EBS Article Series – A DIY Approach to ISO 9001 Certification
For most organizations, achieving ISO 9001 certification can be a rather daunting undertaking. For many smaller companies that don’t have the resources to retain a full-service ISO consultant and who attempt ISO 9001 certification on a do-it-yourself basis, the work can be overwhelming.
Without an internal or external resource who is knowledgeable and experienced with ISO 9001, most organizations struggle to properly interpret the ISO 9001 standard and implement processes that satisfy the standard requirements. With that said, it is still possible to complete your certification as a do-it-yourselfer, but the company also needs to find a source of expertise to guide the project.
Serving and helping smaller companies in this exact position was the entire impetus behind the EBS eCoach ISO 9001 Learning & Coaching System. To coincide with the launch of this new ISO 9001 tool and platform, EBS is starting a fifteen-month article series that will provide guidance, education, and tools to help facilitate certification for any organization attempting a DIY ISO 9001 implementation project.
EBS Blog Calendar for 2018
This article series will follow and provide some of the key information from our eCoach ISO 9001 System but at not near the depth provided by the actual learning course. We will also provide several core fundamental tools along the way to help facilitate your ISO 9001 journey. The following is our draft calendar for the entire article series, however please note that we may adjust topics, titles, and release dates as the series evolves:
- ISO 9001 for Limited Budgets – A DIY Approach to ISO 9001 Certification
- ISO Overview – ISO 9001 Benefits and Value
- ISO 9001 from the Corner Office
- To Plan or Not to Plan – ISO 9001 Project Management Plan
- It All Starts (and Ends) at The Top – ISO 9001 Leadership Principles
- Return on Investment for ISO 9001 Certification
- ISO 9001 Quality Policy & Scope – A Management System Foundation
- ISO 9001 Quality Objectives Work to Drive Performance Improvement
- Why ISO 9001 Culture Matters
- ISO 9001 Processes and Procedures (Support) – Document Control and Change Management
- Implementing ISO 9001 Support Processes
- ISO 9001 Process Approach
- Application of ISO 9001 Design & Development
- ISO 9001 Design & Development Plan
- Why ISO 9001 Design Inputs Matter
- What are ISO 9001 Design Outputs?
- ISO 9001 Design Verification and Validation Methods
- How to Complete an ISO 9001 Design Review
- ISO 9001 Operational Planning and Control
- ISO 9001 Control of External Providers (Supplier Controls)
- ISO 9001 Process Control – Verification, Release, and Post-Delivery
- How to Control ISO 9001 Nonconforming Outputs
- ISO 9001 Internal Audit Requirements
- ISO 9001 Customer Satisfaction and Feedback
- ISO 9001 Corrective Action
- ISO 9001 Context of the Organization
- Application of ISO 9001 Risks and Opportunities
- ISO 9001 Policy / Quality Manual
- ISO 9001 Implementation – System Preparation
- ISO 9001 Implementation – System Release
- ISO 9001 Implementation – System Launch
- ISO 9001 Certification – ISO 9001 Certification Process
- ISO 9001 Certification – Selecting the Right ISO 9001 Auditor
- ISO 9001 Certification – Preparing for Your ISO 9001 Certification Audit
- ISO 9001 Certification – What to Expect During Your Initial ISO 9001 Certification Audit
- ISO 9001 Certification – How to Address ISO 9001 Audit Findings
As you can see from the above schedule, we’ll cover everything from general ISO 9001 information to project planning to management system implementation and certification. While we can’t provide all the detailed information needed to build and implement your ISO 9001 management system, this series of articles will give you a solid foundation and understanding of the ISO 9001 standard and the implementation and certification process.
ISO 9001 QMS Initiative Guidelines for Success
As you prepare to start your ISO 9001 implementation effort, realize that this is a rather large undertaking that will consume significant time and resources to achieve the desired results. Here are some recommended guidelines and principles that will help ensure success with your ISO 9001 initiative.
- Identify and retain a reliable ISO 9001 resource: This resource will need to provide ISO 9001 knowledge and expertise to draw on as you proceed through your project. Whether an internal or external resource, they should have a strong knowledge of ISO 9001 and know how to interpret and implement the ISO 9001 requirements within your industry and organization.
- Stay focused on your vision and the end result: Know that you will get bogged down in the minutia of the project periodically, and may even loose interest or motivation to continue. When this happens, reflect back on the big picture of what you are trying to achieve, and if needed, reach out for support (see item number one above).
- Move the needle every day: Set aside time to get even a small amount of work done on a daily basis, even if it only moves that needle the smallest amount. Investing in your ISO management system will need to be a daily event even after implementation and certification, so work to set that daily habit now during the development effort.
- Finally, get others in your organization involved: Put together an ISO implementation team to help share the work load, offer expertise, and provide support for all involved in the project.
ISO 9001 Project Approach
Remember as you start your project, that developing and implementing an ISO 9001 management system requires significant effort, resources, and time. It shouldn’t be taken lightly as this system will touch and impact just about every function and person within your organization. Experience has shown that the most successful ISO system implementations engage personnel throughout the organization, with process owners assigned within all the major organizational functions. This isn’t something that should be completed by just one person in a vacuum.
One last piece of advice before getting started. If your end game is just receipt of an ISO 9001 certificate to frame and hang on the lobby wall, that is achievable without the existence of a truly effective management system. You can establish the requisite documentation and say all the right things to the auditors to pass the certification audit, yet have a management system that that fails to bring the full potential value or return on investment for the organization. In some situations, the system may actually cost you more than it returns in direct and indirect value.
The key here is establishing the right organizational culture behind the management system and engaging your people before, during, and after implementation. Before starting this journey, executive leadership should clearly discuss and agree on the reasons for pursuing ISO 9001 and define the vision, mission, and goals of the project. If achieving ISO 9001 certification is to open up market opportunities, so be it, and the project can probably be completed by a minimum of resources in a few months’ time.
However, if the leadership team truly desires an effective integrated management system that permeates the organization and delivers significant long-term value, the system development project should involve personnel throughout the organization and will most likely take a little longer to complete. It’s your call, but just be clear on your objectives before starting the effort, then provide the necessary resources to achieve those objectives.
Having a clear understanding of your ISO 9001 objectives and full executive leadership support will go a long towards ensuring project success and long-term value from your ISO 9001 management system.