All posts in Business Processes


ISO 19011:2018 Basics (8 Free Management System Audit Checklists)

internal audit

What exactly is an “audit“?

The International Organization for Standardization defines it as:

“[the] systematic, independent and documented process for obtaining objective evidence and evaluating it objectively to determine the extent to which the audit criteria are fulfilled.” – ISO, from ISO 19011:2018 – Guidelines for Auditing Management Systems

That’s another way of saying someone takes a look at what you’re doing, gathers some evidence, and compares that evidence to what you’re supposed to be doing (in other words, a set of clearly documented requirements).

In the case of ISO, these requirements are known as standards. ISO 9001 is a standard. ISO 14001 is a standard.

Importantly, this understanding of audit implies that there are a few main things being considered by the auditor:

  • What’s documented by the company (e.g. internal processes, policies, and SOPs)
  • Evidence gathered to support how these policies, procedures, and SOPs are implemented in practice
  • The requirements defined by the ISO standard being audited against (e.g. ISO 9001)

Audits performed by companies to assess and analyze their own management systems are known as internal audits. Many resources for guiding companies on how to perform internal audits exist, and foremost of these is the ISO 19011 standard.

For most management system standards, internal audits are an important requirement. Even guideline standards like ISO 26000 for social responsibility depend on reports to evidence the success of their implementations.

As such, ISO 19011 defines a set of guidelines; a framework for companies to plan, implement, and improve upon their audit programs, for auditing the implementation of management systems.

Since the first edition of ISO 19011 was published in 2002, many new management system standards have been published.

These standards often share a common structure, including certain requirements, terms, and definitions being used. That means ISO 19011 can be used to devise highly economic audit programs, wherein knowledge and processes can be shared and applied across various management systems.

By considering how they might take a broader approach to management system auditing and integration, companies implementing ISO management systems stand to save time, money, and confusion when preparing for and implementing internal audits.

The goal of this post is to provide a spring-board for understanding ISO 19011, and how to get started with internal ISO auditing. In this post, I’ll cover:

  • What is ISO 19011
  • 7 principles of ISO auditing
  • Different types of ISO audit
  • Key elements of an ISO audit
  • 8 free ISO audit templates

If you just want the free ISO audit templates, then here they are:

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Project vs Process: What’s the Best Form of Management for Me?

project vs processWhen it comes to managing what work gets done, we’re often faced with a choice: is this a project, a process, …or both?

Different tasks need different approaches.

You need multiple techniques in your skillset and understanding the difference between projects and processes, and how this impacts on work, makes for a very useful tool.

In this Process Street article, we’ll look at:

  • Project vs Process: What’s the difference?
  • What is a process?
  • What is a project?
  • The principles of process management
  • How projects can become processes
  • Get started with process management today

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Basics of Enterprise Risk Management (ERM): How to Get Started

risk management framework

Organizations exist to create value for their stakeholders. By setting objectives, developing strategies, following through and continuously improving processes, value is created.

That’s the ideal situation, at least. In reality, it’s not always as simple as making a plan and sticking to it. There’s always the risk that certain events could affect the success of these plans.

It’s the job of management to make adequate preparations to ensure that systems are in place to continue hitting objectives, even when the beast of unforeseen circumstance rears its head.

Enterprise risk management (ERM) is a direct solution to these kinds of uncertainties, allowing management to oversee the continual creation of value on a complete, integrated, organization-wide level.

By utilizing an effective ERM system, you can rest assured that the organization will see a consistently high success rate in terms of hitting objectives and KPIs.

Stakeholders of all kinds, from customers, suppliers, government and regulatory bodies are all increasingly interested in how businesses are implementing ERM. A well-implemented ERM system could set the foundation for many high-quality, long-term client relationships.

Equally, not having a proper system for enterprise risk management could mean your business is perceived as less competent, and could even result in loss of clients and damage to brand image.

In this post, I’ll discuss:

  • Introduction to and basics of enterprise risk management
  • Benefits of a well-implemented ERM system
  • Core ideas of ERM
  • Examples of different ERM approaches
  • The enterprise risk management process
  • Implementing ERM
  • Automating ERM

To begin with, I’ll start by breaking down the full scope of an ERM system, and some basic definitions.

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What are Maturity Models in Business? (Capability Maturity Model, AIMM, and More)

maturity modelWhen you’re building a business, a team, or any kind of system, you need ways to understand how well you’re doing.

You want to be able to look at your performance and set base standards which have to be met, and be able to contrast those standards with an understanding of what best practice looks like.

You want to understand where on that scale of performance you are at.

It’s why we use things like KPIs, OKRs, or other goal/objective driven metrics.

But those metrics, as useful as they are for some things, are often hard to apply to qualitative data.

This is where maturity models can become an incredibly useful tool.

One model we’ll discuss here is the Capability Maturity Model, and the CMMI Institute alone appears to have about +8500 accredited users of this model (interestingly, in 2018 ~80% were pairing it with agile methodologies).

The problem, though, is that maturity models are often shrouded in complex terminology and overly-convoluted systems. How am I supposed to implement one in my business if people can’t understand it?

In this Process Street article, we’ll tear through the jargon and look at:

  • What is a maturity model?
  • What are the current limitations of business process maturity models?
  • Which are the best business process maturity models?
  • What is a Capability Maturity Model (CMM)?
  • What is the Agile ISO Maturity Model (AIMM)?
  • How does Process Street fit in your maturity model?

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ISO 13485: Basics and How to Get Started (QMS for Medical Devices)

iso 13485 checklist

In today’s business world, owners are constantly grappling with concerns and surmounting obstacles, the least of which is actually staying afloat financially in what can be an unforgiving economy.

However, the struggle to turn a profit pales in comparison to some of the harsher consequences of failing to comply with certain regulatory requirements.

Take HRIS broker Zenefits for example. Failure to comply with several licencing regulations issued by the California Department of Insurance landed them a $7million fine.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg; more severe penalties extend to include government bodies compelling you to dissolve your company, and ultimately the endangerment of the lives and well-being of individuals your organization is servicing.

“On a global scale, we are all being asked to do more with less—and for less. At some point soon, the current internal systems will not be able to hold back the deluge, and companies will be faced with a stark decision—consistently improve or perish” – Erik Myhrberg and Joseph Raciti, Practical Field Guide for ISO 13485

Often, these kinds of requirements take the form of the ISO 13485 standard for medical device manufacturers.

In this article, I’ll break down the ISO 13485 standard, from a basic introduction to suggestions and resources for implementing it in your business or organization.

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A Shiny New Look for our Favorite People

shiny new look

Today we’re excited to announce the release of Process Street’s new UI (UI or User Interface is a fancy way of saying “how the app looks and feels”).

If you’ve been in the app in the last day you would’ve seen we finished the last few screens of the new UI and the app now is completely converted over.

We’re going to be focusing on optimizing the look over the next few weeks as we get feedback from you, our users, on what you like and don’t like – in case that wasn’t clear, I’m encouraging you to talk to us : ) – [email protected]

Below are some of the key changes we made, but you really need to login yourself to experience it in all its glory.

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My 5 Favorite Hacks from the Duct Tape Marketing System

tape edges (3)

In my last post for Process Street (and the first after being hired as a full-time content writer!) I took a look at the Duct Tape Marketing System and published the Duct Tape Marketing System review previously, but today I’m bringing you the top five hacks from this innovative course by small business expert John Jantsch. These are points John made that resonated with me as a unique take on something that seems obsolete or a new angle on something too well-established to be changed.

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I Took My First Marketing Course – Here Are My Thoughts on the Duct Tape Marketing System

Duct Tape Marketing System Review

Note: This is a review of the Duct Tape Marketing System course and coaching program. If you are interested in a review of the book, check out the Amazon reviews here.

💡 BONUS FREE STUFF – If you’re considering buying the Duct Tape Marketing System make sure to check out our exclusive bonus valued at $1,500 just for using this link. You can find all the details at the bottom of this post.

Why I’m writing this review

Recently I was hired by Vinay as the new content creator for Process Street. With a history of ghost-writing product descriptions and other mundane copy I was excited to get underway with something more personal and varied. Unlike in the past, this job needs me to research topics I don’t know much about. I hadn’t heard of more than two big marketing blogs and was lost for words when asked my opinions about them.

It’s scary having to talk about business and marketing when you’re a music technology graduate, but my first checklist was, coincidentally, relevant to my skills! Intentionally or not, my next project involved writing about a marketing course that is applicable to plenty of different people, teaching the basic theory of what seems to be a science of holding attention spans that have shrunk down massively since the introduction of all this easy-to-read content on the internet. Writing this review (and another upcoming post) gave me my first freedom to write as myself and expanded my marketing knowledge hugely.

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5 Major Business Process Automation Benefits You Should Know About

business process automation benefits

The following is a guest post by Billy Lucas. Billy is a passionate blogger sharing business tips on behalf of EngageBay. He writes primarily on SEO, email marketing, CRM, marketing automation and covers the entire gamut of marketing.

Every business wants to get the most out of its resources. Apart from making more profit, companies constantly strive towards reducing overall operational costs.

Technology has helped us in solving some of the most difficult problems where human power is just not enough, and for every big problem that is solved using technology, a number of other small problems are also solved.

Surviving in today’s competitive world requires businesses to efficiently utilize available resources and take appropriate strategic decisions. In order to prevent wastage of resources, many organizations are turning towards process automation solutions.

Business process automation has emerged as a way to carry out a number of tasks without the need for any manual input. IT departments in companies extensively use automation to efficiently provision technology resources, cut operational costs and optimize overall utilization.

The benefits of IT process automation are limitless. If you run a business or are thinking of setting one up, you should definitely consider incorporating process automation.

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How to Assign Tasks Dynamically: Role Assignments in Process Street

Role Assignments

Assigning team members to their tasks is a duty which is as vital as it is tedious.

Everyone pretty much knows what they should be doing, so there’s no need to directly assign them to everything when you could be spending time on more important tasks, right?

Wrong.

Human error (of which memory plays a huge part) affects 1/100 routine tasks where care is needed. This means that the people responsible either makes a mistake or forgets what they need to do (hence why documented processes are so important).

That’s why we here at Process Street have a role assignment feature in our checklists.

Role assignments let you dictate who each task in your process checklists needs to be assigned to without fail every time. All you need to do is set up the role which will have the task assigned, then Process Street does the rest.

Ready to assign your tasks without fail, fuss or tedious fiddling? Then let’s dive right in.

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