Messy Bed, Ipso Facto, Messy Head

By Jason Quick

We’ve all heard the term ‘ipso facto’, which is used to say that it is reasonable to state or believe something based on facts that are already known.

The same phrase can also be applied to quality process and outcomes. By the mere fact that things are not in order, it’s reasonable to assume that there could be a breakdown ‘somewhere’ in your quality system as well. I emphasise the term ‘somewhere’, because the breakdown could be in the form of quality resourcing or workforce planning, training and education, accountability and governance, infrastructure and working tools, or all of the above. In any case, the point being emphasised is that there are associations between having one’s processes in order, and quality outcomes.

Be mindful of this. Even if your outcomes uphold or exceed standards, if your processes are messy, auditors will go digging based on the fact that your actual outcomes ‘do not appear’ commensurate with your ability to achieve and demonstrate said outcomes.

That is why, when presenting quality outcomes to peak bodies and regulatory authorities, it becomes imperative that data are organised beyond the excel spreadsheet – prepared and presented in a manner that is in line with ‘keeping it simple’, and straight to the point. While spreadsheets are effective, they have their limitations in the quality realm. The expectations occurring in the quality space now extend to include elements such as self-reporting, risk profiling with assessments and evidence, real-time dashboarding and benchmarking… the list goes on. Having internal capability to do this could go a long way to demonstrating sound quality process.