Once in a while it’s good to review your quality/business management system (structure, processes, requirements, etc) – we’ll focus on processes for the moment. The relevance of processes is critical. They must be useful to your staff, customers, partners and suppliers. There’s nothing more wasteful (and painful!) than a management system which obstructs people from getting their jobs done.
But rather than go through the motions to satisfy some compliance requirement, it’s much better to have a review that is short, sharp, sweet and gets to the heart of your company’s problems.
To Get Things Done someone senior must take responsibility for a review. They might delegate some of the data and info gathering to others, but the ultimate responsibility must NEVER be delegated. If all of it is delegated, this simply sends a message to staff that processes (and improvement) are not important to management.
Data gathering should involve all areas of the company including
- Functional areas (sales, dev, ops)
- Supporting areas (HR, Finance, Infrastructure, audit, QA itself)
- Management (exec, middle level, team leaders)
This info can be gathered from audits, reviews, progress reports, defect systems, action lists, phase reviews, post-project reviews, customer and supplier feedback, management reports, web reports, Google alerts/news, social networks, management reports as well as actual KPIs and metrics. Using all of these channels broadens the context and provides better value than just looking at audit reports and problem reports.
The data can be analysed for
- Impact on customers, staff, products, market
- Strategic priority
This will enable a draft report of information to be presented prior to any meeting/review. Some gathering of potential solutions should also be done in preparation. Of course rather than straight text and tables of data, try to create meaning charts demonstrating the analysis conducted to make it easy for everyone to understand.
You can use the template we created as a means of collating the material. Effectively you’re drafting the report before the meeting and this enables everyone to focus on the content and work through potential solutions prior to the meeting.
Once the meeting has been conducted, the report should be completed and sent to participants for review. Then together with a list of actions and assignees, this should be made available to everyone in the company.
The QMSR report can then be used as input to strategic planning, management and product review, and providing a basis for improving the company.