(ENG) Use a Quality Manual not an Encyclopedia: Creating the Foundation of an Effective IATF 16949 Quality Management System

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Free Webinar

IATF 16949: 2016
Creation, Implementation, Maintenance and Improvement

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Presenter: Michael Wolfe, IATF 16949: 2016 Auditor and expert, McDaeGroup

(Note: Please send any questions related to the IATF: 16949 to info@nimonik.com anytime before October 31, 2017. The expert will answer the questions after the presentation on a first come first served basis)

 

The 1st in a series of 4 articles

As an auditor and consultant nothing frustrates me more than walking into a company and being handed a 50+ page “Quality Manual” comprised of a copy and pasted version of the ISO standard. I know companies at least use the find and replace feature to put their company name in the place of “the organization” and believe it or not I have even seen some dare to go as far as replacing all of the words “shall” with “does”. Unfortunately, these types of quality manuals do not provide an effective foundation for a healthy Quality Management System since they do not include any useful or auditable information.

To add insult to injury, these quality manuals (encyclopedias) are usually the first impression of a company’s Quality Management System. They are given to customers, auditors, and new employees. Fortunately, with IATF 16949’s integration with the new ISO 9001:2015 standard, this trend is quickly changing!

I was recently hired to help a company with a culture of disengaged employees. When I began asking around, almost all employees said the same basic thing, when they were hired they were given a 75-page quality manual (a copy and pasted version of the standard) and asked to read it before reporting to their supervisor on the first day of work. Most of them admitted that they stopped before page 10, signed the acknowledgement and went to work. Sadly, they were absolutely clueless about the foundation of the company’s Quality Management System.

Thankfully the movement away from these encyclopedias has already begun and companies are quickly embracing what I call a condensed quality manual. My experience has taught me that a Quality Manual that is somewhere between 15 and 20 pages long and includes more tables than paragraphs has been greatly improving the effectiveness of many company Quality Management Systems and the level of engagement by their employees.

Man pointing for help looking at huge quality manuals

What do I suggest putting in a quality manual? Glad you asked. Most manuals that I help my clients create include some of the following (not an exhaustive list):

  • The context of the company (IATF 4.1)
  • The scope of the Quality Management System (IATF 4.3)
  • A simple Process Sequence & Interaction Graphic flowchart, not a spaghetti-looking flowchart
  • (IATF 4.4.1)
  • The Quality Policy (IATF 5.2)
  • A Quality Objectives Table (IATF 6.2.2)
  • A Responsibility and Authority Table (IATF 5.3)
  • A Communication Table (IATF 7.4)
  • A Key Performance Indicator Table (IATF 9.1.1)
  • A Bridge Table linking the QMS Processes & Procedures to the IATF element they address

Effective quality manuals should provide customers with insight into things like a company’s vision, values, and culture, how the company benefits them, and what value the company adds to their industry in general. The quality manual should also provide auditors with quick and easy access to information like what KPI’s are used to determine the effectiveness of the Quality Management System, the documentational structure of the QMS, and which specific procedures are used to address specific elements in the standard. Finally, the quality manual should provide employees with quick and easy access to information like: responsibility, authority, and how information is communicated throughout the company.

In closing, it is in a company’s best interested to create and use a condensed quality manual that provides quick and easy access to the most valuable information regarding the foundation of its Quality Management System.

To receive a free analysis of your current Quality Manual email getstarted@mcdae.com

Michael Wolfe is a Standards Implementation Consultant that specializes in creating and implementing simple yet thorough Quality Management Systems that are both audit and user friendly and yield impressive improvement results in a variety of industries to a variety of standards. For more information visit www.mcdae.com.

Free Webinar

IATF 16949: 2016
Creation, Implementation, Maintenance and Improvement

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Presenter: Michael Wolfe, IATF 16949: 2016 Auditor and expert, McDaeGroup

(Note: Please send any questions related to the IATF: 16949 to info@nimonik.com anytime before October 31, 2017. The expert will answer the questions on after the presentation on a first come first served basis)