A. Background & Definitions
This item refers to one of the Core Requirements (Core Requirement 2 - "Communication process must be in place") and is, therefore, considered as essential.
EQIPD Quality System (QS) can only be implemented in a specific research environment where roles and responsibilities of every team member are clearly defined and there is a clear plan for communication between team members.
Many good initiatives and project proposals are initially well received but later die because there is no follow up.
To avoid that, it is essential to:
define a research unit (lab, territory, organization or part thereof) where EQIPD QS will be applied in order to identify all colleagues who will need to be informed about the new process, colleagues who will need to be actively involved in working on the EQIPD QS implementation; set up a communication plan / schedule of working meetings; make sure that the communication plan supports two-way information flow (i.e. also to capture feedback related to performance of the existing and newly introduced practices).
B. Guidance & Expectations
As one of the first steps of implementing the EQIPD QS, research units set up a so called Communication Plan that has four main parts:
- description of a research unit (e.g. a lab, a group or a department which is supervised or managed by a Process Owner)
- identification of those within the research unit who will work together with the Process Owner to implement EQIPD QS and develop various elements that will belong to the QS
- description of all other stakeholders who may be informed about the progress with implementing and maintaining the EQIPD QS:
- within the research unit
- outside the research unit (e.g. colleagues in other research units, support functions, management, collaborators, authorities, public)
- description of how the communication will take place for each of the groups defined above:
- email, intranet, dedicated team meetings (e.g. for those members of the research uinit who are involved in implementiung the QS) and conventional team meetings (e.g. weekly lab meetings)
- intervals of communication and meetings (e.g. weekly, biweekly, per predefined milestones, etc.)
- communication sent by a Process Owner or someone else appointed by the Process Owner
It is also advised that, during the first meeting of the research unit when the intention to implement the EQIPD QS is introduced, the Process Owner discusses with the team relevance of quality for the mission of research unit and identifies what specifically is at stake if proper quality is not maintained. Results of this discussion may be summarized in a form a quality policy or a manifesto or any other form that can be stored and referred to (see section 1.1 Mission for guidance and example of template).
For a more detailed description of Roles and Responsibilites, please refer to section 1.5.2 Roles and responsibilities of involved personnel and organization of the Toolbox.
PLEASE DO NOT FORGET
To consider adding this subject to a training program for new employees or refresher training (if appropriate) To check whether there are feedback channels installed so that your colleagues can identify, record and report errors and critical incidents related to this subject (if appropriate)
- Template to create a communicate plan based on the above guidance - 1.2 Communication Plan.docx
- Responsibility Assignment Matrix (e.g. Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed) - Wikipedia
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