From: ISO Standards Discussion
Date: Mon, 20 Mar 2000 08:08:24 -0600
Subject: Re: Q: Design: Widgit vs. Service /../Humphries/Naish/Humphries
From: Edwin Humphries
> From: PNaish
> I find it interesting that some people can see how the standard pertains to
> others but never to themselves. A shortsidedness that seems to prevail in
> some mind sets that force quality systems on their suppliers but can't
> manage them for their own business.
While sometimes I may disagree with you, I don't think I've ever been condescending. Let me assure you, my shortsidedness is entirely physical, and I have forced quality on nobody. Ever.
I have, in fact, struggled on behalf of my clients to make quality relevant, effective and simple, without being simplistic.
> As a service provider we do have design. We have some standard off the
> shelf designs that is standard training packages that we consistently
> review at least once a quarter to determine if they can be improved using
> feedback from our clients.
As a (hypothetical) manufacturer, I may also have a process, and this process must be designed. I do not, however, choose to gain ISO certification for the design of my process. I also have (regardless of my industry) a management system, which also must be designed; however, I do not choose to become certified to develop my own management system.
It is therefore not simply having a design component in what I do that determines whether I have ISO9001 or 9002 certification. Let's look at what ISO says about the applicability of 9001:
* "ISO9001-1994 should be selected and used when the need is to demonstrate the supplier's capability to control the processes for design as well as production of conforming product. ... ISO9001-1994: for use when conformance to specified requirements is to be assured by the supplier during design, development, production, installation, and servicing." (ISO9000.1)
* This International Standard specifies quality-system requirements for use where a supplier's capability to design and supply conforming product needs to be demonstrated. (ISO9001)
There are two issues clearly identified:
1. Is there a product? Products are defines as "commodities offered for sale; the amount of an artifact that has been produced by someone or some process." I don't consider what I, personally, offer as either a commodity or an artifact.
2. More importantly, is there is a need to demonstrate control over the design process? For most service companies, the clear answer is a resounding NO. The agonising is almost invariably internal to the organisation itself, and few clients are concerned. In fact, I would suggest that most clients, whether having a repair done on their car or seeking someone's assistance with a business plan, would consider there to be any design in the activity at all.
> Then we have custom services which are determined with our clients as to
> what they want and a time frame.
> We have found it very beneficial to maintain this system so that both we
> and are clients are happy when the project is over.
I'm happy for you, but are you sure you do all of the following:
* Design and development planning?
* Organizational and technical interfaces?
* Design input?
* Design output?
* Design review?
* Design verification?
* Design validation?
* Design changes?
Personally, I doubt it.
For most service companies, interpretation of ISO 9000 is quite a challenge, as it wasn't written with them in mind. Most of the people I hear suggesting that Design Control has strong relevance to a service industry are either consultants or certifiers/registrars. That would seem more than a little self serving.
Let's not make things even more difficult for service companies than they already are, by forcing most of them as a square peg into the round hole of Design Control.