Experience counts for everything. Once you’ve been through something, you know the ins and outs, pros and cons. Take our ISO9001 Certification and Quality Management System. At AVAMAE in London, we went through a steep learning curve to achieve it and now we’re ready to share some essential insights on how to adopt processes and procedures and manage the quality of how we work. We’ll also give you tips on ensuring staff and clients understand the processes in place, what everyone is expected to do and also how to audit that everything has been done as it should.

You should read on. Why? Because after our first external audit we were told that our ISO internal audit process was the best set up they had ever seen.

1. Make it Known

To accompany our ISO9001 Certification, we were required to produce a ‘Quality Manual’. At 91-pages, it has considerable ‘thud factor’ and we issued it to all our staff. This is a requirement of the certification and it’s a great idea, as it details your project management responsibility to your clients and how you will assure the quality of how you work.

2. Make it Thorough

When you formulate your Quality Manual, it needs to be comprehensive and have no room for ambiguity. Ours is thorough, maybe too detailed for some staff, but our quality commitments are there in black and white. We don’t expect everyone to read every single word of it but staff do need to be fully versed on what is directly relevant to them. It not only sets out who we are and what we stand for, it also covers everything from Leadership, Planning and Support to Operation, Performance Evaluation and Improvement.

3. Show Your Commitment

Your Quality Policy and Manual should also clearly state your commitments, not only to the Quality Management System (QMS) but also to your clients. Here are our core commitments:

The management is committed to…

  • Developing and continually improving the QMS and enhancing client satisfaction.

The management has a continuing commitment to…

  • Ensure that client needs and expectations are determined and fulfilled with the aim of achieving client satisfaction.
  • Communicate throughout the Organisation the importance of meeting client needs and all relevant statutory and regulatory requirements.
  • Establish the Quality Policy and to set Quality Objectives at relevant functions, levels and processes.
  • Ensure that the Management Reviews set and review the Quality Objectives, and report on the internal audit results as a means of monitoring and measuring the processes and the effectiveness of the Quality Management System.

By getting your QMS commitments in writing and sharing them with your clients, you provide them with invaluable reassurance and confidence.

4. Orchestrate Everything Online

Software development involves orchestrating different teams of highly specialised people to play their part at different stages throughout a project. This can make staff, project and quality management not only essential but difficult, too. But there are some excellent online checklist tools that can make life easier and ensure everything is done by the right person when it should be.

We did stacks of research on the myriad of online checklist software packages and carried out trials on each to see which best met our needs. Here are some of the key ones we tested and considered:

We eventually opted for Manifestly as it not only did everything we required, it was easier to use and was set up in a way that best suited our business. So how can an online checklist tool like Manifestly help you?

  • Enables you to set up workflows that can be used again and again as checklists across projects and all repetitive tasks.
  • Allows you to assign colleagues and even external guests such as clients, to checklists.
  • Lets you set deadline dates and reminders that are either stand alone or relative to other tasks.
  • Reminds everyone when to complete their tasks.
  • Can make it a requirement for users to add evidence, such as text, images or videos, when completing a step.

What we also like about Manifestly is that it enables us to set up workflows across all areas of our business, including:

  • HR workflows for new starters and leavers.
  • Multiple project workflows covering everything from Proposal Creation, Project Launch and UX Design to REACT Build and Back End API Development – also Security checks, SEO checks and Production Deployment checks.

5. Audit with Ease

Manifestly isn’t just about ticking boxes, it also keeps an invaluable electronic record of everything that has been done. Working this way will help you to not only work smarter and manage the quality of your processes and outputs, it will also enable you to quickly and easily assist with auditing its usage.

In fact, we like this way of managing checklists so much, that we actually set up workflows for our ISO internal audit processes. That’s something we’d recommend you do, too.

Useful? Any Questions, Fire Away

We’ve kept this Implementing ISO9001 guide short and sweet, but if you’ve any burning questions or simply want to chat further about any aspect of it, simply call our Quality Manager on +44 (0) 800 029 1425 or email linsey.pluckrose@avamae.co.uk.