ISO 9001:2015 – Clause 6 – Planning
By Jim Moran, BRC Consultant
Let’s take a look at one of the ‘new and improved’ requirements – Clause 6: Planning.
This is by no means a new concept, but there are some new requirements. Deming introduced the Plan-Do-Check-Act mantra back in the ’50s and explained that he based his work on Shewart’s ‘Plan-Do-Study-Act’ cycle. Believe it or not, Deming claims to have used the work of Francis Bacon (1620) as a reference. So we’re not talking about the ‘flavour of the month’ here!
As hinted about in previous posts, get ready for some risk language in these clauses.
We see it in the requirement to…
“… determine the risks and opportunities that need to be addressed…”
…to make sure our system can produce the goods and services that our customers (and interested parties) are looking for.
We also see a requirement to manage risks so that we…
“…prevent or reduce undesired effects and achieve improvement…”
Of course these plans have to be followed by action. “A plan without action is just a speech” – Obama. Regardless of our political affiliations, we can all see the truth in this statement.
This section goes on to require that we weave these actions into our processes and assess how well our risk management activities are working. No surprise there! And as with our current version, actions have to match the effect (or level of risk in this case). It’s never possible to eliminate all risk, but we can avoid it, mitigate it and decide on what level of risk we are willing to accept.
The section on Quality Objectives has no real surprises, except that we are now required (as in ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001) to create an action plan to achieve our objectives that takes into consideration…
This will give us a better chance of hitting quality objectives, for sure. More work, perhaps, but a great big payoff.
The last section is new, but many of us have something in place now for managing change. We can always use a tune up in this area, for sure. I’ve seen Pareto’s law in effect here – 80% of our problems come from 20% of our orders – the ones with changes.
Managing change will be a value-adding exercise when we see the big costs associated with fixing problems. And change always introduces risk, no matter what the situation.
We’ll have to…
“…determine the needs and opportunities for change to maintain and improve the performance of the quality management system…”
And when we do make changes we…
“…shall undertake change in a planned and systematic manner, identifying risks and opportunities and reviewing the potential consequences of change…”.
So there you have it – something old (existing requirements), something new (risk/change management), something borrowed (action plans to meet objectives) and something blue (blue skies). Sounds like a match made in heaven!
What can you do NOW to help your organization get ready for ISO 9001:2015?
Introductory training courses are now available to walk you through the draft version and discuss the changes currently proposed.
The BRC’s “Preparing for ISO 9001:2015” will you prepare you for the transition and ongoing application of the new standard.
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