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Thursday, March 2, 2017

Ready, Set, Transition Effective ISO 9001:2015 transitioning strategies

by Govind Ramu

My organization transitioned to ISO 9001:2015 early, and it wasn’t a spontaneous decision. It was based on carefully structured and planned program management.

Ten of our sites were registered to ISO 9001:2008 and seven had integrated three management systems (ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series 18001). Luckily, as a member of the U.S. Technical Advisory Group to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), I had an advantage from my participation in standards development going back to when these standards were in the committee draft stage.

My organization put together a transition team consisting of quality managers from several global sites and started discussing high-level changes from ISO 9001:2015 as part of the monthly global QMS meeting agenda, which kept the developments in the standard visible even before it was released.

As the standard evolved and reached the final draft stage, we continued our discussion specifically about the new requirements. The transition strategy illustrated in Figure 1 is a high-level summary of our program, which included three main areas—planning, communication and execution. A more comprehensive Gantt chart was developed to manage the overall global transition.

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