Uncovering Opportunities with a Risk-Based Mindset in Quality

Quality management is more than it appears to be. While many see it as being about meeting specifications and creating processes that don’t fail, it’s also about enhancing performance by helping people and machines work together more easily and efficiently. Sometimes this means putting controls in place to prevent losses and waste. At other times it means identifying opportunities for improvement and growth. Knowing how to act on those opportunities comes from managing risk.

Risk is not simply the potential for negative outcomes. It’s really the effect of uncertainty on outcomes. Organizations are exploring risk every time they engage with the idea of uncertainty or try to anticipate anything that could prevent them from achieving their objectives. When organizations make decisions that put them closer to their goals, they are successfully engaging with, and addressing, risk.

Risk therefore considers the uncertainty in both threats and opportunities. Risk-based thinking can be part of the organization at every level of operation to help prevent losses, capture opportunities, improve communication, and design better products, or it can be limited to the scope of individual departments or facilities. Systematic risk management involves setting policies, defining procedures, assigning responsibilities, conducting risk assessment, and continuously monitoring performance.

Organizations looking to learn about the value of risk-based thinking have plenty of guidance in the documentation for many quality management systems (QMS), including ISO 9001:2015 and the Baldrige Performance Excellence Process. But before you get that far, how can you establish a mindset for risk-based thinking? How can you prime your organization to learn to identify and manage risk? How can you use your existing QMS to get started?

In this new Intelex Insight Report, Nicole Radziwill, Quality Practice Lead at Intelex, will show you what you need to know to start developing risk-based thinking to produce benefits like:

  • Reducing frequency of losses
  • Improving response time to unexpected events
  • Enhancing organizational learning, and
  • Capturing new opportunities for growth and improvement.


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