ISO 9000 Where to Start

Sidney Vianna

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Leader
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Why on earth would you NOT want everyone to be knowledgeable?
I also think that training the workforce in ISO 9001 is counterproductive and tends to backfire and I explained why in a few posts at the Why do so many ISO 9001 Implementation Programs Fail? thread. I also contend that ISO 9001 should be "invisible" to the workforce.

More than eleven years ago, I wrote the following: "...
Any organization has business process to operate. The key for effective and sustainable ISO 9001 implementation and certification is to make ISO 9001 INVISIBLE to most people working there. Comply with the standard(s) by embedding the applicable requirements into the business processes. That is the way to do it. Conformance with voluntary standards should be similar with compliance with legal requirements: it should happen as a natural deployment of a process that was designed to comply with the law. The operator on the shop floor should not be required to know the law(s) (such as FDA, EPA, OSHA, etc.). S/he should simply be required to follow the established process.

So, why don’t more organizations experience this epiphany? Unfortunately, in many cases ISO 9001 implementation and certification is misperceived by top management, as something that the quality folks can do in isolation and “in absentia” of the rest of the organization. And, in many cases, the quality professionals “tasked” with ISO 9001 implementation and certification are not proficient either in “business-process-language”.

So, in summary, I contend that if you want to have an effective ISO 9001 conforming QMS, make ISO 9001 invisible to most of the workforce. A few people should be aware of the requirements, in order to ensure that the business processes comply with the standard, but most of the workforce should not have to be exposed to ISO 9001, just like most people in a company are not trained in regulatory and statutory legal requirements which must be adhered, by the organization. ..."
 

Big Jim

Admin
I also think that training the workforce in ISO 9001 is counterproductive and tends to backfire and I explained why in a few posts at the Why do so many ISO 9001 Implementation Programs Fail? thread. I also contend that ISO 9001 should be "invisible" to the workforce.

More than eleven years ago, I wrote the following: "...
Any organization has business process to operate. The key for effective and sustainable ISO 9001 implementation and certification is to make ISO 9001 INVISIBLE to most people working there. Comply with the standard(s) by embedding the applicable requirements into the business processes. That is the way to do it. Conformance with voluntary standards should be similar with compliance with legal requirements: it should happen as a natural deployment of a process that was designed to comply with the law. The operator on the shop floor should not be required to know the law(s) (such as FDA, EPA, OSHA, etc.). S/he should simply be required to follow the established process.

So, why don’t more organizations experience this epiphany? Unfortunately, in many cases ISO 9001 implementation and certification is misperceived by top management, as something that the quality folks can do in isolation and “in absentia” of the rest of the organization. And, in many cases, the quality professionals “tasked” with ISO 9001 implementation and certification are not proficient either in “business-process-language”.

So, in summary, I contend that if you want to have an effective ISO 9001 conforming QMS, make ISO 9001 invisible to most of the workforce. A few people should be aware of the requirements, in order to ensure that the business processes comply with the standard, but most of the workforce should not have to be exposed to ISO 9001, just like most people in a company are not trained in regulatory and statutory legal requirements which must be adhered, by the organization. ..."

First of all, it is critical that individual employees be aware of their responsibilities and how they relate to the quality management system. It is especially important that they can explain what they are doing to support the quality management system.

As to if all need to be experts or not, I'll leave that for a different discussion.

One of the biggest downfalls in western management style was the overwhelming top down heavy handed management styles where employees were not allowed to think for themselves and all decisions needed to come from above.

Some of us in the west knew better, but were ignored, so they went to Japan and taught them about participative management and the Japanese has become dominate in the auto industry because of it.

Participative management is so much more effective than top down. Military wise, we saw it with the German Military where they were slow to respond to changes because of waiting to top down commands. We are watching it in Ukraine now where the Russian Military has all Generals and no Sergeants.

If the general work force is more aware of the company's goals and objectives they are more likely to help them get there.

Just how much they need to know is debatable, but total ignorance is folly.
 

Sidney Vianna

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Leader
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but total ignorance is folly.
Ignorance of what? By whom? The idea that the workforce has to know ISO 9001 is the genesis of the dreaded misconceptions of ISO manuals, ISO procedures, ISO this and ISO that....which just promotes the misunderstanding that an organization does things because "ISO says so". Should the whole workforce be trained in all the regulations an organization has to comply with? In my mind, that would be ludicrous. It is incumbent on to the leadership of an organization to ensure their governing model and business processes ensures compliance with all relevant requirements.

In my experience, the promotion of "ISO 9001 for the masses" happens because consultants monetize such training, and, in the overwhelming majority of cases is a waste of money, time and effort.
 

Big Jim

Admin
Ignorance of what? By whom? The idea that the workforce has to know ISO 9001 is the genesis of the dreaded misconceptions of ISO manuals, ISO procedures, ISO this and ISO that....which just promotes the misunderstanding that an organization does things because "ISO says so". Should the whole workforce be trained in all the regulations an organization has to comply with? In my mind, that would be ludicrous. It is incumbent on to the leadership of an organization to ensure their governing model and business processes ensures compliance with all relevant requirements.

In my experience, the promotion of "ISO 9001 for the masses" happens because consultants monetize such training, and, in the overwhelming majority of cases is a waste of money, time and effort.

I think we both can agree that everyone needs to know something about the standard as the standard says so. As to how much each individual needs to know is open for debate and is more of a management style decision than anything else.

You seem to have missed "total" in my comment.

On the opposite side of the scale I have audited many companies where the only one who understands the standard is the consultant. Certain consultants seem to like it that way so they tie the client to them.

What works is somewhere in between, and just where between is a should be a top management decision based on an understanding of what the standard requires and how much they determine they want to have participative management.

You are welcome to your opinion, but my education and experience leads me towards a preference in participative management.
 

Jansen L

Starting to get Involved
You might start with 7.3 Awareness. Or maybe you have a different definition of awareness.
Awareness of the procedures and work instructions that relate to their position/department is a no brainer. But why do they need to be aware of the standards requirements that are behind the procedure or work instruction. To require knowledge of requirements that are inapplicable to them seems to be a waste of time, energy, and finances. If they are interested in it, then by all means let me them pour over the standard.
 

Funboi

On Holiday
What’s being suggested here is the (bizarre) equivalent of the dwellers in a house being aware of the architect’s rules and regulation employed when drawing up the construction plans.
 
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