One important factor in quality management nowadays is risk management. Risk management has become a very HOT topic. In this modern world risk management has become an essential part of any quality management system.
What is Risk?
Risk is: to expose something and or someone to danger, harm or loss.
What is Risk Management?
Risk management has to do with identifying the potential risks that your organization is exposed to during all your processes. When you identify these risks, management has to take action to eliminate and / or mitigate them.
In the beginning corrections were made after the fact, when an error was already made. Organizations were busy correcting problems and or deviations when they occurred. So problems and or deviations were already “present”. After a while this changed, it went from correcting problems and/or deviations to preventing them. Organizations were busy investing more time, effort, and money in pro-actively eliminating possible problems and or deviations. This in turn had a positive result in the quality of the products and or services, and also a very big impact on continuous improvement.
Now that we are talking about risk management, we have to bring forward that a very crucial part of this is identifying the potential risks. This is the first step of the process.
This can be done thru a lot of methods. Just mentioning a few:
- Flow diagram
- Cause and effect diagram
- Brainstorming sessions
- Audit reports
- Failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA)
These methods are very useful in identifying potential risks.
But risk management is not only identifying potential risks, management also has to use the information to further improve the process.
There are different ways management can react to potential risks:
Some ways management can react:
- Avoid the risk (Eliminate the risk)
- Transfer the risk (shift the impact of the risk)
- Mitigate the risk (Reduce the chance or impact)
- Accept the risk (Accept the consequences)
Management has to decide which method they are going to implement. This can be done by analyzing the probability and the severity of the potential risks. These are two very important aspects of the identified risks.
Managing an organization making use of risk management, you not only improve the quality of your products and or services, but you can constantly keep improving your organization. “ Continuous Improvement”
Risk management or Risk-Based thinking is also present in the NEW ISO 9001:2015 standard. The new ISO 9001-2015 standard requires risk-management to be part of every quality process.
“It’s all about Quality”