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Top 3 characteristics of an effective Quality Management System

If you’re trying to create, sustain or properly leverage your organization’s Quality Management System (QMS), then start with ensuring that your actual culture and practice for quality is:

  1. Easy to use and customize

The QMS’s quality manual doesn’t have to be large in word count, pages or in the number of process/work flow diagrams. What it needs to be is easily understood as well as easy to apply, monitored and audited. Scalability doesn’t hurt either – that is, the instructions for how to apply the QMS (policies, procedures, work instructions)  must readily guide the practitioner to creating (and quickly executing) a project plan that is fully compliant with both the project sponsor’s requirements and the return-on-investment the organization is striving to generate by completing that project.

  1. Continuously evolving

Just as people, tools and raw materials are constantly being changed in their availability, reliability, suitability or cost, the QMS must systematically keep pace with or even pioneer/champion those changes.  That is, an effective QMS is an organic one; it must be able to change just as the organization does. That growth can be kept well aligned with the organization’s actual priorities via vigilant risk identification and mitigation practices.

  1. Embraced by all key stakeholders

Not only you and your immediate team members must use the QMS but everyone in the organization that supports your project or any otherwise implicated business objective must use the QMS as “the” product/service fulfillment methodology when starting any customer, supplier or employee engagement. Specifically, the (key) processes of every QMS are, by definition, supposed to interact with each other to deliver value.  So your use of the QMS must not drive /“silo” you out of the organization’s ability to produce consistent, complete, correct and reliable results with its tool-kit(s). Rather your use of the QMS must “integrate” you into/towards the desired and intended success — as evident by the timely delivery and acceptance of the actual outputs of each of the processes implicated.

Do you have any questions about your current QMS or about the benefits of quality management system for your organization? Ask us in comments below or email


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