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Pitfalls of ISO 9001 - Paper for an operations management class

Marc

Captain Nice
Staff member
Admin
#1
> >From: "bill hudson"
> >Subject: Q: Pitfalls of ISO9000? /Hudson
>
> Hello my name is Bill Hudson and I am a student at Eastern Kentucky
> University.
>
> I am taking an operations management class and one of my assignments is to
> write a paper on the pitfalls of ISO 9000. After conducting an extensive
> search, I have come up blank. Can you help me to identify some of the
> pitfalls associated with being ISO cetified?
> I would greatly appreciate any help you could give me. I have heard from
> other people that if any one could help it would be this discusson list.
>
> Thank you very much,
> >Bill Hudson

From: Brian Magee
Subject: RE: Pitfalls of ISO9000? /Hudson/Hernandez/MaGee

One pitfall is documenting what you think you should be doing or would like to be doing, BUT are not actually doing. The results are often findings, because you are not following your documented process. My advice is to keep it simple.

Brian

> From: "Hernandez,Carlos"
> Subject: RE: Pitfalls of ISO9000? /Hudson/Hernandez
>
> Hello Bill,
>
> The pitfalls that come to mind: Development Costs, Implementation Costs,
> and Maintenance Costs.
>
> However, the pitfalls are balanced by the ability to conduct business with
> the customer that requires the ISO certification.
>
> Carlos
>
-----------------------

Subject: Re: Pitfalls of ISO9000? /Hudson/Pfrang
Date: Tue, 4 May 1999 12:57:12 -0600

From: Doug Pfrang
Subject: Re: Pitfalls of ISO9000? /Hudson/Pfrang

After reading what my colleagues have said about the pitfalls of ISO 9000, I will offer both a mainstream response and a non-mainstream response.

I. The mainstream response is that it is hard to add to what has already been said. In my experience, some of the biggest mistakes with ISO 9000 arise when upper management undertakes the effort:

(i) for the wrong reasons (e.g., a certificate to hang in the lobby, a logo to stamp on the letterhead, a miracle to solve other problems, etc.);

(ii) with the wrong expectations (e.g., it won't require employees to be trained, it won't require any resources to create and maintain, management doesn't need to be involved, etc.); and

(iii) with the wrong plan (e.g., we'll pay a consultant to write our procedures and then we'll be done, we'll continue to measure our performance solely in quarterly financial terms, we have to document everything down to the most minute detail, we'll treat it as an expense rather than as an investment, etc.).

The above mistakes lead to a poor implementation, which costs the company a lot more time and money than necessary, which undermines employee productivity and company performance -- exactly the opposite of what it should achieve.

II. The non-mainstream response is that it is utterly meaningless to discuss the "pitfalls" of ISO 9000, because ISO 9000 has no pitfalls. ISO 9000 is a tool -- it belongs in the same family as a chainsaw, an electric drill or a welding torch. Like any tool, if a company uses it correctly, the company can dramatically improve its performance and profitability; but if the company uses it incorrectly, the company will waste a lot of time and money. Thus, writing a paper about the "pitfalls" of ISO 9000 is as misguided as writing a paper about the "pitfalls" of using a chainsaw, an electric drill or a welding torch: the only "pitfall" lies not in the tool, but in the risk of someone using it incorrectly. And you will discover that it is into this latter category that all mainstream responses (including mine) belong.

Good luck with your assignment!

-- Doug Pfrang
 

Marc

Captain Nice
Staff member
Admin
#2
From: "Schoonover, John L." sylvania.com
Subject: RE: Pitfalls of ISO9000? /Hudson/Hubbard/Schoonover

Keep also in mind that some of the arguments proposed are truly bizarre. For example:

"Writing good documentation is hard work. So, once the procedures have been certified by the ISO auditor, it is easier to stick with the approved documents even if the procedures they govern turn out to be flawed. Probably the great majority of all ISO 9000 certified plants follow flawed procedures because living with defective processes is less work than fixing the processes and revising the ISO documents."

Now, would you truly believe that ISO 9000 ought to be blamed for a manufacturing organization so moronic that they continue to follow procedures they know to be bad because changing them involves rewriting documentation?
 
D

Don Winton

#3
ISO 9000 is a tool -- it belongs in the same family as a chainsaw, an electric drill or a welding torch.
Amen and well said!

Like any tool, if a company uses it correctly, the company can dramatically improve its performance and profitability; but if the company uses it incorrectly, the company will waste a lot of time and money.
Quality Systems-Model for Quality Assurance… (emphasis mine)

model (mòd´l) noun: A schematic description of a system, theory, or phenomenon that accounts for its known or inferred properties and may be used for further study of its characteristics: a model of generative grammar; a model of an atom; an economic model.

From the Introduction:

It is emphasized that the quality system requirements specified in this {the particular standard used} are complementary (not alternative) to the technical (product) specified requirements. They specify requirements which determine what elements quality systems have to encompass, but it is not the purpose of these {the particular standards used} to enforce uniformity of quality systems. They are generic and independent of any specific industry or economic sector. The design and implementation of a quality system will be influenced by the varying needs of an organization, its particular objectives, the products and services supplied and the processes and specific practices employed. (emphasis mine)

The above combined tell us one thing: ISO 900x is not a panacea for ills; it is the structure upon which the cure may be found.

…manufacturing organization so moronic that they continue to follow procedures they know to be bad because changing them involves rewriting documentation?
Is this really happening?

Regards,
Don

------------------
Just the ramblings of an Old Wizard Warrior.
 
J

Jetlag

#4
Marc said:
> >From: "bill hudson"
> >Subject: Q: Pitfalls of ISO9000? /Hudson
>
> Hello my name is Bill Hudson and I am a student at Eastern Kentucky
> University.
>
> I am taking an operations management class and one of my assignments is to
> write a paper on the pitfalls of ISO 9000. After conducting an extensive
> search, I have come up blank. Can you help me to identify some of the
> pitfalls associated with being ISO cetified?
> I would greatly appreciate any help you could give me. I have heard from
> other people that if any one could help it would be this discusson list.
>
> Thank you very much,
> >Bill Hudson

From: Brian Magee
Subject: RE: Pitfalls of ISO9000? /Hudson/Hernandez/MaGee

One pitfall is documenting what you think you should be doing or would like to be doing, BUT are not actually doing. The results are often findings, because you are not following your documented process. My advice is to keep it simple.

Brian

> From: "Hernandez,Carlos"
> Subject: RE: Pitfalls of ISO9000? /Hudson/Hernandez
>
> Hello Bill,
>
> The pitfalls that come to mind: Development Costs, Implementation Costs,
> and Maintenance Costs.
>
> However, the pitfalls are balanced by the ability to conduct business with
> the customer that requires the ISO certification.
>
> Carlos
>
-----------------------

Subject: Re: Pitfalls of ISO9000? /Hudson/Pfrang
Date: Tue, 4 May 1999 12:57:12 -0600

From: Doug Pfrang
Subject: Re: Pitfalls of ISO9000? /Hudson/Pfrang

After reading what my colleagues have said about the pitfalls of ISO 9000, I will offer both a mainstream response and a non-mainstream response.

I. The mainstream response is that it is hard to add to what has already been said. In my experience, some of the biggest mistakes with ISO 9000 arise when upper management undertakes the effort:

(i) for the wrong reasons (e.g., a certificate to hang in the lobby, a logo to stamp on the letterhead, a miracle to solve other problems, etc.);

(ii) with the wrong expectations (e.g., it won't require employees to be trained, it won't require any resources to create and maintain, management doesn't need to be involved, etc.); and

(iii) with the wrong plan (e.g., we'll pay a consultant to write our procedures and then we'll be done, we'll continue to measure our performance solely in quarterly financial terms, we have to document everything down to the most minute detail, we'll treat it as an expense rather than as an investment, etc.).

The above mistakes lead to a poor implementation, which costs the company a lot more time and money than necessary, which undermines employee productivity and company performance -- exactly the opposite of what it should achieve.

II. The non-mainstream response is that it is utterly meaningless to discuss the "pitfalls" of ISO 9000, because ISO 9000 has no pitfalls. ISO 9000 is a tool -- it belongs in the same family as a chainsaw, an electric drill or a welding torch. Like any tool, if a company uses it correctly, the company can dramatically improve its performance and profitability; but if the company uses it incorrectly, the company will waste a lot of time and money. Thus, writing a paper about the "pitfalls" of ISO 9000 is as misguided as writing a paper about the "pitfalls" of using a chainsaw, an electric drill or a welding torch: the only "pitfall" lies not in the tool, but in the risk of someone using it incorrectly. And you will discover that it is into this latter category that all mainstream responses (including mine) belong.

Good luck with your assignment!

-- Doug Pfrang


HAHAHAHAHA That's why insurance costs are out of control....misuse of the tool!!!
 
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