IntraNet Learning Assoc. LO7122
Thu, 02 May 96 08:25:40 EST

Replying to LO7080 --

Paul Schechter then Tammy Dewar wrote:

>> Finally, I have formed The IntraNet Learning Association(sm),
>> TILA, the goal of which is to bring together people and ideas
>> to discuss ways that intranets can be used for organizational
>> learning.

>I will post Paul a note individually to join his group, but thought
>there might be others on this list interested in discussing this
>topic further.

The manufacturing world is beginning to get excited over the prospects
of the intranet, and one of the biggest reasons for the excitement is
the requirements of ISO 9000. ISO 9000 is family of quality standards
that has become very common in Europe and North America. In some
industries, ISO 9000 has become almost mandatory.

ISO 9000 requires that a company standardize it's procedures, which is
usually done with work instructions in a paper format. The standard
assumes that the company knows the best way to operate. Standardized
procedures helps to make manufacturing efforts more consistent, day to
day, and week to week. Because a company's procedures can be (and
probably should be) often revised, the company must also provide a
control method to make sure that workers have the most up-to-date
procedures to work from.

The larger an organization is, the more difficult document control
becomes. Contributing to the problem is the fact that more employees
require more copies of the procedures. Also, more employees require a
larger variety of products to sell, which requires more documentation.
(You can probably figure out a reinforcing circle diagram here)

Points of Reference:

I have a friend which operates a small machine shop with three workers.
He is setting up an ISO 9000 system with less than 30 procedures; there
will be only one copy of each procedure.

My employer may be described as a medium sized biotech company with
approximately 750 workers in three locations. Our sales grossed at
$101 million last year. We have authorized and controlled over 7,000
documents in our ISO 9000 system. Distribution on these documents
vary, but it is not unusual to have 20 - 30 copies of these documents
in circulation. Realistically, it is not possible to retrieve all
copies of a document when it's revision advances. Thus, out-of-date
procedures are often used.

Back to the IntraNet:

The intranet makes it possible to post all documentation on a network.
Paper copies can be called in, and all workers may read and use the
original (electronic) documents in their work. There will be no
problems with out-of-date documents.

Also, workers can benefit from hypertext links which can be established
between related documents. Examples of this would include part
drawings, bills of material, assembly work instructions, machine
setups, and inspection and test instructions (all of which are

As an internal quality auditor, I often find workers that I believe
have weak reading skills. The IntraNet should make it possible to make
procedures and work instructions more graphical. It should also be
possible to work out on-line, on-demand training for new employees.

When documentation systems in organizations become large and unwieldy,
no one person can understand all parts of the system. I believe that
the intranet will help relieve the bureaucracy of these systems as
workers explore their documents, often for the first time. This
exploration will cause many workers to discover that they have 1)
unneeded procedures, 2) redundant procedures, and, 3) ineffective
procedures. When an organization can admit to having these kind of
problems, improvements can be made. Hopefully, the intranet will help
manufacturing organizations learn to be more effective.

Brad L. Myers, CQA
Gelman Sciences
Ann Arbor, Michigan

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