All posts in Quality Control


The Straightforward Guide to Product Strategy (With Templates)

product strategyBuilding a solid product strategy is often thought of as a complex challenge and many companies fail to approach it systematically.

Other teams sometimes operate with a lean methodology and think this excuses them from developing a strong product strategy to guide development.

It doesn’t.

A solid product strategy is an important part of building a functional and coherent product and it shouldn’t be overlooked.

In this Process Street article, we will avoid long explanations and unnecessary detail, cutting straight to the point to give you a clear and actionable understanding of product strategy.

And we have provided an actionable product strategy template you can use in your business!

Continue Reading

What is ISO 14000? EMS Basics & Implementation (Environmental Management)

iso 14000

If the United Nations Environment Programme is to be taken seriously, the current generation is the last generation with a realistic chance of kick-starting the processes necessary to halt or reverse the looming global crisis of climate change.

“We are clearly the last generation that can change the course of climate change, but we are also the first generation with its consequences,” Kristalina Georgieva, the CEO of the World Bank.

Continue Reading

What is ISO 9001 Certification? How to Get Certified (For Beginners)

ISO 9001 certification

ISO 9001 is an international standard for defining a quality management system (QMS). It outlines various criteria (or standards) to define quality management principles such as focusing on the customer, optimizing leadership and management within the organization, improving and fine-tuning internal processes, and general methods of continuous improvement.

Let’s break down each of the components of and ISO 9001 certification.

Continue Reading

What is FMEA? A Practical Guide to Failure Analysis (Free Checklist)

fmea failure mode and effects analysis british airways catastropheBritish Airways chief executive described the incident as “catastrophic” as 800 flights were canceled and 75,000 travelers were affected.

Flight compensation website flightright.com estimated that British Airways would have to pay around €61m to passengers for refunds alone under EU legislation. Add to this the cost of reimbursing angry passengers for unexpected hotel stays and other inconveniences, and the total financial damage to British Airways has been estimated at £100m.

Why? Someone turned their data center off and on again.

The entire airline was down for almost 2 days. This wasn’t a natural disaster, it was a process failure.

In this article, we’ll explore how to spot process failures before they occur using a system called Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA). We’ll assess an overview and then delve in deeper to ground our understanding and include a premade Process Street FMEA template to help you run your own assessments in future.

In this article we’ll cover:

  • Your free FMEA: Failure Modes and Effects Analysis template
  • FMEA? What is Failure Mode and Effects Analysis?
  • When do we use FMEA?
  • Conducting and documenting Failure Mode and Effect Analysis: A user’s guide
  • What happened to British Airways?
  • How can FMEA help us prevent this happening again?

Continue Reading

What is an ISO Audit? Free ISO 9000 Self-Audit Checklist (ISO 9004:2018)

ISO self-audit

Before we dive into the world of ISO audits, if you’re savvy on ISO audits and are just here for a complete, actionable, and totally free ISO 9004:2018 self-audit checklist, you can grab that here:

Otherwise, read on.

What is an ISO audit?

An audit in the context of ISO standards is the process of making sure a certain business system or feature, whether a process itself, a quality management or business process management system, or a product, is compliant to certain requirements.

The requirements by which the compliance of an organization are assessed could be defined by certain ISO family standards, or they could reflect the need to analyze certain performance indicators or business needs.

Continue Reading

What is a Quality Management System? The Key to ISO 9000

Quality Management System

What do Three Mile Island, the Hubble Telescope, and the Ford Pinto have in common?

They all had fatal flaws caused by their substandard quality management systems.

While most failures that could be solved with a thorough QMS don’t result in a combined $3.9 billion in damages and 180 deaths, it’s impossible to argue that such a system couldn’t also bring massive benefits to your own business.

To name but a few, these effects include:

  • ISO compliant
  • Being more productive
  • Becoming more efficient
  • Reducing employee turnover
  • Systems for measuring and tracking successes and failures
  • Better customer loyalty
  • Not causing a nuclear meltdown

Sadly, quality management system explanations tend to come with a lot of jargon and dry text. That’s why we here at Process Street bring you this guide on how to create and implement one.

Continue Reading

How to Write an Actionable Policy and Procedure Template (ISO Compliant!)

Policy and procedure document

Let’s get straight to the point – you’re probably searching for a policy and procedure template you can actually use (bonus points if it’s ISO compliant).

So, if you just want an actionable policy and procedure template, you can find two hand-crafted examples below. One of them is basically a blueprint you can use to build out your own, and the other is a fully filled out example of the first, using a fictional company called Brightstar Marketing.

Both can be easily edited and updated by you inside Process Street.

Continue Reading

Agile ISO: How to Combine Compliance with Rapid Process Improvement

agile isoISO standards can be confusing and intimidating.

However, with the 2015 updates, it really shouldn’t be that scary.

In the past, conforming to ISO meant huge manuals and a lengthy process to change how tasks were approached.

Now, there is increased flexibility and the opportunity to utilize software to speed up your systems and make everything easier to handle.

This is why we’re presenting you with our concept of Agile ISO: how to combine structured compliance with the rapid process improvement of a startup.

In this Process Street article, we’ll cover:

  • What is ISO?
  • What is ISO 9000?
  • What is Agile ISO?
  • What is needed to support Agile ISO?
  • How to get started with Agile ISO in 5 easy steps

I’m going to try to be brief and clear while cutting the bullshit.

Continue Reading

The 7 Core Six Sigma Principles to Build Your Business Around

six sigma principles headerFinding ways to improve processes within your organization can be tough.

There always seems to be so many things to measure and so many variables to consider.

Where do you start? How do you determine what’s good? Who takes responsibility for improvement?

Fortunately, you don’t have to go in blind.

There are loads of approaches you can take to process improvement, but one of the key techniques used by some of the world’s top companies is Six Sigma.

The Six Sigma school of thought is all about finding the right focus and tightening up processes around that goal. The end result should be the reduction of defects from a process. This saves resources, time, effort, and most of all money!

In this Process Street article, we’re going to give you an intro into Six Sigma while linking off to resources for you to explore deeper.

We’ll investigate the key Six Sigma principles which can shape and direct process improvement in your business.

The core Six Sigma principles

The 7 key Six Sigma principles we’ll cover are:

  • Always focus on the customer
  • Understand how work really happens
  • Make your processes flow smoothly
  • Reduce waste and concentrate on value
  • Stop defects through removing variation
  • Get buy-in from the team through collaboration
  • Make your efforts systematic and scientific

You could categorize these as lean Six Sigma if you want to as well.

Given the evolving nature of the different schools of business process improvement, there will always likely be some disagreement over what the specific principles are.

For this reason, I feel it’s important to include the various competing principles even if some other lists might look at only 5 or 6 principles.

Continue Reading

DFSS: How Design For Six Sigma can Supercharge Your Business

dfss design for six sigmaAs we build businesses, we strive to make them successful in what they do and efficient in the way they carry that out.

Six Sigma is framework with dual American and Japanese origins which helps companies achieve both of these aims.

We want to take company processes and make them better, smoother, faster, easier – it’s what Process Street does. But having a complex process optimized to the highest degree, as Six Sigma advocates, is tough.

That’s why we’re going to look at Design for Six Sigma.

This will take the Six Sigma lessons and apply them to creating new processes or products. Importantly, it will help us set up these processes or products in a way which makes them ready from the start for further Six Sigma-inspired analysis.

According to Quality-One:

…[U]tilizing Design for Six Sigma methodologies, companies have reduced their time to market by 25 to 40 percent while providing a high quality product that meets the customer’s requirements.

In this article, we’ll look at:

  • What is Six Sigma?
  • What is Design for Six Sigma?
  • What is DMADV?
  • What is the difference between DMAIC and DFSS

We’ll run through the best practices of creating new products and processes in a way that they can be improved and optimized from the very beginning.

Don’t waste your time with poor processes. Start right and continue properly.

Read on to see how it works!

Continue Reading

Get a free Process Street account
and take control of your workflows today.

No Credit Card Required