TQM & LOs LO11268

Barry Mallis (bmallis@smtp.markem.com)
4 Dec 1996 08:08:49 -0500

Replying to LO11222 --

John Zavacki and Ben Compton offered in LO11222 interesting views of ISO =
9000 implementation and the impact on organizational data. I would like =
to add my own observations.

Our company is over 85 years old. Hundreds and hundreds of machines and =
machine models (variations on the theme) have been manufactured. The =
drawings and other ancillary documents are legion. Getting these under =
control generated the same howl which John and Ben allude to.

Engineers perceived serious incursions into their rightful domain of =
critical knowledgebase. Assemblers with personalized work methods =
translated the requirements of Process Control and Document and Data =
Control into Big Brother, with associated loss of "character". Neither, =
it turned out, was the case.

So many years of work in what is essentially a complex "job shop" in this =
company did indeed generate invaluable, experiential, as well as purely =
historical data. But these data were NOT thrown into the dustbin of =
time. The ISO standard is quite clear about what does and does not fall =
beneath its umbrella.

The main point of ISO, as many have said, is control of processes to =
guarantee CONSISTENCY, NOT QUALITY. As I tell people, a company could =
make concrete-filled life vests, each one as "good" as the next, each =
consistenyl manufactured to the spec. of that customer stupid enough to =
buy one. ISO-certified companies who make such things go out of =
business. Many have.
Quality comes from elsewhere. Now, about those documents....

We have rows of file cabinets marked "For Reference Only." We threw out =
relatively little. Only those documents which are used in the direct =
process of generating goods and/or services for Customers must be =
controlled. And if such documents are not used, make certain that they =
can in no way be confused with true work documents which require control =
to maintain consistency.

Work experience and habits? There are at least two tacks here. Get your =
experts together and document the best way to do it. Yes, you may =
encounter the old timer who is reluctant to expose his or her own =
secrets. But by and large the good practices of experienced persons is =
honored by inclusion into standard operating procedures. Secondly, =
element 4.18, "Training", can cover a broad range of work habit issues =
when successfully applied.

I disagree with the notion that we are very muich at the whim of =
assessors. Having chosen wisely, a company gets assessors who look at =
what your OWN company SAYS IT DOES. That's it. Say what you do, do what =
YOU say, and show evidence that it is in fact done that way. Inquiries =

Best regards,
Barry Mallis
Total Quality Resource Manager
ISO Internal Auditor Trainer
MARKEM Corporation
Keene, NH

Barry Mallis

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