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Understanding ISO 9001:2015

7.4  Communications  

No organization can operate without communications. Communications is like the nerve system of the human body. It reaches into every nook and cranny of an organization. Communications is a people thing. They communicate at just about every level of an organization. While computers and other electronic devices can communicate information a lot faster and accurately than people, it is people that determine what is transmitted, to whom, why and how it gets interpreted and used. The above are important attributes of communication. 

Communication Risks 

While communications is essential, it is a complex and difficult activity. Problems may arise due to: 

·    Incomplete, ambiguous or inaccurate information being transmitted;  

·    Transmission to the wrong person, too late or at the wrong time;  

·    Lost messages & information;  

·    Automated communication systems providing too many layers and choices in accessing information; 

·    Use of inappropriate or unreliable media;  

·    Total failure to communicate;  

·    Meaning lost in translation 

·   Be subject to security leaks, breaches and hacking 

·   Be exposed to legal issues 

·   Be politically incorrect, unethical, immoral or profane 

Communication problems are probably the most common root cause of QMS nonconformities.  Tracking some of the more serious communication issues could serve as useful performance indicators to determine and improve communication process effectiveness.  

This article is an extract from my eCourse “Understanding ISO 9001:2015”. The rest of the article on this clause discusses in detail these communication riwks and what controls to implement in order to address the requirements  of clause 7.4.  

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