Risk is something that is evident and pervasive in almost everything we do in life. This includes business ventures. But to quality professionals, it can be quite a sour subject. The ISO 9001:2015 is helping to remove the negative attitudes toward risk-based thinking in hopes that it will allow businesses to be more unified in their goals.
What is Risk-Based Thinking?
Risk itself is the possibility of certain outcomes, which may be negative or positive, occurring based on activities or events that an organization pursues. Basically, it is the uncertainty of a result in operational objectives.
Risk-based thinking is the idea that all the possible effects of an action are kept in mind when deciding which actions will be best for the company. Now, this is not a new concept. However, many companies feel that viewing their day to day activities in this manner will lead to a greater chance of negative effects on the organization.
The ISO 9001 revision for 2015 uses the idea that, if a business adheres to a program in which risk is constantly assessed in all areas of quality management, rather than casting it out as its own entity, there will be a greater chance of successfully overcoming negative effects of risk, and even prevent negative effects from happening. This is due to the proactive nature.
Instead of constantly finding ways to fix a problem after it has occurred, an organization that is always identifying its risks, understanding the consequences of certain actions over others, and analyzing the effects that these consequences will have on the business, has a better chance of recognizing early signs of risk and reducing undesired effects in the future. The behavior becomes less negative as it becomes automatic and the benefits are constantly felt across all areas of quality management.
Benefits of Adoption
Not only is risk part of strategic action planning in the event that something unforeseen occurs, but it becomes intrinsic throughout all areas of the standard and makes preventative action more obtainable.
While risk is often given a negative connotation, identifying risk within a business model and being able to constantly consider outcomes of risk can also help in finding opportunities for growth and development. If a company is able to see road blocks that may become evident in the future, a better plan of action can be taken to help prevent negative outcomes all together.
A business that is always assessing situations that may or may not bring about positive momentum, is always going to have a strong customer base because customers will know that their satisfaction is being carefully considered in every action the business takes.
It should come as no surprise that being proactive in business ensures consistency when it comes to the quality of a company’s goods and services. But proactivity also helps cultivate an attitude of constant improvement across the standard.
In order to be sure implementing ISO 9001:2015 is successful, be sure to follow these tips:
• Analyze risks and prioritize them. What risks are acceptable no matter the outcome, and what risks should be avoided?
• Have plans for addressing risk. Can any risks be avoided and how? How can risks be minimized?
• Check effectiveness. Once plans have been called into action, reassess the situation, several times of needed, to understand how effective it has been.
• Learn from experience and push to improve. No matter the outcome of risk assessment and mitigation, use all the information possible for creating improvements.
It may seem difficult at first to be aware of risk within all areas of a quality management system, but it will pay dividends in the end to be constantly aware.
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