Quality Policy question

J

Jacob Beckman

#1
Hello,

I've been gleaning quite a bit of helpful info from this forum for some time now. I'd like to thank you all for that.

In that process I've seen a lot of talk about making the Quality System work in a way that's best for one's company. I'm in the middle of getting a formal Quality System off the ground at my company and I already see that our Quality Policy does not address some very important aspects of our business. It talks about commitment to customer satisfaction, continual improvement, and so on, but quality is only one part of our business. It seems like it would be so much more useful to have more of a Business Philosophy built on our core values, and set up a Management System around that philosophy, rather than just dealing with quality. Then all processes and documents are reviewed in light of, and internal audits are conducted against, the Business Philosophy.

For instance, if we had a Business Philosophy that says something like "we are committed to customer satisfaction, safety, environmental responsibility, innovation, and personal development" (I'll worry about the exact wording later), would that work? Is anyone doing it that way? What would an auditor think? (I know I'm going to get zapped for that question :) but as the day approaches when I will meet an auditor face-to-face, I'm getting more concerned about how he/she will perceive what we're doing here.)

Incorporating these core values into a management system seems to make a lot of sense because, as a small company that has grown tremendously in the last few years, we're a little nervous about losing our unique corporate culture. Our focus on personal development has allowed us to maintain very low turnover rates in most departments so far, because people feel challenged by doing many different kinds of tasks. Rigid structure, job descriptions, and making sure only "qualified" people do the jobs might stifle that personal growth if we don't use our other core values to plan and evaluate the quality system.

But then, do we have to quantify those core values, and if so, how?
 
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C

Craig H.

#2
Jacob Beckman said:
It seems like it would be so much more useful to have more of a Business Philosophy built on our core values, and set up a Management System around that philosophy, rather than just dealing with quality. Then all processes and documents are reviewed in light of, and internal audits are conducted against, the Business Philosophy.

Jabob

YES!!!!

That absolutely makes sense. Many of us here started with a ISO 900X: 1994 system that we made to fit the new standard. The new standard allows us to do exactly what you say here, which, IMO, makes lots more sense.

So, from that standpoint, you are lucky that you are working on this now.

Good luck! And, welcome to the Cove!

Craig
 

howste

Thaumaturge
Super Moderator
#3
What I recommend is to develop the policy and objectives together. Call them the business policy and objectives if you want - I think it's great to do that! Start with what you believe are the key business metrics that you want to measure (or are already measuring) to see if you are being successful. Include metrics on your core values. Build a policy statement around these things, and you should have something relevant to your company that people can and will really support. And with your objectives (metrics) you will have your finger on the pulse of the business.
 
G

Groo3

#4
Jacob Beckman said:
Incorporating these core values into a management system seems to make a lot of sense ...

But then, do we have to quantify those core values, and if so, how?
I agree with the others here... Yes it does make sense.

I attended one of the Annual Quality Congress's several years ago (ok, ok... it was 10 years ago) and tried to attend as many of the sessions as I could... One of the sessions I attended was related to Team development. I think the lesson they were presenting then is as true today as it was then - with a Team or within an organization of any size. All Teams (and Organizations for that matter) need 3 key elements before they even begin to function as a Team/Organization.
(1) a Vision... quality policy or team goals...
(2) a Mission... measurable objectives... and
(3) Principles... What are your core values? and how will you reach your goals?
As for quantifying core values, if it makes sense for you, then go ahead and do it. Below is what we try to do at my organization (no values here, but you could put your own values in if you track similar information?):
* Improve Health, Safety and Environmental Performance (fewer accidents / injuries / recordables... manage all environmental releases... reduce the number of incidents and the impact on our community... comply with all local, county, state, federal and international environmental regulations... etc)
* Customer Satisfaction (improve on-time shipments... faster response to customer concerns/complaints... improve inventory accuracy... etc)
* Reduce product variation and improve efficiencies (we have some proprietary technology which we are testing out and implementing to help us with this one, but it can also include improved operating equipment efficiency... production goals... packaging goals... less discard / waste... etc.)
* New Product Development (this is the hardest one for us as only the final stages of development are done at our facility)
Hope this helps? :)
 
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