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QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS (QMS)

An introduction to the principles and benefits of ISO9000 Introduction Every organisation has a QMS of some description (even if by default), if it’s a sensible or realistic one is quite another story. One thing is certainly true, any “Class Leading” organisations invariably have a well defined, designed and integrated QMS that is subjected to rigorous scheduled review, improvement and update. Many such organisations have turned to ISO9000 in its various incarnations for guidance and structure and in some cases have used such systems as a stepping stone to achieving excellence both in their performance and reputation. The best systems will undoubtedly comply with the intent and spirit of ISO9000 even if they have no intention of seeking registration.


AUTHOR:

Richard Tyson

At Tyson Associates we have a lot of skill and experience in getting you a QMS that is tailored to your needs yet delivers to the requirements of ISO9001.We can help you build your system, oversee its implementation, and help you get registered should you need it. We can even help you train your staff and act as your quality manager until you select your own. Why not call us or go to our website to learn more about us. The detail is at the bottom of this page. Tel: 01652 655858 Mobile: 07742 452513 Email:richard@tysonassociates.co.uk Website: www.tysonassociates.co.uk Linked-In Company pages http://www.linkedin.com/company/2499981


The Principles and Purpose of ISO9000 By its very nature any Quality Management System sets out to control the activities, materials and environment of a business and is designed through that control to assure the quality of the businesses products or services regardless of how the business chooses to deliver them. Like anything to be controlled ISO9000 demands that the boundaries or scope of the business must be fully specified. A good QMS should enable and support the production of goods or services not inhibit them and the system itself should be the natural home where plans & strategies are linked to and delivered through day to day operations. The QMS will provide structure, context & detailed guidance for all those who work within it thus giving predictability to management of the results that will be achieved When things go wrong, it support the effective analysis of non conformity, its correction then eradication


What are the benefits of having a QMS:

Most businesses only consider ISO9000 if they are through their dealings with larger customers required to show that they have a QMS normally registered to ISO9001 standards by what is known as an Accredited Certification Body. Normally their accreditation comes from UKAS and these are the best people to certify any QMS. However there are a number of very good reasons companies should consider the development and use of a well run QMS here are but a few: • Assures the quality of the things delivered to the customer • Saves you money because it improves planning, reduces waste and reduces bad practice. • Gives you a standing with your customers by showing them you operate to high standards • Improves staff pride and morale because they know where they stand

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The Balanced Scorecard – The Myths and truths

I’m often asked by the senior managers of companies I’m working with “what does the balanced scorecard do?”.... Usually followed by a statement like “It’s about measuring how we’re doing isn’t it?” The short answer to that is “Yes of course”. In fact a good part of installing good scorecards is developing a way of measuring how you’re doing.... But unless you determined what you want to achieve and how you go about achieving it then any measurement system is next to useless. In my view setting up scorecards (or as some know them dashboards) is a little like giving a two year old a retractable measuring tape, You know the ones that you can buy in your local DIY store; The child, so fascinated by the tape, sets about measuring everything in sight just for the pleasure of measuring things and with no real purpose certainly not to change or build anything! So it’s a myth to think that all a balanced scorecard does is to provide a performance measurement system balanced or otherwise.

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The Balanced Scorecard – The Myths and truths

I usually then go on to explain (to anyone that will listen) that the true purpose of the balanced scorecard is to develop and deploy a set of balanced objective and strategies whose performance can then be measured in order to be able to adjust those very same strategies to achieve organisational goals. The balanced scorecard as described by Kaplan and Norton is in my view is a well tried and tested methodology that is gaining ground in private and public sectors across the world. Put simply it’s a strategic plan-do-check-act loop that deploys strategies devised in the board room to the organisations grass roots. But it doesn’t stop there it then uses measurement to determine performance with a view to changing those strategies that are not performing well or just don’t work..

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The Balanced Scorecard – The Myths and truths

Once I’ve tried to explain that the balanced scorecard methodology is about developing a balanced strategy to achieve your goals, the next question that presents itself is usually “what do you mean by balanced?” and “what are we supposed to be scoring?”. Well again the simple answers are that organisations need to achieve a balance between those things that will present a sustained future for the organisation and those that satisfies the needs of a stakeholders, customers and staff alike. But it’s not enough to voice a balance between these things, to be effective organisations need to understand the success of their strategies and it is this that needs to be “Scored”.

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The Balanced Scorecard – The Myths and truths

Toward the end of our conversation the senior manager usually asks that question that most senior people do at some stage “how much will this cost?” and “how much time will we need to invest?” My only response to that is to quote some statistics identified by some research done in the USA “85% of management teams spend less than 1 hour per month discussing strategy”. “67% of high performing organisations have employees who have a good understanding of the overall goals”. “78% of organisations don't change their budgets in year”

Interesting statistics when you consider the events of the last few years Floods, “The credit crunch” the dramatic rise in the price of Oil and other commodities to name but a few..

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The Balanced Scorecard – The Myths and truths

Finally I think it’s worth remembering that balanced scorecards work well if senior managers are involved with (and actively support) the strategies they develop, that the performance of those strategies are consistently measured and assessed and where strategies aren’t working they take action to adjust them or discard them.

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Quality Management Systems