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Digital quality management with Atlassian Confluence

ISO-compliant, sophisticated and lightweight procedure documentation with Confluence: This is how companies make processes transparent and traceable, relevant info easily accessible and employees part of the continuous optimisation.

Quality management systems have a bad reputation. They are perceived by many as unnecessary ballast of little relevance to practice. This is especially true if the documentation is still stored in the form of Word files in some opaque folder structure on the file server.

We prove to you that it can be done differently. Because if the documentation is easily accessible and can be changed, it helps very effectively to make the processes in your company transparent and to improve them continuously. Employees save time, prevent knowledge loss and make fewer mistakes.

You can find out exactly how this works in our live webinar recording on the topic of digitalising management systems according to the ISO standard. In it we help you to:

  • More impact and more agility

  • Less effort

  • Certification security

Practical examples will give you the best possible insight into how you can plan and set up a lean quality management system according to the ISO standard and easily integrate it into your workflow.

Procedural documentation that is really useful

Admittedly, the term "procedural documentation" seems unwieldy. But such an instrument has enormous potential: it can make the procedures in the company transparent and comprehensible for all employees. This is an indispensable prerequisite for effective and continuous improvement of the company's organisation.

Unfortunately, however, procedural documentation is still mostly created and maintained with the aim of achieving or maintaining certification. Consequently, documentation is not primarily created for the employees, but for the person conducting the audit. This leads to the creation of standard-focused documents that describe how the company meets the requirements of the standard. Employees who are not familiar with the structure of the standard usually cannot understand this view. The structure simply does not match their perception of the company organisation.

In addition, huge documents, a bulky document repository or an inadequate search often make it difficult to find the relevant information. It is simply not possible to "just look something up". And employees feel even less invited to participate in the documentation and improvement of "their" processes in such documentation deserts.

However, if the information is transferred to a wiki structure that maps the company-specific process structure and breaks down the processes into small units - or sub-procedures - employees immediately find it easier to find their way around. They have more direct access to the (partial) information of a process description that is relevant to them. The information becomes more manageable and the willingness to actively participate in updating the documentation increases dramatically.

The most important advantages at a glance

  • Employees can easily create new process descriptions and change existing ones.

  • A release workflow guarantees that only checked and valid pages are available in the system.

  • Templates and a defined filing structure help to ensure that all guidelines are uniformly documented and easy to find.

  • Documents do not have to be laboriously uploaded or downloaded; staff members work directly in the browser.

  • If required, the documentation can be exported as a Word or PDF file in the corporate design.

  • Staff members are automatically informed about changes.

  • An integrated role system regulates responsibilities; this increases accountability and reliability.

  • Process-supporting checklists and templates are also stored in Confluence and can be adapted just as easily.

ISO-compliant process documentation

For our own ISO 9001 certification, we have developed a solution with the help of Confluence that meets all the requirements for procedural documentation in the sense of the ISO 9001 standard.

  • Documents must be approved before they are published. This is ensured by the approval workflow.

  • Documents must be evaluated regularly and updated and re-approved as needed. This is controlled by a validity workflow.

  • Changes and the current processing status of documents must be clearly marked. This is done by means of versioning and a validity workflow.

  • Only the valid versions of documents are to be made available at the respective places of use. In the form of the digital resource, all employees can access the valid version directly from their workstations.

  • Documents must remain legible and easily recognisable. With fully digital provision, this requirement no longer poses a problem.

Many ISO requirements are standardised across standards. Therefore, Confluence-based procedural documentation can also be used for ISO 27001, for example.

Integrated management system

Increasingly, companies are opting for multiple certification, for example to ISO 9001 (quality management), ISO 27001 (information security management) and ISO 14001 (environmental management). The challenge here is that each of these standards requires procedural documentation, but many processes in the company directly affect several standards. With the help of an integrated management system, redundant documentation of processes can be avoided.

In an integrated management system, processes are consistently documented from the perspective of the company and the employees involved in the process. The requirements of all relevant standards are taken into account for each process. With the help of a linking system, the processes are linked to the relevant standard chapters in the process context. On the basis of these links, standards-specific "views" can be generated on the process documentation, with the help of which the responsible standards officers can monitor the coverage of the requirements.

Digital process control with Jira

In order to increase process effectiveness, digitisation and automation are the decisive levers: the ticket and workflow management system Jira can support this. Those processes that are run through particularly frequently and in a standardised manner and in which various people are involved are particularly well suited for digitisation via Jira.

  • Processes can be created directly from the process description in Jira.

  • Process descriptions can be called up from a Jira process in Confluence.

  • Statistics and status reports on Jira processes can be integrated into Confluence.

Your entry into a lean quality management system with Confluence

Whether you already have experience with Confluence and are interested in specific aspects of quality management or are just getting started with the topic of procedural documentation with Confluence: We would be happy to advise you!