The sweet smell of success – the recipe for great quality management?

Juggler chef play with some ingredients and kitchen tools.

I love to cook.

When I’m in the kitchen, I enjoy bringing all the different ingredients together to create something tasty, something special and something that everyone can enjoy.

Like most people, I am guilty of making far too much food at home so I often share the extras with my colleagues at lunchtime. And it’s a good job too…as my colleagues love my cooking!

But when the team devoured my latest creation, I started to wonder…

How could the concept of cooking be applied to the workplace? And, in particular, what would the recipe be for a great quality management system? What ingredients do we need?

The answer, is that our recipe here is actually very simple.

Food preparation is all about planning – and planning is the first step in implementing an effective quality management system. True, sometimes it takes a long time to plan, but in getting those initial ingredients just right, the finished product will be so effective.

Then there’s the cooking itself. All our ingredients that have been so carefully planned – are they cooked in the same pot? Or, in terms of quality management, a central QMS, with the intention of feeding the whole company; a company which is full of operational processes for quality. As the ingredients bond and interlink, you can happily revel in the rich, warm, effective scent as it does.

This recipe will create your ultimate favourite meal and, at times it may be daunting. But, similarly in cooking up an effective quality management system, the need for effectiveness and efficiency is vital.

And – ça va sans dire (it goes without saying) – a glass (or two!) of communication doesn’t do it any harm either!

Oh, and one final note: it is the bones of the quality management system that makes your efforts towards continuous improvement and operational excellence so sweet and so succulent.

That’s something you should never forget.

So what’s the list of ingredients to a delicious quality management system?

  • Full pack of Document Control that includes drafting, change requests, approval and distribution workflows. The document number and revision date should be included.
  • A set of Audit Planning and add some fresh Audit Confirmation and Performing.
  • And the most important ingredient here is the Corrective Action/Preventive Action (CA/PA) – you can have as much as you want, depending on your taste.
  • 1 big slice of Reporting & Analysis – you can chop it whichever way you prefer, either as a pie chart, or bar graph.
  • A pinch of Staff Training & Competence Management, resource management, supplier & customer relationship management.
  • For the sauce (optional): Incident Management & Reporting.

By putting everything together in one pot, all the flavours of the ingredients combine to give you the most comprehensive Quality Management System, which is quick and easy to manage…and what manager doesn’t want a full and healthy organisation?


Laura Gibbons is responsible for developing and managing the marketing strategy for Gael’s Middle East and Partner Program operations.


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