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Author Topic:   No One Likes Consultants
Marc Smith
Cheech Wizard

Posts: 4367
From:West Chester, OH, USA

posted 01 August 2001 02:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Marc Smith   Click Here to Email Marc Smith     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From: ISO ListServe
Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2001 15:07:34 -0500
Subject: Re: Doc Control 4.5 changes /../Green/Pfrang

From: dep

Joe Green wrote:
> Cost of quality option 1 = $100.00 everybody signs off
> $100.00 maintain everybody's future sign off's
> $100.00 everybody is trained
> $100.00 everybody follows process (Audit It)
> Cost of quality option 2 = $100.00 process approval and future sign
> off's
> $100.00 everybody is trained
> $100.00 everybody follows process (Audit It)
> You do the math and then ask your consultant to earn some of his/her
> money by teaching classic cost of quality at the same time you
> implement.
> If the consultant cannot promptly explain:
> IF + EF + A + P = C of Q then fire him/her and cut your losses.
> Note the word "Efficiency" is not in ISO 9001-2000, but it is in ISO
> 9004-2000.
> A copy of 9004 is about $40.00 buck dollars.
> A consultant is more likely to be $14,000 buck dollars.
> Now there's some prudent use of resources for you.
> Fire the consultant and buy the book.
> ISO 9000-2000, ISO 9001-2000, and ISO 9004-2000 must be considered in
> complete harmony with each other. That's why so much effort was placed
> in the "Consistent Pair Philosophy" (9001 & 9004).
> The planned and appropriate use of the two standards together should
> reduce "DUMB" at the level of "Consultants" and even some God Bless Them
> I Really Do Love Them "RAB" auditors. 99.97% perfect according to planned
> methods for verified, demonstrated competency. With or with out
> variation of 1.5 sigma that still leaves us with a few hundred ("ain't
> got the hang of it yet") less than mature auditors.
> You oughta see the "estimated metrics" on "ain't got a CLUE yet"
> consultants.
> RAB is actually an abbreviation for the circumstances surrounding the
> rare and costly actions of a poorly qualified auditor, who in such a
> case, appears to display symptoms defined by the medical profession as RABbid.
> Please print this posting and show it to your consultant. I love to see
> their eyes go RED.
> Joe
> Is it possible you misunderstood what your consultant said?
> If so I retract none of what I said above.

I don't know what has put a bee in Joe's bonnet, but I disagree with virtually everything in his post.

First, regarding cost of quality: I have yet to find COQ to be a valuable tool in any real-world business situation, because I have yet to find any two people who can give me the same definition for what it means. Even the people who discuss it extensively in their books (e.g., Juran) can't provide a solid definition.

Second, I have worked with many good consultants who have done outstanding work without ever having mentioned the phrase "cost of quality." Accordingly, if I were to list the criteria upon which I would hire a consultant, their knowledge of "cost of quality" would not be on the list.

Third, a $40 book is great in the hands of someone who knows how to use it. Most companies new to ISO don't. So, they have a choice: they can either spend considerable time trying to educate themselves and make a lot of mistakes along the way, or they can hire someone to help them get where they need to go with a minimum of fuss. The latter option is almost always cheaper in the long run. The only times I've seen it not be cheaper is when the company's management possesses at least two of the following three qualities: (1) at least a basic understanding of what quality system management is about, (2) determination and commitment to achieving ISO registration, and (3) a relatively long time horizon. Without these qualities, a consultant is usually a valuable ally.

Fourth, another value of consultants is that they know how to play hardball with senior executives who "talk the talk" but don't "walk the walk." We've all seen what happens: when senior management treats ISO as mere window dressing, company employees won't object because they know it would be career suicide to say anything. A good consultant will tell the CEO the truth, even if it isn't what the CEO wants to hear.

Fifth, while there certainly are some consultants who "ain't got a clue yet," from what I've seen, there are far more company managers in that club than there are consultants.

Sixth, building an effective quality system is, in part, about teamwork and respect for the individual. Accordingly, when I meet someone who is trying to spread hostility and intolerance because they "love" seeing other peoples' "eyes go RED," I tend to put that person on my list of those who "ain't got a clue yet."

My $0.02.


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Marc Smith
Cheech Wizard

Posts: 4367
From:West Chester, OH, USA

posted 01 August 2001 02:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Marc Smith   Click Here to Email Marc Smith     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From: ISO ListServe
Date: Wed, 25 Jul 2001 16:29:01 -0500

From: PNaish

Intel once tried to measure COQ. Since we had projects as well as manufacturing to support we spent half of out "extra time" just doing the book keeping to track our time. That was certainly more effective than working on either the projects or supporting manufacturing and helping them learn better quality practices.

The companies I work with have a burning desire to do the best job they can for their customers at the best price so they can make the most money and live in luxury in their personal time. They can not afford the luxury of time to have their people try to not only learn but keep up with the changes in quality programs (kill me for the use of it but my clueless mind says we come up with new things every time we don't have enough to keep us either one busy or two in business depending upon where we work).

As a consultant for a number of companies, I am not particularly offended by the remarks Joe made about consultants as I have met some people who not only meet but exceed some of the remarks he made. I also know that there are some very good people out there who really have a great grasp of everything. (I hope I find more than one or two in my lifetime). And then there are the rest of us consultants who work extremely hard to not only stay knowledgeable, but to help advance theories and promote what will work best for our individual clients not only for our clients sakes but for our sakes as well so we can make ourselves either a comfortable or luxurious living like the clients we support.

Lawyers specialize in law and we often tell jokes about them being sharks. And accountants specialize in accounting and we call them bean counters in our jokes. I have heard consultants referred to as watch readers (They ask you to show them your watch and then tell you what time it is.) But if I have a legal problem I'd rather have someone who spends their life keeping up with the ever changing laws and who can keep me out of jail or get me money from someone trying to cheat me. And I'd rather have an accountant who keeps me from paying too much tax. And I'd rather have a consultant who will read my watch if I don't know what is the best way to understand that watch I have on my arm.

As Doug put it so well: if you have the money and you have the time and you have the people do it yourself. But if you don't have them and want to get there the most cost effective way hire a good consultant.

And do corrective and preventive action any way you want in your system that works best for your company not the best or canned method of any consultant nor any auditor. It has to work for you. No two of us consultants work the same and neither do any two auditors. So see what is best for you.


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