Why do so many ISO 9001 Implementation Programs Fail?

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Leader
Admin
I agree with those who take the view that ISO 9001 is a framework for managing all sorts of business processes and its a standard that other standards dovetail into, Its an overarching framework.
yes; quality in many instances involves a quality policeman
yes; safety also requires a safety policeman. These two points tells us something.

but, also but; I believe that an issue that sourrounds quality is the definition of the word quality. Everyone talks about quality but I've noticed that no-one asks the question, what do we mean by quality. I have noticed this in all the organsiations I have been associated with regarding quality.

Defining this word in most organsiations becomes something of a nightmare and has become something of an undiscussible topic. .

All I'm pointing out here is that I think defining what quality means in a given organsation is a part of the problem you have raised and described which I'm glad you have as I'm sure this is key problem for us all.

Thanks for the post of on this subject and I'm very interested in seeing what the very knowledgeable and experiened on this forum have to say about this topic.
I'm with you: I have often wailed "Can't we call Quality something else?" because it surely has to be one of the most misused and misunderstood terms around. And that really is a problem, including in my every day work as people forget it's not about the outcome but all the things that must go well to result in that outcome. Some of the smartest, most devoted people I know get it wrong. They wonder things like why my QMS audits don't have me out there with a clipboard assessing an operator's step-by-step following of procedure while I audit. :notme:

That's why I've adopted the philosophy of "stealth quality," which pretty much means getting things done right without people necessarily understanding the exact technical reasons why. I find that most people want to do well, which usually means doing away with nonsense but they may need to be made aware of purpose behind what looks like nonsense to them; that it isn't always just about them, it's about what happens later. We could call that whatever term works, just so we get it done and done well. :agree1:
 

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Leader
Admin
Huh? :nope: You do not. None of the regular participants in the forum for example, advocate that approach! It completely misses the boat. I have been helping others get certification for many years now, and I have never ever begun 'with clause 4.1'.
I have. Right or wrong, I have explained to people that it's a section that gives... an executive summary, you might say, and then the standard goes into detail with the following elements.
In fact, the first sentence of 4.1 (above) is the end result after having implemented the system. It's a goal, but definitely not by any means a suitable first step in implementing 9001. Don't mistake the order of the requirements for the recommended implementation. This would be a major misunderstanding.
I could understand people being confused over why, being the end result, that element is at the beginning! :tg:
Intelligent - or even just plain sensible - and well informed people who understand ISO 9001 and quality management or who want to do better.
I am reminded of the claim some make, that a company could make cement life preservers and get certified. :notme: I think many otherwise very smart people mistaken the standard's intent of having a sensible system unburdened by tons of paperwork. I used to work for some of them. Oh wait, I still do...:rolleyes:
 
K

kgott

One of the things that never gets menioned here is management skills and knowledge.

All to many managers I have worked with are technicians off the shop floor who are get kicking ar*s and getting this done.

This phenomena has caused me to observe that the further a person gets up the chain away from the coal face the less they need to know aobut mining coal and the more they need to about managing organisations and influencing people.

It's about time there was some compulsory training in industry for people who go into busienss or manage a certian number of people or budget size. SUch eduction should inlcude managing quality and safety
 

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Leader
Admin
One of the things that never gets menioned here is management skills and knowledge.

All to many managers I have worked with are technicians off the shop floor who are get kicking ar*s and getting this done.

This phenomena has caused me to observe that the further a person gets up the chain away from the coal face the less they need to know aobut mining coal and the more they need to about managing organisations and influencing people.

It's about time there was some compulsory training in industry for people who go into busienss or manage a certian number of people or budget size. SUch eduction should inlcude managing quality and safety
I recently graduated from a Masters program in Organizational leadership that didn't offer a class in quality management. In addition, I spent some years working in public schools at elementary, middle and high school levels that didn't teach anything we could call part of QA. To be fair though, my bachelors program in Industrial Technology did offer classes in QA fundamentals and SPC.

It shouldn't surprise anyone that people are unprepared to assume leadership roles when promotion of technical people doesn't include any training that would make them ready to manage people or QA related tasks. That isn't necessarily the individuals' fault; upper management determines what to require of these people and very often they don't know any better either. And why should they pursue such a subject when Wall Street judges them on a single metric that can be reached with buyouts and/or accounting tricks? :rolleyes:

Put that all together and it becomes easy to understand why Juran said poor quality costs U.S. business 15%-20% of revenue.
 
C

Chance

Put that all together and it becomes easy to understand why Juran said poor quality costs U.S. business 15%-20% of revenue.
Jen, so I guess as a QM i should attend leadership and quality management training? Please respond. Thanks.
 

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Leader
Admin
Jen, so I guess as a QM i should attend leadership and quality management training? Please respond. Thanks.
In my view it wouldn't hurt to take a class or two and decide for yourself if you have what you need or not. You can come out either wiser or more assured that you already had it in your head.

However, I don't have the benefit of working with you personally so it is very difficult to make a solid recommendation like that. What I usually advise is to look over materials like quality management handbooks.

Management and leadership is not easy to teach or learn in classes, though there were certainly principles and I value the program I went through. Even so, I can vouch that results certainly varied among classmates I interacted with! Building emotional intelligence is important, but I never saw a class for that. My class in Human Resources Management was solidly valuable, and Change management, based on Kotter's 8 step model, was fabulous. Crucial Confrontations was another wonderful and powerful class, which wasn't available in the school but offered through my workplace. I'd recommend it to anyone.

Does this help?
 
K

kgott

I recently graduated from a Masters program in Organizational leadership that didn't offer a class in quality management. In addition, I spent some years working in public schools at elementary, middle and high school levels that didn't teach anything we could call part of QA. To be fair though, my bachelors program in Industrial Technology did offer classes in QA fundamentals and SPC.

It shouldn't surprise anyone that people are unprepared to assume leadership roles when promotion of technical people doesn't include any training that would make them ready to manage people or QA related tasks. That isn't necessarily the individuals' fault; upper management determines what to require of these people and very often they don't know any better either. And why should they pursue such a subject when Wall Street judges them on a single metric that can be reached with buyouts and/or accounting tricks? :rolleyes:

Put that all together and it becomes easy to understand why Juran said poor quality costs U.S. business 15%-20% of revenue.


No further comment Jennifer, you have said as good as it could be said, thank you.
 
H

Hodgepodge

Originally Posted by suildur (broken link removed)
Most of the time establishing a QMS consists of standard's "standard" requirements; I mean, you begin with clause 4.1 and go on.

Huh? :nope: You do not. None of the regular participants in the forum for example, advocate that approach! It completely misses the boat. I have been helping others get certification for many years now, and I have never ever begun 'with clause 4.1'.
Huh? :nope: You do not. None of the regular participants in the forum for example, advocate that approach! It completely misses the boat. I have been helping others get certification for many years now, and I have never ever begun 'with clause 4.1'.

I'm afraid I must disagree with you here, Jane. The biggest reason being that you and most of the others here aren't establishing and documenting the "so many ISO implementation programs" that this thread is about. People that don't know anything about a QMS are assigned the responsibility to document one because their boss needs certification to continue to be on their customers ASL. If they were all implemented by people like those here on the Cove, there would likely be less failure.

My own introduction into the world of quality is a realistic example. My company was about to be audited by our largest customer and the former management rep had just taken a job elsewhere. My boss came to me and said, "Hey, so-n-so started the quality manual but didn't complete any of the procedures. Take the book (referring with disdain to the quality manual) and finish it up."

A QMS was something that was needed because a big customer required it. I imagine that is how and why most ISO implementations start. That is also why so many fail. People like me and the guy before me started documenting clause by clause because we didn't know any better. Businesses with management that don't know what a QMS is do know it is something they need to compete. If they are lucky, they pick someone in the company that knows how to write and then they tell them to hurry up and write a manual. The truth of the matter is, I was lucky to find the Cove. We already had a good quality system in place and the contributors here helped me to refine it and document it.

When I say we had a good system in place already I really do mean it. This was another reason the "forced" QMS was looked on with disdain. The management attitude was, "How is some auditor who never ran a machine or made a part in his life going to come in here and tell us what we need to do a good job?" Attitudes about documentation and paperwork were, "Paper doesn't make good parts. Planes were flying around before all this paperwork was required."

Now there is a combination of factors that continue to make a certificate hanging on a wall a meaningless piece of paper and not a way of doing business.
1. a business that is already well managed with efficient and simplified processes
2. The attitude that paperwork actually costs money
3. Being forced to create and display paperwork to someone that doesn't know how to make a part to prove we can make good parts.

All you need now is just 1 non-value-adding finding and you've cemented the notion that Quality Management Systems are a waste of time into the heads of management.

If management does not believe in it, it isn't going to get done properly. That is how an ISO 9001 implementation can fail and is likely the reason that so many fail.
 
L

Lexylou

Great post guys.....

Reading this entire post I can relate.

1. Eleven years ago the company I work for was told by our leading customer that we would lose their business if we did not become certified. We were already their best supplier. We were always on time and quality was great. We have had a very good working relationship with our Customer for 21 years.

However, they were actually going to drop us, a good supplier, and go with a not-so-good supplier because the not-so-good supplier was ISO Certified and we were not. Needless to say we did become ISO and AS now.

2. Back when ISO was 20 elements, auditors were more focused on documentation. Show me where it is written, they would say. So our procedures grew from the 6 that were required to the 20 something. The auditors wanted to see more in writing.

Now we hear, why do you have all of this? We went through many different interuptations of the requirements in all those years. Funny how things change, now it would be considered an improvement if we downsize our documentation.

3. I agree, take the "Quality" out of Quality Management System. I'm tired of telling everyone here that it isn't my system (Quality Supervisor), it's everyone's system. Everyone is responsible for "Managing our business for Quality".


If you do not have a total commitment from everyone starting at the top all the way down to the shipping personnel your going to be in trouble.
 
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