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Where does the QMS (Quality Management System) fit in your organization?

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Docugirl

#1
I was looking over the upcoming changes to ISO 9001 and noticed there was more emphasis in this version about making the QMS more a part of the organization rather than an added or extra step in the business. This got me thinking about a change I've been wanting to make for a while now and I think this would be the ideal time... So here goes. Where does your QMS belong in your organization?

Should the QMS be a part of the Quality department or do you believe it should be separate, perhaps as it's own department? If it is removed from the Quality department, do you think that would change the employee perception of the QMS as just a something from a 'department' to something from the organization? From an ISO point of view, if the QMS was something separate from all departments, answering to senior management, would that create a conflict when performing internal audits on the Quality department processes?

I've been in both situations and I prefer the QMS and its team members not to be part of the Quality team so as to separate (perhaps that's a poor choice of words) the quality of the product from the quality of the organization though I know they go together. I would be interested from hearing about your experiences- the good, the bad, the things to avoid. Thank you
 

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Staff member
Admin
#2
Re: Where does the QMS fit into in your organization?

Welcome to the Cove!

Quality has been moving in various directions over the years, away from inspection with a dedicated department and into a "Total Quality" (like Baldrige) approach in which champions facilitate an organization-wide, more holistic approach.

The method used is not appropriately dictated here. In general, the more aware and intelligent the organization is, the less centralized a quality function can be. When I say "intelligence" I don't just mean smart, I am thinking of emotional intelligence. I am not affiliated with MindTools.

Less aware organizations, that is those with more employees who perform low-skill tasks, more often tend to depend on a centralized QA department. I don't think that will change much with the 2015 version because risk-based thinking really isn't new. What is new is routinely writing it down. People organization-wide will need help with that, if for no other reason than to apply reasonably consistent methodology.

I hope this helps!
 

dsanabria

Quite Involved in Discussions
#3
Re: Where does the QMS fit into in your organization?

I was looking over the upcoming changes to ISO 9001 and noticed there was more emphasis in this version about making the QMS more a part of the organization rather than an added or extra step in the business. This got me thinking about a change I've been wanting to make for a while now and I think this would be the ideal time... So here goes. Where does your QMS belong in your organization?

Should the QMS be a part of the Quality department or do you believe it should be separate, perhaps as it's own department? If it is removed from the Quality department, do you think that would change the employee perception of the QMS as just a something from a 'department' to something from the organization? From an ISO point of view, if the QMS was something separate from all departments, answering to senior management, would that create a conflict when performing internal audits on the Quality department processes?

I've been in both situations and I prefer the QMS and its team members not to be part of the Quality team so as to separate (perhaps that's a poor choice of words) the quality of the product from the quality of the organization though I know they go together. I would be interested from hearing about your experiences- the good, the bad, the things to avoid. Thank you
Try this - Business Management System with quality as one of it's parameters. Some of the other parameters include documentation, security, effectiveness, accountability and continual improvement among many others...


Include to the Business Management System the process to make a product and you have the formula to run a company from a quality perspective.
 
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somashekar

Staff member
Super Moderator
#4
Re: Where does the QMS fit into in your organization?

Good opening post Docugirl ~~~
Welcome here to the COVE.
So here goes. Where does your QMS belong in your organization?
Is meeting Customer requirement the Goal of your organization ?
Then QMS belongs to the Top management who manage the organization.
The other which belongs to them is the FMS (Financial Managament system)
If they Integrate both ... they are better management
If they Integrate the EH&S management system, and the Information security Management system (ISMS)., then they are a better, sustainable and complete management.
 
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Docugirl

#6
Re: Where does the QMS fit into in your organization?

Thank you for all your replies so far. It's given me a lot to think about!

In our organization we abide by the guidelines of ISO 9001 but are not certified (that can be a whole other thread!) and one of our issues is the perception that our processes are "ISO processes" rather than business processes. The other issue is an ineffective QA Manager who believes that the QMS only relates to the quality of the product.

I believe that moving the management of the QMS out of the Quality department and into an organizational entity separate, yet part of the organization, answerable to senior management, will show the employees (and some managers) that any directives from the QMS are not from a Quality department but rather from senior management. It's a small step but I believe it could promote the idea that the QMS is a company-wide approach.

Now, all I have to do is get the ideas from all of you, draw up the pros and cons and then make a persuasive argument. Special thanks to Jennifer for those links. They will come in handy!
 

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Staff member
Admin
#7
Re: Where does the QMS fit into in your organization?

Pardon me! What is ISMS?
Information security management system. Our information must be kept safe, both in a records control sense but also to protect customer information (think Target and Home Depot), and trade secrets and ensure we stay operational (think Sony). IT people sometimes do not feel as they are an integral part of the QMS but we could argue that IT is the organization's nervous system. If they want to make changes or upgrades they should work closely with QA but sometimes don't.
 

Pancho

wikineer
Super Moderator
#8
Re: Where does the QMS fit into in your organization?

I...we could argue that IT is the organization's nervous system.
Similarly, the QMS (or the Integrated MS) is an organization's DNA. It provides instructions that guide interactions with its "environment" (customers, suppliers and other stakeholders). The QMS ultimately determines an organization's fitness and success.

Carrying this further, the Continuous Improvement cycle is analogous to the mutation/selection cycle of evolution, in a "selfish gene" way: good instructions are kept, weak ones get tweaked after unsuccessful experiences (NCs). An efficient CI process quickly adapts and optimizes an organization to meet its objectives. Through it we see evolution at work without all that bothersome generational dieing off that we see in the other well known implementation.

So, back to the original question: "Where does the QMS fit into in your organization?". Right at the nucleus of every cell. :D
 

Sidney Vianna

Post Responsibly
Staff member
Admin
#9
Re: Where does the QMS fit into in your organization?

So, back to the original question: "Where does the QMS fit into in your organization?". Right at the nucleus of every cell. :D
:applause:That is how it should be, Pancho:applause:.

And, in most lasting, successful organizations, the quality component is present, front and center, in most business decisions. I advocate that the only sustainable quality is the one that is seamlessly embedded in the business processes of the organization.

Unfortunately, for a large percentage of organizations, the "qms" resides outside of the mainstream business processes, as a foreign body, an extraneous entity, as quality is not perceived as a strategic aspect of the business.

For many entities that don't understand that quality is NOT the result of inspection and testing, the quality function will always be setup as a policing, overseeing, non-value added group.

It takes enlightenment and courage to lead an organization which truly makes EVERYONE co-responsible for quality and customer satisfaction. And, enlightenment is in short supply these days.
 
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insect warfare

QA=Question Authority
Trusted
#10
Re: Where does the QMS fit into in your organization?

Our company has recently accepted the use of the term "business management system" (or BMS) so we could employ effective integration. To further illustrate how our BMS is connected to our individual management systems (including our QMS), I have given each their own definition:

BMS ? Business Management System
A unified system that integrates the company?s requirements for the QMS, EMS and HSMS into one complete framework, with the aim of eliminating redundancy in processes and associated documentation.

QMS ? Quality Management System
The part of the BMS that establishes policy, objectives and operational controls related to quality performance and customer satisfaction.

EMS ? Environmental Management System
The part of the BMS that establishes policy, objectives and operational controls related to environmental performance.

HSMS ? Health & Safety Management System
The part of the BMS that establishes policy, objectives and operational controls related to occupational health & safety
.
I agree with Sidney and Pancho on the QMS component usually being front and center in most business decisions (as it should be), but the other systems have their own place to shine as well. It is always good to promote them to their full potential.

With that being said, a well-oiled organization should always be looking to 1) keep their systems as lean as possible and 2) make sure the entire organization is involved in their establishment, implementation and maintenance. I can't really sum it up any further than that.

Brian :rolleyes:
 
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