The organizations today are taking steps for continuous improvement of quality in their products and services to meet customer requirements and compliance standards simultaneously. The focus on continual improvement helps them to drive operational excellence while mitigating risks.
Making a holistic approach towards the organization’s operational excellence requires two aspects in the first place: Quality Management and Risk Management. Both aspects play a significant role for businesses to attain their quality goals. You can bring them together for a successful implementation of the quality management system in your organization.
In fact, quality management and risk management are often referred to as the two sides of the same coin. Let’s quickly have the definitions of Quality Management and Risk Management before further discussion:
Quality Management serves as a tool for organizations to ensure that the products and services they offer have consistent quality. it basically comprises four important components namely: Quality Control, Quality Assurance, Quality Improvement, and Quality Planning. The objective is not just on the quality of products, it’s also on the means to achieve it. Quality is all about the product’s, process, or system performance as per its intended function.
Risk Management is the process to identify, evaluate, and prioritize the risks in order to monitor, control, and minimize the probabilities of certain unfortunate error occurrences. It enables organizations to make informed decisions based on the risks identified and keep the quality quotient of the products intact, maintaining a stronger relationship with customers, suppliers, and their own people. It might be a time-consuming process, but worthy enough to save you from expensive reworks, recalls, and nonconformances.
If we will be able to identify risks in a timely manner, there will be a significant improvement in quality management system’s performance.
What Risk Management Contributes to the Quality Management System?
The process of risk management starts with Risk-Based Thinking.
Let’s face the fact, we all do the risk-based thinking automatically. We don’t need someone to tell us or teach us that. Even if we buy any daily life product, we always think “What if” and make necessary comparisons to make the best purchase decision.
The concept of risk-based thinking was always there in ISO 9001 standards, but the concept just got highlighted in the latest revision with its significance in the entire quality management process.
Why Risk-Based Thinking Is Required?
Risk-based thinking allows organizations to;
- Ensure that all the risks are considered from the very beginning itself and kept into consideration throughout the process approach.
- Be proactive with their actions as a part of their strategic planning.
- Identify the opportunities to improve, eliminating the existing loopholes from the system, processes, and workflows.
Having a risk-management process imbibed into quality management helps organizations to have a smoother shift to the proactive strategy than purely reactive and preventive, encouraging an environment of continuous improvement.
The most recent approach towards risk management is PDCA cycle i.e. Plan, Do, Check, Act implementation:
PDCA is a four-step management process conducted in an iterative manner in order to have controlled and continual improvement in products, processes, and services. Here’s a quick look through each phase:
Plan : It involves having leadership commitment to risk identification and assessment so that you can create right action plans for addressing risks as well as opportunities.
Do : It involves the implementation of the action plans to mitigate different operational risks through communication, training, and change control.
Check : It involves performing internal audits to measure the effectiveness of the action plans you implemented and reporting the same.
Act: It involves the implementation of effective action plans for continual improvement and review new opportunities to improve.
What are the Benefits of Risk Management?
Risk management ensures that organizations are meeting compliance standards while having a better decision-making structure. The results of risk-management help organizations to look forward to improvements in terms of efficiency and efficacy of strategies. Also, the consistency of the quality is maintained well.
Risk Management offers organizations:
- A proactive culture that encourages improvement.
- Assurance for the products and service quality consistency
- Improved customer satisfaction and loyalty
- Platform to have a stronger knowledge base
- An opportunity to improve operational efficiency
- An opportunity to build confidence amongst stakeholders with improved risk handling techniques
- The better system controls for risk analysis and lowered losses.
- Improved system performance and resilience
- To have an effective change management system as they grow.
Right Solution for Risk Management Matters
Organizations are on a constant hunt for a solution that can help them improve their business by enhancing their operations and optimizing the overall performance. In the modern-day market, being successful depends on the competitive edge and profitability of the organization that can demonstrate good governance.
How to have a competitive edge?
Well, to gain a competitive edge with excellence requires any organization to:
- Have a careful evaluation of risk,
- Strive to exceed the expectations, and
- Create an environment for innovation.
The records and experience of experts say that any businesses to be more successful needs to implement industry best practices holistically across the organization, not just for one team or department. Having an organization-wide strategy helps to break down the unnecessary walls between the departments and people so that they can together contribute in the quality efforts and bring a significant change in the way quality was managed and maintained earlier.
However, switching to a new culture can be a challenge. Be sure you are ready with a well-planned, demonstrable, bold strategies to improvise the systems as well as critical processes that drive excellent performance. Also, organizations should have a competent document management system to ensure that all the relevant documents are captured, managed, analyzed, and improved regularly.
Businesses also need certain other tools like change management software and training management software that drive continual improvement, providing real-time insights and a reliable platform for automation. It fosters consistency too. In fact, you can go for the cloud-based quality management software like Qualityze that offers your risk analysis team with a comprehensive view to be shared with respective teams and people like auditors, quality controllers, and managers in real-time. It also enables effective collaboration especially for the issues that make a business vulnerable to bigger threats and troubles.
If you want to implement your quality management system successfully, you need to have right risk management strategy, tools, and activities in place. Considering risks in the first place help you define better action plans to mitigate quality issues in time and drive operational excellence in the organization.