A system is a set of interacting or interdependent components forming an integrated whole or a set of elements (often called 'components') and relationships which are different from relationships of the set or its elements to other elements or sets.
In the quality management context, the term 'system' refers to a set of interconnected components, processes, and resources that work together to achieve specific objectives and deliver desired outcomes. It provides a structured approach to managing quality within an organization and ensures that quality standards are met consistently. A quality management system (QMS) encompasses various elements such as policies, procedures, documentation, and tools that support the organization's commitment to quality. Here are some examples that illustrate the concept of 'system' in the quality management context:
1. ISO 9001 Quality Management System: ISO 9001 is an internationally recognized standard for quality management systems. It provides a framework that organizations can follow to implement an effective QMS. The ISO 9001 system includes requirements for documentation, process control, risk management, customer satisfaction, and continuous improvement.
2. Document Control System: A document control system is an integral part of a QMS. It ensures that documents such as procedures, work instructions, and specifications are properly managed, controlled, and maintained. This system includes processes for document creation, review, approval, distribution, and revision control.
3. Nonconformance Management System: A nonconformance management system is designed to identify, document, and address nonconformities or deviations from established quality standards. It involves processes for capturing nonconformances, investigating root causes, implementing corrective actions, and verifying their effectiveness.
4. Supplier Management System: Organizations often have systems in place to manage their relationships with suppliers. This includes processes for evaluating and selecting suppliers, monitoring their performance, conducting audits, and ensuring that they meet quality requirements. Supplier management systems help ensure that the organization receives quality products and services from its suppliers.
5. Training and Competence Management System: To maintain quality, organizations need to ensure that their employees are competent and properly trained. A training and competence management system provides processes for identifying training needs, developing training programs, tracking employee competencies, and evaluating training effectiveness. It helps ensure that employees have the necessary knowledge and skills to perform their tasks effectively.
Some similar things in the quality management context include:
- Risk Management System: A risk management system is designed to identify, assess, and mitigate risks that may impact quality. It involves processes for risk identification, analysis, evaluation, and the implementation of appropriate risk controls.
- Change Management System: Change is inevitable in any organization, and a change management system helps manage and control changes that could affect quality. It includes processes for reviewing and approving changes, assessing their impact, communicating changes to stakeholders, and ensuring that they are implemented smoothly.
- Continuous Improvement System: Continuous improvement is a fundamental principle of quality management. Organizations implement systems that foster a culture of continuous improvement, such as the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle. These systems involve processes for identifying improvement opportunities, implementing changes, monitoring results, and driving ongoing improvement efforts.
- Measurement and Analysis System: Quality management relies on accurate measurement and analysis of data to monitor performance and identify areas for improvement. Organizations implement systems that include processes for data collection, analysis, interpretation, and reporting. These systems support evidence-based decision-making and enable the organization to track its progress towards quality objectives.