All posts in Quality Control


How to Automate Approvals: 20+ Free Approval Process Templates

approval process

Approvals are everywhere. If you’ve worked on any project involving any kind of deliverables, chances are you’re all-too-familiar with the process of requesting and approving (or rejecting) work.

Documents, prototypes, reports, mock-ups, wireframes, storyboards, and even more internally-facing elements like simple holiday leave requests. All of these represent different kinds of approval process, and approvals are an integral workflow element.

Approvals can also represent a major bottleneck.

Consider how you are currently approving work in your business. Perhaps you have a vague process involving emails, and if you’re particularly attentive you might be tracking it in a spreadsheet.

These methods are slow and prone to delays. You have no way of tracking anything reliably, you are more likely to miss approval windows, and information has to be sent manually between individuals.

What’s more, it’s quite difficult to improve this process without the proper system in place. You need to make sure you’ve got the right tools to optimize your approval process.

Process Street‘s approvals feature is the solution to this problem.

We created the approvals feature to make the process of approving work as fast and easy as possible.

With approvals, you can:

  • Get notified as soon as work is ready for approval
  • Approve (or reject) work with zero friction using a clear, streamlined interface
  • Approve on-the-go, from your phone’s email inbox
  • Synergize with many other Process Street features to optimize process efficiency
  • Save time and stay on top of your workflow

In this post, I have a trove of templates to showcase the approvals feature. All of the templates in this article are custom-built to make your life easier.

They also take advantage of Process Street‘s other powerful features like rich form fields, conditional logic, dynamic due dates, and role assignments.

So, read on for:

Read on to learn how to hit the ground running with the approvals feature.
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8D Chess: How to Use The 8 Disciplines for Problem Solving

8d

Hospitals have developed something of a reputation for being rife with bad processes. When processes aren’t adequate, the result is an abundance of “workarounds”.

For example, when equipment or supplies are missing, a nurse might waste time running around searching for what is needed, and once the item is found, return to their previous duties.

One study indicates that nurses spend 33 minutes of a 7.5-hour shift completing workarounds that are not part of their job description.

This may well “put out the fire” so-to-speak, but really it is just a hastily applied band-aid that does nothing to treat the root cause of the problem.

More time is wasted and more problems will arise in the future because nothing has been done to prevent the initial problem from happening again.

Individual nurses are not at fault here; workplace culture often values expertise in the form of those who “get the job done”, which tends to pull against the notion of spending time building good processes (time in which the job is perhaps not “getting done”).

So how to approach the problem of problem solving?

In a lean context, problem solving can be distilled into two simple questions:

  • What is the problem and how did it happen?
  • How can we make sure that it doesn’t happen again?

The 8D, or eight disciplines methodology, is a problem solving process – most likely one of the most widely used problem solving processes out there. It is used by many different countries, in many different industries, and many different organizations.

8D is designed to help you put out those fires, and make sure they don’t happen again.

In this article, I’ll introduce you to the 8D problem solving methodology and provide you with an outline of the basic process that you can hopefully apply in your own business, plus how you can enhance 8D with other tools and methodologies like Six Sigma, FMEA, and Process Street.

Here’s what I hope you’ll take away after reading:

Let’s begin with the origins of 8D – what is it, and where did it come from? Continue Reading

Risk Mitigation: What It Is and How to Implement It (Free Templates)

Risk-Mitigation-What-it-is-and-How-to-Implement

Only 23% of surveyed CEOs believe that they have comprehensive information about the risks of their business.

Can you confidently state that you belong in that 23%?

Even if you are not a CEO, as an employee, are you sure you know all the risks within your workplace?

If not, then keep reading.

In this article, you will learn about risk and how to manage it, specifically via risk mitigation. You are also provided with a thorough list of Process Street resources and templates. These are designed for you to gain a good understanding of business risk, risk management and risk mitigation.

This article is structured as below:

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How To Prevent Data Loss and Implement Data Recovery

How To Prevent Data Loss And Implement Data Recovery

Anastasia Stefanuk is a passionate writer and a marketing manager at Mobilunity. The company provides professional staffing services, so she is always aware of technology news and wants to share her experience to help tech startups and companies to be up-to-date. 

As a business person or a person who owns a computer, how prepared are you in protecting yourself against data loss?

If you lost all of your important files and memorable photos, do you think you would be able to run data recovery to reclaim them?

Data recovery is the process of salvaging lost data from either a secondary storage system, removable media or files.

In this digital era, data has been classified as the new “oil”. In the business world, data is the driving force behind innovation, competition, productivity, and improvement of core operations. Likewise, governments all over the world require data to make vital decisions that will affect their populace.

With that in mind, the convergence of data streaming from billions of mobile phones, digital platforms, virtual-reality applications, and wireless sensors, continue to pile up with each passing day. In fact, it is estimated that the amount of electronic data in existence today is 2.7 zettabytes. This number is expected to grow to 175 zettabytes by 2025.

This presents a humongous challenge in managing and ensuring that such a large amount of data is secure. In addition, the looming question in many people’s minds is; what would happen if all this data magically disappeared? Would the world come to a standstill or are there backup mechanisms where it can be retrieved later?

In this article, Process Street will expound on the main causes of data loss, the importance of backing it up, and tips on how you can successfully run data recovery processes.

This article has been broken down into the following sections.

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What is ISO 9000? The Beginner’s Guide to Quality Management System Standards (Free ISO 9001 QMS Template)

What is ISO 9000? The Beginner's Guide to Quality Management System Standards (Free ISO 9001 QMS Template)

In 2018, Apple rolled out their brand new iPad Pro; top-of-the-line, cutting-edge, very slightly bent- wait, slightly bent?

Customers on social media and several on the MacRumors forums have discovered their iPad Pros exhibited this slight bend straight out of the box.

Of course, Apple’s response was that this was completely normal, and absolutely not a defect.

Despite the publicity Apple gives its “ultra precise” quality manufacturing process, more and more issues like these are appearing. The bendy iPad Pro is looking less like an exception, and more like an increasingly problematic trend.

Here’s a comprehensive quality breakdown (quite literally) of the iPad Pro in question:

It’s interesting to note that while Apple is bragging about premium materials such as the sapphire camera lens cover, tests like the scratch durability test done in the video above pose glaring questions to Apple’s quality standards.

Other quality management blunders from Apple’s recent track record include:

  • iPhone X: Major factory defect on phone screen making it unresponsive to touch;
  • iPhone XS/XS Max: A repeat of antennagate, except this one might be un-fixable with software;
  • Apple Watch: Batteries will swell and crack or detach the screen.
  • iPad Pro 2017: An older iPad model sold until November 2018 reportedly develops strange screen glitches;
  • MacBook Pro: Users have reported and Apple has admitted to serious defects (resulting in data loss and failure) with the solid-state drives inside 13-inch models, as well as severe performance issues with i9 CPUs and sound distortion at low volume;
  • Macbook/Macbook Pro: Defective keyboards in models from 2015 to 2017.
  • That’s a lot of issues for a company that continues to charge top dollar, push prices up, and boast a reputation as a pioneer in quality assurance.

    Obviously, and for whatever reason, there is a problem somewhere in Apple’s quality management process.

    Quality control and management is important to ensure the customer gets the value they deserve, and quality management standards like those defined by the ISO 9000 family exist to make quality management work better.

    Although Apple has received certification for ISO 27001 (an information security management standard), it doesn’t appear that they have any ISO 9000 certification for quality management. Who knows, if they had, perhaps they wouldn’t have so many QC issues?

    In this article, I’ll be looking at the ISO 9000 family of quality management standards, breaking down the basics and giving you a few free checklist templates to get you started with your own quality management system.

    Here’s exactly what I’ll be covering:

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    What is CGMP? Current Good Manufacturing Practices and How to Use Them

    cgmpIf you’re manufacturing food, drinks, or medicine, you know you have a sea of regulations and standards which you need to hit and adhere to.

    You knew that starting out.

    But it does leave you with two questions:

    1. What are the regulations and standards that I should adhere to?
    2. How do I get my organization to run in an effective manner so that we consistently adhere?

    Lots of companies are very good at asking the first question, but the second sometimes gets overlooked.

    This is how we end up with malpractice and lawsuits and all kinds of bad things.

    You don’t just have to know what the standards are, or intend to reach those standards, but you have to consistently hit those standards in order to be the successful safe business you want to be.

    That’s why in this Process Street article we’ll be looking at:

    • What is CGMP? Current Good Manufacturing Practices explained
    • What are the current Good Manufacturing Practices?
    • What is a Quality Management System and how does it help CGMP?
    • How Process Street can help you build your Quality Management System

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    What is Records Management? How to Build a Records Management Process

    records managementI moved house not too long ago.

    Now, I’ve always been a pretty terrible record keeper in my own life.

    To remedy this I tried the hoarder technique. If I thought something was even remotely important, I’d throw it in a box file and vow to come back to it one day in the future.

    It was only when I came to moving, and thought I’d try to Marie Kondo my crap away, that I dug out all my box files and the piles of messy paper inside them.

    I’ll be really honest with you – it’s not an approach to records management that I would recommend.

    Your business probably creates exponentially more records than I do, so you certainly can’t use an unthought-out approach to records management either.

    That’s why we’ve decided to take some of the basics of records management, explain them, and give you a series of actionable ways to get started taking control over the lifecycles of records in your company.

    In this Process Street article, we’ll be looking at:

    • What is records management?
    • Why is records management important?
    • The 5 key steps to records management
    • How to build a records management process

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    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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    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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