Preparing Standards

D

Dennis Latimer

#1
I am in the process of beginning to prepare standards for our corporation. What is the best way to initiate this process? Should I cross reference various standards or prepare them individually? Too, is there a need to provide a detailed narrative as well as detailed flow charts? I have developed detailed procedures for various sections within a large service corporation. I do not want to do work that is not required.

Thanks,

Dennis
 
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#2
I am in the process of beginning to prepare standards for our corporation. What is the best way to initiate this process? Should I cross reference various standards or prepare them individually? Too, is there a need to provide a detailed narrative as well as detailed flow charts? I have developed detailed procedures for various sections within a large service corporation. I do not want to do work that is not required.
Firstly, you do whatever works best for you.

My experience has been that detailed narratives are neither user-friendly nor auditor-friendly.

My Quality Manual addresses my company's intent with regard to each specified element of the Standards. Each element references an applicable element in the Procedures Manual. The Procedures Manual has a "Quality System Elements" chapter which is primarily text, with a general overview of my company's application of the elements of the Standard. A reference section at the bottom of each page notes the applicable procedures that follow in subsequent chapters (which are arranged by functional area).

How did I compile the procedures/documentation? I interviewed the people who performed the tasks. I took notes. Using flowcharting software (Visio Professional), I paraphrased the text making a nice picture of the procedure. I added limited text titled "Quality Considerations" at the bottom of each page which addressed specific nuances (as necessary) of each process.

Once complete, I then went back to the "performers" of the procedure and asked again, "Is this what you do?" If confirmed, I gained documented approval from the appropriate manager and it became part of the system.

Just food for thought... at the beginning of our process, every procedure in the building was a text-based document. Personnel got cross-eyed reading it and simply did not like it. Only THEN did I discover flowcharting software. Since then, personnel and auditors alike have applauded the ease-of-use of our documented quality system.

Obviously, there is more than one way to skin a Quality Standard. The above is a brief synopsis of how we were successful.

ALM
 
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