Successfully implementing a quality management system in an organisation is quite a challenge. In this blog we will talk in more detail about the pitfalls you should try to avoid.
Pitfall 1: the quality management system is owned by the quality department.
The biggest pitfall when setting up a quality management system is allocation ownership to the quality department. A quality system is the shared responsibility of the different process owners.
It is the quality department’ task to support process owners, but it should not take over the responsibility. If this happens, the engagement in the organisation with regard to the quality system decreases and will not be applied in practice.
Pitfall 2: setting up a system that nobody uses afterwards.
Thick volumes containing long instructions are written which, all too often, nobody reads or cares about and are therefore not used. It is important to determine first which type of instructions you need for which process.
When you create a process description about how to act in case of a production error, you can write a long full text or choose to make a clear flow diagram on one page. What type of instruction do you prefer for your production operators? Always take into account the user-friendliness of your quality system.
Pitfall 3: you just copy the standards, without added value.
After all, not the letters of your quality system count, but its spirit. Therefore, it is not advisable to simply copy standards. A quality management system must be a match for your organisation and be lived through.
Pitfall 4: you do not foresee follow-up and continuous improvement of your system.
All too often we see that the story ends after the quality management system is set up and the intended certificate is earned. But that is really when it should all begin.
A smooth-running quality system requires a regular critical look at what you are doing. You need to ensure continuous improvement of your system. What works today, does not necessarily work tomorrow. It is important to constantly set new ambitious but achievable targets.
Keeping the quality system alive is indeed the task of the quality department. They are facing the challenge of stimulating process owners to improve and maintain the quality system.
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