Quality Management System: How to implant & manage it


Understand the stakes of the Quality Management System

Quality Management System_undersatnding & stakes

To respond to the growing complexity of industrial products and the related organizational and normative issues, our companies’ processes have multiplied and become more cumbersome.

From this perspective, the Quality Management System is essential to provide a structuring framework and effective governance of operational performance by addressing several levers:

  • At the heart of the Quality referential, the organization’s processes must be optimized. Above all, it is necessary to ensure that these processes enable the company’s objectives to be implemented at an operational level. Then, non-value-added activities must be identified and eliminated. Finally, roles and responsibilities must be clearly established and shared with all the process stakeholders in order to clarify the interfaces between the different services or departments of the organization.
  • These processes rely in particular on human resources, that hold the organization’s knowledge and know-how and that are at the heart of company transformation. One of the major challenges of the Quality Management System is to ensure the capitalization of this knowledge. The Quality Management System must therefore be a legible, accessible and user-oriented tool. The understanding of users’ needs is essential to deploy an effective quality system and the appropriation by all of the approach and its results is crucial to ensure its durability. The quality referential must be alive and adaptable to the changing needs of the organization and to the evolutions of normative requirements.

The challenge of the Quality Management System is therefore to combine these different factors in order to build a reference system adapted to the organization’s issues and problems and to carry out an effective continuous improvement process.

The principles and orientations promoted in the quality standards must thus serve as a basis for this improvement, but the associated certification must above all be considered as a natural consequence of the implementation of a robust and durable system adapted to the organization.


Set up an adapted Quality Management System

Setting up, or redesigning, a Quality Management System can be a long and complex task. It is therefore important to frame the approach in order to achieve a result in line with the organization’s objectives and adapted to the needs of the operational teams.

Quality Management System_step 1Describe & Communicate

Keep it simple & useful!

  • Analyze the state of the As-Is Quality Management System and its maturity
  • Perform processes mapping and identify their interfaces
  • Define the foundations of customer orientation by implementing its principles in high level guidelines and policies
  • Explain the way in which the company’s objectives are operationally implemented through processes
  • Document the processes and associated repositories
  • At the same time, set up a communication strategy to get all the actors aboard and ensure the use of the repository and associated tools


QMS_step 2Establish a proper governance

Manage vertically, but also horizontally

  • Define and assign roles related to process management
  • Set up process teams
  • Rethink the positioning of the Quality function
  • Define and monitor indicators to measure the performance of processes and their level of adherence
  • Set up and animate process reviews


Quality Management_step 3Analyze & Improve

Set up an integrated and anticipative quality

  • Strive for operational excellence by implementing a continuous improvement process
  • Work on the state of mind of the teams
  • Deploy the appropriate tools and train the organization’s actors
  • Capitalize on the knowledge and know-how of the teams
  • Implement APQP (Advanced Product Quality Planning) and integrated quality methods when required
  • Consolidate the bases of the Quality Management System to start the implementation of preventive quality


Quality Management System_step 4Certify

Consider certification as a natural consequence

  • Define a certification strategy and associated schedule
  • Assess the organization’s compliance with normative requirements
  • Set up internal audit campaigns
  • Obtain certifications on the desired standards


This proposed approach, tried and tested with major industrial players, must be supported by Change Management actions in order to prepare the transformation induced by the implementation or the redesign of a Quality Management System and to make it a success.

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