How does your organizational structure look like? Which functions or roles are active in the organization? Who is responsible for whom? Who is on top? Who wants to be on top?
THE ORGANIZATIONAL DIAGRAM The Organizational structure is the definition of hierarchy as well as the flowing of information in the organization. The structure defines who is subjected (hierarchal) to whom and who is supposed to report to whom. Defining the structure is one of the first steps in documenting your quality system. Thus, the structure must relate itself to the processes of the product realization. It is necessary for you to understand the working flow chart in the organization in order to describe the structure correctly. Then it would be much easier for you to carry out the required documentation by the ISO 9001:2008 standard. I drew here a general example of how organizational structure supposes to look (more or less):
Each one of you will make it own adaptation to his or hers organization. After describing and documenting the organizational structure we are going one step deeper and deriving the job descriptions.
Any person in the organization, who is related to the realization of the product, must have a job description (J.D.). Everybody is doing something related to the product. Whether if it is a production worker or the CEO. A job description specifies the daily tasks and objective of a role. The job description organizes the list of responsibilities and authorities for each role and instructs us of what its responsibility. For example, duties and tasks of a store man is or service agent. Important notice: the ISO 9001:2008 standard does not require documentation of the job description But I believe that this documentation is necessary in order to validate the job description on later stages when implementing the ISO 9001 with your QMS.
A documented J.D. should include:
- The title of the role or function. The actual name of the role. It is important to identify every role: Operational Manager, Administrative Secretary, purchase manger etc.
- Subjection. To which other role higher in the hierarchy, the function is subjected to. To whom must it report at the end of the day? Or in other words who can shout at him or her when he or she is making a mess and who is responsible for his or hers vacations.
- Specifications of responsibilities. The activities and tasks that combine the function's working day. What must he does every day: typing information to the computer, answering telephone calls, fixing malfunctions, surfing the internet etc.
- Specifications of authorities. The authorities are point along the processes where the function is authorized to make a decision: submitting price quotations, approving payments, approving credits etc.
- External qualification. The external qualifications required for the job: engineer, electronic technician, certified fireman, certified pilot etc.
- Internal qualification. The internal qualifications initiated by the organization required for the job: working procedure training, ERP system training, IT procedures, lunch break hours, organizational tour, leisure activities etc. The ISO 9001 standard handles this subject with much care under the requirements of chapter 6 –Management of Resources. I discuss it in the appropriate article regarding resource management.
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HOW DOES THE JOB DESCRIPTION RELATE TO THE ORGANIZATIONAL STRUTURE?
The answer is simple. In principle every role documented on the organizational structure is related to the realization of the product and thus must have a job description It is important to remember that all job description must correspond with the list of working procedures. That actually means that every working procedure in the organization must have a "Mama" or a "Papa" (it can have more than one). Every working procedure must be carried out and the outputs must be reported at the end of the day somehow by someone to someone. Once you get started I assure you that some functions would turn out to be more available then you thought…
When you start I recommend starting from the bottom to the top.
Here is an example for a documented job description for a sales man:
Subjected to -
External qualifications required -
- Academic degree in marketing
- Appropriate courses in sales
- Appropriate courses and qualifications in the field of the product
Internal qualifications required -
- Introduction Training about the basic working procedures
- A scheduled tour in the organization and its different departments
- A special training about finance procedures (in order for him to know how to fill the forms so that the finance department won't send it back to him…)
Specifications of responsibilities -
- Arriving every morning at 8:00 AM to the office
- Present the marketing manager with his unanswered price quotations
- Present the marketing manager with a list of potential customers
- Reviewing list of Sales leads
- Preparing and Performing meetings
- Making coffee for the marketing manager
Specifications of authorities (when and where he can make a decision) -
- Deliver price quotations
- Selecting sales regions
- Selecting color for his car
A documented job description can also be of assistance when recruiting a new employee but I will stop here because this is supposed to be a completely different science (HR). Of course the most typical and traditional way to document all this is on a designated form. It doesn't must be a paper. It may appear on any digital media as well. Today there is a variety of human resource management software. Naturally these systems apply all the specifications mentioned before but it is recommended to review and evaluate each one of them. Usually these systems also provide with the training specifications of the ISO 9001:2008 standard but this is a different session.
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- The organizational structure is a key point of documenting the quality management system and specifies what the functions in the organization are.
- From the organizational structure you derive the job descriptions. Each function must have a job description. It is highly recommended to document each description.
- The documentation should include six categories: Title, Subjection, External qualifications required, internal qualifications required, List of responsibilities and list of authorities.
- There are a few ways to document it all: Forms (paper or magnetic) or Software.