Customizing ISO 9001
Although ISO 9001 maintains high standards, it can be taliored to fit your company.
What are some of the core goals a company hopes to accomplish when compiling a management plan?
All of these are outcomes that are foundational pillars to the success of a management plan, as well as simply operating a successful business in general. But, they aren’t the only benefits... And the next question to arise is usually a common one: How does an organization get there?
Let’s start by defining what a management plan is, what a business model is, and how both feed into one another when beginning the development of a thriving plan.
As succinctly and accurately described in Terry Mullane’s article, The Basic Steps in the Management Planning Process – “Management planning is the process of assessing an organization's goals and creating a realistic, detailed plan of action for meeting those goals. Much like writing a business plan, a management plan takes into consideration short- and long-term corporate strategies. The basic steps in the management planning process involve creating a roadmap that outlines each task the company must accomplish to meet its overall objectives.”
A business model is essentially the rationale behind how an organization creates, delivers, and/or harnesses value for interested parties as it pertains to social, economic, or cultural contexts. A good business model should also highlight the company’s infrastructure, strategies, operational processes, and overall mission – in addition to how all of it will tie together to be actively executed, primed for the best possible results.
Having a detailed understanding of your company’s business model will also point you down the right path when formulating an in-depth business management plan. In the end, an organization needs to provide value, the kind of value customers are willing to pay for and a well thought-out and executed business model can help to get the ball rolling.
Not only does ISO 9001:2015 work within the constructs of a management plan, but it can be a key piece or “hidden advantage” toward enhancing its overall effectiveness. According to an empirical study conducted by David I. Levine and Michael W. Toffel of the Harvard Business School, entitled “Quality Management and Job Quality”, of the 916 companies that adopted the ISO 9001 standard, all realized additional benefits when compared to the 17,849 organizations that did not adopt the standard. Specific benefits that were referenced in the study include:
ISO 9001:2015 shouldn’t be pigeonholed into a simple quality standard, one that only the quality department should be worried about, but rather should be thought of as an important cog in the gears of a company’s entire strategy and operations.
For organizations to see these benefits come to fruition within their own workforces, when implementing ISO 9001:2015 into their management plan, another critical component is required – employee understanding of the process. Ideally, every employee should understand his or her role in processes that cover the entire company, including a general knowledge of how the company produces revenue and the flow of responsibilities depending on where a given process is at.
If your employees don’t understand your company’s processes, or what their exact roles are, then it becomes a lot harder for them to identify problems or weak links in the chain, get to the root cause of those problems, an apply corrective actions where necessary. Processes are a crucial part of the ISO 9001 quality management system, and without everyone one in your organization on the same page, it will be hard to maximize your ROI from the standard.
With this information brought to light, ISO 9001 certification should be considered a foundational piece of any highly effective management plan, as it works to not only help companies formulate their plan but assists them in clearly defining it and putting it into practice in the real-world – driving real world benefits.