Situation: A company’s reputation is based on quality of work. The CEO notes that occasionally they have mishaps due to suboptimal documentation. They are considering a concerted quality effort. Based on your experience, would you do this whether or not you were bound by ISO requirements? If so, would you hire an outside consultant to guide your efforts? How do you optimize quality improvement?
Advice from the CEOs:
- Some companies have successfully used ISO to force documentation. ISO provides a structure to enforce keeping the company and employees diligent and honest.
- Other companies have used standard operating procedures (SOPs) for field as well as internal functions to speed completion of documentation and accelerate invoicing. These companies may or may not have ISO requirements.
- One company tried to go cheap – implementing process improvement without a qualified consultant. While the effort was eventually successful, it took way too much time and money. From this experience, they recommend hiring someone who is experienced and who already has a template to guide the process.
- To test the experience of an outside consultant, start with a small project to get the company accustomed to the process and to evaluate the consultant’s efficacy.
- If the choice is to work on this yourself with your employees, start by documenting what happens correctly. Once you have done this, work on improvements to address problem areas.
- This is not a simple exercise – plan for it and use the right inside or outside person to guide the process.