Documentation Overview – General Overview

Organizations that are new to ISO and CMMI often believe that the process requires piles of paperwork and useless documentation describing processes the activities taking place.  The reality is organizations experienced in process improvement understand that the development, quantity, and management of documentation may make or break the success of the investment.  Ideal ISO documentation includes instruction, guidance and support without negatively impacting business operations, instills efficiency and knowledge management, and concentrates on the desired results of the organization. It is not uncommon for organizations to develop documentation to mirror ISO or CMMI requirements, however this practice makes adoption by the organization difficult and more importantly typically results in unnecessary paperwork that increases organizational costs and hinders adoption due to over complication instead of supporting objectives and creating employee buy-in.  The main focus for an organization should be to understand the relationship between current practices and the expected outcomes of the methodology being implemented.

The ISO documentation “pyramid” that is suggested in the 9001 standard is the best method for organizing information that will be used by employees for most organizations.

This simple concept can be applied as a benchmark for all ISO or CMMI implementations; the naming conventions and titles may be adapted to meet each organization’s goals and objectives, and then work can begin to meet the specific requirements.  An organization will need to make several decisions related to Best Practices documentation, examples include:

  • What should we name each level of CMMI or ISO documentation?
  • What format should each document be in?
  • Will we rely on visual representations of processes or context-based guidance?
  • What documents are needed to support conformance?
  • How do we incorporate practices that are performed in databases or company systems?
  • How will the CMMI or ISO documentation be managed?
  • How can we develop effective policies to provide guidance, incorporate strategic objectives, and organizational structure?
  • How do we integrate new documentation with our existing practices that have made us successful?

Successfully developing the appropriate level of documentation will help an organization realize more rapid success in the adoption of new practices, reduce costs typically associated with over documentation, and initiate focus on resolving recurring challenges that impact customer satisfaction, high quality production, and the ability to meet deadlines.

ITG understands that not every company will need full implementation support and guidance.  Based on our experience, we have developed a library of sample documentation that we are happy to share to help you create your plan for implementation and to determine the level of consulting support you will need.  A small snapshot of the available documentation includes:

ManualsPoliciesProceduresWork InstructionsFormsTraining
QualityInformation SecurityDocument/Record ControlInternal AuditsService Level AgreementsISO 9001 Overview
Service ManagementEmail UsageInternal AuditsManagement ReviewProject PlansConfiguration Management
Information SecurityAccess ControlCorrective and Preventive ActionsNew Hire InitiationChange ManagementCMMI Overview

Please contact us today if you want to request an example document that we can provide to support your implementation.