Quality Progress - July 2015 - (Page 46)

QUALITY IN THE FIRST PERSON BY T. DAN NELSON Substandard Information ISO 9001 misunderstandings cause negative first impressions I FIRST HEARD about the ISO 9001 standard as a graduate student at the University of Iowa. It was lumped in with other acronym-ridden quality initiatives, such as just-in-time (JIT) delivery and total quality management (TQM). I didn't pay close attention to ISO 9001, not having any idea how familiar I'd become with it in the years to come. After finishing graduate school, I moved to Colorado. In 1994, I began my career with ISO 9001 after a small circuit board shop hired me to write its work instructions. The organization was in pursuit of ISO 9002 certification and needed to document its quality management system (QMS). Training was a week-long whirlwind confusing at best. But the shop passed the that left me with more questions after- registration audit with flying colors. After technical writer to develop lower-level ward than I had going in, but I passed the it was certified and the party was over, my work instructions. The quality manager final exam with no problems. I thought I job was finished, and it was time for me to was already working on customizing understood the training as well as anyone find another one. The taste of ISO 9001 in prewritten system-level procedures he'd else and that working for a certifying body my mouth had gone from bad to worse. found in a popular book. If only I knew would augment the training provided. I was hired as a temporary, full-time Again, as I looked for work, the best Much of the course focused on the job I found was-you guessed it-writing individual requirements of ISO 9001, and documentation for a company in pursuit Miseducation it left me thinking that organizations docu- of ISO 9001 certification, and I was hired A year and a half later, I completed the mented their QMSs merely to pass ISO on a contract basis. After several months work instructions and left the circuit 9001 audits. Years later, I would under- of writing lower-level QMS documentation board shop with a bad taste of ISO 9001 stand that passing audits is a secondary and being able to show a few years of ISO in my mouth. But the best job I could get objective of QMS documentation. 9001 experience, I found full-time work as then what I know now. was-you guessed it-writing work in- Most of the principles of quality man- a consultant trainee. structions for another company in pursuit agement contained in ISO 9000-from of ISO 9001 certification. I did that for a which the requirements of ISO 9001 are few months before I was called back to derived-are straightforward and don't Process vs. standard-based approach the circuit board shop. require strenuous training. The process My newest employer was a small British approach, however, was a principle consulting firm. Not only was I trained leaving the organization, so I was asked contained in ISO 9000 that did require to be a management consultant, I also to help the shop become certified, and I further explanation for many lead auditor learned what ISO 9001 was really about. obliged. Following the advice of my boss trainees, but just like the principles, it was The basic lesson of my training was that before his departure, I requested the orga- only briefly addressed. procedures were supposed to describe The quality manager announced he was nization send me to ISO 9001 lead auditor training. 46 QP * www.qualityprogress.com Nobody at the shop liked the ISO 9001 procedures that were created. They were actual organizational processes-not the standard's clauses and subclauses. http://www.qualityprogress.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Quality Progress - July 2015

Up Front
LogOn
Expert Answers
Keeping Current
Mr. Pareto Head
Open to Change
Passion Project
Turning on the Light Bulb
What‘s Your Theory?
Measure for Measure
Quality in the First Person
Career Corner
Statistics Roundtable
Standards Outlook
ASQ's Continuing Education and Professional Development Directory
QP Toolbox
QP Reviews
One Good Idea
Back to Basics

Quality Progress - July 2015

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