Any company that implemented ISO 9001 is currently thinking about the transition to the new version of the standard, since the transition deadline is closing in. Besides thinking about the changes in the standard and how to comply with those new requirements, most of the companies are aiming to seize this opportunity to improve their existing management system. If you have a Quality Management System, or even an integrated management system that complies with more standards, you’ve probably noticed that some parts of your system are redundant and there are some parts of the system that can be streamlined and improved.

For the purpose of this article, we won’t go into details about the changes in the standard; for that, I suggest you take a look at the article ISO 9001:2015 vs. 2008 revision – What has changed? We will focus on the ways that Conformio can help you perform the transition and improve your QMS (Quality Management System).

Perform the transition as a project

Let’s be frank: the QMS is never one of the top priorities in a company. There is always some fire to be extinguished, and employees are always needed more on some other projects. One of the biggest risks for a successful transition is lack of commitment – not only by the top management, but from employees as well. This often causes the transition project to become stuck and pushed aside, and even when people get back to the transition project, they forget where they stopped.

This increases the need for an effective project management tool that will help you define the project steps, assign responsibilities, and establish deadlines. The more easily, clearly, and effectively you plan the project and communicate the responsibilities, tasks, and deadlines – the easier it will be for people to get things done. Conformio has the right tool to do the trick.

To find out more about the steps in the ISO 9001 transition, download this whitepaper: Twelve-step transition process from ISO 9001:2008 to the 2015 revision.

Conformio has a task and project management module that facilitates establishing projects, adding tasks, assigning responsibilities, communicating, and sharing documents within the project. This enables the project manager to monitor the progress and jump in whenever the project or task gets stuck. On the other hand, it enables team members to know what exactly is expected from them, what the deadlines are, and how to share documents and other files.

How to make the ISO 9001 transition using online ISO software - Conformio

FIGURE 1. ISO 9001 IMPLEMENTATION STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE

In addition, there is a step-by-step ISO 9001 implementation project with predefined tasks, explanations, and links to relevant articles and materials to help you with defining the project tasks and other details important for the transition. For more information, see: How to manage your ISO implementation through project management software.

Getting the paper out of the documentation

The word “documentation” is the sole cause of many headaches for quality professionals. The aim of the new version of the standard is to decrease the volume of the documentation within the QMS, but will this really happen? Even if it does, a significant amount of documentation will remain as a crucial part of the QMS, if not to describe how something is done, then to demonstrate that something is really being done.

Since we already dispersed the illusion that documentation won’t be as important as in the previous version, let’s see how to make documentation easier to navigate through. Again, Conformio to the rescue! The module for document management enables an organization to keep all its documents in one place, online, making it available from any place at any time. In addition, Conformio enables you to define document owners, aids with versioning and scheduling document review, and helps you meet requirements for documentation without using any paper or complicated document control procedures that almost never work.

How to make the ISO 9001 transition using online ISO software - Conformio

FIGURE 2. DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT AND EDITING FEATURES IN CONFORMIO

For more information, see: What kind of Document Management System (DMS) do you need for handling ISO documents?

Making the best of nonconformities and corrective actions

Preventive actions are no longer part of ISO 9001, but nonconformities will keep happening and, consequently, corrective actions will be initiated. Making corrections is something that any company does when nonconformities occur, but that is not enough. You need to identify the cause of the nonconformity and remove it to prevent recurrence of the nonconformity. The only way to do it is through corrective actions, and they can take time. Sometimes it is hard to find the cause, sometimes it takes a long time to implement it, and sometimes such actions just get forgotten under a pile of other tasks and new problems to be solved.

How to make the ISO 9001 transition using online ISO software - Conformio

FIGURE 3. NONCONFORMITIES AND CORRECTIVE ACTION MODULE

Conformio offers an easy way to record nonconformities and corrective actions, and to monitor the progress on resolving the nonconformity and conducting the corrective action. By using Conformio, you will avoid writing nonconformity or corrective action records, instead creating them online in a way that allows you to assign tasks and responsibilities, and monitor their progress.

For more information, see: How to establish a corrective actions process using an online tool.

Give it a try

The transition cannot be avoided, but organizations can make this process smoother. On the other hand, the transition is a chance to improve the existing system and gain the benefits that arise from new technologies. Online tools will facilitate managing the transition project, decrease the amount of documentation, and make documentation management more streamlined.

Conformio offers just that, and with the option to open a free account, you can see whether it is the right tool for your ISO 9001/14001 transition.