Why ‘failures’ mean you are doing ISO right

We are taught that success means 100%; it means things are ‘right’, from choosing the correct answer in a multiple-choice test to creating a business that ticks all the boxes.

It is understandable, therefore, that when something is wrong, or a process picked as being ‘non-conforming’, that we feel disappointed. But let’s flip these failures on their heads and consider how they have a positive impact not just on your business, but the ISO processes too.

When failure means success

With an ISO audit, there is no expectation that every business will be perfect. There is an expectation of high standards, but this doesn’t mean perfection. What failure really means for your business and ISO audit is that you…

#1 … Are continually scoping for improvement

Scoping means looking outside boundaries, a bubble of operation or a comfort zone to what could impact, on both a positive and negative way for your business. When processes falter and stutter, they do so not because someone is at fault or to blame, but because the parameters of operation have changed.

What worked 5 years ago, may not work today and this means that as a failure, you learn from it, using is a springboard to something better or a more streamlined way of doing things.

#2 … Are taking responsibility

When a non-conformance is flagged, it is not an option to simply gloss over it or assume it is a one-off, an anomaly in the system. By facing these non-conformances, you are taking responsibility and by examining the deeper detail and correct it, you are driving your business forward.

#3 … Are working in a timely manner

Some non-conformances are urgent, whilst others are symptomatic of a bigger problem that will take longer to resolve. But the key with ISO audits is that as a business, you are continually working towards and striving to improve. And this is why non-conformances are a sign of success, rather than failure.

#4 … Are pro-active

Standing still is not an option. In any competitive marketplace, there are competitors ready to move into your top spot if you rest on your laurels for too long. Innovation and creation are terms for ‘taking calculated risks’. This means being proactive but by taking risks, you will face the possibility of more non-conformances – but it is a learning curve, and by being pro-active, you are creating a far more stable base from which your company can expand.

#5 … Are creating firm foundations

It is tempting when you can see the problem, to quickly rectify it. The issue is that by not documenting it, you are not really looking at the problem in its entirety. But with non-conformances and corrective action reports, you really do have a much broader base of understanding.

In effect, non-conformances in the ISO audit process is about quality, improvement and change for the better, as opposed to signs of failure. But, you need to use them correctly and for the benefit of your company.

How can we help you?

Click here to download our new eBook, which will give you an overview of the ISO standards and the FAQs that will help you understand ISO better.

If you’re in need of assistance with any aspect of certification, here at Synergos we’d be delighted to help. Whether you have questions about the path to certification or are looking for advice and support to maintain an existing standard call 01484 817 444 or Email info@synergosconsultancy.co.uk and we’ll be happy to talk it over with you.

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Jenny Kilburn
Jenny Kilburn
Completed my Masters in Business Administration (MBA) in 2012 I was looking to start my own business. With over 10 years improving and streamlining business systems, I grasped an opportunity to assist a local business to improve their quality and communication processes by researching the requirements of a quality management system based upon ISO 9001 and conducted my first internal audit that resulted in 97 improvement recommendations. After a successful outcome, I was recommended again and again with glowing reviews and in February 2014, Synergos Consultancy was born. I now have the role of regularly reviewing and planning the strategic direction of the business to ensure that Synergos continues to develop, whilst at the same time, still actively working closely with some of our clients. In my spare time I love to attend the theatre to watch musicals, dance productions and plays. In 2019, I attended the theatre a whopping 24 times. I follow a plant-based diet which I absolutely love. A keen tick-tock follower, I have picked up a lot of interesting recipes. A firm favourite is Brussel sprouts and sriracha sauce baked in the oven. Delicious!
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