Friday, September 11, 2015

Organizational knowledge and ISO 9001:2015

One of the more unusual new requirements in ISO 9001:2015 is the one for organizational knowledge. It basically says that your company will determine the knowledge necessary for running its processes and producing conforming products. Could you even be in business and NOT have this sort of knowledge? No. So, at first blush this seems like one of those meaningless requirements that companies and auditors just gloss over. The notes at the bottom of that section (7.1.6) provide valuable context, though. The notes state that knowledge is gained through experience, and they go on to give some examples of how knowledge is obtained: lessons learned, failures, successes, sharing of knowledge, improvements. Now you start to get the picture. This so-called organizational knowledge is always a work-in-progress. You’re continually building it on a day to day basis, as you hit home runs….and strike out with the bases full. ISO 9001:2015 also says that this knowledge will be maintained. That means kept up to date and made accessible. Far from a meaningless requirement, you now see an important process for continual improvement.

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