QMS (Quality Management System) Manual - The Boss Wants a 4 Page Manual - What to Do?

How many pages is your QMS Manual?

  • 1 to 5 Pages

    Votes: 6 3.7%
  • 6 to 10 Pages

    Votes: 11 6.8%
  • 11 to 15 Pages

    Votes: 17 10.6%
  • 16 to 20 Pages

    Votes: 21 13.0%
  • 21 to 25 Pages

    Votes: 21 13.0%
  • 25 to 30 Pages

    Votes: 12 7.5%
  • 31 to 35 Pages

    Votes: 15 9.3%
  • 36 to 40 Pages

    Votes: 15 9.3%
  • 41 to 45 Pages

    Votes: 9 5.6%
  • 46 to 50 Pages

    Votes: 8 5.0%
  • 51 to 60 Pages

    Votes: 18 11.2%
  • Resembles Juran's Handbook

    Votes: 6 3.7%
  • We have no manual per se

    Votes: 2 1.2%

  • Total voters
    161
J

Josep_GN

Re: QMS (Quality Management System) Manual - The Boss Wants a 4 Page Manual - What to

Hi Dawn,

As most of other that have replied you I agree, if you want to cover all the points of the standard in your manual you will need at least 20 or 30 pages but there is something more to say.

Think about that, who is your first customer for the manual? Yes, your boss.
Are you able to convence your boss that it is needed a 20 pages manual? If the answer is no and you want to keep your main customer happy and your post, you will have to work harder.

I think it is a challenge, but possible to get. Your manual, for ISO 9001 and ISO/TS 16949 only needs to state:

1.- Scope of your system and exclusions
2.- Reference to your procedures
3.- Description of the interaction of your processes.

I'm sure you can write your scope and exclusions in just one or two paragraphs.
Reference to procedures in no more than one page.
Map of processes, of course at first level, one page more.

And you will have one free page for the cover. Total 4 pages.

Of course you will have to do a more robust documented system at 2nd level, but still possible.

Good luck,

Josep
 
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B

BenL712

Re: QMS (Quality Management System) Manual - The Boss Wants a 4 Page Manual - What to

To reiterate many things stated here before, I believe the quality manual needs to be useful and cover the requirements. The format or length is irrelevant if both of the previous are satisfied, subject to your organization's approach.

On a slightly different topic then, can someone please explain what appears to me to be the inclination to create processes/procedures/requirements that turn around and state that another process/procedure must be written to incorporate all of the requirements? It seems to me that this is just more documentation for redundancy's sake. I've seen this in many areas, and I think it may be at the heart of some of the QMS Manual length debate.

For example, if the standard or corporate procedures say I have to do provide training on Topic A, then why have another document stating that I will do training on Topic A? Just write the process that says when, where, how, who, etc. because it is required by standard/procedure X, and be done with it.
 
N

noboxwine

Re: QMS (Quality Management System) Manual - The Boss Wants a 4 Page Manual - What to

I suggest one page, that includes only the requirements:

1. Scope and Permitted Exclusions and Justification (if applicable)
2. Procedure Reference
3. Process Map

I have never seen a Quality Manual used as a working document, so make it easy on yourself for 4.2.2 and spend your time improving the process.
 
J

JaneB

Re: QMS (Quality Management System) Manual - The Boss Wants a 4 Page Manual - What to

On a slightly different topic then, can someone please explain what appears to me to be the inclination to create processes/procedures/requirements that turn around and state that another process/procedure must be written to incorporate all of the requirements? It seems to me that this is just more documentation for redundancy's sake. I've seen this in many areas, and I think it may be at the heart of some of the QMS Manual length debate.
? Sounds to me more of a policy or a plan than a procedure.

The only time I have seen this is when someone really didn't quite understand what they were doing.
 
J

JaneB

Re: QMS (Quality Management System) Manual - The Boss Wants a 4 Page Manual - What to

Excellent post, Pennington. You made a number of very good points, succinctly and clearly. Well said.

Whether this takes 1 page or 5000 pages is irrelevant. The measure of its effectiveness is whether it aids understanding.
Yup!
 

John Broomfield

Staff member
Super Moderator
Re: QMS (Quality Management System) Manual - The Boss Wants a 4 Page Manual - What to

I have created a quality manual for our company which is 40 pages. It simply covers every element with a paragragh or so, except for Management Responsibility is covered in the manual instead of a procedure.
My superiors feel the manual should only be 3 or 4 pages long. Most of this reasoning is from different companies who have claimed to be certified.
Am I wrong in assuming a 3 or 4 page manual would not be adequate, and what exactly would be accurate?
Thanks, Dawn
Dawn,

For some reason the quality manual commonly is a re-write of the standard in terms applicable to your system.

This is not required by the system standard but some registrar's auditors seem to expect this type of quality manual.

Clause 4.2.2 of ISO 9001 specifies the minimum contents of the quality manual.

You may only need three pages to describe/specify your system and refer to its procedures.

You may also need to replace your auditor! :whip:

John
 

Helmut Jilling

Auditor / Consultant
Re: QMS (Quality Management System) Manual - The Boss Wants a 4 Page Manual - What to

Dawn,

For some reason the quality manual commonly is a re-write of the standard in terms applicable to your system.

This is not required by the system standard but some registrar's auditors seem to expect this type of quality manual.

Clause 4.2.2 of ISO 9001 specifies the minimum contents of the quality manual.

You may only need three pages to describe/specify your system and refer to its procedures.

You may also need to replace your auditor! :whip:

John

You know, it's a funny thing. I am with a consulting client right now, working on a quality manual. The client and I decided it would be more useful to write a full 30 page manual. The reasoning is we will take the standard as a base, and revise/rewrite it in plain English and explain the requirements and their purposes. Many of the procedures will be incorporated into the manual. This way, employees will have a single document to go to to answer any questions they have related to ISO.

Further, we are going to combine ISO 14001 into it as well. Simple, clear and user friendly.

Now, whether someone writes a 3 page manual with 30 additional pages of procedures, or if they write a 33 page manual incorporating the procedures, is there really any difference? The only diff I see is my method will be one computer file, titled ISO manual, and everyone will be able to use and understand it. The other way there are 10-15 procedures, files, links and most of the time, way more complicated.

The important thing is they be written clearly, and easy to find. The rest of the discussion is silly. When Executives complainabout the number of pages, they are really complaining about the absence of any apparent value. The manuals need to be written to benefit the users.
 

John Broomfield

Staff member
Super Moderator
Re: QMS (Quality Management System) Manual - The Boss Wants a 4 Page Manual - What to

You know, it's a funny thing. I am with a consulting client right now, working on a quality manual. The client and I decided it would be more useful to write a full 30 page manual. The reasoning is we will take the standard as a base, and revise/rewrite it in plain English and explain the requirements and their purposes. Many of the procedures will be incorporated into the manual. This way, employees will have a single document to go to to answer any questions they have related to ISO.

Further, we are going to combine ISO 14001 into it as well. Simple, clear and user friendly.

Now, whether someone writes a 3 page manual with 30 additional pages of procedures, or if they write a 33 page manual incorporating the procedures, is there really any difference? The only diff I see is my method will be one computer file, titled ISO manual, and everyone will be able to use and understand it. The other way there are 10-15 procedures, files, links and most of the time, way more complicated.

The important thing is they be written clearly, and easy to find. The rest of the discussion is silly. When Executives complainabout the number of pages, they are really complaining about the absence of any apparent value. The manuals need to be written to benefit the users.
Helmut,

Excellent point, the manual could be an attractive brochure/webpage for the system so everyone understands how it works in preventing pollution, adding value and preventing loss.

I am not sure everyone needs to know what the system standards require.

John
 
P

Pennington

Re: QMS (Quality Management System) Manual - The Boss Wants a 4 Page Manual - What to

I agree that not everyone needs to know what the standards requires but everyone should know what the purpose of the quality manual is.

I am intrigued as to why anyone would call the manual the ISO manual - doesn't this send out the signal that it exists only to satisfy the standard and is disconnected from the business?

If top management don't use your quality manual to communicate their intentions with respect to quality to all stakeholders, the document you presently call the quality manual adds no value and should be scrapped.
 

John Broomfield

Staff member
Super Moderator
Re: QMS (Quality Management System) Manual - The Boss Wants a 4 Page Manual - What to

I agree that not everyone needs to know what the standards requires but everyone should know what the purpose of the quality manual is.

I am intrigued as to why anyone would call the manual the ISO manual - doesn't this send out the signal that it exists only to satisfy the standard and is disconnected from the business?

If top management don't use your quality manual to communicate their intentions with respect to quality to all stakeholders, the document you presently call the quality manual adds no value and should be scrapped.
Pennington,

Agreed, worse than ISO manual is "ISO system" on the "I drive" maintained by an "ISO coordinator". :frust:

One day it will be XYZ Management System on the shared drive maintained by the System Manager.

Is getting "ISO certified" the worst reason for writing/copying and bolting-on another system of documents to the system that actually runs the business?

John
 
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