ISO Clause 10 requires Improvement – in fact, the word improvement appears 24 times in ISO 9001.
And we all know that we have to tweak things continually to stay just a bit ahead of the competition. If we’re not getting better, it’s going to feel as if we’re falling behind.
Non-conformances are a great way to find where we can improve. I’ve suggested that it’s better to improve 100 things by 1% instead of 1 thing by 100%. Incremental changes create a lot less resistance!
We can find opportunities in many places, but the most obvious are:
- Customers (Internal and External)
- Audits (Internal and External)
- Metrics like KPIs (see clause 9)
- Management Review
This is not an exhaustive list, but it can start to pull the curtain back a bit. Once we find a Non-Conformance or an Opportunity for Improvement, the next step is critical. If we try to blame someone (especially a non-conformance) defensiveness will follow and very little improvement will result. If we change the question from ‘Who’s fault is this?’ to ‘What is the weakness in our system that allowed this to happen?’ it can change everything. It can change the focus from people to process and by getting everyone working together, effective improvements can happen.
Non-conformances are ‘Nuggets of Gold’
Make sure the message is clear – we can make things better more quickly if we bring concerns out into the light of day. Every problem we solve will pump up the bottom line and increase or resilience – winners all around!
We have easy-to-use tools built into our Cloud-based Management System platform for managing your non-conformance tracking and system improvement. We’d be happy to spend 10 or 15 minutes with you to see if it’s a fit…