Last week, I wrote an article interpreting item 5.2.1 of ISO 9001: 2015. In it, I described what ISO expects from its quality policy and I talked about the importance of it in companies. The policy must be a filter for the actions of the people, so its elaboration must be very conscious and well done.
In the article, despite having given several tips on what the policy should contain, I think there are some aspects that can (and should) be prioritized in the elaboration. Therefore, I would like to talk about those points that, in my opinion, will help to facilitate this work and, more than that, to improve your quality policy.
Politics Must Reflect Your Company And You Want To Provoke Changes
The policy is a statement of what your company views as Quality. And that concept, good or bad, already exists in your company. You certainly already follow certain Quality standards, although they are not formalized.
You know that phrase: “We don’t do that here!” This is an indication of culture. So, you hear your collaborators saying something like that, that’s interesting to be taken into consideration. But calm, that does not mean that you must necessarily put this in your quality policy. You need to reflect on confirming that this really is important to be formalized.
Even because if you identify something that is not good for your company or goes against other organizational practices, you can use policy to change this. Remember that politics is the beacon that will guide people’s actions. So if any major changes are to be made, it may be just as important to add them to your policy.
Align The Policy To The Organization’s Objectives
We have already talked about it in the previous post, after ISO 9001: 2015 itself says that the policy must support the strategic direction of the organization. In this way, it is important to create the quality policy together with the Senior Management. Ideally, even management should be directly involved in policymaking.
This job will be easier if you have already gone through all of Requirement 4 Organizational Context. Because any discussion generated around the definition of context will naturally lead to issues such as the objectives of the company, the market in which it is inserted, and other important information that will serve as inputs for future decisions.
Remember also that the Quality Policy is documented information, and as such, it should be periodically reviewed. In this review, you will have to assess whether what is formalized still makes sense for the company or whether new elements need to be added.
For example, if at first you defend “Delivering products and services reducing the number of defects” was part of your Policy; The time may come when there are so few defects that that item needs to be updated to “Deliver products and services seeking to zero the number of defects.”
Align Policy With Customer Requirements
Absolutely all stakeholders are important to your company. However, the ultimate goal of your entire value chain will always be the customer. Well, it is the client who determines what their results will be, whether or not they buy their service, indicating or not their company.
In this way, above all else, your policy has to reflect the wishes, desires, and needs of your customer. If you produce something that contains plastic parts and you find that your customers appreciate burr-free units, for example, this has to be a factor in your policy. It can be something like:
Realize that politics does not come out of anywhere. She is the result of a client’s need, of something that impacts her life when she receives a product or service. So you can’t just ignore this and create a product that will not influence this at all, or worse, negatively affect the customer. If the Quality Policy is a beacon that guides people; The light bulb that illuminates that beacon must be constantly in search of its client!
Also, notice that I did not write: “Produce quality products.” Because that is very vague and not very indicative. So, in my sentence, I defined what quality means to me, that is, deliveries without burrs, with bright colors, and safe for who to use them. So be careful not to create a very generic policy that does not demonstrate what Quality is to your client.
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