By Nadine A. Hunt
The Bureau of Information Resource Management’s (IRM) Business, Management, and Planning Directorate’s Strategic Planning Division (SPD) has achieved International Organization of Standardization (ISO) 9001:2015 certification. ISO is the world’s largest developer of voluntary international standards for most aspects of technology and manufacturing; an independent, non-governmental international organization with 167 national standard body members. SPD began their pursuit for certification in 2018, knowing it would be ambitious and resource intensive. With the support from their leadership in the Strategy, Planning, and Budget Office, the division recognized the importance of establishing a technology strategy that supports the seamless delivery of information technology (IT) services while managing activities to achieve the Department of State’s diplomatic mission. Using ISO principles and standards, SPD seeks to be the leader of IT strategic direction, compliance, and decision-making transformation for the effective, secure, and innovative use of IT in the Department.
To obtain ISO certification, SPD constructed a Quality Management System Plan (QMSP) that accounts for document control and records management, documenting processes, risk management, training, quality management reviews, customer feedback, and archiving documents. The goal of the QMSP is to improve customer satisfaction and operate more efficiently IRM-wide. ISO principles have made it easier to train new employees, detect problems quickly through standardized procedures, improve customer fulfillment, and ensure objectives are aligned with strategies to improve success of SPD goals. The certification promotes an open culture where employees participate in discussions and express opinions on work products and services. SPD is the first division in IRM to obtain ISO 9001:2015 certification and provides a roadmap for other offices seeking accreditation in the future.
Nadine A. Hunt is the division chief of the Strategic Planning Division in the Bureau of Information Resource Management.