TQM & LOs LO11238

Durval Muniz de Castro (durval@ia.cti.br)
Tue, 03 Dec 1996 12:39:08 -0800

Replying to LO11222 --

John Zavacki wrote:

> These standards are nothing more than templates for the
> installation of feedback mechanisms on you business system.

I have observed that the standards become a source of problems when these
limitations are not understood. They are meant to be a measurement
instrument, not a discipline for organization change. And they are a
relatively primitive instrument, with inaccuracies to be corrected by
future redesigns...

> One problem with
> most standards based quality systems is that they are seen as a "quality
> system." Why do we need a "special" system to give us the results we would
> expect as normal?

We should not. But that kind of problem is sometimes caused by the
misunderstanding of the word "system", even when used out of the quality
standards context. This is because the word system has a cognitive
meaning, as in "systems thinking", which stresses the importance of
relationships and integration; and a prescriptive meaning, which denotes a
series of predefined steps to reach a certain result. There is a tendency
to use the cognitive meaning when we try to justify the standards but use
the prescriptive meaning when implementing or auditing.

> A secondary, and more serious effect, of the ISO industry, is the lack of
> trust inherent in the standard and the process by which it is enforced.

This is true, but I think it is part of the business culture. For
instance, finacial statements are useful because they are realtively
accurate instuments of measurement and can be audited. Quality management
standards are a way to provide stakeholders (in this case, customers) with
some information about the management of a business. The idea makes sense,
but there is much to learn in this field.


Durval Muniz de Castro <durval@ia.cti.br>
Fundacao Centro Tecnologico para Informatica <http://www.ia.cti.br/>
Campinas - Brasil - Fone: 55-19-2401011 - Fax: 55-19-2402029

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>