How to Create a Digital Quality Assurance Program in 5 Steps

August 20, 2019 in Safety and Inspections



How to Create a Digital Quality Assurance Program in 5 Steps

Maintaining quality is essential for your organization. A quality assurance and maintenance program ensures the reliability of plans and procedures. It helps you maintain quality in your products and overall organization.

A digital quality assurance program lets you monitor quality seamlessly without having the need to do anything manually. It connects your employees, customers, and departments. I’m sure you know all the perks of having a digital quality assurance program for your business. The challenging part is creating a customized digital QA program for your business.

If you’re struggling to create a digital quality assurance program or if you’re planning to create one, this article is for you. It covers the steps that will make your job easier.

Step #1: Define Goals and Standards

If you’re shifting to a digital quality assurance program, you should have your goals and standards defined already. If it’s your first time, you need to start off with two things:

  1. Define clear goals for focusing on what you want to achieve with the program.
  2. Set criterion to meet these goals.

For instance, if you’re defining QA goals for your maintenance department, you can set goal in terms of minimizing unscheduled downtime. Let’s assume, you want to have no more than a single unscheduled downtime per year.

When setting goals, consider local laws and regulations. You have to maintain minimum quality for products, employee safety and health, etc. as per state laws. This is one area where your quality assurance program will help you. Meeting government laws gets easier with a robust quality assurance program with clearly defined goals.

You need to create separate goals for eachdepartment and work activity in your organization. For instance, you can create QA goals for marketing, customer services, product, production line, employee safety, etc. Once the goals are set, you need to create standards for each work activity. Standards help you monitor if things are moving in the right direction.

Step #2: Set Procedures

You can’t improve quality in the absence of set procedures (aka SOPs). Setting procedures is an important step in the development of a digital quality assurance program.

Set procedures and policies for all the departments and tasks will define how things are to be done. This is something that can be easily done with the help of a tool like MaintainX. You can create and manage SOPs digitally using MaintainX which means it gets easier for your workforce to access and follow procedures even when they’re in the field.

Well-defined procedures and policies are
essential for the development of a robust quality assurance program. But what’s more important than having procedures defined is their accessibility. Can your employees access SOPs as per need?

If they can’t access SOPs via phone or when they’re out in the field, they won’t be able to follow them. And if they can’t access and follow procedures, what’s the point of having them.

This is why digital SOPs make more sense.

Step #3: Communicate and Train

Statistics show that as much as 50% of organizations consider their technician’s soft skills training as either first or second priority. Yes, training is essential, be it soft or hard skills.

Not all procedures and policies are easy-to-understand. You have to not only communicate standard procedures to your workforce but you have to train them as well.

Procedures and policies are to be communicated and shared with the employees. Again, digital SOPs are easier to share and communicate as compared to traditional ones. With MaintainX,
for instance, you have to create SOPs just once and these will be instantly accessible by your entire team. Any edits will apply instantly.

Even if you use a tool for the creation and management of procedures and policies, it is essential to communicate them. If you don’t, your employees might find them after a few good days – and some might skip them altogether. So communicating procedures is essential especially if you’re creating a quality assurance program for the first time. Moreover, you should conduct formal training sessions to ensure your employees know the ins and outs.

You should start off by training your management staff. Show new procedures and policies to managers so they know what changes you have made and how they should respond. Being timely when informing your managers about the change will ensure they know how to get work done and achieve targets after implementation of the QA procedures and policies.

In the second phase, share changes in procedures with your employees. Conduct formal training sessions and let your workforce know everything about the procedures, changes you have made to the existing SOPs, and provide them with necessary training so they can follow new procedures.

Step #4: Implement

The quality assurance program with all its procedures and policies should be implemented formally after communicating it and training your employees. Once everyone knows everything about the quality assurance program and how it affects them, implement it.

Implementing a digital quality assurance program is easier as you can send reminders and notifications to your employees digitally. The QA program you’re using will send reminders to your employees
automatically.

Sending multiple reminders prior to the implementation of the new or revised QA program will ensure that everyone is all set and prepared to follow the new procedures.

Once the program is implemented, carefully monitor if employees are following the new procedures. The managers need to monitor their subordinates, help them, and ensure they’re doing what they’re
supposed to do.

Your employees might have issues following the QA program right away, you should be prepared to give them time. Constant communication is key here. Keep reminding them through your software about the quality assurance program.

Step #5: Monitor and Tweak

After you have successfully implemented your digital quality assurance program, you need to start monitoring it right from day one. Quality assurance is a continuous process and it needs to be
monitored all the time.

Monitoring is the job of the management and quality assurance team. Your team needs to ensure things are moving as expected.

The purpose of monitoring is to find issues and improve overall quality across all the departments. Feedback is an important component of the monitoring process. Get feedback from managers and
employees about the QA program. Ask them if it helped them and how it can be improved.

Based on review and feedback, change your policies and procedures. The best QA programs are the ones that are updated regularly. The more you improve it based on feedback, the better because revisions and updates ensure you’re processes scale with new obstacles.

It’s Time to Get Started

A digital quality assurance program saves you time, resources, and is easier to administer. It is semi-automated in nature and is indeed helpful in improving quality.

Before you get started, you need to choose a reliable tool that will help you create, manage, share, and tweak your quality assurance program and its procedures MaintainX is your best bet if you need a powerful multi-purpose tool to create and manage SOPs, it integrated with other tools, and lets you and your team access work orders from any device.

Create and implement your digital QA program and start monitoring it. A QA program that’s working perfectly today might not deliver the same results after a few months provided it’s not monitored and improved with feedback. Always focusing on how to incorporate new challenges into your quality assurance program is the first step towards better quality.

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