ISO 9001:2008 certification

#3: Survey and process documentation

Posted by Walter Alini 3 years, 10 months ago Comments

[This series: Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5 - Part 6]

Time to get muddy.

The ISO 9001:2008 standard requires a specific process documentation of the company. In the case of Machinalis, just some processes were (vaguely) documented, so this part was one of the most time consuming. Also, for us meant a period of maturity and growth, because not only we documented how we perform our activities, but also we had to decide whether what we were doing made ​​sense or whether we should take the opportunity to suggest ourselves changes to our processes.

It was a period where the intervention of Kinetic (the company we chose to help us with our Quality Management System -QMS-) was very important. In our case, Rodrigo Porta was in charge of the consultancy management to plan strategically and manage each step, and Germán Vélez was in charge of the plan implementation.

Therefore, Germán and each person in charge of a company process, lived many day works where we document every detail of our processes, we reviewed those things that were not quite aligned with the standard and changed some processes to make them more into the Machinalis way (ie, adjusted them to suit the way we want to do things).

I think the most important part of this step is to carefully listen to the consultant, and to ask a lot of questions. The communication we had with Germán, a professional with amazing level of detail and dedication skills, was key to make this stage an enjoyable one.

It is also important that the documentation is aligned with what the company expects (and what the standard suggests). Reviewing Machinalis’ process documentation makes it clear that customer point of contacts are very important and are well defined. This starts in Machinalis’ center of attention: meeting customer requirements. This aspect of our work is vitally important to build long term relationships, based on the quality of our work and the value we can add to who trust their developments in us.

On the other hand, I believe there is no need to invest much time in those parts of the secondary processes that can be easily changed or adapted in the future, or where the value of defining a part of a process has not much to do with the result of the process. Remember that we are preparing for a race and we are not yet running: it is therefore important to focus on what it’s worth, and not be meticulous in what it’s not.

Once we have documented what we do, we need to start reviewing what needs to be done. One more step closer to the goal of having our QMS up and running.

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