What Next For ISO 9001?

S

Simon Timperley

#1
Hello Guys & Gals,

I attended the Open Space gathering last week along with about 60 of my fellow Quality Professionals who were from a diverse range of manufacturing, service and public sector organisations. I must say it was a really excellent day, the venue (Orange Studio, Birmingham, UK) is superb, the people were great, the food was magnificent and the Open Space format was tremendous - so not bad all in all!

The topic for the day was

How can we get more value from ISO 9000?

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the 'open space' format there is no agenda and no formal presentations - it's basically a free for all but with structure.

I was asked to think about ISO 9000 prior to the day, which I duly did on the train journey down (motion is supposed to be good for creativity - I learned this at OS).

I started to think about the behemoth that is ISO 9000…

ISO 9000 is truly an international standard costing billions of pounds to industry and supporting the consultancy, training and certification industries worldwide. The aim of the standard is to help organisations to improve and hopefully to generate increased market share, revenue profit etc. - but in reality does it? Has it now not just become a necessary but expensive overhead that buyers and contract awardees blindly require of their suppliers?

Rightly or wrongly in the early days of BS 5750 or ISO 9000 organisations holding the badge were held in high esteem and they differentiated themselves - nowadays it's so what!

It was in this context that I had the idea. What if we took the best bits of the EFQM Business Excellence Model or Baldridge i.e. the scoring system and applied it to ISO 9000?

I believe if you could take the ISO 9004 document and develop an intelligent scoring system for every **** clause it contains then you would have a superb continual improvement tool. You could still have the mandatory requirements (ISO 9001) that all organisations would have to achieve a pass mark in, but for the more proactive organisations they would be able to eat away at all the best practice contained within ISO 9004. And they would be able to show it! Whereas now Backstreet Bob and Worldclass Willy are ISO 9000 Registered with a scoring system you could differentiate and say I'm ISO 9000 (127pts) or alternatively ISO 9000 (976pts) or somewhere in between.

What an incentive for improvement…there's no doubt it would generate senior management buy in and through a central database you could benchmark organisations internationally - Wow!

Why not just use the EFQM Excellence Model or Baldridge I hear you ask? Well ISO 9000 (bless it's cotton socks) is International and is the perfect vehicle to deliver it.

I ended up doing an ad hoc presentation on the above to 4 people at OS and they all agreed that the idea was sound. The question from everyone was how can this and the other ideas that were generated on the day be taken forward to the people that matter.

Well a letter signed by all attendees will be winging its way to ISO TC/176TS (the people that wrote the standard) shortly and some of us will also be having a go at developing a scoring system for ISO 9004.

Do you think it's a good idea in principal? Or is it a sack of cack?

Simon
 
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J
#2
Who does the scoring????

It is a fine idea in theory and I wish you all the best of luck carrying it forward.

My first concern would be who is doing the scoring and what would be the guidelines. One of the issues that has been addressed time and again on these boards is the wide variation in auditors and audit organizations. What would differentiate your scoring method and make it truly meaningful.

My take is that we already have measures that we are generating.
Percent dollars returned.
On time delivery.
Rate of employee turnover (speaks to training and culture)
Customer complaints
Mean time between failures
Overall Scrap rates (pcs or dollars)

If these could be run through some system that would make them a score without revealing corporate information, I think this would be better than some ISO scoring system.

ISO has to keep things generic both to accomodate all businesses, and to not stifle creativity. I am afraid a scoring system would wind up being so broad as to become too subjective and therefore meaningless.

my 2 cents

James
 

Mike S.

Happy to be Alive
Trusted Information Resource
#3
Nice to hear from you again, Simon! :bigwave:

While certain parts of your idea are interesting to me, I think you still have some basic problems: As mentioned, the variation in registrar auditors will mean any score given could be higher or lower depending on the auditor's skill, qualifications, opinions, interpretations, bias, etc. Also, the score is based on a single point in time and could vary considerably within the time between audits. And you probably add cost and time to the audit process (which only registrars would probably like).

Personally, I wish 3rd party auditing would be cut way back and more firms were able to implement ISO without needing a 3rd party cert to satisfy someone external to the company. But any company wanting to go "to the next level" could choose to implement and comply with 9004.
 
M

M Greenaway

#4
Blimey, I think I might agree with Mike S.

Its the certification itself that has corrupted the ISO9001 value, scoring would cause further confusion and mistrust IMHO.

What about if the award of ISO9001 certification was given based on an independant survey of your top ten (by sales) customers.

The LRQA's, BSi's, etc of this world would have to visit your top ten customers and actually ask them what they think of you, and if they think you deserve such an award.

Now that is a good un, again IMHO.
 

Peter Fraser

Trusted Information Resource
#5
Simon Timperley said:
It was in this context that I had the idea. What if we took the best bits of the EFQM Business Excellence Model or Baldridge i.e. the scoring system and applied it to ISO 9000?
Simon

I would have been there, but I decided to take my wife to Menorca instead - did I make the right decision?

How about approaching it from the point of view that EFQM IS business process management (if the concept is understood and applied properly) and ISO9001:2000 is a (not very good?) attempt at imposing the same [PM = set objectives, define realistic measures of sucess, specify how you will achieve the objectives, identify and arrange for the resources required, and manage the factors which may affect operations].

So you need to decide what you must do to manage your processes, and how to rate the factors involved. This can be extended beyond "quality", and can be self-assessed. And it can be written in terms any manager can understand easily!
 
S

Simon Timperley

#6
Hello again,

It's good to get some negative comments - I knew I could rely on you guys to bring the idea back down to earth. It's only a seed and nobody said it was simple.

JRKH
"My first concern would be who is doing the scoring and what would be the guidelines. One of the issues that has been addressed time and again on these boards is the wide variation in auditors and audit organizations. What would differentiate your scoring method and make it truly meaningful."

Err I don't know exactly, we did have the same thoughts on consistency - but what we've got now is a discredited standard of the lowest common denominator. Why not have a discredited standard of the highest common denominator? I think it would probably be a combination of self assessment and the Certification Body / Registrar assessment but only Accredited ones of course to try to wheedle out the 'over subjectivity'. I don't concur with the point on it stifling creativity; I believe it would enhance it.

Mike S
"Nice to hear from you again, Simon!"

And you Mike - it's a bit scary in here isn't it.

Mike S
"the variation in registrar auditors will mean any score given could be higher or lower depending on the auditor's skill, qualifications, opinions, interpretations, bias, etc."

Agreed as above.

Mike S
"Also, the score is based on a single point in time and could vary considerably within the time between audits. And you probably add cost and time to the audit process (which only registrars would probably like)."

But what do we have now? Everyone puts on clean underwear for the big day - It could only ever be a snapshot but you would be able to see an improvement trend over time (where there was one) and a company that had improvement at its core would be visible.

Mike S
"Personally, I wish 3rd party auditing would be cut way back and more firms were able to implement ISO without needing a 3rd party cert to satisfy someone external to the company.

It’s not going to happen though and companies who really mean it should have the ability to differentiate themselves and quite rightly show off. It might even force the laggards to improve or drop off.

M Greenaway
"What about if the award of ISO9001 certification was given based on an independant survey of your top ten (by sales) customers."

I like it - it is even more cuckoo than my idea. No far to expensive.


Peter Fraser
"I would have been there, but I decided to take my wife to Menorca instead - did I make the right decision?"

Possibly but I've never met your wife. I do like what you say though.

I know the idea seems a bit fanciful and there are a lot of barriers / concerns but try to think of the benefits for a while and maybe with intelligence and strength the hurdles may just be getoverable. Although in reality I probably know it will never happen - it won't stop us giving it a whirl though.

Regards,
Simon
 
G

Greg B

#7
Simon,

What does my company get from it?? How can we guarantee that our ISO9K2K competitor/s haven't got a higher score due to their geographic location (South of Russia and West of Japan :lick: ) or Registrars/Scorers interpretation of the Scoring system???? Would their inflated score be a BIG incentive for customers to buy their product over ours?? Like 9K2K and all before we can be a certified company and still make rubbish but it will be certified rubbish....does the new scoring system improve on the rubbish?? Does it follow the product to the customer and get scores from them?? I've always been sceptical of scoring systems within Quality because, like safety, they usually track Losses and Negatives and the stats can and are manipulated to suit the reader. (I know I'm a Cynic). I think the system is convoluted enough without worrying about another tier of auditing (and it would need to be audited - you could not trust individuals to score their own system if sales were the end result.)
I'd like to see a rationalisation of the standard into layman terms. I'd get rid of many of the clauses but that is another thread. This is JMHO and you have to remember that it is 08:26 and I have been at work for 1.5 hours and wish I was at the beach.

Greg B
 

Peter Fraser

Trusted Information Resource
#8
Greg B said:
Simon,

I'd like to see a rationalisation of the standard into layman terms. I'd get rid of many of the clauses but that is another thread.
Greg B
What a good idea! When are you starting this other thread? Let me know and I'll be there.
 

Wes Bucey

Quite Involved in Discussions
#9
Greg B said:
Simon,

What does my company get from it?? How can we guarantee that our ISO9K2K competitor/s haven't got a higher score due to their geographic location
[or anything?]
Greg B
First, I willingly agree all efforts to set up a scale for compliance to a Standard are going to be difficult.

However, I echo Dr. Deming, who was averse to ANY kind of performance rating.

The concept of a Standard is to give organizations a benchmark or baseline for their own purposes. The Gap Analysis process doesn't result in an award if you have the least number of gaps between your QMS and the Standard. It only shows areas for improvement. Achieving the Standard is just the first baby step. Next big challenge is satisfying the customer. The reward comes in the way of sales and profits. If your organization is a nonprofit, how well are the "clients" satisfied? how much do donors feel satisfied with your operation by how much they donate?

If the Standard auditing process becomes a contest, surely some organizations will pervert the contest to some sort of marketing strategy. It seems to me too many organizations already seek the registration status as a marketing ploy and do not really follow the spirit of the Standard ("Customer satisfaction.")

Chicago aldermen have long understood the dictum publicly trumpeted by Massachusetts Congressman, "Tip" O'Neil, "All politics is local."

To echo Greg, the aldermen realize the voter always asks, "What's In It For Me?" abbreviated WIIFM.
Chicago aldermen borrowed the idea from the voters and so when a constituent asks a favor (like regular garbage pickup), the alderman replies, "WIIFM?"
I have a hunch most Cove members fear the Registrar acting like a Chicago alderman when an organization would look for a high score.
 
S

Simon Timperley

#10
Thanks for all your comments I know you are all being realistic.

I feel a bit battered and bruised and perhaps deservedly so - but we are talking about how we can get more value from ISO 9000 and the future of it - its not safe and it mustn't be.

For those of us who are entwined and even dare I say passionate about the standard, I'm sure we all would want to see a pure industry and the standard utilised in it's true spirit by everyone. Well then let's demand that the inconsistency (best) and corruption (worst) is driven out now! - Or let's scrap the whole thing. (Another topic).

Greg B
"I wish I was on the beach"

I don't it's bloody freezing in Blackpool this time of year.

Greg B
"I'd like to see a rationalisation of the standard into layman terms"

Spot on! This was also one of the things discussed at OS, rather than layman terms how about CEO terms or business terms. A standard written by a load of Quality Professionals can only ever turn out as quality babble and then they are the only ones who can interpret it and then they are left to manage it… We said let the CEO's write the next incarnation of the standard after all it is they who can, if onside, be the powerful driving force. And do you know what…I believe they would go for a measurement system - they have creativity, entrepreneurial spirit, competitiveness and the relentless pursuit of numbers in their bones.

How about this pair of quotes from Scottish mathematician and physicist Lord Kelvin:

"If you can not measure it, you can not improve it"

"When you can measure what you are speaking about and express it in numbers you know something about it"

Let's get rid of the corruption and may the contest begin!

Regards,
Simon
:bigwave:
 
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