ISO 9001 tools that we can highlight are:
- Internal and external context analysis tools.
- Having identified the stakeholders and their needs and expectations.
- The identification of risks and opportunities of the processes of the organization (now is a good time to review and reassess)
- The identification of customer requirements and risks that may affect the conformity of our products and services.
- Processes already systematized to address risks and opportunities.
- The infrastructure management and information technology and communication necessary for the operation of processes.
- Performance analysis and evaluation tools that will allow us to assess the impact of this crisis on our operations.
- Improvement tools such as non-conformities and corrective actions that establish mechanisms to detect incidents in this new way of operating and be able to correct it as soon as possible.
It is clear that, for the continuity of our business, these elements are key to the change of processes that must be carried out within organizations and provides a way of quality management of each change process, even if it is only temporary.
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