SWOT Outputs - Risks, Opportunities and Improvements

Q

QAMTY

#1
Hi everybody

At addressing the risk and opportunities according to 6.1, three doubts arised.

Hope you can share some comments.

The swot outputs: weakness, strength, opportunities and threats.
Once we have done the SWOT , well, we have the results.
And at applying 6.1, we need to consider 4.1 and 4.2

1- I think I can take as risk, the threats and weaknesses, and for opportunities I pull the opportunities, and for strength, what can I do?
Until here I complied with 6.1, I considered both clauses.

But I have more interesting data to analyze

2- What kind of actions I can take from the outputs, by making strategies and action plans, I can make improvement projects, would that the strategic direction ISO require?

On the other way, suppose, In SWOT , is detected as a weakness, poor inspection product, and the top management has a strategy to eliminate this weakness, but in the production process, the engineer (owner of the process) also detected as a risk, the poor inspection product (same issue but at lower level).

3-Could the engineer say that this risk was considered by the top management?

Or risk detected in SWOT have to be considered as risks in other level (strategic), and would need other kind of treatment?

and the risk in the operation, is at lower level and needs other different treatment?

Please explain.

Thanks
 
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Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Staff member
Admin
#2
ISO requires consideration of the issues and requirements, and determine risks. The SWOT analysis is listed among methods in the Auditing Practices Group document on Risk, but that does not mean it is a process. Strategic Management - that is, the gathering of data in order to make determination of strategic direction of the organization - is arguably the process; SWOT may be among the tools they use. Management Review is a good place for it, as risks are expected to be a part of all processes and the inputs include (f) opportunities for improvement. The output from management review, including (b) any need for changes to the QMS, can serve as the output for SWOT for top management.

But SWOT can also be used as a risk tool for other processes, including critical support processes like Human Resources. The output of this would be a determination of risk and some decision: accept it, or take action to reduce it or eliminate it.

Strengths are simply that: what we are already good at. What we do well now.

Some of the confusion is about "consider issues and requirements from 4.1 and 4.2" to arrive at risk. The SWOT inherently can assist to recognize them, but the Weaknesses portion may be symptoms, while issues are the "root cause." For example, some of my clients cite as a weakness the difficulty in maintaining critical machining skills in order to replace their retiring operators. This can point to two issues.

1) The work force is getting older - not enough young people to replace them.
2) The available young people lack specific skills - technical education is insufficient in public education.

Similarly, "poor inspection of product" is a symptom. Its cause could be a weakness. An issue could be listed as "Low education levels in operator applicants." or "Poor motivation among inspectors." We cannot control issues; they are bigger than we are. We instead recognize them as potential influencers for strategic action and/or organizational change.

My clients have often grasped the opportunity to work with area community colleges in order to help shape their curricula and identify the company as an employer of interest for graduates. They sometimes add an opportunity to bring in young people as interns for a summer, again arranged through the school. When recognizing and planning such a venture, they list this in Opportunities of their SWOT.

In such a situation, a strength would be the relationship with the community college(s). That would be added one it is established; the SWOT is a "living document."

I hope this helps!
 

SpinDr99

Involved In Discussions
#3
I think we're all forgetting an important new aspect of the 2015 revision. This is no longer a one-man(woman) show! The standard now requires not only active participation, but ownership of the QMS by top management. In performing risk analysis the SWOT analysis and so forth, these tasks should be performed by several individuals, especially top management. Top management, and especially ourselves need to change our mindset and remember there is no longer a Management Representative. No ONE person responsible, but a team effort where all share the responsibilities and rewards. Let's get back to the cross-functional teams in the transition and stop carrying the entire load on our shoulder.
 

qpled

Involved In Discussions
#4
I think we're all forgetting an important new aspect of the 2015 revision. This is no longer a one-man(woman) show! The standard now requires not only active participation, but ownership of the QMS by top management. In performing risk analysis the SWOT analysis and so forth, these tasks should be performed by several individuals, especially top management. Top management, and especially ourselves need to change our mindset and remember there is no longer a Management Representative. No ONE person responsible, but a team effort where all share the responsibilities and rewards. Let's get back to the cross-functional teams in the transition and stop carrying the entire load on our shoulder.
Thank you for this response - especially the last sentence: "Let's go back to the cross-functional teams in the transition and stop carrying the entire load on our shoulder". After being a management rep for 7 years my shoulders are getting very tired!
 

rob73

looking for answers
#7
Let's get back to the cross-functional teams in the transition and stop carrying the entire load on our shoulder.
Quality manager:"Quality is everyone responsibility, so lets work together"
Managing director:"But you are the quality manager, so sort it out, its your responsibility"
Quality manager:"BUT Quality is everyone responsibility, so lets work together"
Managing director:"But you are the quality manager, so sort it out,its your responsibility"
And on and on and on :deadhorse:
 

howste

Thaumaturge
Super Moderator
#8
Quality manager:"Quality is everyone responsibility, so lets work together"
Managing director:"But you are the quality manager, so sort it out, its your responsibility"
Quality manager:"BUT Quality is everyone responsibility, so lets work together"
Managing director:"But you are the quality manager, so sort it out,its your responsibility"
And on and on and on :deadhorse:
Quality manager: "But top management shall demonstrate leadership and commitment by taking accountability for the effectiveness of the QMS, by ensuring the integration of the QMS requirements into our business processes, and by engaging, directing, and supporting persons to contribute to the effectiveness of our QMS."
Managing director: "Uhhh..."
 
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