Why Procedures Are Required
Procedures are often required to ensure that certain standards, regulations and laws are met. These could be specific area or country regulations such as zoning laws and licensing, or even quality management standards or other standards within the ISO family that enable global standardisation. Compliance is one of the most essential functions within any organisation, and as such, clearly defined procedures are essential. These could include organisation specific policies, training material and other well-documented processes.
Procedures are also required to ensure effective operations within your organisation. Practices, objectives, processes and other information need to be captured and documented in a clear way to ensure that they can be met by all employees and managers within the organisation. Each department requires specific procedures in order to fulfil their requirements, while the overall organisation also requires broader procedures in terms of company policies. Through effective procedures, key objectives that enable quality management in each department as well as the broader company can be determined and implemented.
Procedures also act as a way to manage risk, thereby reducing potential problem areas or developing a plan of action in the case of non-conformances or other issues. Procedures include steps and processes required to prevent risks, while also providing a greater level of transparency and even security. Documented procedures should be accessed by all authorised employees rather than being kept by a single individual, thereby preventing large issues from being potentially damaging issues.
Procedures are vital for continuous improvement, and enable organisations to implement a Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) system. Internal goals and objectives are clearly outlined for each department and employee, which are governed by the PDCA document. In this way, communication levels are improved, with clear and identifiable steps and actions provided in order to adhere to quality management goals across the board. Procedures could be considered as blueprints for your processes. Acting as a clear guideline, with documented steps and actions as well as objectives and targets, procedures are the most efficient way to enhance your quality management strategies.