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As a software trainer, I spend a lot of time talking with customers about what’s gone right, what’s gone wrong, and everything in between. I have the opportunity to connect customers with each other. I always try to share the lessons I’ve heard, and that helps customers avoid the pitfalls that others have struggled through.

So, without further ado, here is part one of a three part post about things you’ll want to think about if you’re considering a QMS. This particular case study that I’m going to walk you through is based on a conversation I had with Jim Todaro. Jim is a customer of ours and the QA Manager at Alpha Analytical, Inc. (A very cool company, by the way!) Here are his first two tips for you:

1. Select a team of qualified participants to guide the selection and implementation process. Ideally, this core team includes senior managers from Quality Assurance, IT, and other associated departments. This group leads the requirements gathering, vendor selection, and implementation (including training). To be successful, “involve the key people up front,” says Todaro.

2. Visit an existing site for an in-person demo of the QMS. Contact the QMS vendor directly to ask about visiting a location near you. Seeing a system in a real-life environment helped Todaro and his team determine exactly what they were looking for. As a software trainer, I cannot recommend this highly enough. There is something that really helps you imagine the different ways you should (and shouldn’t) use a system. You can learn a lot from seeing what others are doing. Don’t just take your QMS provider’s word for it. See the system in its real-world environment!

To keep from overloading you all at once, I’m going to take a short break here. Check back for my next two posts about key considerations when you’re selecting a QMS.

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