Rating Quality System Foundations


Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Subject: Re: Reference to C+ /../Kozenko/El-Homsi/Kozenko
Date: Wed, 15 Sep 1999 13:40:02 -0600
From: ISO Standards Discussion <[email protected]>

From: [email protected]
Subject: Re: Reference to C+ /../Kozenko/El-Homsi/Kozenko

> I would like to know of any references that refer to the C+ rating. Our
> process includes many items not covered in ISO (e.g. Malcolm Baldrige type
> items such as continuous improvement, problem solving, business planning,
> effectiveness...) I find it interesting that the score of C+ corresponds
> well with the large number of suppliers that we assess that are ISO
> certified that score in the 70-80 range. I believe that review of any
> reference documents would be an interesting benchmark for our internal
> process, as well as possibly yielding some useful information in educating
> our management and "customer's"

I "grew up" in the quality days of MIL-Q-9858A, which is a general specification for a quality assurance/quality control system. I watched and learned as my superiors (good teachers -- all P.E.s employed by Parsons Brinckerhoff) reviewed, commented on, and gained responses to their comments in their reviews of QA/QC Quality Systems presented for approval under that specification. I watched and learned, too, as those quality systems failed at times, for various reasons. (And to keep a long story short...) Then I became charged with an ISO9000 Implementation task, and I was delighted with the challenge of discovering the existence of MIL-Q-9858A in my own organization, and the "gaps" between that and ISO9000, and Deming, Juran, Crosby, et als. For about a year and a half, I immersed myself in the world of quality systems and standards, to the point where I found myself talking way above the heads of those who were supposed to be listening to me (and that was my fault, in retrospect). But from all that absorption, I could draw my own "shoot from the hip" conclusion that the MBNQA with all its dynamic interactive relationships between requirements, was at least an A-, and MIL-Q-9858A which lacked some very important required elements that only make common sense (such as Document Control, the only one I can think of "off the top of my head") must therefore equate to a D+ if done very well, and a D- or less if not so. It stood to reason then, that even a mediocre implementation of ISO9001 should qualify as a C-, and because I have observed first hand a number of ISO9001 implementations and found none of them to be merely mediocre, then it stood to reason that ISO9001 should hold the minimum grade of C+ when first implemented, and further, that such "academic scale" grade would increase proportionate to the length of time an ISO9001 QMS was implemented, by virtue of the operation of continuous improvement (which is a "built in" characteristic of ISO9000). (btw exposure to QS9000 leads to a B+ in this same analogy).

So if you're looking for a quote from an ISO9000 textbook edited by Peach (whom I highly admire) then I can only disappoint you there. The C+ rating for ISO9000 QMS's is merely an "IMHO Kozenko," albeit accurate I'd bet.

Commentary invited.

David M. Kozenko
Elsmar Forum Sponsor
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