Understand item 7.1.1 General of ISO 9001:2015 and learn how it can help improve your company’s processes.
ISO 9001 is the standard best known by companies looking for a guideline for structuring the Quality Management System (QMS).
This standard has several objectives, such as helping with a correction of procedures that are not efficient, planning and determining the resources of the companies that are for the maintenance of the processes, improving the maintenance system and, above all, increasing the management of the process.
To achieve these goals, before starting the process of executing its services or products, the company needs to analyze and verify if it has the resources to do so. As a basis of analysis, an organization can use the “7.1.1 General” requirement that is within item 7.1 Resources of ISO 9001:2015.
Before continuing the discussion, let’s see item 7.1.1 in full. This makes it easier to analyze it, understand its objective and how it can achieve more results for your organization!
What does the standard say in item 7.1.1 General?
Within ISO 9001:2015, there are several requirements that companies can use to guide themselves and thus build a good management process. Item 7.1 of the standard helps the analysis and planning of the resources needed to support the processes. These resources can be people, infrastructure, environment for the operation of processes and any other necessary.
Within item 7.1, we have the requirement “7.1.1 General”, which is the subject of our article today. This sub-item helps companies to understand, in a general way, what the organization may need to consider when analyzing and providing the necessary resources.
According to item 7.1.1 of the standard, organizations must first establish what will be needed for the processes. Next, you need to define the resources that the company already has. From this, it is possible to make a balance between what is needed and what is already available. This process helps you better understand how the company operates and what it needs to achieve.
In addition, it is not enough just to execute the processes, the company needs to have the resources to ensure continuous improvement. In both cases, it may be necessary to seek resources outside the organization, after all, not all resources will be available internally.
These resources can be competent people, their own skills, financial resources, various materials, infrastructure, knowledge, training and many others. Hence the need for a more in-depth and assertive analysis.
The sub-items of requirement 7.1.1 further explain how the company can analyze and, with that, define the resources that are needed. Let’s look at each of them:
a) The capabilities and constraints of existing internal resources
We can understand that capabilities suggest what companies already have. The organization can establish a kind of list to know which resources are already available and if they are suitable for achieving its objectives.
Here, it is necessary to understand whether your resource capacity (employees, materials, equipment, infrastructure, etc.) is sufficient to deliver the products or services as agreed with the customer (requirements).
On the other hand, internal restrictions correspond to the limitation of resources that the company has and that it will need to improve. That is, it corresponds to the resources that it will need to develop or acquire. In this item, we refer to internal resources, but here we already have a strong indication of what we will need to seek externally.
When we talk about skills, for example, it is perfectly possible to develop people internally to meet certain demands. Thus, it is up to the company to carry out the analysis and understand whether or not it needs to look for a collaborator in the external environment. Which brings us to the next topic.
b) What needs to be obtained from external providers.
After evaluating its available internal resources, it is necessary to understand what resources the organization will obtain externally through suppliers (in the standard: “external providers”).
As an example, we can define what types of materials will need to be purchased, what machines and equipment we will need to buy, whether we will outsource any company needs or what training needs to be given to employees, among other possibilities.
In short, this item tells us that we need to analyze our internal capacity and then decide what to look for in the external context of the company.
The importance of item “7.1.1 General” in the quality management system and processes
In absolutely every process (be it the operation or implementation of a management system) it is necessary to organize steps, evaluate objectives and understand what means will be necessary to achieve what we expect.
Item 7 of ISO 9001:2015, as a whole, presents us with all the aspects that will influence our processes. Here, we have an in-depth look at what we need to have available to organize, evaluate and understand our processes and companies.
Without the necessary resources, it is very complex to achieve the expected goals, if it is possible! Therefore, ISO 9001:2015 brings good practices and helps the company to determine everything that is necessary. Following these practices, we enable the creation and execution of processes that are more effective, fluid and adjusted to the reality of our companies!