Aerospace manufacturing is the field that I work in. We do have a good system in place but its not documented and that's what we want to work towards.
Most books about documentation are about writing procedures around the clauses in the standard. Indeed, you'll see many requests for ready-made documented procedures here.
As you've already gathered, it is better for everyone to develop and capture the system you already have.
May I take it that you and your colleagues already understand how your organization works as a system to fulfill customer requirements?
If you do it probably means that you have analyzed how the company works with its customers and suppliers to convert the needs of customers into cash in the bank. You may have captured the results of this analysis in a high-level deployment flowchart showing how the three entities interact through your organization's processes. It will show what your organization does to get work, do work and get paid.
From this you can determine the processes that are essential to your company's mission. Top management will have named subject matter experts (no necessarily managers) as owners for each of these processes.
Then you can work with each of the process owners to analyze their process (search here for SIPOC
) and its interactions with other processes in the system. Using your knowledge of the system standard(s) you can agree upon any nonconformity with the process owner as you go to initiate correction. If correction is delayed beyond, say, two weeks then feed these nonconformities into your process for "stopping recurrence of nonconformity" (aka Corrective Action).
Again you can capture the results of these analyses in deployment flowcharts. After review for accuracy by the process team these flowcharts can become the documented procedures linked to essential data-gathering devices (forms) and cues on how to complete certain high risk tasks (work instructions).
Your deployment flowcharts may then be used and improved as procedures and later, perhaps, as blueprints for development of your computerized management system.
This is less about "documentation" and more about enabling everyone to understand how to determine and fulfill requirements. They can then use and improve their management system, its processes (and procedures) and their outcomes.