Generating ISO 9001 interest in management.


Hello all,

This is my first post here so excuse me if I am making a duplicate post, I couldn't find anything by searching.

At the end of last year, my company decided that ISO and IATF are necessary for us to acquire new customers in our exhaust business. I am a quality technician and was brought up into the project after my manager(who is no longer with the company thank goodness) decided he wasn't interested in pushing this project forward. I have no previous ISO or IATF knowledge and am learning day-by-day and reading ISO books for more info. My problem at the moment is upper management has little to no interest in getting involved in the process, and from what I've read the majority of the culture push and performance changes begin from upper management. I have been generating forms and procedures as I go, and when I try to bring production or engineering managers into the process, I get a lot of eye-rolls, crossing arms and sighs.

I feel like I'm going crazy. I have a monumental objective to complete but those with the power to help and push the project forward give little to no effort to cooperate and align our goals. What would you guys do in my situation? Bring it up to the CEO who brought up this task in the first place and then fell off the face of the earth on the project? It seems like there is a objective that the company agrees we need to complete, but getting those involved isn't a priority to any important employees of the company.

Thank you for your comments and guidance.


Sidney Vianna

Post Responsibly
It is hopeless. The scenario you describe makes it clear top management does not understand what modern quality is supposed to be. They are incompatible with distributed quality accountability and put you in charge of slapping procedures and documents together, thinking it is all it takes to achieve the certificates they seek for a marketing strategy.

You can't win this battle. Milk the position until you find another job in an organization with a culture that is worthy working for.

Good luck.


Involved In Discussions
The fact that your top management wants this purely to attract new customers is a big no-no and is the absolute wrong mentality. They're not interested improving quality, they're interested in the potential £/$ that comes with a pretty ISO/IATF Cert.

Your other comments further reinforce this. But yeah, go to the CEO if you want, he should be the one to make the dominoes fall in line, so to speak.


Quite Involved in Discussions
Unless the person at the top of the organisation is on board and happy to put their weight behind getting those below to support this change, you are on a road to nowhere.

I would personally have that conversation with whomever is in charge (I have done this in a previous company) and make it clear that you need their support to get this done. After that if things don't change, then do as Dazzur said and find a job elsewhere, because you'll be wasting your time there and the lack of progress will end up looking bad on you.


Trusted Information Resource
Yeah, it’s all management’s fault. They are easy to blame, so jump on the bandwagon.

But let me ask you this. If you’re not very familiar with the standards why are you generating forms and procedures? Why are you adding to people’s workloads? If you came to me and said “here we have to do this stuff“ I would push back as well. You see, if your company has been in business for any time at all, it is already doing 80%+ of what is required. Sure some things may need to be tweaked but you don’t need all these new forms and documents.

My suggestion is to start with ISO and table IATF — one at a time. Do a gap analysis. Go thru each clause and determine if you comply and how. Them go to management with the good news — 80% is already in place and a plan to get that last 20%. Then see their reaction.


Not out of the crisis
Super Moderator
That is a monumental task for one person, even in a small company.
But the silver lining is that you are gaining very valuable experience so don't give up.
I agree with Golfman - start with ISO9001...
I'd start with finding your allies... what manager(s) in the org actually support this effort. Work with them to get their departments processes documented to the standard. Then use those results to show senior management the benefit of standardized processes.
Then get them to spring for some training for you and/or bring in a consultant.

Managing up is an important skill for anyone who is bringing about change.

Ed Panek

QA RA Small Med Dev Company
Super Moderator
ISO Certification is a STRATEGIC business decision. Its up there with what products we are going to sell, how and who we will sell to and whats our value proposition? (Price or performance or speed)


Quite Involved in Discussions
Yeah, it’s all management’s fault. They are easy to blame, so jump on the bandwagon.

Who said it was all management's fault?

The point that was being made is that if they are no on board you are knackered from day one.

I agree that if you have the support of the higherups a gap analysis is probably the best place to start however I would disagree that if a company has been in business for some time 80% is already done, because from experience that is definitely not the case.


Super Moderator
Wasted effort, wasted time, wasted money. You can get online and probably buy certificates for a few bucks.

Even better, follow the link, decide what style you want, copy it, change some words around and print 'em out..........They'll have the same value as what your leadership apparently wants.



Involved In Discussions
I agree with the comments stating to start with ISO 9001 first. I also agree that if your company has been in business for awhile then there is most likely a system in place already. Now, you need to understand how the system that is currently in place compares to the requirements of ISO 9001, and as recommended by others, conducting a gap analysis is a good way of doing that. My recommendation on doing the gap analysis is do as much of it you can on your own, and then pull in Management/Process Owners as needed.

What I disagree with is the comments suggesting you should look for another job. The fact is people don't like change, especially if they don't understand the change. Many people don't understand the purpose of ISO 9001 or what is involved with the requirements. My experience is that if you learn as much as you can about ISO 9001, and then help Management/Process Owners learn about it, then they become more open to it.
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