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ISO 9001:2015 and the Eternal Secret to Avoiding Sub-standard Solutions

ISO 9001:2015. It’s not sexy. It doesn’t exactly trip off the tongue does it? It’s not something we’d recommend as an ice-breaker on a nervous first date either. It is however something that is incredibly important to us at AVAMAE on a day-to-day basis when developing software solutions and creating websites.

We’re not old-fashioned – quite the opposite – but we do think standards are important. Not the antiquated, stiff upper lip variety, but dynamic operational standards that ensure that everything we do, and how we do it, is absolutely tip top.

AVAMAE achieved ISO 9001:2015 last January but we’ve been far too busy maintaining the high standards certification demands to have shouted about it. Until now, that is. 

AVAMAE is ISO 9001:2015 Certified!

But what does that mean exactly? And what does it mean to our clients? The short answer is that it’s a cracking mechanism that reviews all our processes and puts checks in place. It’s also a rather attractive shiny badge that many organisations insist you sport if they’re even contemplating doing business with you.

Erm, What is ISO 9001:2015?

Well, if you want the definition copy and pasted from their textbook...

The International Standard for Organisation (ISO) is an independent, non-governmental international organization with a membership of 161 national standards bodies. Through its members, it brings together experts to share knowledge and develop voluntary, consensus-based, market relevant International Standards that support innovation and provide solutions to global challenges.

ISO creates documents that provide requirements, specifications, guidelines or characteristics that can be used consistently to ensure that materials, products, processes and services are fit for their purpose.

ISO 9001:2015 sets out the criteria for a Quality Management System and is the only standard in the 9001 family that can be certified to. There are over one million companies and organisations in over 170 countries certified to ISO 9001.

This standard is based on a number of quality management principles including a strong customer focus, the motivation and implication of top management, the process approach and continual improvement. Using ISO 9001:2015 helps ensure that customers get consistent, good quality products and services, which in turn brings many business benefits.

In Layman’s Terms?

AVAMAE is all about simplifying complicated things. The benefits of having ISO 9001:2015 certification are numerous, but in short:

  • It provides us with the opportunity for thorough on-going reviews of our processes
  • It gives us mechanisms to check, receive feedback and make changes if anything is going wrong
  • It allows us to document operational information detailing the set procedures for the work we do
  • It means we can say, hand on heart, that we follow the same processes throughout our work

‚Äč‚ÄčTick. Tick Tick.

ISO 9001:2015 means we now use a fail-safe checklist for every project we undertake, whether it be developing a bespoke piece of software, designing a responsive website or an ingenious new app. It covers every stage from proposal writing and sign-off, UX design and testing right through to project launch and closure. Without disrupting the creative process, we methodically tick off each step which means we have a fully auditable log of all work done.

You’d think having this structure and checks might constrain us. Wrong. It actually frees us up to concentrate on what we do best... the work itself. It’s all about fulfilling our quality objectives. In fact, you can view our Quality Policy here.

Belt and Braces

Where ISO 9001:2015 comes into its own is if something, even the tiniest thing, goes wrong. We’re realistic. Things do.

We have a non-conformance process. If anyone picks up an issue, they simply complete a non-conformance form. It details what went wrong. Why it went wrong. What actions need to be taken. These are then reviewed by management and necessary actions are embedded to try and prevent the same problem happening again.

Regular management meetings also enable us to discuss non-conformances and review the Quality Management System (QMS). That’s when we ask 'is it working well and what are the risks and opportunities?' Everything is totally transparent. Everyone is accountable.

We’re obliged to perform, and we undertake internal and external annual audits.  We’ve also recently completed our internal audit and are scheduled to complete an external one.

Fancy a Chat?

Love the reassurance ISO 9001:2015 brings? Got a project in mind? Email teresa.mccahill@avamae.co.uk or call +44 (0) 20 7509 6932.

5 February 2019
Blog Author
Linsey Pluckrose
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