5 Responses

  1. Roni Pyles
    Roni Pyles at |

    What an awesome story! I can relate to a lot of how management views ISO and other QMS standard as a hindrance rather than a tool for improvement. I would LOVE to be seen as an asset rather than an overhead expense.

  2. Kishor Desai
    Kishor Desai at |

    Fully agree with majority of views expressed, especially about six sigma in particular. In general no one, in a typical organization, cares about variations, until something fatal happens in financial terms. At that point it is too late as subtle variations has creeped into many aspects of the organizational life. In this respect organizational culture and top management responsibility/accountability are crucial ingredients.

  3. Michael Giguere
    Michael Giguere at |

    This article is brilliant and right on the money. The ISO registration industry has been its own worst enemy. It has commoditized ISO registration and it has become a game of “lowest cost wins”. Many auditors do not have the fundamental business knowledge to properly asses a business from a senior management and risk perspective. This is because fees, and the wages the fees can support, do not attract the depth of talent or experience required. Unless this changes ISO registrations will continue to decline. This is a travesty as the ISO Management standards, particularly 9001, are great management tools, if adopted correctly.

  4. Sarah Makin
    Sarah Makin at |

    Loved the first paragraph of this article and agree with most of the authors sentiment. I too was handed a copy of ISO 9001 in the 80s by a great entrepreneur. He saw the value of it and asked me as a young business administrator to read it and implement it in his companies. It was mostly common sense and set off a quality lightbulb that has kept me engaged for about 37 years. It survives all the “fad” industry models which are cumbersome and have little or no ROI. I am lucky enough to work for a company that embraces international standards in its business systems and processes, making conformance invisible to leadership and employees.

  5. Mark Alpert
    Mark Alpert at |

    Thank you Tom and Mike, great article. I too have lived the changing tide in quality management and ISO over the last 30+ years. The challenges you describe will only continue at a faster pace as organizations adopt the next wave of manufacturing such as Smart Manufacturing/Industry 4.0. What will quality mean in an automated, AI driven production environment. The need for compliance will continue to diminish if we are not able to swing the focus from the ROI of compliance towards a more whole business, enterprise wide approach that provides the leverage necessary to move a company towards the things it cares about most.


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